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Brooke Cassell wins first prize at Student Environmental Challenge!

posted Apr 27, 2015, 2:58 PM by Alec Kretchun   [ updated Oct 29, 2015, 1:26 PM by ]
PhD student Brooke Cassell took home first prize over the weekend for her talk at the Student Environmental Challenge, held by the Oregon Chapter of the Air & Waste Management Association. The A&WMA is a professional organization whose mission was originally focused on the interchange of technical information regarding the control of air pollution, but has since broadened their interests to include environmental planning, sustainability, climate change and other environmental topics. More information about the Oregon A&WMA can be found at

Her talk was titled "Jim's Creek Savannah Restoration Stewardship Project: Restoring a Legacy Oregon White Oak (Quercus garryanna) Habitat in the Willamette Valley Foothills", and was a 10 minute talk on a multivariate analysis of the responses of groundcover vegetation to restoration thinnings. She, along with co-authors Kyla Zaret and Cody Evers, found that following a 51% reduction in canopy cover, there were increases across species, especially in native and exotic grasses and forbs. Species assemblages differed among forest, woodland and prairie plots, and the effect of remnant patch type on groundcover community was still apparent 1-2 years post restoration. They also found that remnant prairies were important seed sources for recolonization of native groundcover plants, but that they were also sources of exotic grass spread.

Congrats Brooke!