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PROFESSOR DR. STEVEN B. SELVA RECEIVES N.E.A. GRANT FOR STUDY IN THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK

June 17, 2010

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University of Maine at Fort Kent Professor of Biology & Environmental Studies, Dr. Steven B. Selva, has received a $2,000 Learning & Leadership Grant from the National Education Association (NEA) Foundation to travel to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to study the declining local population of calicioid lichens and fungi.

The data gathered during Dr. Selva’s study will be incorporated into a manuscript that he will submit to the journal of the American Bryological and Lichenological Society. Dr. Selva also will share his findings with his colleagues and his students.
 
Selva will spend two weeks studying within the national park. He also will visit the University of Tennessee and Duke University, to look at specimens in their lichen herbaria. His study and travel will take place between mid-July and early August.
 
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located in southern Appalachia, and spans the states of Tennessee and North Carolina. The park is the most visited national park within the United States, with between 8 and 10 million annual visitors.
 
The NEA Foundation awards grants to public education professionals in two categories. The Learning & Leadership Grants are awarded for high-quality professional development activities. The NEA Foundation has awarded more than $6 million in grants over the past decade to educators in every state.
 
Earlier this month, Dr. Selva conducted research in Acadia National Park under a L.L. Bean Acadia Research Fellowship. That research project, “Caliciod lichens and fungi of the Schoodic section of Acadia National Park,” focused on the two under-reported and very difficult organisms to identify. 
 
The Acadia National Park study will conduct a baseline survey of the species in the maritime forests of the national park’s Schoodic Peninsula. The study also is part of a larger assessment being carried out in forests from the Adirondacks to Prince Edward Island.
 
Dr. Selva has been a member of the UMFK faculty since 1976.