Campus Updates

Visit the Campus Updates page for information on Mount Holyoke’s response to the global pandemic. The Opening the Gates website contains the plan for the spring semester.

Restoration Ecology Program Alumnae

Photo of Isobel Arthen ’14

Isobel Arthen ’14

Student Research Assistant

Isobel graduated from Mount Holyoke with a bachelor's degree in environmental studies. Isobel's work with the Restoration Ecology Program was primarily centered on ground and surface water quality monitoring of the restoration site and surrounding water bodies under the direction of Leszek Bledzki. She also helped to design and carry out an original experiment studying the contribution of nutrients from leaf decomposition. She is particularly interested in the ecosystem services provided by wetlands, more specifically how they interact with issues of climate change.

Photo of Chelsea Booker ’15

Chelsea Booker ’15

Student Research Assistant

Chelsea was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. She majored in environmental studies with a discipline in conservation biology. Chelsea is very interested in studying how restored wetlands impact the reptiles and amphibians that inhabit and/or utilize them. As a research assistant in the Restoration Ecology Program, she surveyed Project Stream’s amphibian and macroinvertebrate populations as baseline data. She hopes this data will provide future researchers with an understanding of how Project Stream’s amphibian and macroinvertebrate populations change after restoration.

Photo of Carey Lang ’14

Carey Lang ’14

Student Research Assistant

Carey Lang was a research assistant during her senior year as an environmental studies major at Mount Holyoke College and a member of the MHC Restoration Ecology Program. During summer 2014, she conducted a vegetation survey in the proposed wetland site on campus to better understand the site in terms of its vegetation. This survey served to provide baseline plant data for the site before manipulation. Carey also conducted a seed bank study to further explore the plant diversity in the wetland site.

Carey is current serving as the part-time Restoration Ecology Program Coordinator.

Photo of Mari Lima ’15

Mari Lima ’15

Student Research Assistant

Mari was an environmental studies major with a concentration in ecosystem science. During summer 2014, she had the opportunity to work on community and public outreach for the Mount Holyoke College Restoration Ecology Program to promote awareness of the program's real-world project with real world consequences in the Mount Holyoke College community. This consisted of running a booth at the local farmer's market and leading tours of the restoration wetlands site. She also assisted with water quality and soil sampling of the Mount Holyoke College wetlands site and a cranberry bog restoration site in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Photo of Brittany McDonald ’14

Brittany McDonald ’14

Student Research Assistant

Brittany McDonald graduated from Mount Holyoke with a bachelor's degree in environmental studies with a concentration in conservation as well as a minor in psychology. She was an REP research assistant during summer 2014 and assisted Erin Pierce with research and data collection for her thesis, which looked at different soil properties—such as soil moisture and gas/nutrient levels—at different wetland sites on or around Mount Holyoke College’s campus. Her interests include conservation, restoration, green energy, and wildlife protection and she hopes to pursue a career in any of those areas in the near future.

Photo of Erin Pierce ’15

Erin Pierce ’15

Student Research Assistant

Erin Pierce ’15 graduated from Mount Holyoke with a major in Environmental Studies and a concentration in ecosystem science. Her work in the Restoration Ecology Program focused on wetland soil properties and processes. Erin’s senior honors thesis compared denitrification in cranberry bogs along a restoration gradient in southeastern Massachusetts. At Project Stream, she has been involved with monitoring soil physical properties, denitrification potential, and greenhouse gas flux. Her favorite part about working in the REP has been applying skills learned in the classroom to real-world restoration projects. The opportunity to collaborate with faculty, students, and practitioners across disciplines has been a valuable component of her MHC experience.

Photo of Farah Rawas ’17

Farah Rawas ’17

Student Research Assistant

Farah graduated with a dual degree in Environmental Studies and Civil and Environmental Engineering. She worked in Dr. Kate Ballantine's lab in the summer of 2015 as an REP intern, after taking her class, Restoration Ecology, in Spring 2015. Farah helped collect and analyze soil quality data and conduct a geographic and vegetation survey of the site prior to restoration. Contributing to the MHC wetland restoration project was a rewarding experience for her academically and personally. Farah had the opportunity to learn new lab procedures and was introduced to new lab protocols, especially after a trip to Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, where she conducted soil tests that determined soil denitrification potential (DEA and CFIM). At the Cary Institute, Farah got to meet other undergraduate research interns, graduate students and scientists who made the lab experience interesting and very enlightening. She will spend the 2015-2016 academic year at University of Massachusetts, Amherst studying engineering and putting together ideas for an independent project that will merge both ecosystem sciences and engineering to create better solutions for a changing world.

Photo of Si Qi (Cindy) Yao ’15

Si Qi (Cindy) Yao ’15

Student Research Assistant

Cindy graduated with a major in chemistry and a minor in biology. Her research as part of the Ballantine Lab began when she took her first steps in wetland soil, dressed in a pair of rubber hip waders and holding a soil corer. After a week of sample collection, a month of lab work, and two years of data analysis and writing, Cindy completed an honors thesis thanks to the support of Dr. Ballantine and the rest of the REP group. The interdisciplinary nature of her project, and of environmental science in general, enabled Cindy to better understand and appreciate coursework in other subjects. Her undergraduate research also encouraged her to further her studies in a related field, and Cindy is now working towards a dual master's degree in engineering sustainable systems at the University of Michigan.

Restoration Ecology Classes

Photo of the Restoration Ecology class in Spring, 2013

Spring 2013

Restoration Ecology 2013 was the first group of students to adopt Project Stream.
Photo of the Restoration Ecology class in Spring, 2014

Spring 2014

Restoration Ecology 2014 took on Phase 2 of Project Stream: Monitoring Proposals.
Photo of the Restoration Ecology class in Spring, 2015

Spring 2015

Restoration Ecology 2015 took on Phase 3 of Project Stream: Outreach.