We are very pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Carol Baird Graduate Student Award for Field Research. Our five UC Berkeley graduate awardees are listed below along with brief descriptions of their projects for the 2022 field season. Planning is underway and students will officially begin their Baird project fieldwork in February 2022.
Cesar Estien: From Fields to Concrete Jungles: Exploring How Landscape Differences Yield Behavioral Variability
Advisor: Prof Chris Schell, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
This project will investigate whether boldness in coyote populations varies across environments within Northern California, and how boldness phenotypes may vary within urban and nonurban landscapes due to hunting pressure and environmental health.
Project Location: Blue Oak Ranch Reserve, Hastings Natural History Reservation, and urban locations in the East Bay and San Francisco
Raphaela E. Floreani Buzbee: Coastal plant community composition shifts in response to tule elk herbivory
Advisor: Prof David Ackerly, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
This project will use a 24-year exclosure experiment in coastal grasslands at Tomales Point, Point Reyes National
Seashore to address questions relating to the effects of grazing on soil moisture and temperature, plant species composition and shrub cover, and proportion of xeric-adapted plant species.
Project location: Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore
Emily Lam: Physiological and behavioral responses of northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) to global change among three northern California rookeries
Advisor: Prof José Pablo Vázquez-Medina, Integrative Biology
This project uses a combination of thermal imaging, behavioral and physiological metrics to investigate the potential for thermal adjustments in the northern elephant seal in the face of global change. This is Emily’s second time as a Baird awardee, following her successful 2020-2021 field seasons.
Project location: Point Reyes National Seashore, Ano Nuevo State Park, Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge
Nina Sokolov: Bee viruses across landscapes: Understanding the impact of crop pollination on disease ecology in managed and native bees
Advisor: Prof Mike Boots, Integrative Biology
This project aims to investigate the impact of honeybee migrations for crop pollination on the emergence of viruses- both within California honeybees and native wild bees-through regular temporal sampling of bees and their viruses across a variety of landscapes. This is Nina’s second time as a Baird awardee, following her successful 2020-2021 field seasons.
Project location: Point Reyes Field Station, Sagehen Creek Field Station
Sophie Ruehr: Using hyperspectral imagery at Sagehen Experimental Forest to quantify ecosystem reliance
This project will investigate groundwater vegetation dynamics over varying time scales using a novel hyperspectral imager that can retrieve photosynthesis signals from individual plants. An overarching goal of this study to is improve regional water and carbon cycle predictions for use in management applications.
Advisor: Prof Trevor Keenan, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
Project location: Sagehen Creek Field Station