Winners of the 2019 SER MWGL student research and student implementation grants were announced at the chapter’s recently concluded annual scientific meeting in Pella, Iowa.


Since 2014 the Midwest Great Lakes Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration has offered student grants to help fund restoration research or restoration implementation projects.  Grants are competitive and are available to any student at an institute of higher learning within the geographic region of the Midwest Great Lakes Chapter.

The student grants are in support of the chapter’s mission to:  “promote the science and practice of ecological restoration to assist with the recovery and management of degraded ecosystems throughout the Midwest and Great Lakes region of the United States.”

Student Research Grant

Julia Brokaw in the field.

Julia Brokaw

Project Title: Maximizing the potential of prairie restoration and management for ground-nesting bees

Julia is a second year graduate student in the Department of Entomology at the University of Minnesota and also pursuing a minor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy. Her dissertation research focuses on 1) developing low-cost, wild bee attractive seed mixes and 2) whether prairie restoration also restores nesting habitat for ground-nesting bees.  Julia also seeks to connect research with policy decisions to support both people and the environment.

Student Implementation Grant

Jack Zinnen at work in the lab.

Jack Zinnen

Project Title: Creating seed production areas for high quality prairie forbs at Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve

Jack Zinnen is a second year doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he studies plant and restoration ecology.  Zinnen is working on multiple projects for his dissertation, including studying Floristic Quality Assessment and seed production areas (SPAs).

Zinnen fell in love with plants and ecology at a young age working for a native plant nursery. Later, he says, “I became fascinated by SPAs by working for another native nursery during my undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Growing plugs and collecting seed for restorations are some of my favorite hobbies. I have been tempted to create and manage SPAs for some years now, because wild collection, while fun, is inefficient and unreliable. I am pleased to have developed this project with Mr. Mike Daab and the Champaign County Forest Preserve to grow seed for expensive prairie species and used in restorations. We are also excited to start seed production of Sangamon phlox, an extremely rare plant endemic to Champaign County and native to Champaign County Forest Preserve property. I thank the SER for providing me this opportunity to upscale my volunteerism during graduate school.”