Where are They Now?
Career Choices of Konza Prairie REU Students
 (Updates in Progress!)

1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010





Kristen Ballinger
Whitman College, WA

Amanda Bennett
Yale University, CT

Anika Bratt
St. Catherine University, MN


Elizabeth Delfing
Capital University, OH


Cecily Foo
Whitman College, WA

Teddy Gelderman
Carleton College, MN
Chelsea Heatherington
University of Gainesville, FL
Hannah Kahl
Whitman College, WA
Jon Lambert
St. Olaf College, MN
Spencer Lickteig
Kansas State University, KS
Aaron Novick
The College of Wooster, OH
Arjun Potter
Cornell University, NY
Eric Ross
California State University - Monterey Bay, CA
Caitlin Singer
Arizona State University, AZ
Runqi Song
Yale University, CT
Rachel Wieme
St. Olaf College, MN






Tina L. Graver
Ohio Wesleyan University, OH

Kelsey Hixson-Bowles
Kansas State University, KS

Brian V. Kearns
Whitman College, WA


Rose Keith
Mount Holyoke College, MA


Matt Nielsen
Grinnell College, IA

Nathan Pavlovic
Grinnell College, IA
Dumi Presuma
Bethune-Cookman University, FL
Zak Ratajczak
Vassar College, NY
Rebecca Spurr
St. Olaf College, MN
Gabriella Sterne
Whitman College, WA
Maya Wilson
Franklin and Marshall College, PA






Daron Blake
SUNY Binghamton,
Joanna Bronkema
Earlham College, IN
Carina Castro
California State University at Fullerton,
Nicholas DiRienzo
Benedictine University, IL
Jennifer Fill
University of Massachusetts at Amherst, MA
Laura Kangas
Michigan Technological University, MI
Jorge Mendoza
Kansas State University, KS
Amy Strauss
Whitman College, WA
Katherine White
Cornell University, NY






Andrés Andrade 
University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, OR
Andrés graduated from the University of Colorado at Denver in Spring 2008 with a BS in Biology.  He was recognized as a Research Scholar for his senior thesis on the herbaceous understory community following the 1988 Yellowstone fires.  He has been invited to present his research at a National Symposium in September 2008.  He has also worked for a not-for-profit company that executes restoration projects.
Melissa Blundell
Humboldt State University, CA
Melissa graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Humboldt State, and is building on her  REU experiences working with vireos.   Melissa is currently employed by the USGS as a seasonal Biological Science Technician and is helping Barbara Kus collect data on an endangered population of Least Bell's Vireos in California.
Adam Carter
Muhlenberg College, PA
Adam graduated from Muhlenberg College in Spring 2008 with a Bachelor's degree.  He will be working as a bird banding intern at Alabama A&M University in Fall 2008.
Anthony Dalisio
Sterling College, VT
Tony graduated from Sterling College and is starting a Master's degree program in Environmental Science at University of North Carolina at Wilmington in Fall 2008.
Jesús Gómez-Carrasquillo
University of Puerto Rico at Humacao, PR
Chu graduated from the University of Puerto Rico in Spring 2008.
Auctavia Grant
Grambling State University, LA
Auctavia is a senior at Grambling State and is planning to graduate in May 2009 with a B.A. in Biological Sciences.  Her future plans are to attend a UCLA summer program for medical students that focuses on MCAT preparations and shadowing physicians. 
Lauren Hallet
Yale University, CT
Lauren graduated from Yale in May 2008 with a degree in Biology.  For the next year, she will be studying restoration ecology at Murdoch University in Southwestern Australia.  Lauren received a Fulbright Scholarship to go overseas and will be working towards a M.Phil. degree in her studies.
Sara Jackrel
The College of New Jersey, NJ
Sara will be a junior at The College of New Jersey in Fall 2008.  Currently, she is participating in the West Texas A&M REU in Ecology and Environment of the Southern High Plains I am in Canyon, Texas.  Her summer project with mentor Ray Matlack is to investigate bat use of artificial water sources using Anabat acoustic monitoring devices to determine levels of bat activity.
Tyler Kohler
Kansas State University, KS
Tyler has started a Master's program at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.  He is working with Steven Thomas as part of the Frontiers in Integrative Biology (FIBR) project that is linking guppy evolution to ecosystem properties on the island of Trinidad.
Clair Nash
Arizona Western College, AZ
Clair completed her Associates degree from Arizona Western College in 2008.  After returning to Yuma, Arizona, she began a nine month internship with Fred Phillips Consulting, LLC and assisted with ecological monitoring and public outreach on a restoration project for the Yuma East Wetlands.  Clair is currently working towards a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science at Northern Arizona State University.  After completion of this program, she plans to pursue a doctorate in ethnobotany.
Katie Parsons
Colorado State University, CO
Katie is a senior studying biology at Colorado State University and will graduate in Spring 2009.
Andrea Severson
Utah State University, UT
Andrea started a Master's program in fisheries ecology with Craig Paukert at Kansas State University in Spring 2008.





