Tag: Forest Science

Michigan Space Grant Consortium graduate fellowship application support

The Graduate School is offering support services to assist graduate students in applying for the Michigan Space Grant Consortium’s Graduate Fellowship, including a workshop and one-on-one writing support.

MSGC’s Graduate Fellowship opportunity supports graduate students from affiliate
institutions who are conducting research and public service projects relevant to NASA’s strategic interests as expressed in NASA’s 2014 & 2018 Strategic Plans, specifically, research focused on aerospace, space science, and earth system science. Graduate students working in other, related science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields are also eligible to apply. Starting this year, MSGC is piloting an expanded definition of STEM to include support for interdisciplinary projects that include art, so graduate students conducting research and projects relevant to NASA’s strategic interests in disciplines not traditionally considered STEM, such as the humanities or social sciences, are likewise encouraged to apply.

Fellowship recipients are awarded $5,000. To be eligible, applicants must be U.S. nationals, have a good academic record, and be in good academic standing. Women, under-represented minorities, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Students currently receiving MSGC Fellowships are eligible to reapply.

Workshop information: Overview and tips from an MSGC Fellowship reviewer
Date and Time: Friday, September 17th, from 11:00 AM – 11:50 AM
Location: Admin 404
Presenter: Will Cantrell, Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School
Host: Sarah Isaacson, GLAS Program Director, sisaacso@mtu.edu
Register here: https://forms.gle/RSPYtUHVD6Yjimou6
A recording of the workshop will be available beginning September 21st.

Deadlines:
Wednesday, Nov. 3 at noon — Internal deadline for undergraduate and graduate fellowship proposals
Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. — Final materials, after review and approval by SPO, must be uploaded to MSGC by the applicant

For more information and specific application instructions, visit the MSGC website and the MTU Graduate School’s MSGC web page.


NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Application Support

The Graduate School is offering support services to assist graduate students in applying for the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program, including workshops and one-on-one writing support.  Fellowship recipients earn an annual stipend of $34,000.  To be eligible, applicants must be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident, have never previously applied to GRFP while enrolled in a graduate degree program, have never earned a master’s or professional degree in any field, or completed more than one academic year in a graduate degree-granting program.  Applications are due October 18th – 22nd.  See https://www.nsfgrfp.org/ for full benefits and eligibility details.

Workshop 1: Overview and tips from a former NSF program manager and reviewer
Date and Time: Friday, September 3rd, from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Presenter: Dr. Pushpalatha Murthy, former NSF program manager
Co-hosts: Dr. Debra Charlesworth, former NSF GRFP reviewer, and Sarah Isaacson, NSF GRFP Support Coordinator
Zoom meeting link: Please make sure to sign in with your MTU account before joining the meeting to be admitted.
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://michigantech.zoom.us/j/83018958000

Workshop 2: Crafting your statements: Content and organization
Date and Time: Friday, September 10th, from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Presenter: Sarah Isaacson, NSF GRFP Support Coordinator
Zoom meeting link: Please make sure to sign in with your MTU account before joining the meeting to be admitted.
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://michigantech.zoom.us/j/82410509516

Personalized writing support:
Applicants will receive support via an NSF GRFP Canvas course as well as individualized writing support on application drafts from qualified staff members.

See https://www.nsfgrfp.org/ for more details. Questions? Contact Sarah Isaacson, NSF GRFP Support Coordinator: sisaacso@mtu.edu


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2021 Recipient – Dominic Uhelski

I always had an admiration for inventors like the Wright brothers, pushing boundaries despite setbacks. The spirit of experimentation is much like the spirit of exploration – both tread into unknown territory for the purpose of discovery. At Michigan Tech, I got to feed both.

I began my journey at Michigan Tech as an incoming master’s student in January 2018. Joining the labs of Dr. Evan Kane and Dr. Rod Chimner, I immediately got to work learning a whole new set of skills necessary to be successful in graduate research. From my background in fisheries and wildlife and upland fire ecology, Rod and Evan gave me the opportunity and support to pursue a different course. I pushed my own boundaries making the transition to wetland fire ecology, then I started pushing the boundaries of the science. We wanted to know how frequently peatlands in the upper peninsula experienced wildfire. To that end, we had to find evidence of these wildfires. However, the options for finding the evidence we needed were limiting. With standard techniques, we could get an idea of fire frequency in only a few sites. We set our sights higher.

