2013 Simon Award

Sabrina’s goal was to determine the best practices in the post-disturbance salvage harvesting of forests. One of the least understood forms of weather-related damage in Vermont is the increase in forest destruction during sever windstorms. These events are called “blowdowns.” After a blowdown, forest managers are asked to recommend that landowners salvage the harvest or allow the deadfall to degrade naturally, but few studies have looked at the benefits of one plan over the other. Sabrina’s research examined an aspect of this area of concern. She first completed the GIS mapping of 15 blowdown sites selected by her community partner, Chittenden County Forests, Parks, and Recreation. Realizing that preserving biodiversity in addressing blowdowns is an important issue, Sabrina worked with her faculty mentor, Kimberly Wallin, to collect insects, vegetation, and coarse woody debris. The results from the summer were encouraging, but Sabrina planned to continue her work to more completely develop recommendations for landowners.


Lily Fedorko