Elizabeth Bach
Cornell College, IA
Elizabeth is currently in a Masters of Science program at Southern Illinois University with Sara Baer (a K-State graduate from Blair's lab) studying soil ecology on tallgrass prairie restorations in Nebraska and Kansas.
Aaron Berdanier
Beloit College, WI
Aaron is starting the 2nd year of a Master's program working with Dr. Julia Klein at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.  Aaron received an NSF graduate research fellowship and is studying how climate influences net primary production in alpine environments, based on experiments at the Niwot Ridge LTER site.
Clayton Bowers
New Mexico State University, NM
Clay finished a Bachelor's degree at NMSU, and is now working as a Wildlife Biologist with Hayden-Wing Environmental in Wyoming.
Eric Kightley
Ohio State University, OH
Eric graduated from Ohio State in 2007.  He is currently a Master's student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Florida.  Eric recently attended an NSF field school as part of the Tsimane´ Amazonian Panel Study (or TAPS) and is currently working in Bolivia, collecting data for his thesis on traditional knowledge in an indigenous community.
Viviana Loaiza
Instituto Tecnólogico de Costa Rica, Costa Rica
Viviana participated in another REU program in Summer 2007 at the University of Wisconsin at Madison (Integrated Biological Science-Summer Research Opportunities Program, Environmental Biology subgroup).  She graduated in February 2008.  Currently, she is employed as a summer field tech in the Department of Forestry and Wildlife Biology at UW Madison, and has been sampling tree stands in northern Minnesota.  Viviana has been granted an REU/ESA travel award and will be presenting a poster at the ESA Annual Meeting in Milwaukee in August 2008.
Megan Matonis
Colorado State University, CO
Megan completed her Bachelor degree at Colorado State and is currently enrolled in a Master's program in Forestry at Michigan State University and is working with Mike Walters.
Chris McLaughlin
University of Mary, ND
Kelsey Reider
Ohio State University, OH
Kelsey is starting a Master's program in Maureen Donnelly's tropical herpetology lab at Florida International University with the goal of studying amphibian ecology in the Amazon Basin of South America.
Loren Reinhardt
Virginia Polytechnic and State University, VA
Following the tragedy at Virginia Tech, Loren worked in the Fiber and Textiles field and in 2008, joined a Restaurant Management program.
Derek Schook
College of Wooster, OH
Derek is a Land Health Intern working for the Aldo Leopold Foundation, a non-profit conservation organization based in Baraboo, Wisconsin.  Derek's duties include land restoration and extension research on connections between the foundation, the public and local land managers.  Conservation actions are geared toward management of healthy lands and developing a common perspective with other partners.
Emilie Throop
Berea College, KY
Emilie is currently in Master's program studying collared lizards with Kimberly With at Kansas State University.





Nicole Blalock 
Willamette University, OR
Nicole Blalock completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology in 2006 at Willamette University, graduating with honors.  She went on to become part of the teaching staff at a juvenile incarceration facility and will begin a PhD program in Educational Policy in Fall 2008.
Jeffrey Eitzmann
Kansas State University, KS
Jeff completed a Master's degree on the effects of spatial habitat variation on the fish assemblage and food web structure of a Great Plains river with Craig Paukert at K-State.  He is now working as an Environmental Scientist in Dade County, Florida.
Chad Fox
Kansas State University,
Microscopic analysis of root-associated dark septate fungal endophytes in grasslands (Mentor: Ari Jumpponen)
Rider Frey
Kansas State University, KS
Rider is currently a senior at Kansas State University, studying for a Major in Biology and a Minor in Entomology.
Krysta Hougen
Concordia College-Moorhead, MN
Krysta graduated from Concordia College at Moorhead in 2006 with majors in Biology and Spanish, and a minor in Chemistry.  That same summer, she started a Master's working with Glenn Matlack in the Department of Environmental and Plant Biology at Ohio University in Athens.  Her thesis topic is on the effects of industrial disturbances on surrounding vegetation.  She just completed her second field season and is now starting to write her thesis, she will be graduating this fall.
Julie James
Haskell Indian Nations University, KS
Julie completed her Bachelor degree in 2006 and is currently working as a soil conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of USDA in Linn Co., Kansas.
Tony Modzelewski 
Donelly College, KS
Tony is a student majoring in Parks Management and Conservation at Kansas State and is currently working as a Streamway Park Worker for Johnson County Parks and Recreation District Position in Summer 2008.
Karan Odom
Ohio Wesleyan University, OH
Karan is in a Master's program studying vocalizations of Barred Owls with Dan Mennill at University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada.
Amanda Riffle
Kansas State University,
Colonization of Arabidopsis thaliana by ascomycetous rot endophytes (Mentor: Ari Jumpponen)
Crystal Sinn
Butler County Community College, KS
Crystal is a senior majoring in Biology at Kansas State University.  She will graduate in 2009 and is planning to go on to Optometry School.
Alyssa Standorf
University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, WI
Alyssa Reilly is currently in a doctoral program studying aquatic ecology with Walter Dodds at Kansas State University.
Samantha Tolve
Colorado College, CO
Sam graduated from Colorado College in 2006.  She is currently at Associate Consultant with the Natural Resource Group, LLC in Denver, Colorado and is doing environmental consulting on water resources and special status species.
Ben VanderWeide
Calvin College, MI
Ben will be starting Master's program in plant ecology with David Hartnett at Kansas State University in Fall 2008.
Alyssa Whu
Cornell University, NY
Alyssa received her B.A. in Sociology in 2006 from Cornell University.  She is currently working at the veterinary hospital, applying to graduate schools, and hoping to get back out in the field.
Perry Williams
Saint Olaf College, MN
Perry is completing a master’s degree studying the California spotted owl in the central Sierra Nevada working with Rocky Gutierrez, and focusing on home range and habitat selection of foraging owl.  He is currently working as a Biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Jacqueline Wilson
University of Kansas, KS
Jackie completed a second REU internship at Mote Marine Labs in Sarasota, Florida in Summer 2007.   She is currently working as an undergraduate Research Assistant with  Bryan Foster at University of Kansas.  This fall she will be a senior studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at University of Kansas.





