Student Resources

Welcome to the Cal-IPC Student Section

Student Liaisons Amanda Swanson and Marina LaForgia meet with Board Member Laura Pavliscak at the Cal-IPC Symposium

Student Liaisons Amanda Swanson and Marina LaForgia meet with Board Member Laura Pavliscak at the Cal-IPC Symposium

The Cal-IPC Student Section is dedicated to expanding opportunities for students interested in invasive plant research and management. We serve as a voice for students within Cal-IPC and work to connect them with each other as well as with professionals. As a part of Cal-IPC’s mission to protect California’s wildlands from invasive plants now and in the future, we need the next generation of weed warriors to get involved! Whether you’re an undergraduate, master’s student, PhD student or somewhere in between, if you are interested in invasive plant related research, join our student mailing list (at the bottom of this page) to hear about internship opportunities, student funding, and symposium-related events!

Most of our events take place at the annual Cal-IPC Symposium. Each year, we organize a Career Panel for students to learn more about careers in weed management with representatives from a variety of fields including non-profits, academia, consulting and the government. We also kick off every symposium with a Student Mixer to bring together all the students at the conference.

In addition to these events, there are also various funding opportunities and awards available to our student members. We started offering Student Travel Awards in 2017 to help offset travel and registration fees; we look forward to offering these every year. Students can also compete for cash prizes by participating in the annual Student Paper and Poster contests.

News & Events

October 2017

Cal-IPC Symposium Career Panel

Symposium 2017 Students 1 by Marina LaForgia

Students gather at the 2017 Symposium to review and discuss posters.

For the Career Panel at the 2017 Cal-IPC Symposium, we brought together a stellar group of professionals working for the government, non-profits, and in various academic-related positions. Our panelists included:

  • Heather Schneider, a Rare Plant Biologist at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
  • Judy Perkins, the Mojave Desert Native Plant Coordinator at the Bureau of Land Management
  • Travis Bean, the Cooperative Extension Weed Science Specialist at UC Riverside
  • Jutta Burger, the Managing Director of Science and Stewardship at Irvine Ranch Conservancy
  • Jennifer Funk, Associate Professor at Chapman University.

Panelists talked about work-life balance, skills necessary to obtaining a job in their respective organizations, the two-body problem, and the winding path that took them from graduate school into their current careers.

Student Paper and Poster Contest
Congratulations to our 2017 winners and runner-ups:
First Place Student Paper: Karen Tanner, UC Santa Cruz, “Effects of renewable energy development on demography of Brassica tournefortii.”
Runner-up Student Paper: Kerstin Kalchmayr, CSU San Francisco, “Assessing spatio-temporal changes of invasive Limonium ramosissimum in San Francisco Bay wetlands.”
First Place Student Poster: Monique Silva Crossman, Humboldt State University, “Effects of manual and mechanical Ammophila arenaria removal techniques on coastal dune plant communities and dune morphology.”
Runner-up Student Poster: Noah Teller, UC Riverside, “Pheno-com monitoring for management of Salsola tragus (Russian thistle).”

September 2017

New Student Liaison
We welcome Noah Teller, PhD student at UC Riverside, on board as a Student Liaison. We look forward to working with you to expand our student section!

Student Travel Awards
Congratulations to the first round of student travel award recipients:

  • Karen Tanner, UC Santa Cruz
  • Noah Teller, UC Riverside
  • Brooke Pickett, UC Riverside
  • Monique Silva Crossman, Humboldt State University

Student Liaisons

Marina LaForgia, UC Davis, (2014 – Present)
Noah Teller, UC Riverside (2016 – Present)
Noah is a PhD student in the Loralee Larios and Travis Bean labs at UC Riverside. He is interested in developing methods for managers to improve species selection in restoration using measurable plant traits. Current projects include postfire revegetation at Chino Hills State Park, testing IPM techniques including mycorrhizal infection and herbicide treatments for Salsola tragus (Russian thistle), and supporting a rapid response effort to the invasion of Oncosiphon piluliferum (Stinknet) in Riverside County.
Amanda Swanson (2016 – 2017), Postdoctoral Researcher at University of Wyoming
Justin Valliere (2014 – 2016), Postdoctoral Researcher at UCLA
Bridget Hilbig (2012 – 2014), Assistant Professor at Weber State University
Meghan Skaer Thomasen (2012 – 2014), Resident Ecology, Exotic and Invasive Weeds Research, USDA
Kai Palenscar
Chelsea Carey
Heather Schneider
Sara Jo Dickens
Mike Bell

Join the Student Mailing List

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