Since 2012 the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation (WPEF) has distributed $5000 in research grants to students conducting research and writing a thesis on whitebark pine. The research must support the WPEF’s mission to “promote the conservation of whitebark pine and other high elevation five needle white pine ecosystems through education, restoration, management, and research.” The majority of the funds for the grant come from the silent auction at the annual fall science and management meeting, and we thank participants for donating auction items and bidding so generously.
We are happy to announce that Michael Howe will be the 2018 grant recipient. Michael is a PhD student with Dr. Kenneth Raffa in the Department of Entomology at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Michael will be studying how whitebark pine and lodgepole pine differ when faced with low-density mountain pine beetle populations, particularly in signals of defense and chemical properties. His field sites are near Bend, Oregon and Kootenai, British Columbia. You can read Michael’s proposal in the next issue of Nutcracker Notes.
PHOTO CAPTION: Michael Howe processing samples of whitebark and lodgepole pine phloem, cutting them into small chunks from which monoterpenes will be extracted for analysis.