Faculty Members Submit Proposals for Public Lands Initiative

Published: April 26, 2021 | Author: Lawrence Mbaki | Read Time: 2 minutes

Dr. Jackie Grant and students at SUUTwo Southern Utah University faculty members are working to improve public lands through proposals to Utah State University’s Agricultural Experiment Station, funded through a legislative appropriation titled the USU Public Lands Initiative. 

Dr. Jacqueline Grant, associate professor of biology and director of the Garth and Jerri Frehner Museum of Natural History at SUU, submitted a proposal to document pollinator and native plant diversity in southern Utah. That data will assist land management agencies in their development of effective monitoring protocols and management plans for native plants and their pollinators. As pollinator-friendly native plants are identified, local farmers can grow these plants in agricultural settings that are more amenable to beekeeping. Commercial native plant farming would reduce the impact of honey bees on public lands and enhance economic opportunities in rural communities.

If funded, Dr. Grant’s project would employ SUU student workers and 1-2 weeks of summer assistance from several faculty members, including Rachel Bolus (biology ecology), Matt Ogburn (biology), Sam Wells (interdisciplinary studies), Matt Weeg (biology), Julie Pynn (psychology), and Karl Jarvis (biology).

Karl Jarvis, conservation biologist and lecturer at SUU, submitted a proposal to determine effective restoration practices in fire-damaged critical habitat for the threatened Mojave Desert tortoise in Beaver Dam Wash and Red Cliffs National Conservation Areas (NCAs). This would be done by measuring plant diversity in the diet of Mojave Desert tortoises in burned and unburned habitats. This is just a fancy way of saying they extract DNA from tortoise poop and test it to find answers. The findings would contribute to the management priorities that assist in the recovery and delisting of the tortoise as defined by the Endangered Species Act. If funded, Jarvis’ project would employ SUU student workers and one week of assistance from his colleague Dr. Jackie Grant.

“I chose to submit for this grant because it is a matching grant that will leverage my current funding,” said Jarvis. “It can be difficult to keep making consistent progress on research projects but the joy of working with students and making a difference in the conservation of life takes away the pain of long hours and sometimes difficult processes.”

The SPARC office commends Jackie Grant and Karl Jarvis for their great work and collaboration on these grant submissions.

Produced by the SPARC Office

SUU’s Sponsored Programs, Agreements, Research, and Contracts Office (SPARC) Office provides assistance to faculty, staff, and administrators seeking external funding for their projects and programs, from concept development and planning through implementation and management of funded projects.

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