Clark receives $329,000 NSF grant to extend REU Site designation, fund HERO program into 2015

May 24, 2012

Prof. John Rogan

Clark University has been awarded a three-year, $329,992 grant from the National Science Foundation for a new program titled, “REU Site: Mapping Beetles, Trees, Neighborhoods, and Policies: A Multi-Scaled, Urban Ecological Assessment of the Asian Longhorned Beetle Invasion in New England (HERO).”

This grant extends Clark’s designation as a national Research Experiences for Undergraduates Site. REU Sites are highly competitive programs designed to introduce undergraduates from around theUnited Statesto faculty-led research activities at designated institutions.

Prof. Deborah Martin

“The grant will allow Clark Undergraduate students to work with eight other undergraduates from various universities in the United States, to address the ecological and societal impacts of the present Asian Longhorned Beeetle invasion in Worcester,” said co-principal investigator of the grant, Clark Associate Professor of Geography John Rogan, who specializes in landscape ecology, fire ecology, optical remote sensing and GIScience. Associate Professor of Geography Deborah Martin is co-principal investigator of the grant.

Human-Environment Regional Observatory (HERO) Fellows will receive $4,500 for the eight weeks of full-time research, plus an allowance for room and board. Six students will be chosen to attend the April 2013 Association of American Geographers scholarly meeting in Los Angeles to present their research to an audience of scholars and professionals.

The HERO student researchers will analyze the causes and consequences of the Asian Longhorn Beetle, an invasive wood-boring insect that is a severe threat to both urban and ex-urban forests in New England. The Asian Longhorn Beetle infestation of central Massachusetts poses a greater stress on ecosystem services, as well as response groups ranging from federal/state resource managers to local residents, than any previous ALB outbreak in other localities in the U.S.

To learn more about the Clark University Graduate School of Geography, visit the geography department. For more than a decade, the Human-Environment Regional Observatory (HERO) program at Clark University has provided a unique undergraduate research experience, focusing on and spanning social, ecological, and mapping sciences.

HERO Fellows conduct hands-on research under the mentorship of Clark University faculty, and analyze the causes and consequences of global environmental changes at local scales in faculty-led research projects.

John Rogan is a geographer specializing in landscape ecology, fire ecology, optical remote sensing and GIScience. Recent research projects have involved monitoring land cover change in California using remote sensing date, mapping wildfire burn severity in southern California and southeastern Arizona, and mapping forest types in Massachusetts using multi-season Landsat data. Dr. Rogan received his Ph.D. (Geography) degree from the joint doctoral program at San Diego State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was funded by a research grant from NASA's Land Cover and Land Use Change Program.

Deborah Martin is an urban geographer with interests in social movements (particularly neighborhood activism), place identity, local politics, legal geography, and qualitative methodologies. She has conducted research in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Athens, Georgia, on place meaning and representation in community organizing and local politics. She received her M.A. (1994) and Ph.D. (1999) degrees in geography from the University of Minnesota, and her B.A. in geography and international studies from Macalester College. Before coming to Clark in the fall of 2004, she taught at the University of Georgia for five years.