Forestry doctoral student earns NSF fellowship

MSU Forestry doctoral candidate Jaron Adkins was awarded a 2016 Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation.

Jaron Adkins

MSU Forestry doctoral candidate Jaron Adkins was awarded a 2016 Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. The award will support his research in soil carbon stabilization, specifically in fire-prone, mixed coniferous forests in Northern California. His work will help show how wildfires impact the chemical composition of soil and cause both short-term and long-term carbon release. He is one of 2,000 individuals to receive the award, out of almost 17,000 applicants.

 

Adkins said he is grateful to his mentors and fellow graduate students for helping him achieve this award. “It’s really about the people around me who gave me the ability to do it,” he said. He graduated in 2014 from Boise State University with a bachelor’s degree in biology and an emphasis on ecology. While at BSU, he worked with Marie-Ann de Graaff and was encouraged to grow as an academic, including being named co-author on a paper, “A Meta-Analysis of Soil Biodiversity Impacts on the Carbon Cycle.” He said MSU Professor Jessica Miesel and Forestry Department Chair and Professor Richard Kobe have continued to shape his success.

 

Adkins is in his first year at MSU and has also served as a field technician for Miesel.  They traveled to three wildfire sites at the Plumas, Lassen and Klamath National Forests. “Working in a fire-prone forest type was a new ecology for him. It allowed him to expand on his experience and interests, and apply his background into a new context,” Miesel said. “I know he will build on the quality of his experience and his potential to become a leader in the next generation of researchers,” she said.

Adkins is also a joint author of the recent journal article in Geoderma, “Effects of Switchgrass Cultivars and Intraspecific Differences in Root Structure on Soil Carbon Inputs and Accumulation.”

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