Courtesy Daily Sitka Sentinel
Students from Mt. Edgecumbe High School’s molecular ecology program, who did independent research projects on the local forest ecosystem this school year, were set to present their work at a forum in Sitka May 1.
MEHS teacher Chohla Moll said her students are fresh off a trip to Fairbanks, where they participated in the Alaska Statewide Science Symposium.
Seven Mt. Edgecumbe students presented scientific papers at the event. Abigayle Fisher placed first in her session on microbiology and molecular biology. She also received an award from the American Society for Microbiology. Fisher’s paper was called “Effects of Different Forest Management Practices on Microbial Communities.”
MEHS students Alexandra Self, Kim Jessup, Tiana Bactad, Reanna Moses, Sacha Mattlehy and Nellie Alakayak also presented papers at the symposium.
Each of the seven students, including Fisher, placed in the top six of their respective sessions, Moll said.
The students received cash prizes and $1,000 scholarships from the EPSCoR Alaska Rural Research Partnership (ARRP) program.
In total, the MEHS group brought home $7,550 in scholarships and cash prizes, Moll said.
Moll was named the 2012 teacher of the year at the symposium, while Kitty LaBounty, a University of Alaska Southeast, Sitka Campus, biology professor, received the award for mentor of the year,
Moll teaches the molecular ecology class at MEHS. The program is a “dual enrollment” course run through UAS and students get both high school and college credit. The research projects looked into topics like the classification of local blueberry species and the microbes present in the soil next to salmon streams.
The research papers will be presented 7 p.m., May 1, at UAS-Sitka.