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GCA Scholarships Recipients

 

2021 Sharon Sharon Danielson

The Garden Club of America Zone VI Fellowship in Urban Forestry
School: PhD candidate in Biology, Case Western Reserve University & Holden Forests and Gardens

Investigating Variation in Stress Tolerance of Urban Tree Seedlings in Cleveland, Ohio

Danielson studies how urbanization impacts tree function, growth, and distribution. She measures a combination of physiological and functional traits related to water and nutrient use to explore individual responses and community-level trait shifts across urban and rural forests. Her current work explores the local variation in water-stress tolerance in seedlings from local urban and rural seed sources. This will provide insight into the trajectory of urban remnant forests and the potential benefits of using native seed sources for plantings.

Funded by Casey Trees

 


2021 Marc Healy

The Garden Club of America Zone VI Fellowship in Urban Forestry
School: PhD candidate in Geography, Clark University

Throwing Shade: Characterizing Historical Urban Canopy Cover Change in Two Post-industrial Cities

Healy studies urban canopy cover change at the municipal level by analyzing aerial imagery paired with local social, economic, and political histories, to uncover legacies that have led to present-day urban tree canopy conditions. His research will offer municipalities and urban forestry professionals a method to utilize historical datasets in management decision making.

Funded by Casey Trees

 


2021 Renata Poulton Kamakura

The Garden Club of America Zone VI Fellowship in Urban Forestry
School: PhD candidate in Ecology, Duke University

Urban Tree Species Health and Habitat Suitability in a U.S. City

Within cities there is a lot of variation in temperature, soil type, amount of pavement, and much more than can impact how well trees grow. As summers get hotter and rainfall patterns change, managers need to know which species can survive in different parts of a city, and which ones will continue to do well in the future. Kamakura’s research aims to support managers in making those decisions by investigating what keeps trees healthy and where different tree species grow well.

 

Funded by Casey Trees

 


2020 Lindsay Darling

The Garden Club of America Zone VI Fellowship in Urban Forestry

Origins of Midwestern Urban Canopy 


Lindsay Darling is a PhD student 
in forestry and natural resources at Purdue University. Her project will explore the origins of tree canopy in the midwestern United States. In this area, forests and prairie mixed before Euro-American settlement. This project will track how forest canopy has changed over the last 200 years and compare this development to socio-economic trends. Currently, tree canopy tends to be higher in wealthier communities. This project will determine if wealthy people tended to move to areas with more trees or if trees were planted after their arrival. 

Funded by Casey Trees

 



2020 Sarah Garvey

The Garden Club of America Zone VI Fellowship in Urban Forestry

Soil Respiration and Other Microbial Processes in Urban Forest Fragments


Sarah M. Garvey is a PhD candidate studying urban biogeochemistry in the Department of Earth & Environment at Boston University. She is researching the interactive effects of urbanization and forest fragmentation on soils. For her study, she established eight field sites along an urban-to-rural gradient in Massachusetts to understand drivers of soil carbon losses as they are affected by human activity. Fragmentation is a hallmark of urban forests, and this work will help elucidate how urban forests cycle and store carbon. As human populations grow and urbanization increases, further understanding of urban forests is critical to making predictions of carbon dynamics over time. Funded by Casey Trees



2020 Danielle Mikolajewski

The Garden Club of America Zone VI Fellowship in Urban Forestry

Restoring American Elm to the Urban Landscape 


Danielle Mikolajewski is a master’s student at the University of Delaware in the plant sciences major. Her research is on the restoration of American elm to the urban landscape. New cultivars of American elm have been developed by the Ohio Forest Service. These cultivars are pure-breed American elms developed from surviving elms in the Ohio region. They have been tested in 
lab settings but need to be tested in the landscape. These new elms have been planted in three areas: Newark, Delaware; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Columbus, Ohio. They will be monitored over the coming growing season for stress in the urban landscape.

Funded by Casey Trees



2019 Avery Williams

The Garden Club of America Zone VI Fellowship in Urban Forestry

Avery Williams will be a master’s student in environmental science at American University in August 2019. Her research will use high- resolution satellite data to track phenological shifts of vegetation over downtown Washington, DC. This study will examine how  owering  uctuates from cold and warm years while evaluating these changes on an individual-response level based on species and site variability. Monitoring the phenological shifts via satellite images may allow a better understanding of vegetation response to climate change.

Funded by Casey Trees, Washington, DC, Zone VI



2019 Elijah Catalan

The Garden Club of America Zone VI Fellowship in Urban Forestry

Elijah Catalan is a junior at Howard University working toward a BS in biology and a BA in environmental studies. Trees and wilderness are known to improve the health and economic welfare of communities. His research investigates the relationships between the racial and economic demographics of Washington, DC, to the distance from parks and tree cover in the metropolitan area. His goal is to determine whether DC communities have unequal access to green spaces due to socioeconomic status thereby providing data to advocate for more inclusive urban planning.

Funded by Casey Trees, Washington, DC, Zone VI



2019 Erica McCormick

The Garden Club of America Zone VI Fellowship in Urban Forestry

Erica McCormick is an undergraduate at the University of Texas, Austin. Her project seeks to analyze the effects of urbanization on large riparian trees in Austin by deploying hand-built sensor packages at multiple tree heights. These sensors will measure variables such as soil moisture, sap  ow, rain penetration, leaf-area index, and branch movement from wind. She will combine this information with meteorological and stream ow data to build and test computer models of how urbanization changes riparian ecosystems and the trees that live there.



2019 Brooke Saba McDowell

The Garden Club of America Zone VI Fellowship in Urban Forestry

Brooke Saba McDowell is pursuing a masters of science in gerontology at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. She will be researching how the existence or absence of trees in the urban environment impacts the perceptions of older adults on their health, wellness, and longevity. The data will be analyzed for themes and findings will be shared with community organizations as well as community members. Recommendations gathered as a result will be highlighted.



 

Scholarship Opportunities Abound

The Garden Club of America offers 28 merit-based scholarships and fellowships in 12 areas related to conservation, ecology, horticulture, and pollinator research. In 2021, over $300,000 were awarded to 61 scholars. Follow GCA Scholarships on Twitter for the latest news about pollinators, coastal wetlands, native bird habitats, and much more. Connect to a larger world of horticulture and conservation through the Garden Club of America scholars. Learn more about the GCA Scholarships. Browse the scholarship offerings.