Morgan graduated in December 2011 with her B.S. degree in Ecology and Environmental Sciences. In May 2012, she plans to begin graduate school under the guidance of Ivan Fernandez. Although her project is yet to be determined it will be centered on research at the Bear Brook Watershed. Her passion is soils and she would like her graduate work to link soil science with climate change adaptation and mitigation. Currently, she is working with temperature data collected from the watershed since 2001 in an effort to find trends pertaining to differences between forest types, as well as overall warming. These data will be used in numerous projects including the 15N project launching this spring. She has also been working hard to help solve Bear Brook’s current bear problem.
Farrah is currently working as a post-doctoral teaching fellow at Villanova University in the Department of Geography and the Environment. Her research focuses on soil biogeochemical response to pollution and climate change, through collaborative research projects in the Philadelphia area and in Maine. Courses she teaches at Villanova include Introduction to Environmental Science, Environmental Chemistry, and Ecosystem Services.
James was a M.S. degree student in Horticulture under the direction of Dr. John M. Smagula and worked on the nutrition and production of Maine wild blueberries. He completed the requirements for the graduate degree in August 2011. James is currently a Ph.D. student in the Molecular Plant Sciences program at Washington State University. His current research involves looking at the role of amino acid membrane protein transporters that are involved in the loading of amino acids into the phloem of Arabidopsis thaliana. The ultimate goal of his current research is to improve nitrogen partitioning and use in plants for improved plant productivity.”
Mark, a UMaine Sustainable Agriculture alum, is explaining his use of an oat/fava bean cover crop to students in our Weed Ecology and Management class during a farm tour (Fall 2011). Mark is very active with the local Farmers’ Market and the owner of Peacemeal Farm in Dixmont, ME.
Youping was a Ph.D. degree student in Plant Science under the guidance of Dr. Donglin Zhang. He worked on the genetic diversity, micropropagation, and cold hardiness of Ilex glabra. After he received his degree in May 2010, he joined Clemson University as a postdoctoral research fellow and worked on the “large scale propagation, clonal selection and greenhouse production of Veratrum californicum”. He is currently working at Texas AgriLife Research Center at ELPaso. His research focuses on urban landscape and water conservation.
Kate graduated in 2009 with a M.S. degree in Horticulture under the direction of Stephanie Burnett. She is a Horticulturist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service and says “I have a fabulous job.” Her role is to support the gardening community in Penobscot County by conducting educational programs, producing newsletters, helping community gardening initiatives, and providing advice to individuals looking for horticultural help. A big part of her job is to coordinate their local Master Gardener Volunteer training. During this training, citizens are educated in the art and science of horticulture with the purpose of preparing these volunteers to educate and serve their local communities. She connects Master Gardeners with various outreach projects including [ http://extension.umaine.edu/harvest-for-hunger/ ]Maine Harvest for Hunger, [ http://umaine.edu/gardening/master-gardeners/kids-can-grow/ ]Kids Can Grow, and [ http://umaine.edu/penobscot/programs/gardening/rogers-farm/ ]the Rogers Farm Demonstration Garden. “I am very proud of the impact these volunteers have on the community and the role I play in facilitating their work.”
Mike completed a Ph.D. in Ecology and Environmental Sciences at the University of Maine with Dr. Ivan Fernandez in 2009. Mike’s doctoral research focused on watershed biogeochemistry, specifically phosphorus cycling, and included field sites in Maine, West Virginia, France and the Czech Republic. Since completing his Ph.D. Mike has worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado Boulder where he studied carbon in Antarctic streams and waters of the United States. In March 2012, Mike will be starting a position as a scientist with the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) in Boulder Colorado. NEON is a National Science Foundation funded initiative to monitor climate change across North America over the next 30 years.
Heather earned her M.S. degree in Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences in 2008 under the guidance of Mark Hutton. She is an Agriculture Educator with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Service in Grafton County, New Hampshire. She works with farmers and growers to find research based answers to their questions, oversees educational workshops, and conducts on-farm research.
Erika (Williams) Speirs
Shortly before Erika graduated from the Landscape Horticulture program in 2003 she was hired as a Landscape Designer by Atlantic Landscape Construction, a progressive and innovative design/build firm located in Ellsworth, Maine. For eight years she worked hand-in-hand with clientele from across the globe, Landscape Architects, Architects and their skilled landscape crew within the unique Mount Desert Island region. During that time she honed both her design and project managing skills while being afforded the ability to teach several courses and lecture to various groups on an array of horticultural topics. The year 2011 brought a desire to stretch her abilities and return to her Southern Maine roots. She was hired into a position at the award-winning Landscape Architecture firm, Richardson & Associates, a firm she had become acquainted with during her time at Atlantic Landscape Construction. Currently she serves as a horticultural consultant, project manager, marketing director, graphic designer and office manager.