Rod and Evan helped me cultivate the spirit of experimentation with the perseverance of an inventor. With their help, I surpassed the limitations of the present methods by inventing my own. Like every other scientist and inventor, I stood on the shoulders of giants to reach as far as I have, but that makes me no less proud, only more humble. It was not easy, but my efforts were rewarded. Rather than three sites, we were able to study thirty. Now every other scientist who wants to do the same will be able to walk the trail we blazed.

Somewhere along the way, we realized that this work had potential beyond a master’s project, so I decided to stay on and make a Ph.D. project out of it, and I’m glad that I did. I have learned so much from working with Rod and Evan, about the field, the research process, about what my strengths and weaknesses are. Now, as my time at MTU winds gradually to a close, I know that I still have more to learn, but I also have a duty to publish all that we have learned. That may be the most difficult part of the whole process, but the support of the finishing fellowship that I have received will be an invaluable assistance. I am grateful to the graduate school for awarding me this fellowship, and to Rod, Evan, my committee, my coauthors, and the undergraduate assistants that have all contributed to bringing this work to fruition.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2021 Recipient – Ande Myers

I began my Ph.D. in 2017 and currently work with Dr. Tara L Bal in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. My research explores propagation and restoration planting of American beech trees resistant to beech bark disease. I am collaborating with scientists at the National Park Service (Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshores) to enact an applied restoration project for the mitigation of Beech Bark Disease in Michigan. 

Over the first three years of my doctoral work, I have established a tree grafting program in the CFRES facilities, described the severity of Beech Bark Disease in two National parks, prepared a literature review and synthesis regarding the propagation of American beech, forged a working partnership with the US Forest Service Oconto River Seed Orchard, established a plan for restoration plantings in conjunction with the National Park Service, and initiated a study in methods for transplanting wild-origin American beech seedlings.

My broader research interests are in understanding the dynamics of forest disease and dysfunction and applying a diverse suite of techniques to mitigate the effects of disease and enhance forest health. I aim to present the findings of my research in a clear and understandable manner to a diverse array of audiences. I work to enhance my science communication skills through written and oral presentations, and through forging meaningful working partnerships with external agencies.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the graduate school for supporting the finalization of my dissertation through the award of the finishing fellowship scholarship. I also thank the faculty and support staff of the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science for creating a supportive community that has encouraged my scholarship at every stage of my degree program. Finally, the community of graduate students in the college, and Michigan Tech at large, have provided an amazing academic environment for continued personal and professional growth. I feel that my ability to perform as a researcher has been greatly benefitted by these combined communities, and they have earned my sincere gratitude.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2021 Recipient – Joe Shannon

I am excited to have the opportunity of a finishing fellowship to complete my research. I am interested in using site-level ecohydrology research to estimate watershed-scale impacts with the goal of providing results that can guide land managers and policymakers. My current research is a combination of modeling future conditions and mapping wetland distribution. These projects build on the 10 years I have spent studying the impact of emerald ash borer on black ash wetlands. Using a combination of optical imagery and synthetic aperture radar, I am working to quantify the distribution of these relatively unmapped wetlands. Mapping these wetlands is the first step to mitigating the effects of EAB, which will require long-term management strategies. To guide climate-adapted management tactics, I am also modeling the combined impacts of EAB and climate change. Using wetland models, I simulate how mitigated and impacted wetlands will respond to changing temperature and precipitation patterns.

Specifically, how will wetland inundation patterns change, and what impacts will those changes have on other ecosystem components. With the knowledge of where these wetlands are located and how they will change in the future, better decisions can be made to retain their benefits.

Joe Shannon

Research Scientist & PhD Candidate

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences Michigan Technological University


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2020 Recipient- Elizabeth Barnes

I am compassionate about forest resource conservation, and came to Michigan Tech to pursue a doctoral degree in Forest Science to gain skills in ecological field research, geospatial technologies, and forest management. My studies center on ecological succession in northern forests, and the dual influences of natural disturbance and resource management on shaping the future of maple-dominated hardwoods stands. I specifically carry out research to assess the effect of wind disturbance on canopy openness, understory microclimate, and tree species recruitment and replacement. In addition, I am involved in research to model pathways of forest carbon sequestration, particularly the transfer of carbon from down dead wood to the soil matrix. During my three years at the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, I also attained a two-year professional degree in Forestry, endowing me with the technical skills needed to support a career in forest resource management. 

