Student chosen for environmental research grant

A Northwestern College sophomore is one of 20 students from across the nation chosen to participate in a multi-year environmental research initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and sponsored by Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore.

Erin Brogan, a biology-ecological science major from Orange City, has been awarded a $4,500 grant to work with Dr. Todd Tracy, a Northwestern biology professor, in studying the impact of invasive species on native ecosystems. The two will examine how the eastern red cedar and common buckthorn affect local prairies and forests.

The Mellon Environmental Research Initiative is designed to further scholarly rigor and coherence in the field of environmental studies by cultivating interdisciplinary research skills among undergraduate students. Selected students, in conjunction with their faculty mentors, will participate in a collaborative venture of situated research—one that applies the concept of place so students learn to situate a particular environmental issue in its full context.

The research will begin this spring with a launch workshop at Lewis & Clark College and culminate in spring 2010 with a concluding conference.