Examples of Outreach Plans
I study the effects of climate, microclimate, and soil physical and biotic factors on plant species distribution in Southern Oregon with rare species (orchids in the genus Cypripedium) and common species (starflower, Trientalis latifolia). Much of my research takes place in collaboration with National Forest and Bureau of Land Management botanists. Currently my outreach activities focus on K-12 education, but I intend to broaden this to include orchid societies. I am currently involved a UC Davis team of grad students and faculty that is designing and teaching a new ecology program - KiDS (Kids into Discovering Science) - for three 5th grade classes at Lower Lake Elementary (Lake County, CA) and McLaughlin UC Reserve. I also volunteer for a high school student environmental restoration program called SLEWS (through Center for Land- based Learning). I plan to develop materials and information on native orchid conservation and propagation for orchid and plant societies in the Sacramento and SW Oregon areas.
My research focuses on understanding the ecological impacts of certain agro-ecological farming practices on forest regeneration. This work is conducted in a small scale subsistence Maya village in the tropical Maya lowland forests of Southern Belize where the traditional milpa, slash and burn, farming is still practiced. Much of my research on traditional farming and ecological knowledge will contribute to developing intercultural curriculum for Maya schools in Southern Belize. The ability for Maya communities in Southern Belize to continue to practice their own language and customs, in many forms, is attributed to the accessibility of land and autonomy. My goal is to take what I learn from this indigenous community and create alternative spaces, a cultural center and urban gardens in Lynwood, an inner city of Los Angeles, where much of the marginalized community can have the feasibility and self-determination to practice their culture while exchanging ideas about sustainable and culturally relevant food production.
My research examines plant- soil interactions and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, particularly in very degraded ecosystems such as old mines or highly invaded areas. My outreach includes collaboration with land managers, mining companies, and governmental organizations to develop new strategies for restoring ecosystem functions on old mines. Currently, I also provide graduate school advising to undergrads through the LGBT Resource Center, and soon will be advising undergrad interns. I also plan to become involved in actions in my community at UC Davis to raise awareness regarding the barriers to higher education faced by students from marginalized communities, and to develop tools to enable our program to become more proactive at fostering many types of diversity.
My research investigates interactions among livestock management, plant communities and wildlife in rangelands and savannas. I focus mostly on broad-scale spatial questions, such as how large herbivores or habitat configuration can modify landscape heterogeneity or edge effects. Most of my fieldwork is in central Kenya, but I also work on a grassland restoration project near Davis. My outreach plan has two main audiences: rangeland managers/landowners and youth interested in rangeland systems. In regards to youth, my activities have included participation in SLEWS, co-creation of a rangeland ecology curriculum for 4th-6th grade 4-H youth, mentoring three undergraduate interns for two months each, and creation of a pictoral plant ID book for my study system in Kenya. The ID book is a hybrid product in that can be used as an educational tool by both youth and adults (particularly ranch managers). In addition to the plant ID book, my manager-oriented outreach work includes in-depth meetings with and presentations to the management of the two ranches where I do much of my work, presentations at annual 'discovery days' at Mpala Research Centre (where I live when I am in Kenya), short articles in local newsletters, and lead authorship of an ecological monitoring guide for managers (http://www.mpala.org/Monitoring_Guide.php). I am currently organizing a manager-centric outreach workshop (planned for November 2011).
My research investigates the impacts of spatial pattern (patchiness) on the success of late- season grassland weeds in the context of climate change. My research is relevant to land managers and ranchers for developing effective management strategies. My other outreach interests include helping home gardeners avoid 'planting pests' (invasive species) and focus on low- water landscaping. I am a member of the California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC) and, with the local UCD Cal-IPC student chapter, am building collaboration with the CNPS Sacramento Valley Chapter. Finally, through discussions in the Spring 2010 Broader Impacts workshop, I am planning on creating a smartphone application that would help home gardeners find appropriate plants for their yards (ideally non-invasive and low-water use; see the SoilWeb application recently released by a UCD lab! http://casoilresource.lawr.ucdavis.edu/drupal/node/902)
My research largely focuses on how spatiotemporal habitat connectivity affects the abundance of native pollinators of squash and the pollination they deliver to squash. As such, my outreach plan targets (1) farmers and (2) non-profits and agencies that work with farmers such as the Yolo County Resource Conservation District and the Natural Resource Conservation Service. Over the course of my Masters program I will develop parnerships with these target groups and develop outreach tools (e.g. fact sheets and bee identification guides) that can be used to inform people about the value of native bees, how to monitor the pollination services they provide and farm management practices that support these important insects. Outreach tools will be handed out at workshops and field days and made available on-line via partnering organization websites. In addition to engaging local stakeholders I'm also interested in collaborating with local schools and youth-based organizations to develop experiential learning opportunities. Currently, I volunteer with SLEWS, Green Corps, and RESTORE. I am also working with a group of local teachers to develop an interactive website that connects UC Davis graduate students with regional K-12 schools.
My research focuses on the issue of invasive plant patterns in conservation linkages. I am examining different land areas that have long, linear strips of habitat that structurally connect parks/reserves/other blocks of native habitat; these are known as linkages or corridors. I want to see how invasive plants are "using" those linkages which are supposed to help native plants and animals. I also do restoration work with native forbs (flowering plants). My outreach targets private land- owners, county- and state-agencies that own the parcels that I use for my studies and owners/managers of adjacent lands. I plan to use reports, fact sheets, and invasive plant guides to educate affected stake-holders about my findings and about the issues of invasive plants in general, if necessary. I want to utilize existing structures like county Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) and local Resource Conservation District's (RCD) education and outreach programs. In addition to the outreach that is directly tied to my research, I participate in SLEWS, am president of the Davis chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology, and am a co-founder of the Davis student chapter for California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC). I also would like to communicate ecology/conservation even further in the form of creative nature writing; I believe this could be an innovative way to get people aware of ecological/conservation issues.