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Student Research Projects 2018-19

Research Methods for Ecosystem Science: Instructor Dr. Stacy Lynn, GTA Sara Simonson

Student Research Project Abstracts:

Kaitlyn Ammerlaan is a senior majoring in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. She is working with graduate student Tomas Pickering to evaluate drought recovery among Samburu pastoralists in Northern Kenya. After participating in a study abroad experience in South Africa, Kaitlyn became interested in studying the social aspects to conservation practices, leading her to this project.

Taylor Carlton is a fourth-year student in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. Her mentor for the SUPER Program is Dr. Kate Schoenecker with the USGS, and they are working on elk and bison interactions in the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Taylor has always loved animals and nature and hopes to help prevent species extinction, such as with rhinos!

Nicolette Davila is a senior majoring in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability at Colorado State University. Graduate student Alison Foster is her mentor for her project, “Effect of Climate Change on Lodgepole Pine.”

Benjamen Duffy is a senior at Colorado State University studying Ecosystem Science and Sustainability with a minor in Watershed Science. Benjamen and his mentor, graduate student David Atkins, are working on a project studying the impacts of spatial ecosystem variables on Monochamus beetle abundance and distribution in Colorado’s Front Range. Monochamus beetles are a primary vector for Pine Wilt Disease (PWD), this research will further the understanding of the Monochamus spp. behavior, improving our ability to predict and combat instances of PWD in Colorado.

Caley Ford is a junior in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. With the help of her mentor, graduate student Sarah Whipple, she is completing a project titled, “An Analysis on Obtaining Accurate Data on Key Arthropod Pollinator Species in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park Using Citizen Science.”

Paul Gadecki is a Senior majoring in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. He is working with PhD student Samantha Mosier on a project on adaptive multi-paddock grazing. His interests include soil ecology and nutrient dynamics.

Lukas Hirneisen Lukas Hirneisen is a junior in the Warner College of Natural Resources studying Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. He is being mentored by Peter Olayemi on the project Cheese Please: The effects of Lactobionate on Microbial Growth and Soil Quality. Lukas’s interest in ESS is to make agriculture more available and sustainable especially within urban areas.

Jake Marinkovich is a Senior Majoring in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, with a minor in Spatial Information Management. He is working with graduate student Cara Steger on Applications of Fuzzy Cognitive Maps in Community Conservation Systems.

Lin Pan is a senior majoring in Ecosystem Science and sustainability. She is working with her mentor, Dr. Jeremy Shaw, to study wetland cover change in Washington State, specifically looking at peat area land cover change caused by urban development.

Juliet Seibel is a senior in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability and will be graduating in the Fall of 2019. She is working with two CSU graduate students, Alex Stoneburner and Scott Bradfield, on her project titled, “Total Non-Structural Carbohydrates and Plant Resistance to Environmental Stresses.” This research is delving into non-structural carbohydrate storage in different types of grasses and forbs to see how they differ in storage methods and how this works to their advantage or disadvantage.

Amy Spinden is a junior majoring in Ecosystems Science and Sustainability. She is working with Dr. Seth Davis of the Department of Forest and Range Stewardship, studying the effects of Cercocarpus montanus achene allelopathy on plant germination and growth.

Jianyi Tang is a senior student major in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability at Colorado State University. She is conducting a research project comparing the variability of wildfire behaviors as modeled by dynamic and static fuel models under the guidance of Andrew Beavers and Amy Burzynski at the Center for Ecological Management on Military Lands.

Yiru Wang is a senior in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability at Colorado State University. Her mentor is Dr. Steven Fassnacht, and the title of her project is, “Effect of climate change to human beings.” Yiru is an international transfer student from China.

Sarah Wingard is a senior in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability at Colorado State University. Mentored by Jessica Sanow, her research project is, “Using Terrestrial LiDAR to Measure Snow Surface Roughness.”

Ge Xu is a senior majoring in Ecosystem Science & Sustainability. He is being mentored by Dr. John Moore on the project, “Effects from fertilization on soil microbial structure.” He expects the population of arthropods will decrease in fertilized soil compared to non-fertilized soil.

Kevin Young is a senior at Colorado State University, studying Ecosystem Science & Sustainability and Watershed Science. His research project for the SUPER program is a time series analysis of selenium concentrations in the Gunnison River Basin. He is working with Dr. Matt Ross of the CSU Natural Resource Ecology Lab and Watershed Science team.

Ran Zong is a senior undergraduate student at Colorado State University. He is working with Dr. Jeremy Shaw studying changes in peatlands area cover in Washington State. They are trying to find the main cause of the change in these ecosystems.

Tamera Breidenbach

Citizen science studies in Yellowstone National Park increase pollinator species diversity records

Mentors, Sarah Whipple, Dr. Gillian Bowser

This presentation stems from research completed by the Pollinator Hotshots within Yellowstone National Park in the summer of 2017. Through a grant focused on student engagement in citizen science research, information was gathered on pollinators in various National Parks. Student citizen scientists from around the world were given introductory, intensive training to conduct field research, collect data, and identify pollinators. Student scientists set up transects in various locations to find pollinator species utilizing a citizen science platform (iNaturalist) to input data sets and photography. My research focused on assessing whether the student citizen scientists were useful in tracking functional pollinator groups, such as bees and butterflies, so that reputable species lists could be returned to the parks for climate change policy and protection management strategies. Previously collected data from the National Park Species List database (https://irma.nps.gov/NPSpecies/Search/SpeciesList/YELL) allowed for comparative analysis of the data collected from the Pollinator Hotshots group.