Erin Hewett
Cornell University, NY
Erin completed her Bachelor's degree at Cornell, and is currently working on a PhD study of Red-cockaded Woodpecker social behavior with Dr. Jeff Walters at Virginia Tech University.
Brian Holloway
Washburn University of Topeka, KS
Brian is currently working in the Products Department of XenoTech, a biotech company located in Lenexa, Kansas.  XenoTech conducts pre-clinical work related to toxicological metabolism (p450 enzyme: Km, Vmax), cell culture, and induction studies.  Brian does protein isolation and characterization, technical writing, and research and development.
Rebecca Lohnes
Yale University, CT
Becca completed her Bachelor's degree at Yale, and is currently working on a PhD study of Common Nighthawks back at Konza Prairie with Janis Dickinson at Cornell University.
Kristen Pitts
University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, WI
Kristen completed her Master's program with Craig Paukert at K-State in 2008, and is now working as a Lapham Fellow with American Rivers in Washington DC.
Laura Sellens
Western Washington University, WA
Laura is a Master of Science graduate student working under the direction of Dr. Wayne Landis, Director, in the Institute of Environmental Toxicology at Western Washington University.  Her thesis topic is evaluating the risks due to invasive plant species in association with various modes of cross border transportation.
Jeremy Thornbrugh
Kansas State University, KS
Jeremy has been working in Educational Outreach at Sunset Zoo, Manhattan, Kansas.
Andrew Tilker
Midwestern State University, TX
Andrew received his B.S. in Biology in 2006 from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. He is currently working in Houston as a Medical Technician and is reviewing MRI images for patients participating in a new MS drug trial test.
Melinda Williamson
Haskell Indian Nations University, KS
Melinda completed her Bachelor's degree at K-State, and is working as Research Technician with Gail Wilson at Oklahoma State University.





