2012 Bryson Scholarship Event
The second annual Reid Bryson Scholarship competition took place in April 2012 as part of the Nelson Institute Earth Day Conference. The 28 student applicants came from a wide range of departments and centers across the University of Wisconsin-Madison, including the Center for Climatic Research (CCR), the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE), the Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC), the Nelson Institute Environment and Resources program, and the Departments of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Biology, Ecology, Geoscience, Zoology, Engineering, Anthropology, Geography, and Entomology. This rich diversity captures the interdisciplinary nature of Professor Reid Bryson’s studies.
Posters were judged on the basis of artistic presentation, originality of the scientific question, clarity, soundness of methodology, importance of the research, and topical relevance. This year we were able to offer two separate scholarships to recognize the top graduate and top undergraduate students.
The winner of the 2012 Reid Bryson Graduate Scholarship of $1,000 was Erica Bickford from SAGE. Erica finished a Ph.D. last summer from the Nelson Institute’s Environment and Resources program and began a term as a prestigious American Geophysical Union Congressional Science Fellow in Washington, D.C. The title of her poster was “Evaluating Emissions and Air Quality Impacts of Truck-to-Rail Freight Modal Shifts.” Her project found that shifting freight transport from trucks to rail would significantly reduce human pollutant exposure and greatly reduce CO2 emissions, thereby benefiting human health and mitigating climate change.
The co-winners of the 2012 Reid Bryson Undergraduate Scholarship of $500 were Abigail Mindock and Cara Sandlass for their poster, “Agroforestry in Bayonnais, Haiti”. Abigail and Cara are conducting research in Haiti to implement a composting program that will reduce soil erosion and increase agricultural output. They took action on this research by traveling to Bayonnais last summer to work with local farmers in their reforestation efforts.
In addition to these winning presentations, the scholarship competition attracted an interesting and diverse range of research topics from across the UW campus, including:
- The hydrological response to rapid vs. slow global warming
- Impacts of biofuel feedstock production
- Ecological impacts of Great Lakes acidification
- Effect of Wisconsin climate change on prairie vegetation
- Climate change influences on power plant emissions and air quality
- Simulation of jet streams in global climate models
- Using satellite and station data to study dust storms over Saudi Arabia