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Scholars Explore Desert to Sea Research in Environmental Biology

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Five scholars in Cal State Fullerton’s Southern California Ecosystems Research Program are getting immersed in research fieldwork as part of a summer course in environmental biology.

They just returned from the Mojave Desert, where they investigated a population of western fence lizards in the Ord Mountains, and this week, they’re examining water uptake through leaves in local plants at the Audubon Starr Ranch Sanctuary in Orange County. Coming up June 8-12: visiting the local seashore to explore how sand and mole crabs dig into the sand.

The new 2015-16 scholars, all junior biological science majors, are:
· Cliff Jordan Abney of Anaheim, interested in terrestrial animals
· Joseph Gamez of Pasadena and Austin Xu of Chino Hills, both interested in birds
· Stacy Schkoda of Anaheim, interested in how human-released chemicals in the water impact local species
· Nathan Vega of Fullerton, interested in plant evolution

SCERP, co-directed by William J. Hoese and Darren R. Sandquist, professors of biological science, is supported by a $1 million National Science Foundation grant to prepare underrepresented students for graduate studies and careers in ecology and environmental biology.