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2019 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 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 be designing and setting up a long-term experiment examining the ecology and management of fox grape, porcelainberry, and Oriental bittersweet vines.  We will also be collaborating on a biological monitoring project on the Ecological Preserve, assessing shifts in community composition and developing restoration and management plans for the Preserve.  We will collect data on several long-term research projects, including testing for indirect effects of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer on invasive vines and studying the persistence of seeds of invasive vines in the soil.  Students will have the opportunity to learn a wide range of field techniques and management strategies.  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.

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

How should students express interest in this project?
I will contact students after I receive their applications to set up a time to talk with them.  I find it very helpful if students include in their applications a description of any previous experiences/coursework they may have had that relate to this project, as well as their motivation for wanting to work on this specific project.