Matthew Bakker
Dordt College, IA
Matt Bakker graduated with a BA in Biology and Environmental Studies from Dordt College in 2004, and worked for two years before returning to school.  He is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Plant Pathology at the University of Minnesota, working with Dr. Linda Kinkel.  Matt was awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship from NSF, and his PhD research project is focusing on the diversity and secondary metabolism of Streptomyces spp., especially in relation to the suppression of soil-borne plant pathogens.
Elizabeth Bockman
Gustavus Adolphus College, MN
Liz completed a Teaching Certificate and has been working for several years as a high school teacher.  She found true love in the REU program and married Jim Eckberg.
Isaac Deal
Lenoir-Rhyne College, NC
Isaac completed a M.S. in Entomology at the University of Tennessee in May 2007.  The topic of his thesis was the life history of hemlock woolly adelgid on eastern hemlock in the Southern Appalachians and assessment of egg releases of Sasajiscymnus tsugae for  management.  He is currently employed by USDA APHIS near Ft. Myers in southwestern Florida.
James Eckberg
Gustavus Adolphus College, MN
Jim completed a Master's degree in the ecology of invasive plants with Svata Louda at University of Nebraska at Lincoln,  and recently moved back to Wisconsin.  He found true love in the REU program and married Liz Bockman.
Courtney Franssen
Kansas State University, KS
Courtney completed a Master's degree studying "Reproduction and condition of Gambusia affinis residing in heavy metal mine impacted waters" with Bill Matthews at the Department of Zoology at the University of Oklahoma.  She is currently a Research Associate working on golden algae at Texas A&M.
Sarah Haller
William Jewell College, MO
Sarah received a Goldwater Scholarship in 2004 and graduated from William Jewell in 2005.  She is currently a Master's student working with William Rogers in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Texas A&M University.  Her thesis topic is investigating restoration practices in post oak savannahs, more specifically the potential of different management recommendations to promote the conservation on an endangered Texas orchid.
Dustin Jasken
North Dakota State University, ND
Dustin completed a Bachelors in Natural Resources Management at North Dakota State University and is currently working as the District Conservationist in Mahnomen County, Minnesota for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
Elizabeth Murray
Gustavus Adolphus College, MN
Liz completed a Master's degree on the Systematics of Aphonopelma (Theraphosidae) in the Department of Entomology at K-State with Yoonseong Park and Ralph Charlton.  She is currently working on a PhD on the systematics of Hymenoptera at UC Riverside with John Heraty and John Pinto.
Judd Patterson
Kansas State University, KS
Judd completed a Master's program in Geography with John Harrington at K-State, and is currently working in Florida.  An exhibition of his photographs of Konza Prairie will be on display at Dept. of Interior Museum in Washington DC in Summer 2008.
Beth Ross
Kansas State University, KS
Beth completed a Master's degree on territoriality of kangaroo rats at Colorado State University, and she is currently working on a PhD on the population dynamics of Greater Scaup with David Koons at Utah State University.



2002 - REU Supplements Only, No REU Site Program



Justin Trowbridge
Kansas State University,
Amanda Crouse
Kansas State University,



Cameron Cooley
Middle Tennessee State University, TN
Cameron Cooley graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Secondary Education Endorsement (with additional minors in Chemistry and Mathematics).  After graduation, he taught for a year at three different high schools, and then completed an internship in molecular biology at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.  In 2005, Cameron completed a Master of Science in Plant Pathology from Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana.  He is currently an Instructor of Biology and AP Biology at the Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering in Memphis, Tennessee.  He is married and has a son.
Brian Darby
Northwestern College, IA
Brian completed his BA degree in Biology-Environmental Sciences at Northwestern College in Iowa and MS in Biology (Ecology track) at the University of Toledo in Ohio.  He earned his PhD in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Vermont.  In 2008, he returned to K-State as a Post Doc on an NSF-funded Ecological Genomics project with Mike Herman that is investigating the genetic basis for the changes in nematode species composition in response to environmental cues. The long-term goal of this project is to discover which genes are induced or repressed in response to variations in resource availability.
Brian DeGasperis
College of the Holy Cross, MA
Brian graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and minor in Physics. After graduation, he worked as a research technician at Harvard University, The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, and the University of Georgia studying the response of plant communities to invasion by non-native species and the impacts of antagonists on the evolution of plant-pollinator mutualisms.  In 2006, he completed a Master's degree in Forest Science degree at Harvard Forest investigating historical and ecological drivers of plant invasions.  Since 2007, Brian has been working as a regional ecologist for The Trustees of Reservations, a non-profit, land conservation organization in Massachusetts.
Travis Englebert
Bethany College, KS
Travis Engelbert graduated in 2002 from Bethany College with a BA in Biology and Chemistry.  In 2006, he completed his M.D. degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine.   Travis then entered the general surgery residency at UCSD in San Diego.  He has just begun his third of five years of training, and he is planning on doing a vascular surgery fellowship, which is a two year endeavor before beginning practice.
Theresa Kelly
Loras College, IA
Theresa Kelly Coy graduated from Loras College in 2001.  She is a High School Science Teacher at Marist High School in Chicago, Illinois, where she teaches Biology.
Amanda Kieke
Saint Olaf College, MN
Amanda Kieke graduated in 2003 from Saint Olaf College with a bachelor's degree in Biology.
Heather Nippert
Kansas State University, KS
Heather Dannahower completed her Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology at K-State in 2002.  She has taught Forestry and Wildlife Biology at Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, Colorado since 2003.  Her brother Jesse is now a faculty member in the Division of Biology at K-State.
Audrey Owens
University of Florida, FL
Audrey Owens graduated from the University of Florida in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation.  After graduation, Audrey worked as a field assistant on a natural history study of the Andros iguana on Andros Island, Bahamas.  She graduated with her master's in Wildlife Ecology and Management from University of Georgia in 2006, where she studied the role of coarse woody debris in determining amphibian, reptile, and shrew assemblages.  She returned to Florida to work with gopher tortoises as a biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  Since 2007, she has been working for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, where she is doing statewide turtle and tortoise management and outreach.
Amy Seery
Kansas State University, KS
Amy graduated from K-State with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  She went on to attend medical school at University of Kansas School of Medicine and is currently a first year pediatric resident at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine.
Matthew Trager
Grinnell College, IA
Matthew Trager is a PhD student in the School of Natural Resources and Environment and Dept. of Entomology and Nematology at University of Florida.  His Ph.D. research will focus on the interactions between the imperiled Miami blue (Cyclargus thomasi bethunebakeri) and ants that tend the caterpillars of this butterfly species.
Kyle Whittinghill
Middlebury College, VT
Kyle Whittinghill completed her B.A. in Biology at Middlebury College in 2003 and immediately entered the University of Minnesota EEB program with an interest in Aquatic and Terrestrial Biogeochemistry.  After doing fieldwork in the tundra at Toolik Lake Research Station in Alaska and completion of her Master's thesis, future plans include teaching science and working on her PhD.





