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ESF Experts Receive Fernald Award

Co-authors recognized for multiyear perspective on vegetation change

A trio of ESF researchers were honored for their exemplary contributions to the botany of northeastern North America. Dr. Robin W. Kimmerer, Professor Emeritus Dudley J. Raynal and the late Dr. Edwin H. Ketchledge received the 2010 Fernald Award.

The award is presented annually by Rhodora, the journal of the New England Botanical Club. It is given to the authors of the best paper published in each volume of the Rhodora that has made use of herbarium species and/or involved fieldwork.

The paper, A 23-year Assessment of Vegetation Composition in the Adirondack Alpine Zone, New York State, was written by Kimmerer, Raynal, Ketchledge, Sean C. Robinson, and Brian T. Fitzgerald.

Committee members were impressed with the researchers' long-term perspective on vegetation change and the development of a general model for alpine succession. "The authors made effective use of past data integrated with a solid field study, yielding results were interesting in their implication that summit stewardship can produce effects in plant communities over relatively short time spans," according to the award committee's review of the paper.

The co-authors received a cash award and certificate of achievement.