Range Graduate Student Earns Three Research Grants to Study Effects of Air Pollution on Semi-Arid Desert Ecosystems

Wednesday, June 1 2011

Benjamin Wissinger, a master’s degree candidate studying under assistant professor Beth Newingham, received a 2011 Robert Lee Graduate Student research grant from the Joshua Tree National Park. The park’s graduate student research program encourages independent field research by graduate students enrolled in accredited institutions. The program provides student researchers with an opportunity to demonstrate how their research can apply to land management issues. Wissinger will be examining the effects of air pollution caused by atmospheric nitrogen deposition on plants, seeds and harvester ants in semi-arid desert ecosystems, specifically those within Joshua Tree National Park. Wissinger also received $4,872.96 from the University of Idaho Student Grant Program to fund his proposal entitled, "Sonoran Desert Harvester Ant Response to Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition." In addition, he was awarded a $3,150 grant from the Desert Legacy Fund -California Desert Research Program at The Community Foundation earlier this year.