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Coastal Fellows, Energy Fellows display results of months of research

      By RUDI HEMPE, CELS News Editor

Science projects in just about every conceivable field from bluegrass weevils, to toxic alga, from endangered eastern hemlocks to energy efficiency at the Naval War College, were on display Dec. 14 at the annual Coastal Fellows Poster Celebration.

Held for the first time in the lobbies of the Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences, the program featured the work of 55 students who have spent the last several months doing research under the guidance of their mentors, faculty and staff members from several different academic departments and colleges.

The difference in the program this year was not only the venue but also the addition of the work of fellows who concentrated on issues developed under the URI Energy Center.

As is tradition, three of the students won cash prizes for their exemplary posters which were judged by a panel of faculty members.

The winners are:

First place - Amanda Ziegler, a marine biology major whose project was "Alternative water quality monitoring supplies ideal for volunteer programs." Her mentors were Linda Green and Elizabeth Herron, both of the Natural Resources Science department.

Second place - David Nelson, a biology major, whose project was entitled "Do fine-scale measurements of relative humidity correlate with patterns of nymphal tick abundance and survival?" His mentors were Tom Mather and Katie Berger both of Plant Sciences.

Third place - Emily Vincent, a marine biology major, whose project was called "Selective herbivory of the mud snail Ilyanassa obsolete on bloom forming Ulva specie"s. Her mentors were Michele Guidone and Carol Thornber, both of Biological Sciences.

The large gathering was addressed by a number of speakers including Richard C. Rhodes III, College of the Environment and Life Sciences (CELS) associate dean; Clifford Katz, vice provost; Marion Gold, co-director of the URI Energy Center; David Gregg, executive director of the RI Natural History Survey and Nancy Fey-Yensan, CELS interim dean.

Fey-Yensan told the students that through the training they received in the program they have the potential to solve the pressing problems of today. Noting that she herself started out as a French major, she was exposed to the nutrition field and fell in love with it. "Pick your own passion," she told the students "and truly love what you do."

In addition to the three winning students, Coastal Fellows for 2009 listed by name, major, project title and mentors are:

Coastal Fellows 2009

Amanda Ziegler won first prize for her project on water quality programs. With her are (l-r) Rick Rhodes, CELS associate dean, David Gregg, RI Natural History Survey and Nancy Fey-Yensan, CELS interim dean.

Coastal Fellows 2009

David Nelson won second prize with his poster on humidity and its affect on ticks. With him are (l-r) David Gregg of the RI natural History Survey, Rick Rhodes, CELS associate dean and Nancy Fey-Yensan, CELS interim dean.

Coastal Fellows 2009

Emily Vincent won third prize with her poster on mud snails. With her are Rick Rhodes, CELS associate dean and Nancy Fey-yensan, CELS interim dean.

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