This interdisciplinary project will incorporate the disciplines of biology, ecology, and geographic information systems (GIS). The student researcher will assist the Hope College Green Team with updating its campus urban tree canopy inventory through a GIS program, assess greenhouse gas carbon sequestration value of trees, and help develop a program/platform for disseminating information about the project and engaging the campus community.
The proposed study will add to our understanding of the various ways to assess the value of trees and how they contribute to ecosystem services that benefit college and the community at large. The student will collect data such as tree species, size, relative age, and quantities within the designated areas. The student will also assist the Hope College “Tree Campus USA” planning team in completing an application for the program and implementing committee initiatives.
This project will also align with the City of Holland’s Urban Tree Canopy Project led by Hope College faculty members Dr. Kathy Winnett-Murray and Dr. Greg Murray. These data will be used for projects such as the Annual Campus STARS Report, Holland’s 40-Year Community Energy Plan, Holland In Bloom, and Tree City/Tree Campus USA. For information about the City Project, please see this recent article: https://blogs.hope.edu/stories-of-hope/natural-and-applied-sciences/for-the-love-of-trees/
“Trees are sustainability power tools: They clean and cool the air, regulate temperatures, counteract the urban “heat island” effect, and support water quality and manage flow” (10.02.2017 Article: Cities Should Think About Trees As Public Health Infrastructure)
Hope College Faculty will assist in calculating the carbon sequestration value of the trees and tree identification as needed.
Start and end dates are flexible and should be arranged in advance such that the 10-week project is completed by August 9, 2019.
MUST submit a cover letter, resume, and transcript. Please be sure to include information about your experiences with tree identification to date.
Mentors/Supervisors: Steven Bouma-Prediger (Department Religion), Michelle Gibbs, and Kara Slater.