Miller and one of his Douglas-fir seedlings.
This Thursday, May 23, at 10 a.m. in Winkenwerder 107, Colton Miller will be defending his Master’s Thesis: “Reforesting Surface Coal-Mined Land Using Douglas-fir Seedlings in Washington State.”
Land productivity can be substantially degraded by surface mining, which introduces such problems as erosion, landslides, floods and loss of habitat. Previous research has focused on methods for improving tree seedling establishment on surface mines in the Appalachian region. Miller’s research investigated modified treatments for improving seedling performance in the Pacific Northwest. He also quantified the response of seedling foliar nutrients to post-planting fertilization.
While you let these thoughts take root, go ahead and mark your calendar and come out and join Miller’s committee chair Darlene Zabowski and other committee members Rob Harrison, Eric Turnblom and Dan Vogt!
Refreshments will be served!
Photo © Colton Miller.
Is there a better way to kick off a Wednesday morning than by listening to one of your fellow graduate students present her original research? No way!
So come out to Anderson 22 at 9 a.m. this Wednesday, May 22, to hear Betsy Vance defend her Master’s Thesis: “Investigating the ecological requirements of Hackelia venusta: An examination of the soils and their potential influence on the limited distribution of one of Washington State’s most endangered species.”
Hackelia venusta (“Showy Stickseed”) is an endemic, endangered species restricted to a single population located on the eastern footslopes of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. Preservation of the current population, as well as the establishment of future populations, is contingent upon a better understanding of the plant’s specific ecological requirements. The purpose of this study was to characterize the physical and chemical properties of the soil and how these properties may be influencing the current extent of the population.
Professors Darlene Zabowski and Rob Harrison are co-chairs of Vance’s committee, and other members include Professors Sarah Reichard and Eric Turnblom.
She’ll have coffee, juice and some sort of food/snack on hand, so come kick-start your day with some caffeine and a healthy dose of intellectual stimulation!
Photo of Hackelia venusta © Betsy Vance.
Next week on Thursday, May 9, round up your friends and colleagues to come support Erika Knight as she defends her Master’s Thesis! Her talk begins at 1 p.m. in Anderson 22, so join us in commemorating her years of work and research at SEFS.
One of Knight’s treatment plots at the Fall River Long-term Soil Productivity study site in western Washington.
Increasing demand for timber, as well as current interest in the use of woody biomass for energy and chemical production, may result in higher quantities of organic matter removed from plantation forests than currently occurs during harvesting. Knight’s thesis focuses on the potential of two practices that can increase the yield of woody biomass from a harvest site to change soil carbon and nitrogen storage:
1. Application of herbicides to control competing vegetation and improve crop tree growth; and
2. Removal of branches and foliage (slash) in addition to the bole during harvest.
She conducted her research in a 12-year-old Douglas-fir plantation at the Fall River Long-term Soil Productivity site in western Washington. She is part of Professor Rob Harrison’s soils lab, and her other committee members are Professors Darlene Zabowski and Dan Vogt.
Photo © Erika Knight.
Earlier this quarter, students in Professor Rob Harrison’s “ESRM 100: Environmental Science” course volunteered at the Beaver Pond Natural Area in Seattle. Working with Ruth Williams, the volunteer organizer, the students removed invasive plants and planted some native species.
Most ESRM 100 students complete a volunteer project as part of the course requirements, which include writing up a summary of their work, including the species they worked with, why they did the work, any problems they encountered, solutions they employed, and environmental benefits of doing their particular project.
For many, says Professor Harrison, the project is the first time they’ve done anything like this kind of restoration work outside—and they enjoy it so much that it often leads to additional environmental service volunteering!
Photo © Rob Harrison.