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Project Proposal

Restoration Ecology and Invasive Species Management

Meg Ronsheim (Biology)

The focus of this URSI project is the management of invasive vines and the restoration of forest canopy gaps. Working both on the Ecological Preserve and in the Edith Roberts Ecological Laboratory by Skinner Hall, one of the earliest native plant restoration projects in the country, we will assess the impact of current management efforts and experimentally test alternative management approaches. A long-term research project is underway on the Preserve to determine whether American Chestnut trees can be used in the management of invasive vine species, thereby allowing other native tree species to recolonize canopy light gaps on the Preserve. We will collect data on that experiment and establish a second set of experimental plots in another area of the Preserve. We will also be collaborating on a biological monitoring project on the Ecological Preserve, assessing shifts in community composition that will be used in the further development of restoration and management plans for the Preserve. This position will provide an excellent opportunity for any student interested in pursuing conservation biology, restoration ecology, land management and/or ecology as a career.

Pre-requisites: Interest and desire to learn about the fields of ecological restoration and management is essential. Experience working outside in the field, conducting research, identifying plants, working with GIS/GPS, and basic computer skills are desirable. The successful candidate must enjoy working outdoors and be capable of strenuous work in adverse conditions.

How should students express their interest in this project? Email me to set up a time to talk about the project and why this project is of particular interest to you.