2016 Scholarship Awards

Congratulations to the following recipients of the 2016 North Cascades Audubon Society Scholarships:Zoe Zilz - Western Washington University - Parasitism by the sperm-feeding ciliate, Orchitophyra stellarum, in Pisaster ochraceus populations on the west coast of North America, and its consequences for the recovery of sea star populations from sea star wasting disease. ($400)Ryan Drake - Western Washington UniversityShrub-steppe grasslands have recently disappeared due to land development, which can reduce suitability for endemic species and drive extirpation. The goal of this study will be to measure Sceloporus graciosus abundance as a response to possible forms of habitat degradation. Measures of habitat suitability, including shrub density, patch size, and herbaceous cover, will be quantified as correlates to S. graciosus abundance. The results of this study can be applied to conservation of shrub-steppe ecosystems by identifying possible forms of habitat degradation. Furthermore, the results of this study have potential use in future studies and conservation initiatives concerning population viability. ($400)