University of Vermont

Kate Svitek Memorial Foundation Scholar Eric Donnelly Writes Letter of Appreciation

In memory of Kate Svitek, former Rubenstein School student

Eric Donnelly measuring tree diameters at Jericho Research Forest
Eric Donnelly measuring tree diameters at Jericho Research Forest.

Dear Kate Svitek Memorial Foundation,

I am writing to express my thanks for your generous scholarship. I am a senior Forestry Major, and the money has allowed me to carry out an extensive project at UVM’s Jericho Research Forest outside of my normal classes. The project takes place in an area used to demonstrate several levels of forest density. The twofold goal of this project is to restore this area for current use and to measure and analyze how the forest has grown and changed since the demonstration cuts were first done in 1998.

The first part of the project consisted of locating the boundary lines of the demonstration plots. The faded paint was visible only as a tiny spec on some trees, while on others, such as this paper birch, it was still clearly marked.

After locating the boundaries, I have measured the sizes and numbers of trees within each plot. These numbers will be analyzed using a software program and then compared to the original measurements of the areas when they were first inventoried in 1998.

Your funding has allowed me to put my education to work in a practical and fun way, and I am deeply appreciative for the opportunity to do so. This project has given me some practical experience with forestry that I could not have had otherwise, and that will help me tremendously as I move forward into the professional world of forestry.

Thank you again for your generous gift!

Eric Donnelly