Vanessa Agosto 
Swarthmore College, PA
Vanessa graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science from Swarthmore College in 2001.
Barry Broeckelman
Kansas State University, KS
Barry Broeckelman is completing his second year of medical residency, specializing in Pediatrics, at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.  Barry graduated from Medical School at the University of Kansas in 2007.  He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Kansas State University in 2002 and taught in the Department of Biology at K-State after graduation.
Cameron Cooley
Middle Tennessee State University, TN
Cameron Cooley graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Secondary Education Endorsement (with additional minors in Chemistry and Mathematics).  After graduation, he taught for a year at three different high schools, and then completed an internship in molecular biology at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.  In 2005, Cameron completed a Master of Science in Plant Pathology from Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana.  He is currently an Instructor of Biology and AP Biology at the Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering in Memphis, Tennessee.  He is married and has a son.
Anna Fiedler
Lawrence University, WI
Anna graduated with a B.A. in Biology from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin in 2001. Anna held several internships in community food systems and community gardening in Southeastern Wisconsin following her graduation. In 2006 she completed an M.S. in Entomology at Michigan State University; the project focused on enhancing beneficial insect populations using native plants. She is currently working on a PhD in Entomology at Michigan State University examining habitat restoration of prairie fen after removal of glossy buckthorn.
Natalie Pheasant
Colorado College, CO
Natalie Pheasant graduated from Colorado College in December 2000 with a Bachelor's degree in Biology. 
Renae Schmitt
Creighton University, NE
Renae Schmitt is working on a PhD with Kirk Moloney at Iowa State University.
Zachary Simpson
Colorado College, CO
Zachary Simpson graduated from Colorado College in 2001 with a degree in biology. After graduation, Zachary lived in Europe and Canada, and worked as an endangered species biologist in New Mexico.  He will be receiving a PhD in philosophy of religion from Claremont Graduate University in the coming year, where he specializes in contemporary philosophy and science and religion.  He co-edited the Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science in 2006 and is currently finishing a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University in the Evolution and Theology of Cooperation Project.  His dissertation is on the concept of "life as art."
Sadie Solomon
Applachian State University, NC
Sarah A. Solomon graduated from Appalachian State University in 2000 with a BS in Biology - Ecology & Environmental Biology.  She earned a Master’s degree in Entomology from Cornell University in 2004, and her thesis topic was the systematics of Hawaiian Nesotocus weevils.
Arden Thomas
Earlham College, IN
Arden is currently completing a Master's Thesis at the University of Washington and her thesis topic is "An investigation of western pearlshell mussel (Margaritifera falcata) mortality in a Puget Lowland Creek".   She is also a full-time employee of Snohomish County Surface Water Management, where she is working as a Habitat Specialist and is building capacity for estuary and mainstem river restoration projects to help recover ESA-listed Chinook salmon.
Laura Wies
Allegheny College, PA
Laura Wies graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Biology from Allegheny College in 2001.  She was awarded the Barry M. Goldwater and Morris K. Udall scholarships during her last year of college.  Currently, she is the Program Director for educational services at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association in Columbus, Ohio and an organic produce farmer.
Julia Wilcox
Hiram College, OH
Julia Wilcox earned an M.S. degree in Land Resources from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in December 2004. Her thesis was titled, "Challenges of replacing reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) with native species." Her research was conducted at Lower Greene Prairie at the UW-Arboretum, where she studied different methods to reintroduce native plants to a wet prairie dominated by reed canary grass and influenced by storm water.  After graduation, she began a full-time position within the Lakes and Wetland Section of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.





