Distinguished Professor Award Highlight: Sarah Kirkpatrick
Environmental Science and Ecology student Sarah Kirkpatrick earned the Distinguished Professor Award in Spring 2020 for her research project working at Lake Ontario.
The Distinguished Professor Award is a competitive, one-time award where up to $1,000 is awarded to matriculated and enrolled graduate students to support eligible expenses associated with a program-required research project or creative activity.
Sarah Kirkpatricks Project:
Evaluating restoration techniques for a coastal fen on Lake Ontario degraded by Typha × glauca and shrub encroachment
“During the summer of 2020, I completed pre-treatment sampling and applied restoration treatment techniques at the fen at Cranberry Pond. Pre-treatment sampling included vegetation surveys and porewater collection. Porewater was analyzed to measure the concentration of nitrate/nitrite, orthophosphate, and ammonia. The groundwater hydrology of the site was assessed seasonally using piezometers located around the periphery of the fen. Alkalinity, specific conductivity, temperature, and pH were measured from each piezometer and groundwater levels were measured in a piezometer cluster located at the center of the fen. The first application of restoration treatment techniques was performed in early August, which included cutting Typha x glauca and removing litter, and cutting shrubs and removing litter. The second application was performed in October, which included the application of two brands of herbicide to resprouted Typha x glauca leaves, and cutting Typha x glauca and removing litter. With the support of the DPA award, I was able to purchase necessary materials to construct piezometers, carry out treatments, and collect porewater samples. Furthermore, I was able to measure the concentration of three nutrients in 156 porewater samples.”