The winner of the 2020 Student Restoration Implementation Grant is the SER Student Chapter at The Ohio State University. Their project was titled, Replanting the urban riparian forest along the Olentangy River in Columbus, Ohio.
The winner of the 2020 Student Restoration Research Grant is Brian Charles of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He won the award for his research on “Predicting outcomes in restored riparian wetlands: Using functional traits, species composition, and species richness to explain restoration outcomes.”
Each year, SER MWGL offers a Student Restoration Implementation Grant and Student Restoration Research Grant. Grants are competitive and available to student Chapter members at any institution of higher education occurring within the region of SER MWGL Chapter. Award recipients will be announced on the chapter blog/website and the recipient will be expected to present an oral or poster presentation about their funded project at the Annual Chapter Meeting one year later.
Each year the award competition is very stiff. This year, as usual, there were many applicants, each of the proposals, as in the past, were very good.
Student Restoration Implementation Grant: The Student Restoration Implementation Grant was introduced in 2016 to encourage and support student involvement in the practice of ecological restoration within the regional boundaries of SER MWGL Chapter. The Chapter will award one grant of up to $2,000 to an eligible student, student group, or student-oriented group to be used for supplies, equipment, and other items that will support implementation of restoration practices.
The student association of SER at Ohio State was founded in 2018 with a dual mission of education and restoration practice. The student association currently consists of over 30 graduate and undergraduate students with a broad range of expertise. In early 2019, the group established a partnership with a local conservation organization, Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW) and began restoring a section of riparian forest corridor along the Olentangy River on Ohio State’s campus. This site has become one of the group’s most important and educational projects, and these funds will be instrumental for allowing them to continue restoring and monitoring the site.
Student Restoration Research Grant Winner
The 2020 Student Restoration Research Grant Winner is Brian Charles for his research on “Predicting outcomes in restored riparian wetlands: Using functional traits, species composition, and species richness to explain restoration outcomes.”
Brian Charles is a master’s student in the Matthews Wetland Ecology and Restoration lab at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He earned his B.S. in Ecology and Evolution at U.C. Santa Cruz and has been practicing restoration for 5 years. He is especially interested in plants, but also loves birds, fungi, insects, and basically anything related to the outdoors.
The Student Restoration Research Grant was introduced in 2014 to encourage and support student involvement in research in ecological restoration within the regional boundaries of the SER MWGL Chapter. The Chapter will award one grant of up to $2,000 to an eligible student to be used for research supplies, travel, equipment and other needs.
Under normal–non-pandemic–circumstances, the OSU student group and Brian would have made presentations about their work at the SER MWGL annual chapter meeting that was scheduled for March 27i-29 in Cleveland. Unfortunately, the meeting had to be postponed due to the pandemic. So, the OSU student and Brian will make their presentation a year, or so, later when the meeting is rescheduled. The date of the rescheduled meeting has yet to be determined.