Jessica Allewalt 
Augustana College, IL
Jessica Allewalt earned her Bachelor's degree in Geology from Augustana College in 2001 and received Departmental Distinction for excellence in scientific coursework and successful completion of a superior research project.  She completed a Master of Science in Land Resources and Environmental Science at Montana State University, Bozeman, in 2004.  Jessica is currently working for Tetra Tech EMI, Inc.
José Checo Colón-Gaud
University of Texas at El Paso, TX
José Checo Colón-Gaud received a Master's degree from Louisiana State University and is completing a doctoral degree with Matt Whiles at the Department of Zoology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Alexandra Latham
Illinois Wesleyan University, IL
Alexandra (Sascha) Boon graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2000 with a BS in Biology.  She continued her education at Illinois State University and received a MS in environmental management.  She is currently a Principal Environmental Specialist at Abbott Laboratories, a global healthcare company, and works in the corporate environmental programs group.  Sasha provides environmental support to sites around the world, including environmental compliance assurance, sustainability initiatives, due diligence, and site remediation.  She currently lives in Davenport, Iowa, with her husband and adorable cairn terrier, Oliver.
Molly Magill
Kansas State University, KS
Molly Lauterbach earned her Bachelor's degree in Microbiology from Kansas State University in 2000.  She completed a Master of Science in Microbiology at Colorado State University in 2002.  Molly is currently working as a molecular geneticist for Cargill Specialty Canola Oils in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Jim McFadden
Harvard University, MA
James P. McFadden graduated from Harvard in 2001 and completed Medical School at the University of Illinois in Chicago.  Currently a 4th year resident in Orthopoedic Surgery, James anticipates completion of his residency in 2010.  He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of a Conservation group in Jo Daviess County in Galena, Illinois.
Catherine Mohr
Wayne State College, NE
Catherine Mohr received her BS in Biology/Chemistry from Wayne State University in 2000.  She attended Vet School at Kansas State University and graduated in 2005.  Catherine is currently at Laurel Veterinary Clinic in Nebraska.
Hope Phillips
College of Saint Benedict, MN
Hope completed her undergraduate degree in 2000 and went to grad school at Arizona State University.  She graduated in 2003 with a Master's degree in Education and is now a science teacher.  She recently moved to Minnesota and is looking for a new position.
Catherine Stewart
Colorado College, CO
Catherine Stewart received a bachelor's degree in Biology from Colorado College and completed her doctoral program in ecology at Colorado State University.  In 2007, she was awarded the Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship for Diversity and Equity at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  In her fellowship, she will use high-tech instruments to study the chemical composition of carbon in soils and expand scientific discussions on how to stabilize soil carbon and reduce green house gases. In Fall 2008, she will be teaching a course in Biofuels within the Environmental Studies Program at University of Colorado-Boulder.
Amy Toth
Bard College, NY
Amy Toth earned a BA in Biology from Bard College, New York, in May 2000 and completed a PhD from the University of Illinois in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in December 2006.  Since 2007, she has been a Postdoctoral Research Associate with Gene Robinson at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studying genomic analysis of insect social behavior.





Virginia Flanagin 
Illinois Wesleyan University, IL
Virginia Flanagin graduated in 1999 with a B. A. degree in Biology from Illinois Wesleyan University.  Virginia did her Graduate work at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in 2003 and is currently a Postdoc in the Center for Sensorimotor Research at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, Ludwig-Maximilians University Hospital, in Munich, Germany.
Nathan Heavers
Princeton University, NJ
Nathan Heavers earned a BS from Princeton in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with a Certification in Visual Arts.  He then worked as a Horticulture Manager at the Washington National Cathedral in DC and Gardener at the Cloisters Museum in New York City.  He is currently nearing completion of a Master's in Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mary Jamieson
University of Kansas, KS
Mary Jamieson completed dual degrees from the University of Kansas in 2000 in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies.  A Master's in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology was earned in August 2004 from the University of Texas in Austin.  In 2008, Mary is nearing completion of her PhD at the University of Colorado where she is studying invasive plant-insect interactions.
Amanda López
Kansas State University, KS
Amanda L. López received her Masters in Engineering from Purdue.
Jennifer Nelson
Colby College, ME
Jennifer Nelson received her Masters and Doctorate at Duke University in biomathematics and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.
Shawn Papon
Southwestern College, AZ
Shawn Papon received his Masters and Doctorate from University of Missouri at Columbia and is currently a Wildlife Biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service working at Fox River National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin.
Sophie Parker
Wellesley College, MA
Sophie Parker received her B.A. in Biological Sciences from Wellesley College in 1999.  She completed her PhD in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at the University of California in 2006 where she is currently a Post-Doctoral Scholar.  Her research is focused on feedback mechanisms between plants, microbes, and the soils in which they live, and the role of mycorrhizal symbiosis in furthering plant invasions.
Tanya Smutka
Valparaiso University, IN
Tanya Smutka received her B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from Valparaiso University in 1999.  She earned her Master's degree in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota in 2005 after which time she taught in the Biology program at the University of Minnesota.
Natali West
Coastal Carolina University, SC
Natali West Spritzer graduated with her bachelor's degree from Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina in 1999.  Natali also obtained a Master's degree in teaching from the Miami University of Ohio.   
Charmaine Woodard
University of Texas of the Permian Basin, TX
Charmaine Woodard received her B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in 2000.  She earned her Master of Science in Biological Sciences from Texas Tech University at Lubbock in 2006.