Words cannot express my gratitude for the opportunity provided to me by the Graduate School to complete my Ph.D. in Summer 2020 with the Finishing Fellowship award. I look forward to graduating and entering the fields of forestry, resource conservation, or ecological restoration in the northern Great Lakes.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Spring 2020 Recipient – Karl Meingast

Karl Meingast
Forest Science

My M.S. research project was focused on peatland fuel characterization using remotely sensed data and was published in Remote Sensing of the Environment. After that, my research focus shifted to organic matter movement from terrestrial inputs (leaf litter for example) to Lake Superior through snowmelt flushing. This research is in line with the NASA Arctic COLORS project focused on similar questions in the Bering, Chukchi Seas and Beaufort Seas. These questions have led our team to employ in-situ validations of remotely sensed data, land and boat based field studies of Lake Superior, and laboratory tests to answer our main research question: How do snowpack and soil water flowpath dynamics affect dissolved carbon exports from forested watersheds? After publishing my dissertation, I look forward to continuing research focused on these questions; however, I am very passionate about Lake Superior, and I look forward to engaging in new and ongoing research opportunities related to geographic, biological, physical, and chemical questions associated with it.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Fall 2019 Recipient – Danielle Rupp

Danielle Rupp
School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

I am a fourth year PhD Candidate in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. My area of study revolves around boreal ecosystems—particularly northern wetlands—and how these areas are responding to climate change. The research that I pursue at Michigan Tech specifically involves carbon cycling, microbial response, and plant community shifts due to hydrologic change. Other research I have been involved with during my time at Tech includes the investigation of permafrost thaw and its effects on nutrient cycling in and around thermokarst features. In so doing, I have spent the past three summers living and working in and around Fairbanks, Alaska—an area in which permafrost thaw and climate change are daily realities for both the landscape and the people who live there. During my time at Michigan Tech, I also had the opportunity to attain a Masters in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which expands my technical skillset for any future career.

I am incredibly grateful to the graduate school for awarding me a Finishing Fellowship. The extra time to finish writing and publishing my research will make me a competitive candidate for many potential future careers. Careers I am interested in pursuing include nonprofit environmental research, land- or water-based management positions in federal agencies, land trusts, or non-profits, or environmental state-based careers in Alaska or other northern climates.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2019 Recipient – Kelsey Carter

Kelsey Carter
Forest Science

I am a fourth year PhD candidate in Forest Science, working with my advisor, Dr. Molly Cavaleri. My research seeks to better understand how tropical plants are impacted by climate warming. Tropical forests cycle more carbon than any other biome, but we lack insight on the mechanisms driving these vital ecosystems. My research will better inform global models and allow us to close critical gaps in our understanding of how tropical forests might shift their carbon balance in response to the warming climate. Throughout my PhD, I have been very fortunate to perform my field work at the first field-scale warming experiment in a tropical rainforest (Tropical Responses to Altered Climate Experiment– TRACE), located in Luquillo, Puerto Rico. In total, I spent eight months living and working in Puerto Rico. Alongside pursuing my PhD, I completed my master’s degree in Applied Ecology at MTU. In addition, I gained teaching experience through Michigan Tech, both as a teaching assistant and instructor for undergraduate courses.

I am very grateful to the graduate school and the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for awarding me the Finishing Fellowship. This fellowship will provide time for me to complete my degree and focus on publishing my research, which will allow me to be more competitive as apply for jobs in the next stage of my career.


Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2019 Recipient – Grace Parikh

Grace L. Parikh
Forest Science

I came to Michigan Tech in 2013 as a student in the Applied Ecology M.S. program with John Vucetich, where I had the privilege of working on the Isle Royale Wolf and Moose Project. The collegiality of the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, in addition to the spectacular wilderness of the UP made it an easy decision to continue at MTU for a PhD, using a long-term data set compiled by Chris Webster. I have been working with John Vucetich and Chris Webster, studying winter adaptations of white-tailed deer with a 13-year data set, using a combination of field surveys, quantitative methods, and molecular techniques. I have also had a great deal of teaching experience, ranging from field to lecture-based classes.

I am very grateful for the support of my co-advisors, John Vucetich and Chris Webster. It is an honor to be awarded the Finishing Fellowship, and I look forward to wrapping up my dissertation and taking on new challenges.