Nadia Rivera '10 Chosen for SEEDS Ecology Program
Nadia Rivera ’10 is one of only 19 college students nationwide chosen to participate in SEEDS, an education program of the Ecological Society of America that seeks to increase the number of minority students in the field of ecology
Rivera, from Las Vegas, undertook research at the Bonanza Creek Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site in Fairbanks, Alaska during the last week of May. The site focuses on Alaska’s boreal forest—a mosaic of forest, grassland, shrubs, bogs, and alpine tundra. “It’s quite an honor that she was chosen,” said Occidental associate professor of biology Beth Braker.
Chosen from a field of 80 applicants, Rivera and the other students investigated the effects of fires in Alaska, participated in Athabascan cultural activities, and learned about the effects of climate change on Alaskan natives. The field trip included a career panel discussion as well as information about current opportunities at Bonanza Creek and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
“I had the opportunity to meet great scientists, from students to faculty, who really care about the world around them,” said Rivera. “One of the best parts was learning and doing ecology about Alaska in Alaska. The trip gave me a great hands-on experience in the field of ecology and how I can apply it to many other areas of study. It also opened up many opportunities for working with some of the people we met.”
“SEEDS field trips offer a unique opportunity for students from widely different geographic areas and cultural backgrounds to interact in a highly supportive environment,” says ESA diversity programs manager Melissa Armstrong. Bonanza Creek LTER is supported and hosted by the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Science Foundation.
The SEEDS program began in 1996 as a way to stimulate interest among underrepresented students to pursue ecology, provide professional development to aid science faculty in creating new ecology offerings, and take new steps to increase cultural diversity within the Ecological Society of America. SEEDS also promotes ecological science by supporting field trips, campus ecology chapters, summer fellowships, and ESA Annual Meeting travel scholarships. For more information on SEEDS, go to http://www.esa.org/seeds/.