Thursday, March 21, 2013

Maher to present dissertation defense

Doctoral candidate Kimberley Maher will give her dissertaion defense March 29 at 10 a.m. in Butrovich 109. The title is "Birch, Berries and the Boreal Forest: Activities and Impacts of Harvesting Non-Timber Forest Products in Interior Alaska."

Abstract: Harvesting wild berries, firewood and other non-timber forest products from the boreal forest in Interior Alaska is a common activity amongst local residents. Non-timber forest products are harvested for personal use, subsistence and commercial purposes. While these activities contribute to informal household economies and livelihoods, harvest of the products is not well documented in Alaska. Availability of these ecosystem services may be altered under changing management and climate regimes. This interdisciplinary dissertation takes a look at the activities and impacts of current harvesting practices. It uses results from a Forest Use Survey and interviews to describe who is harvesting, what they are harvesting and why they’re harvesting. Biological impacts from tapping birch trees in the spring are examined and issues for forest management will be presented.

Kimberley Maher
Maher said, "What I'll remember most about my studies here is the really fantastic community that I've been fortunate to join and the great extracurricular opportunities that I've been able to take advantage of, including on-campus activities and off-campus activities. For instance, I've been serving on the Fairbanks Arbor Day committee for the last six or seven years. Through my graduate studies, I've met many interesting people and have had some really dynamic experiences. It has sometimes even been a little distracting from my studies. In the end, all of these connections and experiences have always contributed to making me a more well-rounded person with a better understanding of other perspectives which is a really valuable asset when thinking about resource management issues."

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