Students Recognized at BASIS6 Symposium

Photo of USFSP students Amanda Chappel and Megan Burford pose with their awards alongside Dr. Ryan Moyer, USFSP faculty member and associate research scientist at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

From left: Amanda Chappel; Dr. Ryan Moyer, USFSP faculty and associate research scientist at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute; and Megan Burford.

The sixth annual Bay Area Scientific Information Symposium (BASIS6) was recently held at USF St. Petersburg.  The symposium focused on addressing new challenges with effective science and management.

USFSP Environmental Science and Policy graduate students Megan Burford and Amanda Chappel were among those recognized at the symposium. Burford received the award for Best Poster for her project “Examining Organic Carbon Burial in Charlotte Harbor Mangrove Forests.” Chappel was the runner-up for Best Oral Presentation for “Organic Carbon Burial and Accretion Rates in Tampa Bay’s Coastal Wetlands.”

Environmental Science and Policy graduate program faculty advisor Joseph “Donny” Smoak said he was proud of Burford and Chappel. He also added that it is not uncommon for students in the graduate program to present that high caliber of work.

“I have students presenting work like this quite often,” said Smoak, who was one of several co-authors on the students’ projects.

Burford, who works as an Environmental Education Specialist at Tampa Bay Watch, teaches environmental education to elementary, middle and high school students through the organization’s Estuary EDventures program. She said it is an incredible experience to “rub elbows” and network with professionals who are doing research that is the foundation of what she teaches and what is known about the area.

“To have a leg in both fields is a really amazing opportunity,” Burford said. “It’s really enjoyable and helpful to have the scientific understanding of what is going on in the field and be able to then take that scientific information and relay it to a vast diversity of people.”