My name is Briana Becerra, I hail from the beautiful state of California. This upcoming fall semester I will be a junior classman at California State University Monterey Bay; there I study Environmental science, technology, and policy with an emphasis in ecology and minor in biology. When not being driven into an early grave by school related stress, I enjoy longboarding, reading, listening to music, and quoting geeky movies during social situations. I found science to be the most fascinating subject in school; I enjoyed learning about the natural world and the relationships that exist within ecosystems. I am beyond ecstatic that this summer I was given an opportunity to participate in a research project at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire under the mentor ship of Dr. Natalie Cleavitt.
This summer I will be comparing tree regeneration patterns in 30 and 100 year old northern hardwood forests. I will be paying special attention to seedling age structure and the mycorrhizal colonization of young seedling roots and their relationship to light levels and litter inputs. The focal species include American Beech (Fagus grandifolia ) and Sugar Maple ( Acer saccharum). The principle areas of study include lower and mid elevation herb plots on watersheds five and six of the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. Seedling counts will be taken and comparatively analyzed between watershed five, a recovering disturbance area, and watershed six the reference watershed of Hubbard Brook. A total of five hundred 1mby 1m plots will be analyzed in their composition and seedling demography to determine the effect of light on seedling regeneration and mycorrhizal fungi colonization.
This is my first summer research experience as an undergraduate. As scary as it is to be so far from home, the knowledge and experience I am gaining as a field researcher cannot outweigh my homesickness. I hope many individuals will consider and apply to this amazing research opportunity here at Hubbard Brook. Thank you for your time.