• New partnership makes the local news
    Dr. Jennie DeMarco
  • Working with other students from Colorado
    Dr. Jennie DeMarco
  • Colorado is a pretty place to do field work
    Dr. Jennie DeMarco
  • Gabby Garza ’22 collects soils from the ski slope at Copper Mountain
    Dr. Jennie DeMarco
  • Christine Vanginault ’23 sets out the research plots
    Dr. Jennie DeMarco
  • Gabby Garza ’22 shows off her mad skills in processing soil samples
    Dr. Jennie DeMarco
  • Celebrating the end of a successful field season
    Dr. Jennie DeMarco
  • Christine Vanginault ’23 does the lab work with a smile!
    Dr. Jennie DeMarco

Southwestern University students and faculty escape the Texas heat to botanize at 10,000 feet. During the summer of 2022 students Gabby Garza ’22, Lupe Sanchez ’23, and Christine Vanginault ’23 and Biology faculty Dr. Jennie DeMarco conducted research on restoration projects in Colorado focused on understanding how different land management practices can help mitigate climate change and make ecosystems more resilient.

Ongoing research projects included working with ranchers to add locally sourced compost to their ranchlands to increase plant growth and soil health, evaluating the impact of restoration of wet meadows on federal public land to sequester soil carbon and be more resilient to climate change. A new project was established this summer working with Copper Mountain Ski Resort to test whether using local plant seed sources and compost in restoration of ski slopes sequesters soil carbon and improves plant diversity.
Colorado is a favorite place for many Texans to recreate. These projects offer opportunities for Texas students to be a part of and engage with conservation and sustainability so that these places can be enjoyed for many generations to come. Interested in working with Dr. DeMarco in Colorado next summer? Send Dr. DeMarco an email or stop by her office in FJS room 205 to chat.
Learn more about the Copper Mountain project from reading this local news story: Summit Daily Link