Notes from the Field

The spring 2018 Notes from the Field are available here! Thank you to Warren for putting this together!

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Escape Room Social

Scheduled for Saturday, May 5th at 3pm, ecology graduate students will be having an end of the school year, team-building activity, hosted at IQ Escape Room! Escape Room activities are super fun, great for fostering cooperation among students, and will be an awesome opportunity to blow off steam after the semester has drawn to a close. Tickets are being offered to us at a special discount of $20 a person.
If interested, please send Madalyn Slook an email at, with your name and the vote for which room you want to try and escape from: either Stealing Mona, or Contagion. There is a maximum of 20 students able to participate.
Here is a link to their website if you would like to learn more:
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Ecology Retreat

The ecology retreat will be April 25th and 26th! Curt and his family have graciously offered to allow us to stay at their cabin in the mountains, only a couple of hours from campus. If you plan to go, please fill out the poll here ( by Thursday, April 19th.

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Reminder: Ecology Mini-Symposium next week!

The ecology mini-symposium is Tuesday, April 24th, from 3 -5:50 pm.  The mini-symposium is a great opportunity for graduating students to present their research, and for students, faculty, and post-docs to be familiar with ongoing research activities and people in the program.

In relation to this, the ecology newsletter is being put together. Please send all publications, awards, grants, or other achievements that have been received since Dec 1, 2017 to Brady Boyer ( We are also looking for any volunteers to write a short description of their research with photos to be included in the newsletter. Submissions need to be in by late April. 

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Student Spotlight: Mitch Hunter

Congratulations to Mitch Hunter for being selected to receive the Alumni Association Dissertation Award! This award is given to exemplary Ph.D. students who have passed their comprehensive exams, have approval for their dissertation topic, and are within their final year of enrollment. The Alumni Association Dissertation Award is considered one of the most prestigious awards available for PSU graduate students.

Mitch Hunter is an NSF fellow and agronomy Ph.D. candidate minoring in ecology. More information about his research can be found at his website.

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Multifunctional Ecology Seminar Today!

Reminder to attend the ecology seminar today! Dr. Brent Helliker from the Biology department at the University of Pennsylvania will be presenting The legacy of C4 evolution in the hydraulics of C3 and C4 grasses.

Because this seminar is co-hosted with the PSU department of Plant Science, this seminar will be in ASI 101.

Dr. Helliker’s research focuses on the effects of climate change through the lens of stable isotope signatures. More information about Dr. Brent Helliker and his research can be found at:

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Reminder: Multifunctional Ecology seminar begins today!

The first installment of the spring 2018 ecology seminar series starts today! The theme is Multifunctional Ecology: Perspectives across scales and systems. The seminar begins at 4 pm in 106 Forest Resources Building, followed by refreshments and conversation in the FRB atrium. Visit the events page to now have the seminar schedule synced to your Google Calendar and iCal.

Dr. Eric Lonsdorf from the University of Minnesota will be presenting: How do I affect the supply of natural resources? Integrating ecosystem services into decisions made by multiple sectors of society. Dr. Lonsdorf researches the intersection of land management and wildlife, currently focusing on pollinator health, avian migration, and genetic diversity. More information about his research can be found at

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January 17th 2018 Meeting Minutes

Catch up on the latest EGSO discussions! EGSO Minutes 17 Jan 2018-257pagk

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General Body Meeting March 16th

The next general body meeting will be this Thursday (Mar. 16th) at 4:30pm in Huck 007.

Please make sure that you go to the presentations for the two ecology chair candidates on Tuesday March 14th at 10:30-12:00 in Paterno Library, as we will be discussing them during this meeting.

The highlights from the last meeting included:

  • Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) – In October Canvas will completely take over Angel. So if you have anything saved on Angel you are advised to back it up somewhere else before then. Additionally, the university will start having workshops about how to use Canvas. Kelly will send information about these workshops out on the listserv.
  • Ecology Program Swag – Shannon and Erynn will be making a few t-shirt design mockups to present before colloquium to get input from students. We will then have a pre-order sale. Prices will be about $15 dollars, and if we can get at least 50 orders we will be able to raise about $5 per shirt for the EGSO.
  • Spring retreat – Warren will be handling logistics for this event, expect to see an email or doodle poll from him in the future.
  • Social Events – Noah has a lot of really great plans for the whole year. He’s made a flyer for the first event which will be held next week. Look for an announcement from him on the listserv.
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General Body Meeting Feb. 16th

The next general body meeting will be this Thursday (Feb. 16th) at 4:30pm in Huck 012.

The highlights from the last meeting included:

  • GPSA Task Force is soliciting input on the working environment (e.g., stipneds, benefits, adviser expectations) for PSU grad students. If you have any feedback, send it to Ismaiel ASAP (
  • Spring Retreat will be held on a weekend in March. Stay tuned!
  • Please attend the Ecology seminar series Mondays at 4pm in the Wartik building.
  • Future EGSO meetings would be likely at 4:30 pm on Tuesdays or Thursdays.
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