During winter break, Amanda Wobbleton ’14 has been carefully nurturing the plants that are part of her departmental honors research project.
Under the direction of Eric Kindahl, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, Amanda is looking at the nutrient uptake kinetics of two species of emergent plants. Mycorrhizae fungi, which colonize the roots and better enable plants to take in crucial nutrients, were introduced to some of the plants and not others. Later, once the fungi colonize the root system, she will feed the plants using nitrogen-rich water and measure how well they take in the nitrogen.
Knowing which plant species readily absorb nitrogen from the water will help environmental biologists select the most appropriate plants for wetland restoration.
Amanda will present her research and findings during departmental honors presentations in April.
Some college students spend their long winter break meeting up with friends, traveling or catching up on much-needed sleep. Others, like Tom Marino ’15, pursue a more academic endeavor.
Under the direction of Hood ecologist April Boulton, Ph.D., Tom is investigating how planting wildflower borders can attract bees and other beneficial insects in agricultural settings. As part of a four-member student team, their goal is to examine how such native flowers can increase beneficial insects—both pollinators and predators, alike. Using a combination of sticky traps, sweep nets and field observations, they collected insect specimens this past summer as part of the Hood Summer Research Institute. Surveys were conducted in both experimental (flower border) and control (no flower border) fields on a soybean farm in Frederick County, Md. Tom is identifying the remaining summer traps (pictured above), but the preliminary results indicate that native pollinators and insect predators were significantly more abundant and diverse in the experimental plot. In addition, they have unanticipated evidence that such insects significantly increased the soybean yield and quality in the experimental plot when compared to the control plot.
Tom is one of more than 30 Hood students who are spending their winter break conducting research, participating in internships or volunteering in their communities and beyond.
Thomas Dasch ’04 stopped by campus yesterday. For the last eight years he has worked as an intake coordinator and lead counselor for Frederick Institute, a methadone treatment program serving those who suffer from addictions. He is often the first point of contact for people who are seeking help from the facility. He recently coordinated an open house for more than 100 doctors and treatment providers to learn more about the facility and the care it provides. In addition, he dedicates himself to sharing his expertise about addiction with the community through the Overdose Prevention Workgroup, which is focused on reducing the rates of overdose deaths in Frederick County.
Thomas has found a great way to give back to his community, something we know is not only part of who he is but also influenced by his experiences at Hood!
The campus was alive with students, alumni and families during Hood’s first Homecoming/Fall Family Weekend event Oct. 4-6. It was great to see so many alumni and families on campus and the weather couldn’t have been better.
There were a ton of activities—it was so hard to choose! Friday opened with campus tours, and a selection of mini-classes led by Professors Flora, Latkovski, Gurzick and Farrell. A happy hour, dinner and skit/comedy show followed, and later that night students kicked back with a taco bar, DJ and other activities.
Saturday events included College volunteer and update sessions, a homecoming festival and tailgate on the quad, men’s and women’s soccer games, an evening performance showcase and dessert reception. Many families and alumni headed to downtown Frederick for First Saturday, a monthly event where stores stay open late, bands showcase their talents and kid- and family-friendly activities—including a free photo booth hosted by Hood College—kept everyone entertained!
For anyone eager to wake up early, the cross country team hosted a 5K run Sunday morning, followed by a brunch in Coblentz Dining Hall.
Whew! Quite a lot to pack into one weekend, but everyone enjoyed themselves. We’re already starting to plan for next year!
Homecoming photos are posted on SmugMug. Enjoy!
Pictured: Jayteh Teh ’13, along with and other alumni, families and students, attended a soccer game during Homecoming weekend.