University of Vermont

Rubenstein Graduate Student Association

Rubenstein Graduate Student Association

RGSA-sponsored Chili Cook Off winnersThe Rubenstein Graduate Student Association (RGSA) is an association of and for graduate students of the Rubenstein School. In April of 2012, the Rubenstein School graduate student body established the RGSA to replace the previous RSENR Graduate Student Advisory Board.

All graduate students enrolled in RSENR are members of the RGSA; no dues are charged to students. The RGSA is a graduate student organization that is recognized by the UVM Graduate Student Senate (GSS). Incoming students will receive information provided by RGSA in their acceptance package and will learn about the RGSA during orientation.

2013-14 RGSA Officers

Sarah Pears, RGSA President
PhD Natural Resources
George D. Aiken Forestry Sciences Laboratory

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Currently, I'm working to quantify changes in Vermont forests resulting from the December 2010 windstorm and subsequent salvage logging. The goal of the research is to provide Northern Forest owners with information to support management decisions in the face of large-scale disturbances. As RGSA president, I plan to represent graduate student perspectives and priorities as RSENR and UVM moves forward to solidify our position as a robust, innovative program that produces quality research, meaningful education, and professional graduates. I'm always on the lookout for an adventure in the mountains or on the water...see you out there!

Christine Peterson, Vice President (Aiken Chair)
MS Natural Resources: Wildlife Science
303 Aiken Center

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I study six early successional bird species under powerline rights-of-way in the Champlain Valley of Vermont. I hope to discover how vegetation management affects habitat use by these declining species in order to suggest helpful management options on private lands. This year, I want to help make the RGSA a strong community presence in RSENR that contributes positively to the school as a whole.

Sam Parker, Treasurer
PhD Natural Resources

Jeff O'Donnell, Communications Chair
MS Natural Resources: Environment, Society and Public Affairs
312 Aiken Center

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My research explores place meanings and values actors assign to Adirondack landscapes by analyzing public discourse regarding an ongoing large-scale conservation project. I hope to illuminate stakeholders’ desired outcomes and visions for the region, informing land management policy and planning decisions, as well as community development efforts. As Communications Chair, my aim is to keep graduate students and the greater RSENR community informed and expand RGSA’s web presence.

Clare Crosby, Social Chair
MS Natural Resources: Field Naturalist & Ecological Planning Program
308 Aiken Center

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I am mapping invasive plants on private lands in the Champlain Valley with The Nature Conservancy of Vermont and the Vermont Land Trust. My work is part of a larger effort to encourage collaborative management of invasive species on a regional basis. This year, I look forward to encouraging the continued growth of the vibrant RSENR community.

RGSA Overview

The goals of the RGSA are: to promote the interests and welfare of RSENR graduate students; to serve as a commons for all RSENR graduate students to provide input on RSENR policy, curriculum, and operation; to serve as a conduit of information relevant to graduate education in RSENR and UVM; to promote an intellectual and social community of graduate education; and to sponsor opportunities for academic and professional development among its members.

From the RSENR graduate student body, five officers will be elected each spring to serve on the Executive Committee for the following academic year. The Executive Committee will hold graduate student body-wide meetings at least once per semester, and regular meetings of the Executive Committee are open to all Rubenstein School graduate students as well.

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The RGSA Executive Committee manages a mini-grant program each semester to support RSENR graduate student research and organizes the RSENR Seminar Series each fall semester. Other duties of the Executive Committee include maintaining graduate student facilities in the Aiken Center, including computers and printers, and facilitating a mentoring program to connect graduate and undergraduate students.

Every month, the RGSA hosts a get-together at a local Burlington establishment. Generally this entails free food and catching up with RSENR graduate students and faculty members. Watch for emails about upcoming locations!

Last modified July 11 2014 01:00 PM