Sam St. Clair, Plant and Wildlife Sciences
We fully met the objectives of the study and have published numerous papers from the proposed work.
The mentoring environment was highly successful based on the high number of student co-authors and the more than 15 undergraduate students mentored during that two year period.
Mentored undergraduate research participants:
- Ryan Shannon (2010-2011) aspen physiology
- Jared Johns (2010-2011) aspen genetics
- Anson Call (2010-present) aspen root biology
- Andrew Hollingshead (2010) plant-pathogen interactions
- Logan Beebe (2010) aspen genetics
- Braden Boyer (2010-2011) aspen genetics
- Trevor Barney (2010-2012) aspen defense chemistry
- Ben St.Clair (2011-present) dendrochronology
- Roshni Khadji (2011) desert ecology
- Ryan Williams (2011) aspen physiology
- Andrew Lybbert (2011-2012) desert ecology
- Ho Yi Wan (2011) aspen ecology
- Jessica Flory (2011-2012) aspen genetics and biogeography
- Jason Bartholomew (2011-present) dendrochronology
- Rachel Nettles (2011-present) aspen ecology
Student success in the mentoring environment:
We initiated this aspen mentoring environment in the fall of 2010. By December 2012 four research studies were completed. Over the two years, approximately 50 research mentoring credits (494R) representing approximately 1800 research hours, have been earned by the fifteen undergraduate researchers. Eight undergraduate students were employed full or part time, contributing several hundred additional student research hours to the project. From these studies, 7 oral presentations were given by myself or student working with MEG funding in that two year period. From the four completed studies, 5 papers were published between 2010-2011. Eight undergraduate students earned authorship on these papers. Two undergraduate students were primary authors on these papers. Because of the success of the students in the mentoring environment and their close relationship with the faculty, we have been able to write strong letters of recommendation for employment, scholarships and entrance into professional and graduate school.
We discovered that aspen strongly facilitates fir trees that over time results in competition that leads to high aspen mortality. Fire creates a balance between aspen and conifers. Fire suppression by humans unbalances the system.
Project funds were spend supporting four undergraduate student researchers during the summer and covering travel costs between Provo and the Fishlake and Dixie National forests.