Saturday, April 10, 2021

WLI holds Science Quencher talk

| April 7, 2021 1:00 AM

Whitefish Lake Institute is hosting a Science Quencher event through Zoom on Friday, April 16 at 5:30 p.m. The lightning round talks will be from early career scientists.

Visit to register and receive a Zoom link.

Zach Cook is a researcher and biocultural stewardship technician with the USDA Forest Service Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry/ Kupu Americorps. He will present on the citizen science and the search for disease resistance to Rapid Ohia Death, which is a fungal disease killing the most abundant native tree in the Hawaiian Islands. Cook, a former intern at the Whitefish Lake Institute, graduated with honors from Brown University in the Spring of 2020 with a bachelors of science in ecology and evolutionary biology. He conducts research focused on Rapid Ohia Death, as well as heads up conservation education and community science work at local high schools. Cook plans to pursue a doctorate in ecology, focused on forest pathology and disease resistance, beginning in the fall of 2022.

Maya Greenhill, a biocultural restoration and education fellow at the Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests and Fulbright research fellow for Chile, will present on the “Ecosystem stability and resilience: Quantifying positive feedback loops.” Greenhill is a marine biologist whose research interests include the effects of environmental disturbances on marine ecosystems, as well as biological factors affecting resilience and diversity.

Greenhill graduated with honors from Brown University in 2020 with a bachelor of science in ecology and evolutionary biology, where she worked as a research assistant for the Witman Lab, studying climatic events in the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. Greenhill is currently working for a Hawaiian nonprofit, the Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests, where she is building place-based conservation curricula for Hawaiian youth, and will soon transition to her role as a Fulbright research fellow in Chile to continue her studies of marine ecosystem dynamics.

Will Haddock, who is Starlink Product Engineer with SpaceX, will present on learning engineering decision making. Haddock graduated in the spring of 2020 from Brown University with a bachelors of science in mechanical engineering, and took a position at SpaceX working as a product design engineer for the Starlink program.

Barret Gray, a restoration technician with EarthCorps in Seattle, will present on the habitat sensitivities of bird communities in the Mahamavo region of Madagascar. Gray grew up in Whitefish and interned with the Whitefish Lake Institute in 2017. She graduated from Princeton University in 2020 with a bachelor’s in ecology and evolutionary biology and a certificate in environmental studies. For her degree, Barrett completed a thesis project on the effects of forest structure on bird communities in Madagascar, a country that is experiencing widespread deforestation as a result of human activity.

Following graduation, she assisted with field research on plant pathogens at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado. She is now living in Seattle where she is serving an AmeriCorps term with EarthCorps performing environmental restoration work in the Puget Sound area. She plans to continue to pursue a career in conservation and restoration.