Alumni Association interviews graduate student about gender representation in natural resources

Abigayl Novak, who earned her Master of Science in Forest Resources from the University of Maine this May, spoke to the University of Maine Alumni Association about gender-diverse representation in the bioenergy and forestry sectors. “I’m really looking forward to seeing more women in forestry and us supporting each other in this industry. I want to continue being a mentor to people and I want them to know they can do this and it doesn’t matter who you are,” Novak said. For her graduate thesis, Novak studied how woody biochar may be used as a soil amendment to improve drought resilience in wild blueberry crops. Her co-advisors were assistant professor Ling Li at the School of Forest Resources and assistant professor Yongjiang Zhang at the School of Biology and Ecology. Novak is also an alumna of UMaine’s Ecology and Environmental Sciences program.