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GRADUATE STUDENTS

    Pedro Ardapple  
       
       
       
       
  ethan pic Ethan Massey

Hometown: Vicksburg, MS
Major Advisor: Dr. Douglas Osborne

Project Description: My project is a diet study focusing on Arctic nesting geese wintering in Arkansas. Historically the mid-continent population of Greater White-fronted Geese, Lesser Snow Geese, and Ross’s Geese have wintered along the Gulf Coast in Louisiana and Texas, but changes in agricultural practices have allowed more geese to winter in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. With my project I hope to determine the diets of these three Arctic geese while on the wintering grounds, estimate rates of resource depletion on multiple habitat types, and compare body condition of the geese between early, mid, and late winter.
 
  calliepic Callie Moore

Hometown: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Major Professor: Dr. Douglas Osborne

Project Description: Historically, the Midcontinent Population (MCP) of Greater White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons) utilized coastal marshes along the Gulf Coastal Prairies of Texas and Louisiana during winter; however, since the 1980s, the MCP wintering range has experienced a northeasterly shift into the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. The expansion of the MCP is believed to be a result of the species’ adaptability in food selection. My project aims to test this perceived shift in wintering distribution and identify the role that changes in climate and agricultural practices and other environmental covariates have had on this shift.
 
       
    Joshua Nix  
       
  brant portner Brant Portner

Hometown: Wyomissing, Pennsylvania
Major Advisor: Dr. Mohammad Bataineh

Project Description: I am focusing on fire ecology and the use of prescribed fire in relation to oak regeneration in upland oak-hickory systems. Oaks and other xeric species (species that require less moisture) have become less common in the understory due to the exclusion of fire from forests in the early 1900s. This exclusion has caused an increase in mesic species (liking higher moisture levels), like maples. Oaks are an important part of the ecosystem and economy, my project is looking at first order fire effects and fire dynamics to better understand fire's role in these ecosystems and how it can be used to to increase oak regeneration to more historical levels.
 
       
  richard sample photo Richard Sample

Hometown: Winslow, AR
Major Advisor: Dr. Benjamin Babst

Project description: My project involves studying the process of nitrogen recycling during times of dormancy in Poplar trees. These trees move their nutrients, nitrogen included, from their leaves into their stems during winter dormancy. The nitrogen is transported mainly as glutamine. My main focus will be on determining mechanisms that play a role in nitrogen recycling, along with understanding how the environment impacts the nitrogen recycling process.
 
       
  bishwa Bishwa Sapkota

Hometown:  Hetauda, Nepal
Major Advisor: Dr. Lu Liang

Project Description: My project involves mapping ash tree mortality caused by the invasive Emerald ash borer in north-west counties of Arkansas. My goal is to determine the infestation status of Ash trees using satellite and aerial images. The Emerald ash borer is native to Eastern Russia, Northern China, Japan, and Korea and was introduced into the US in 2002. Trees lose 30 - 50% of canopy after 2 years of infestation and die within 3–4 years. This highly invasive insect has killed millions of ash trees in North America. My project aims to identify regions in Arkansas with high EAB infestation and map out trends and trajectories of this invasion. This information will be useful to concerned stakeholders. I am also working on an additional project in Mississippi Valley using satellite images to map land cover to estimate the area of rice fields that are potential food preferences of the migratory birds.
 
       
    Gabrielle Sherman  
       
    Richard Vaerewyck  



UA Division of Agriculture  -  Agricultural Experiment Station  -  Cooperative Extension Service  -  School of Forest Resources  -  UA-Monticello

Arkansas Forest Resources Center, P.O. Box 3468, 110 University Ct., Monticello, AR 71656
870.460.1052  - forestresources@uamont.edu