W&J Senior Takes Second at Pennsylvania Botany Symposium

Created: December 26, 2016  |  Last Updated: January 15, 2020  |  Category:   |  Tagged: ,

WASHINGTON, PA (Dec. 26, 2016) – Four Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) Forest Ecology students presented their work at the Pennsylvania Botany Symposium at Penn State University, and one took home an award.

Steven Munden, a senior biology major, received Honorable Mention (second place) among all undergraduate poster presentations for his project, “Identification of old-growth forests in mesophytic forests.”

In his research, Steven is developing criteria to evaluate forest stands in this region (Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province) to determine if the stand has characteristics and functions similar to recognized old-growth stands. He is testing these  criteria by locating and identifying potential old-growth stands in Washington County. He and W&J biology Professor Jason Kilgore, Ph.D. have located a large tree to nominate to the Big Tree List for Washington County, and Steven’s continued work through an independent study in the spring 2017 semester could also lead to the nomination of a site to the Old-Growth Forest Network (OGFN).

Hannah Fortini ’17, Abigail Pristas ’17, and Shannon Boring ’17 also presented their Capstone research as posters. Fortini presented “Could the loss of Fraxinus americana be a contributor to the Acer saccharum industry in Southwestern Pennsylvania?” Pristas’ project was “Could forest edges provide the ray of hope for ash regeneration?” and Boring presented “Association of wooly aphids with deciduous forest trees and potential effects on understory photosynthetic efficiency.”


About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.