Research and Classwork- Current and Past

Mississippi State University (graduate work)

Ph.D. Degree. In May, 2005, I graduated with a degree in Biology with a minor in chemistry from Maryville College in Tennessee. Now, I'm at Mississippi State University, where I'm working toward my PhD degree. My focus will be forest pathology and my current project will focus on the regeneration of Fraser fir in high elevation forests. Currently, I'm working on the introduction to my proposal and over the summer I'll outline most of my methods. I'll post more information about the project here as I make progress. In the meantime, here are a few projects I've been working on.

Master's Degree. From 2005-2008, I worked on a Master's degree searching for isolates of the chestnut blight fungus Cryphonectria parasitica in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. Yes, there are American chestnuts surviving in the wild, and we visited more than 300 of them within the park. We are currently working on a manuscript outlining our results, some of which I had a chance to present in Atlanta, Georgia at the 2009 meeting of the American Phytopathological Society, Southern Division.

Maryville College (undergraduate work)

Senior Thesis. On Dec. 14, 2004, I turned in the final copy of thesis to the editor, completing a project I began in January and have spent dozens, if not hundreds, of hours on. Although MC is an undergrad institution, a thesis or similar study is required for graduation. My thesis, entitled, "An Evaluation of the Effect of Associated Vegetation and Selected Environmental Factors on the Regeneration of Fraser Fir (Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir) at Two Locations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park," discusses exactly what you would expect it to by the very lengthy title.

Oral history Project. During the fall of my senior year, I took an elective class, "Sociology of the Appalachians." Part of this class involved working through a local organization known as AAABC to perform interviews with people who have been influential in the Blount County community. This page is a copy of one that I put together as part of this project.