Donna Allen 
University of North Carolina at Charlotte, NC
Donna is an urban forester working in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Michael Cottam
University of Utah, UT
Michael received his Master’s in Biology in 2006 from the University of Florida.  He worked as a Research Technician at the University of Utah, University of Manitoba, and for the State Department of Wildlife in Utah.  Currently, he is enrolled in dental school at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.
Melissa Hill
Kansas State University, KS
Melissa graduated from Kansas State University in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in Biology.
Jamie Johnson
Michigan Technical University, MI
Jamie received her Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences from Michigan Technical University in 1998.  In 2000, she earned her Master's in Forestry, graduating with honors from MI Technical University.
Laura Krueger
University of Michigan, MI
Laura Krueger-Prelesnik graduated in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Michigan and moved to Los Angeles to work as an entomologist for 5 years.  She then went to Yale University and completed an MPH degree in Microbial Disease Epidemiology in 2005. She worked for 2 years as a Public Health Biologist for the State of California and is currently a Vector Ecologist for the Orange County Vector Control District.
Daniel Neafsey
Loyola University of Chicago, IL
Daniel Neafsey is a research scientist working with the Microbial Sequencing Center at the Broad Institute, a research collaboration among MIT and Harvard academic and medical communities.  He earned his PhD in biology at Harvard, applying population genetic approaches to the study of genome evolution in pufferfish.  Daniel completed postdoctoral work on comparative malaria genomics in the laboratory of Dan Hartl at Harvard University.
Aaron Pearse
Kansas State University, KS
Aaron Pearse graduated from Kansas State University in 1998 with his B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife, completed a MS in 2002 at the University of Idaho and then a Ph.D. in 2007 at Mississippi State University.  He is currently a Research Wildlife Biologist at the USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center in Jamestown, North Dakota.
Melissa Pline
Aquinas College, MI
Melissa Pline Brown graduated from Aquinas College with a BS in Biology and a minor in writing.  After graduating, she was an intern at Merck Forest and Farmland Center in Rupert, Vermont.  In 2004, she completed her Master's degree in Horticulture Science from North Carolina State University.  While at NCSU, she served as a research assistant on a project funded by the Organic Farming Research Foundation.  Melissa and husband currently own and market products from the Milk and Honey Farm in Yadkinville, NC, a small, highly diversified farm committed to the traditional principles of organic agriculture.
Tara Schubert
Swarthmore College, PA
Tara Schubert completed her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Biology at Swarthmore College in 1998.  She graduated from UC-Davis in 2001 with a Master's degree in Population Biology.  Tara currently work in San Francisco as an epidemiologist with the municipal Department of Public Health.
Rachel Smit
Carleton College, MN
Rachel Smit earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Anthropology from Carleton College in 1999.   In 2007, she completed her MPA with a concentration in Economics and Public Policy from Princeton University.  She is currently a Policy Analyst at the Kansas Health Institute in Topeka.





Andres Aguilar
Humboldt State University, CA
Andres Aguilar is an Assistant Professor at the School of Natural Resources at the University of California at Merced.
Jon Beckmann
Kansas State University, KS
Jon Beckmann completed a PhD with Joel Berger at the University of Nevada at Reno and is currently directing a study of Carnivore Connectivity in the Centennial Mountains with the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Nicole Ann Castro
University of Wisconsin at Madison, WI
Nicole Ann Castro received her Bachelor's degree in Wildlife Ecology in 1998 from the University of Wisconsin.   In 2003, she received her Master's in Education from DePaul University.  She is currently teaching Biology at Juarez High School in Chicago and organizing Science Fairs to advance her student's research experience.
Jean Fantle
University of Wisconsin at Madison, WI
Jean Fantle-Lepczyk is working as a research intern on chronic wasting disease in white-tailed deer with Nancy Mathews at University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Audra Gallaspy
Delta State University, MS
Audra Gallaspy is an Instructor in the Department of Biology at Faulkner State Community College in Alabama.
Kerri Kobbeman
McPherson College, KS
Kerri Lee Kobbeman graduated in 1997 with a degree in Biology from McPherson College.  In 2005, she received her J.D. from the University of Arkansas and is currently an Associate with the law firm, Conner & Winters in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Scott Kocher
Hamilton College, NY
Scott Kocher graduated with a B.A. in Biology and Computer Science from Hamilton College in 1997.  Following graduation, he gave a talk in July 1997 at the 75th Anniversary Meeting of the Lepidopterists' Society at Yale University on his senior thesis.  This work also resulted in a publication: "The diversity and abundance of North American butterflies vary with habitat disturbance and geography" in the Journal of Biogeography in 2000.  His time in the REU program at K-State resulted in publication with mentors Don and Glennis Kaufman: "Distribution of carnivore burrows in a prairie landscape" in Great Plains Research in 2005.  For the past 10 years, Scott has been a software developer, most recently of web-based GIS systems for EPA's Office of Water.  Currently, he lives in Vermont and works for a Virginia-based IT services company.
John Matchett
Colorado State University, CO 
John Matchett is a Research Scientist with the Las Vegas Field Station of the Western Ecological Research Center (USGS).
Erin Questad
Pennsylvania State University, PA
Erin Questad received an NSF graduate fellowship and completed a PhD in plant community ecology at the University of Kansas, working with Bryan Foster.  She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Ecologist at the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry in Hilo, Hawaii, a research office of the U.S. Forest Service.  Her research interests are in community ecology, plant-animal interactions, and conservation biology.
Elizabeth Zacharias
Harvard University, MA
Elizabeth Zacharias completed her PhD  working with Bruce Baldwin at the Jepson Herbaria of the University of California at Berkeley.  She is currently the Vascular Plant Research Associate at the Harvard University Herbaria.  Her major research focus is on the systematics and evolution of the saltbush genus Atriplex (Amaranthaceae) and related genera.





