Appalachian Laboratory Watershed Moments to feature research of recent alums

April 18, 2023
Dr. Kelly Pearce in the field.

This spring, the Appalachian Laboratory of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) is spotlighting the research of two recent graduates through the Watershed Moments Next Generation series.

On Thursday, May 4, starting at 6:30pm, Dr. Kelly Pearce will present “Conservation through Collaboration: Using camera traps to form partnerships and inform conservation in the French Creek Watershed.” The presentation will be held in person at the Appalachian Laboratory.  

Private land provides critical habitat for many wildlife species, which makes landowners and land trust organizations critical partners in conservation efforts. However, there is often little known about wildlife on private lands, because of lack of resources or incentives to conduct reliable surveys. Pearce will share an on-going 2-year project in Northwestern Pennsylvania, in which the Watershed Conservation Research Center used camera traps to collaborate with the French Creek Valley Conservancy, the Foundations for Sustainable Forests, and private landowners in the region to help inform future conservation plans and purchases in the French Creek Watershed, the most biologically diverse watershed in the state.

Pearce, an Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Sustainability and Co-Director of the Watershed Conservation Research Center at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, is a wildlife conservationist whose research is at the intersection of ecological and social science, using quantitative and qualitative approaches to study how environmental, social, and policy factors influence wildlife populations and species distributions. She graduated with a Ph.D. from UMCES in 2019. 

On Thursday, June 1, at 6:30pm, Dr. Stephanie Siemek will present, “Navigating the waters of arid lands,” online via Zoom.  Once registered, attendees will receive Zoom instructions via email sent closer to the event date.

Siemek will share the challenges of working as a hydrologist in the United States Southwest, where water is scarce and the competition for it is high.  Hear about the hardships and challenges of making every drop count and find out what it takes to sustain habitats for threatened and endangered species in desert lands that have been extensively engineered to support human activities. Furthermore, learn how Siemek acquired her position at USFWS, as well as other approaches on how to secure a permanent position in the Department of the Interior. 

Siemek, a hydrologist for the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Division of Water Resources, in the Southwest Region, graduated from UMCES in 2021 with a Ph.D. in Environmental Science. Her pursuit of environmental science stems from her love for animals and fascination with the natural world.

Both events are free and open to the public but registration is required. Learn more and register at Contact Rhonda Schwinabart, Coordinator of Outreach, at 301-689-7102 or with any event-related questions.