Xi Sigma Pi: Research Grant Winners + New Officers!

After a highly competitive proposal and review process, the Xi Sigma Pi forestry honor society is very pleased to announce the winners of its annual research grants—two for graduate students, and one for an undergraduate—totaling $2,200 in funding for the next year!

Lesly Franco

The top graduate student proposal came from master’s student Lesly Franco, who is working with Professor Ernesto Alvarado, for her project, “PM2.5 concentrations during prescribed burns and possible health effects.” She was awarded $1,000 to help her analyze data collected from prescribed burns and determine if spikes in PM2.5 concentrations during the burns are associated with increased deaths.

Master’s student Mitchell Parsons, who is working with Professor Laura Prugh, was awarded $500 to assist with his project, “Trophic relationships of reintroduced fishers in the South Cascades.” He plans to use stable isotope analysis and isotopic signatures to assess the presence and stability of diet specialization of reintroduced fishers in the South Cascades, and their degree of individual specialization, in order to better manage wildlife reintroductions in the changing landscapes around the world.

Hannah Booth

For her undergraduate proposal, Hannah Booth won $700 for her project, “The relationship between wildfire and the cascading impacts of predators on plants.” Working with Professor Aaron Wirsing as her faculty advisor, Hannah will explore how wolf presence and fire shape patterns of deer herbivory and plant responses, in order to show how abiotic forces such as fire affect predator-prey interactions and their relationship with plant communities.

Congratulations to the 2017 research grant winners, and the many other excellent proposals the committee reviewed!

Also, on Friday, May 19, Xi Sigma Pi inducted its new officers for the 2017-18 year, including Hiruni Jayasekera as forester; Danyan Leng as assistant forester; David Diaz as secretary; Lesly Franco as treasurer; Aoifa Fae as ranger; and Fabiola Pulido as the continuity officer!

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