e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Mighty Oak Monday: Kyra LoPiccolo 1/24/2022

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Kyra LoPiccolo came to ESF as a freshman in the fall of 2018, but her connection with the school and her research started much earlier.

LoPiccolo's father, David, graduated from ESF in '94. Her parents met while her father was an ESF student and her mother was a student at neighboring Syracuse University.

Growing up, LoPiccolo wasn't interested in going to ESF or SU. It wasn't until high school that her interest in ESF was sparked.

As a student at Skaneateles High School, she took biology her sophomore year with Richard Garrett (FRM '59). It was there that she was exposed to the research opportunities in environmental science at ESF. Garrett helped her secure a high school summer internship in 2016 with Dr. William Powell, director of ESF's American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project.

When LoPiccolo came to ESF as a freshman in the fall of 2018, she immediately applied to be an undergraduate research aide for the chestnut project. She got the job the first week of school and has worked every week since. She started by washing glassware, autoclaving old tissue cultures and making media for the project. Today, she manages the ESF chapter database of the American Chestnut Foundation which keeps records on the 5,000-plus trees the group planted in the Syracuse area. She works with collaborators on the project along the East Coast and assists with fieldwork each summer to help plant trees.