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Alumni News

Find out what past Center for Tree Science Undergraduate Research Fellows have been doing since their time at The Morton Arboretum:


Fall 2018 Update

Liz Carter (2014 URF) is pursuing her MS in Environmental Science at DePaul; published her URF project results, "Do oaks with a provenance related to warmer climates emit more isoprene?" in the DePaul science journal, DePaul Discoveries in 2015; and presented the results of her senior thesis project at the International Urban Wildlife Conference in May of 2015. The poster was titled "Linking mammalian habitat use to vegetation community structure in the Chicagoland region."  2014 URF Blog posts

Kathrine Klaus (2014 URF) is an Environmental Mission Scholar at Vermont Law School.  She recently wrote and presented a Note suggesting the Clean Water Act encompasses the discharge of pollutants to groundwater that is hydrologically connected to surface water and she is seeking publication for that Note.  In the summer of 2017, Kathrine worked for the EPA in the Office of Regional Counsel in Chicago, and in the summer of 2018, she worked for the Department of Justice in the Natural Resources Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division in Washington, D.C.  2014 URF Blog posts

Angélica Bannwart Lopes (2015 URF) is currently teaching English to children (12 - 15) at a state school in Goias, Brazil.  She earned her Forest Engineering degree, thanks, in part, to the skills received during the URF, and while she plans to pursue a career in the field, Angélica is truly enjoying her job as a teacher.  2015 URF Blog posts

Bruce “Jake” Berger (2015 URF) is studying Water Resource Management at Indiana University Bloomington, pursuing an MS in Environmental Science and a Master of Public Affairs.  He is working with faculty at IU Bloomington to study how well states are preparing for conservation issues related to climate change in their federally mandated State Wildlife Action Plans.  Jake has performed field work in the Galapagos Islands to catch and study sea turtles, and has worked with the Indiana Clean Lakes Program to perform lake sampling and measurements for public water bodies to assess water quality.  2015 URF Blog posts

Nick Steichmann (2015 URF) presented his research on Lake George in Illinois City to the Upper Mississippi center;  and this spring he went to Australia and completed an internship at the University of Sydney working with native bees and ants.  He enjoyed visiting the Great Barrier Reef so much that he is currently applying for PhD programs in marine biology.  2015 URF Blog posts

Mackenzie Coden (2016 URF) changed her field of study and is currently a research technician in the department of Allergy and Immunology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.  She has attended and presented at local, regional, and national Immunology conferences, authored two publications, with several more in preparation for submission, and is planning to pursue a PhD in the coming years.  Mackenzie's Blog Posts

Kasey Pham (2016 URF) is pursuing her MS at Michigan State, studying Plant Biology.  She published Pham et al. 2017 in the journal Genome, is a coauthor on Fitzgibbon et al. 2017, also in Genome, and received a PLANTS grant to attend the Botany 2017 meeting, where she presented a talk.  Kasey's Blog Posts

Quinn Taylor (2016 URF) is currently a high school science teacher and Math/Science department head at Fusion Academy.  She co-authored a paper on her research with her URF mentor, Dr. Meghan Midgley, which can be found in the March 2018 issue of Forest Ecology and Management.  In August 2017 Quinn traveled to Portland, Oregon to present this research at the ESA Annual Meeting.  Quinn's Blog Posts

Amy Byrne (2017 URF) spent the summer working as a Population Biology intern at the Lincoln Park Zoo Conservation & Science Department.  She will be a co-author on a paper "Sex-specific median life expectancies from ex situ populations for 330 animal species" that is still in the editing phase. She collected the new data for this paper and will be presenting her research findings on Red-capped Cardinal post-hatch survival rate and transfer mortality rate to the Conservation & Science Department at the zoo.  Amy recently returned to the Arboretum to continue working with Dr. Andrew Hipp.  Amy's Blog Posts

Alyssa Gao (2017 URF) is in her junior year at Dartmouth.  She organized a day-long summit that brought together student leaders in sustainability from six peer institutions to connect and build a network; she was awarded the 2017-18 Carol Folt Research Scholarship to continue her work in the Kapuscinski lab; and was selected for the Environmental Studies Foreign Study Program & will travel to South Africa and Namibia in the fall of 2018.   Alyssa's Blog Posts

Katie McGee (2017 URF) completed her senior thesis and graduated magna cum laude from James Madison University, where she was also recognized for service to the biology department.  She has had several internships, including one at JMU that investigated bird behavior and urbanization and another doing environmental education/ trail work and conservation in Massachusetts with the Student Conservation Association.  Katie is currently finishing up an internship as a biology technician at Redwoods National Forest in California and has internship opportunities lines up for 2019.  Katie's Blog Posts