Paying it Forward

Sarah Zastrow, the 2011 recipient of the Francis R. Gouin Undergraduate Research Grant, is a senior at the University of Maryland Plant Science department. Sarah will be working on a very interesting project comparing the rejuvenation of a forest destroyed by a tornado to the rejuvenation of a similar forest harvested for lumber at approximately the same time.
    In her studies she will be comparing rate of growth, species, changes in species predominance if any, decomposition rate of wood residues, wildlife occurrence and any other information that she can gather. Based on a literature review, such observations and comparisons have never been made before. Because of the large amount of wood residue on the forest floor after a tornado, diseases associated with massive rotting are anticipated to slow natural reforestation more than in a forest harvested for lumber or firewood, where wood waste is minimal.
    Sarah has a 4.0 grade point average and is majoring in plant science with an interest in urban forestry. Her father, a straight-A student, studied with me in many of my classes. It must be in the genes.
    Sarah will receive $1,000 to complete her project. If she presents her findings at a state, regional or national meeting, she will receive an additional $1,000 to support her travels.
    The Francis R. Gouin Undergraduate Grant is supported by funds I receive for speaking, writing and advising. Bay Weekly is a regular contributor.
    All contributions are tax-deductible and give promising undergraduates the same step up I enjoyed. Write a check to UMCP (and in the lower left corner, write Common Trust Fund #0409/The Francis Gouin Fund). Mail to Office of Gift Acceptance, 4511 Knox Rd. Suite 205, College Park, MD 20742.

Poisoning Poison Ivy

Q    I wrote to you a few years ago about killing poison ivy. You mentioned adding something to Roundup, but I cannot find the email or the article. Can you refresh my memory?

–Becky Gurshman, via email

A    Don’t try to kill poison ivy until mid-June. There needs to be an abundance of mature size leaves to absorb the Roundup, which is a trade name for glyphosate. Spray on a bright sunny day in the morning. Add one teaspoon of ammonium sulfate to a gallon of glyphosate spray. The ammonium helps in penetrating the oil covering the leaves and improves translocation of the glyphosate into the leaf tissues and to the roots.
    You can buy both chemicals at Southern States farm stores and most garden centers.

Ask Dr. Gouin your questions at [email protected] All questions will appear in Bay Weekly. Please include your name and address.