By: Leann Bentley
Are you interested in networking with field experts, becoming involved in local and regional restoration projects and gaining extra educational experience? Well, Restoration Outreach and Research (RoaR!), a chapter of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation and the Society of Ecological Restoration is always looking for new members.
ROaR! Was formed in 2010 and offers many rewarding opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students who would like to become active in these professional societies.
Sarah Kauer, recruitment Coordinator for College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and a few members/officers answered a few questions about RoaR!.
- What activities does your RSO do each year?
Since 2013, ROaR! has partnered with ASUW and the Wyoming Reclamation and Restoration Center to bring at least one prominent speaker from a different area of the country to University of Wyoming to meet with students in the club and to give a public seminar at the university. Speakers have included Dr. Doug Tallamy (University of Delaware), Emma Marris (former editor-in-chief of Nature and author of 'Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-wild World"), Dr. Doug Landis (Michigan State University), Dr. James Hagler (USDA-ARS Research Unit, Maricopa, AZ), and this year we are bringing Dr. Joy Zedler (Aldo Leopold Chair of Restoration Ecology from University of Wisconsin-Madison) to meet our group and to speak at University of Wyoming. We have also been involved in many local restoration or environmental 'clean-up' projects around Laramie ranging from a 3 year project with the Laramie Rivers Conservation District to restore stream banks on the Laramie River, the City of Laramie to clean-up and reduce land degradation on local trail systems, and most currently we are working with Union Pacific and CH2M Hill on a pollinator habitat restoration project along the Laramie Green Belt. Additionally, we have helped organize a 'pub-talk series' through our membership with Society for Ecological Restoration with three events so far being hosted in Wyoming (two in Laramie, one in Pinedale).
1. What made you choose UW?
I chose to come to UW for my master’s degree because of the ability to do applied research in the field of restoration ecology. A lot of research happening associated with the Wyoming Reclamation and Restoration Center at UW allows for experience to work with industry, government agencies and applied ecology which was unique compared to offers I received from other schools. I stayed here for my PhD after my masters because the work I did during my masters allowed for me to expand my research to a broader audience and higher level.
2. What are your favorite parts about your college?
I have enjoyed meeting fellow graduate students from various parts of the country and from other countries. A lot of interesting research is going on here at UW associated with restoration ecology and other closely related disciplines. I have also enjoyed the vast majority of courses which I have gotten to take during my time at UW.
If I had to give a recommendation to a high school senior interested in UW, I would suggest they look at the wide variety of academic programs we have here at UW and to look for opportunities to get involved outside of the classroom. Most every department has multiple student clubs to get to know other students with similar interests, we have a great outdoor program at UW which can help you get to see some of the really great landscapes we have right around Laramie. Additionally, many professors on campus do very exciting research and most of them would be happy to see undergraduate students interested in becoming involved with research.
4. What’s one thing only UW students know or experience?
UW is unique because of its location. Laramie is a neat, fairly small town, surrounded by very exciting and different landscapes in every direction. Just a short drive east and you can experience Happy Jack Recreation Area, Vedauwoo, and Curt Gowdy State Park. Just a short drive west and you're in the Snowy Range Mountains with a lot of beautiful glacial lakes and hiking trails.