Dee Ann Kroeker won first place for her poster, Development of a Method to Evaluate Mortality of Black Mustard (Brassica nigra) Seeds Exposed to Volatile Compounds from Composted Greenwaste. Kate Hernandez took third place for A Field Trial to Evaluate Deleterious Effects of Composted Municipal Greenwaste and Soil Solarization on Black Mustard Seeds.

The posters present results of student research on soil solarization, a nonchemical technique that uses the sun's energy to control weeds and other pests. The research examined whether adding compost to field soil makes solarization more effective. If successful, combining solarization with compost could lead to alternative uses for green waste compost and alternatives to pesticides.

The research is being carried out through the University of California Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center. Ruth Dahlquist, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at FPU, received an FPU Provost Research Grant, which led to continued collaboration with the center and UC Davis. Dahlquist, Kroeker and Hernandez worked on one component of a larger project. Stacy Betts (BA '10 environmental science), has also been involved. Based on their work, Dee Ann and Katie put together presentations for the January 23-25 California Weed Science Society conference.

"The original project growing out of the Provost Research Grant helped build a partnership between our colleague and UC researchers that will undoubtedly result in an opportunity for her students to continue ‘learning science' by ‘doing science,'" said FPU President D. Merrill Ewert. 

Photo, left to right: James Stapleton, Ph.D., researcher at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center; Ruth Dahlquist, FPU faculty; Stacy Betts, FPU grad; and FPU students Kate Hernandez and Dee Ann Kroeker

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Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations