Geography Faculty Members Net Two Research Grants - Humboldt State Now

Geography Faculty Members Net Two Research Grants

Two HSU Geography faculty members have received research grants totaling $150,000.

Geography Professor Rosemary Sheriff is part of a research group that received a $90,000 grant from the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Program. The grant will support one year of a 3-year study evaluating oak woodland stand dynamics and conifer encroachment in northwestern California. Researchers will provide baseline information where existing data is limited using both field-based and remote sensing-based spatial analysis methods, Sheriff says.

The study will also include a multi-county and multi-landowner characterization of oak woodland ecosystems and a decision support system that allows landowners and agencies to understand and prioritize management activities. Sheriff is one of six principle investigators on the project. The others are Yana Valachovic, Rick Standiford, Maggie Kelly and Matthew Potts of UC Cooperative Extension and UC Berkeley and J. Morgan Varner of Mississippi State University.

The second grant—$60,000 awarded to Geography faculty member and Kosmos Lab manager Mary Beth Cunha—will support efforts to identify, document and organize data for the Fish and Wildlife Service. The goal of the project is to improve data management frameworks to facilitate cross-office and cross-program data-based communications, integration and adaptive management in the Klamath Basin, says Cunha.

Geography faculty member and Kosmos Lab manager Mary Beth Cunha received $60,000 to identify, document and organize data for the Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Both projects involve our students, faculty, and off-campus experts in cutting edge thinking and techniques,” Geography Professor and Department Chair Stephen Cunha says. “Such interaction—and the lab facilities to complete the work—is part of what makes HSU an intellectual paradise for motivated students.”

The HSU Geography Department offers an extensive undergraduate program, with both a major and minor, incorporating a wide range of courses in human and physical geography and geographic techniques. The department is nationally renowned for innovative teaching, hands-on learning, and field-study experiences. HSU Geography students have won awards at state and national professional conferences for outstanding paper and map presentations.

Special student opportunities include field and lab assistantships for research studies on vegetation and disturbance ecology in California, Alaska and other western U.S. locations in the Dendroecology lab; a Kosmos computer laboratory for training in geographic visualization and practical application through the Institute for Cartographic Design and internships with local government, planning agencies, nonprofit organizations and the National Park Service. The department also has a strong record of placing students in prestigious summer internships with the National Geographic Society.