Britta Culbertson
University of New Mexico, NM
Britta Culbertson received her Bachelor's degree from UNM and worked with Peace Corp in Kenya for three years.  She returned to UNM and completed a Master's degree in Education.  She taught high school in New Mexico for several years and is currently a Science Instructor with the Center School in Seattle, Washington.
Chris Desjardins
Cornell University, NY
Chris is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Rochester, New York in the laboratory of Jack Werren, studying the genomics and genetics of the model parasitoid wasp Nasonia.
Natalie Dubois
Albion College, MI
Natalie Dubois is a Research Associate contributing to AAAS Projects on the development of curriculum and assessment resources aligned to K–12 science learning goals.  Previously, she was a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Biological Sciences at Ohio University and completed graduate studies in zoology at Michigan State University.
Jason Hoeksema
University of Michigan, MI
Jason Hoeksema is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Mississippi and has a research interests in the ecological and evolutionary impacts of species interactions (such as mutualism, parasitism and competition) on populations and communities, with a focus on interactions between plants and mycorrhizal fungi.
Micah Kaufman
Principia College, IL
Micah Kaufmann received his BS in Environmental Science with a minor in Biology in 1996 from Principia College, Elsah, Illinois.  He has worked as a construction project manager, as a permit writer for the State of Texas Environmental Agency, as a high school science teacher and in a Geoscience Department with PG&E.  Micah is currently a Business Systems Analyst for a computer software company in Portland, Oregon.
Stacy Morris
Syracuse University, NY
Stacy Pandey graduated from Syracuse University in 1996 and then went to the State University of New York at Albany where she received a Masters degree in ecology.   She then worked for five years as a water conservation specialist at the Texas Water Development Board.  For the past two years, Stacy has been a water conservation coordinator for the Lower Colorado River Authority in Austin, Texas, where she is working on a combination of agricultural and municipal water conservation projects.
Jennifer Rudgers
Denison University, OH
Jennifer Rudgers is a Godwin Assistant Professor studying plant-fungal symbioses in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Rice University.
Gregory Shenk
Kansas State University, KS
Gregory Shenk completed a PhD in 2005 with Kent Holsinger at University of Connecticut on pollination of the flower morphology of lupin (Lupinus perennis).  He is currently a faculty member in the Department of Biology at the Greater Hartford Academy of Math and Science, and has been working on the educational subcommittee of the West Hartford Initiative on Race and Ethnic Diversity (WHIRED) to develop academic and social supports for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.  He recently returned from an NSF-funded RET (Research Experience for Teachers) trip to South Africa where he visited secondary schools to select a local math and science school to develop partnerships as a sister school.   Greg has been involved in writing rare plant and natural area conservation plans for the New England Wildflower Society and the Connecticut River Watershed Association.  Previously, he mapped and co-wrote a conservation plan for remnant prairie communities in two counties of North Dakota as an Ecologist for the North Dakota State Department of Parks and Recreation.   Greg has three children and lives in West Hartford.
Erik Sparling
Middlebury College, VT
Erik Sparling graduated from Middlebury in 1996 with a B.A. in Biology and German. He received his M.A. degree from the University of Toronto.  Most recently, Erik Sparling served as Policy Advisor for the Climate Change Adaptation Committee of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy in Ottawa Canada.
Heather Throop
Carleton College, MN
Heather Throop is an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at New Mexico State University and is affiliated with the Jornada LTER program.



Last updated: February 2011