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Biology and Environmental Science News

Junior Environmental Science major, Diamonique Clark, was accepted into a ten week REU program and will be staying at the El Verde Station in El Yunque National Rainforest, Puerto Rico, this summer. While there, she will have the opportunity to study the recruitment dynamics of Pterocarpus officinalis, a legume tree.  For the first two weeks, Diamonique will work with her mentor to refine her project design. Following this, she will present her proposal to the program officers in order to continue with her research. At the conclusion of the program, Diaominique will present her research at a poster session open to students and faculty at the University of Puerto Rico. When asked what advice she would give to other students who want to take this path, Diamonique responded, “My advice to students that would like to study environmental science is to do whatever you must to gain experience. I encourage all future environmentalists to volunteer in your community, get your hands dirty, help with an environmental based project, or create one of your own. Research the careers environmentalist have, then, go for it!” Congratulations Diamonique!

Senior Biology major Keeley Cook and senior Biotechnology BS/MS major Nichole Young both recently earned a College Reading and Learning Association Master Level Certificate. They received their certification awards at the 2nd annual . Keeley demonstrated her dedication to her fellow students, as well as her persistence to earn this certificate through 75+ hours of actual tutoring experience (Levels I, II and III), hours of training on required topics, and other requirements. Nichole was additionally honored at the banquet with a medal for working in the Academic link for over two years.

Dr. Keith Johnson, Diamonique Clark (ENV '16), and Jessica Kim (BIO '15) recently travelled to Quebec City in Quebec, Canada to present their research on the “Presence and Diversity of Marine Life on Artificial and Natural Reefs in the Chesapeake Bay” at the Xth Benthic Ecology Meeting. Their work was completed as part of the Stevenson Reef Ball Project, in which all freshman School of the Sciences majors participate, making concrete reef balls that are deposited in the Chesapeake Bay to help rebuild reef habitat for marine life. A portion of Dr. Johnson's research focuses on recording the diversity of organisms inhabiting the artificial reef in order to determine whether it is having the desired effect.

Guest speakers Robert Mead and Steve Castrogiovanni from MEAD Tree and Turf Care Inc. spoke to Dr. Norris’ Forestry class (ENV 260) about how to safely climb trees. MEAD Tree and Turf Care Inc. provides basic tree services for residential customers. This presentation allowed students to learn the basics of tree climbing safety, which is important knowledge for anyone interested in Forestry.

A group of students and faculty traveled to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia to see the Body World: Animals Inside Out exhibit. All students were invited to join the trip. The exhibit allowed students to explore the zoology, biology, and physiology of wild, domestic, and exotic animals. It also allowed students to gain a greater understanding of diversity in the animal kingdom.

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