2008-2009 Science & Society Fellows
Kathi Borgmann received her undergraduate degree in Biological Aspects of Conservation from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1998. She received her masters degree from The Ohio State University in 2002. Kathi’s masters work focused on the effects of urbanization on the probability of invasion by non-native plants in forest patches and, in turn, how non-native plants influence nesting success of forest songbirds. Currently, she is a PhD student in Dr. Conway’s lab at the University of Arizona. Her PhD research centers on investigating why nesting success of songbirds varies throughout a breeding season: implications on breeding phenology and variation in life-history traits. Kathi is testing three hypotheses to explain why nesting success varies throughout the season: due to seasonal changes in (1) foliage, (2) alternative prey for nest predators, or (3) abundance of nest predators.
Anna Howell is a masters' student in the Department of Entomology, advised by Dan Papaj and Steve Buchmann at the University of Arizona. She is interested in the behavior and population biology of native bees as it relates to bee conservation. Anna is currently studying how urban fragmentation of desert habitat impacts the foraging behavior and reproductive success of native Creosote bees. An ongoing study seeks to determine if bees that inhabit small desert fragments have lower reproductive success than bees in large fragments. She is also interested in how olfactory cues mediate a bee's ability to locate suitable nesting sites and how such cues may be exploited by nest parasites.
Troy Knight is a PhD student in Geography and the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research (advisor: Tom Swetnam) at the University of Arizona. He holds a BA from the University of Georgia in Anthropology and History (1995) and an MA in Geography from Georgia State University (2003). In between academic pursuits he worked for several years as an archaeologist on the northern Plains, and as a consultant on hydrological applications of dendrochronology in Georgia. Though his research interests are varied, as his past work has ranged from documenting urban land cover change to environmental reconstructions using dendrochronology, they are linked together by a concern for providing an historical perspective for contemporary issues. His dissertation will investigate the role of climatic variation in shaping the population dynamics of pinyon/juniper woodlands in eastern Utah using dendrochronological methods, highlighting the environmental implications for past inhabitants of the region.
Stephanie McAfee is a graduate student in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Arizona. Her current research focuses on understanding the relationships between the large-scale processes simulated by general circulation models and the local-scale responses to climate change. Using observed data, along with climate and ecosystem models, she is investigating watershed-scale patterns of variability in precipitation and the ecological and hydrological responses resulting from them. Prior to attending the University of Arizona, Stephanie worked for the USGS as a biologist and for the University of Washington, where she worked on a long-term research and monitoring project in Olympic National Park.
Richard Rushforth is currently a Master’s student in the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science at the University of Arizona. His thesis project is focused on elucidating the fate and transport mechanisms of lead and zinc during phytostabilization, which is the use of plants to immobilize metal toxicants and to stabilize soil structure against erosion, of acid mine tailings in arid ecosystems. He received his B.S. in the spring of 2007 from the U of A, graduating with a degree in Environmental Science, focusing on policy. As an undergraduate, Richard worked alongside fellow students, faculty and staff to construct several rainwater harvesting demonstrations on the University of Arizona campus. These demonstrations can be seen at the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Building, the Meinel Optical Sciences Building and the UA Visitor Center. He is actively working on projects to promote natural resource sustainability on and around the University of Arizona campus and is currently appointed to the Tucson-Pima County Metropolitan Energy Commission.