In the Student Spotlight: May 21, 2021

Kudos to these students

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  • Doctoral student of forestry Connor Crouch, alumna Amanda Grady, professor of forestry Richard Hofstetter, alumni Daniel DePinte and professor of forestry Kristen Waring co-authored the article, “Oystershell scale: an emerging invasive threat to aspen in the southwestern US” published in Biological Invasions. The article is the first to document widespread mortality of aspen caused by the invasive insect, oystershell scale, and highlights how the insect poses a serious threat to conservation of aspen in the Southwest.
  • Xin Huang, graduate student in the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (Ecoss), was the lead author on the article, “A Model-Independent Data Assimilation (MIDA) module and its applications in ecology” forthcoming in Geoscientific Model Development. Other NAU co-authors were Andrew Richardson, Regents’ professor in SICCS; Lifen Jiang, Ecoss research scientist; Enqing Hou, Ecoss postdoctoral scholar; Igor Steinmacher, assistant professor in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems; and Yiqi Luo, professor of biological sciences. The study developed a model-independent data assimilation module that works in three steps to alleviate some of the technical burdens when applying data assimilation to ecology.
  • Pete Chuckran, a graduate student of Ecoss, led a new study published in mSystems this week. The article, “Rapid Response of Nitrogen Cycling Gene Transcription to Labile Carbon Amendments in a Soil Microbial Community,” shows microbes in soil can respond rapidly to short bursts of carbon, often from plant roots or decomposing organic matter, and that inputs of accessible carbon drastically altered the transcription of nitrogen cycling genes in soil microbial communities over a 48-hour period. Biology research professor Paul Dijkstra, biology professor Egbert Schwartz, and Regents’ professor and director of Ecoss Bruce Hungate were co-authors.
  • Carly Camplain, doctoral student in interdisciplinary health and senior research coordinator for CHER, was selected for the first cohort of the Indigenous Substance Use and Addictions Prevention Interdisciplinary Research Education (INSPIRE) program. INSPIRE is a 24-month substance abuse and addictions research mentoring program through the University of Washington School of Social Work that offers training opportunities, mentoring and seed funding for pilot research through a National Institute on Drug Abuse grant.
  • Incoming physician’s assistant student Jeffery Hanna won the Pay It Forward award for his work with the University of Arizona’s School of Public Health COVID-19 vaccination and testing efforts for underserved communities. He was featured on CBS Channel 5 local news.
  • The NAU women’s athletic teams currently rank No. 1 in the All-Sport Trophy Standings. The men’s athletic teams rank No. 2. The All-Sports Trophies recognize the top performing schools in the Big Sky Conference and points are awarded for regular season standings in basketball, soccer, football, tennis, softball and volleyball, as well as results from tournaments and championships within the conference.
  • Junior soccer player Madison Montgomery was honored on the United Soccer Coaches Division I Women’s All-West Region First Team. She also was voted as the Big Sky’s Co-Offensive Most Valuable Player and earned a spot on the All-Big Sky First Team at the end of the spring season.
  • Graduate student and football kicker Luis Aguilar was named to the Associated Press All-American First Team and now holds eight All-American honors. Aguilar currently has 188 career points, a 98.8 percent for career extra point percentage and an 81.4 percent on field goals.
  • Maciej Bogusz, head coach of men’s tennis, was announced Coach of the Year while five Lumberjacks earned All-Big Sky honors. For singles, senior Eban Straker-Meads was named to the First Team, senior Chris Steele was named to the Second Team and junior Facundo Tumosa received Honorable Mention. For doubles, junior Daniel Dillon and freshman Maciej Ziomber were named to the Second Team.
  • In women’s tennis, head coach Ewa Bogusz won Coach of the Year while several players earned Big Sky awards.
    • Freshman Gina Dittmann was named Freshman of the Year and the league’s Most Valuable Player, ultimately landing her a spot on the All-Big Sky First Team for singles and Honorable Mention for doubles.
    • Senior Ellie Millard earned First Team honors for both singles and doubles.
    • Sophomore Mimi Bland earned First Team honors for doubles.
    • Sophomore Elinor Beazley earned Honorable Mention for doubles.
    • Freshman Ava Neyestani earned Second Team honors for singles.
  • Senior punter DJ Arnson was announced as the 2020 FCS Punter of the Year by the Augusta Sports Council. He edged out nine other semifinalists and also earned the Big Sky’s ROOT SPORTS Special Teams Player of the Week in the season finale against Idaho.
  • Doctoral candidate Emily Palmquist of Ecoss was the lead author on the article, “Riverine complexity and life history inform restoration in riparian environments in the southwestern U.S.” published in Restoration Ecology. Additional NAU co-authors were biology professor Gerard Allen, SICCS professor Kiona Ogle, Regents’ professor of biology Tom Whitham and Brad Butterfield, associate research professor of biology and Ecoss. The study used simple sequence repeat markers to study the genetics in four southwestern riparian species to analyze genetic diversity and its relation to riverine complexities.
  • Graduate student Merideth Reiser, along with Andrew Sánchez Meador, executive director of the Ecological Restoration Institute, is leading a team of NAU students on a project that assesses forest health via remote sensing technology to determine forest areas in need of thinning. The project is being done in part with the Salt River Project and was featured on FOX 10 News.
  • The DAPS Social Justice Group raised $822 for the Flagstaff Family Food Center at the DAPS Social Justice Group Trivia Night. The night featured trivia games and a presentation about how to get involved with the food center.