Content | Navigation |

North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station Assistantships


The North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station Assistantship program promotes graduate student training and education for students working on projects with a strong connection to North Dakota agriculture.  The State of North Dakota began funding this program in 2011 as part of an initiative to support the “infrastructure” of the Agricultural Experiment Station. This competitive program provides partial funding for Graduate Research Assistantships, with the SNRS faculty advisor(s) leveraging additional financial support from other sources.  This allows the Assistantship program to help as many students as possible while encouraging strong connections with other stakeholders who work to promote training and research benefitting North Dakota agriculture.

Total funds awarded from the state thus far

$72,000

Total funds leveraged from other sources

$68,000

Total assistantships awarded through this program

8

Name

Degree

Advisor(s)

Assistantship Period

Samantha Brunner

MS

Prischmann-Voldseth

July 2011-June 2012

Rebecca Whalen

MS

Harmon

July 2011-June 2012

Nicholas Dufek

MS

Ganguli

July 2011-Present

Sarah Lovas

MS

Goos

July 2011-Present

Brandon Montgomery

MS

Hopkins

July 2012-Present

Ashton Walter

MS

Prischmann-Voldseth & Chatterjee

July 2012-Present

Skye Gabel

MS

DeSutter & Norland

July 2012-Present

Austin Link

MS

DeKeyser

July 2012-Present

 


Samantha Brunner

Degree: MS
Advisor(s):
 Deirdre Prischmann-Voldseth
Dates in Program:
August 2009 - Present
Source of Matching Funds: North Dakota Soybean Council & ND State Board of Agricultural Research Education

Research Description: Investigating how nitrogen source (fertilizer and N-fixation) and rhizobial seed inoculants impacts soybean aphid biology and population growth.

Thesis title: Impact of nitrogen and rhizobial seed inoculants on soybean aphid (Aphis glycines Matsumura) densities

Presentations:
A comparative field study of commercially-available rhizobial inoculants on soybean aphid density (Aphis glycines). Student competition talk. Brunner SM, Prischmann-Voldseth DA, Goos RJ. National ESA meeting, Reno NV, Nov 13-16 2011. 

Impact of nitrogen and a soil inoculant on soybean aphid density (Aphis glycines). Student competition talk. Brunner SM, Prischmann-Voldseth DA, Goos RJ. National ESA meeting, San Diego CA, Dec 12-15 2010.

Impact of commercially-available rhizobial inoculants on soybean aphid density (Aphis glycines). Student competition poster. Brunner SM, Prischmann-Voldseth DA, Goos RJ. Regional NCB-ESA meeting, Minneapolis MN, March 13-16 2011.

Impact of nitrogen on the population density of the soybean aphid (Aphis glycines). Student competition poster. Brunner SM, Prischmann-Voldseth DA, Goos RJ. Regional NCB-ESA meeting, Louisville KY, March 14-17 2010.


Rebecca Whalen

Degree: MS
Advisor(s):
Jason Harmon
Dates in Program:
May 2010 - June 2012
Current Position: PhD Student at Georgetown University
Source of Matching Funds: North Dakota Soybean Council

Research Description: Rebecca’s research looked at the ecology and behavior of the soybean aphid, the biggest insect pest of soybeans.  She found that these aphids move much more than previously expected and that their movement and distribution can change depending on their environment.

Thesis title: Density and movement of soybean aphid, Aphis glycines (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in response to temperature and resistant soybean plants.

Publications:
Harmon, J. P. and R. Whalen. 2012. A new take on a classic insect ecology text.  Ecology 93:1494-1495.  Invited book review.

Presentations:
Whalen, R. and J. P. Harmon. 2012. The interactive effects of temperature and plant resistance on the soybean aphid (Aphis glycines). North Central Branch Meeting of the Entomological Society of America. Lincoln, NE. Poster presentation.

Whalen, R. and J. Harmon. The distribution and movement of soybean aphid differs in resistant and susceptible soybeans. North Central Branch Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting. Minneapolis, MN. March 2011. Oral presentation.


Nicholas Dufek

Degree: MS
Advisor(s):
Amy Ganguli
Dates in Program:
January 2011 - Present
Source of Matching Funds: USDA/ARS

Research Description: Nick is conducting research that will benefit livestock production in the northern Great Plains.  His research is focused on the management of a native invasive species, purple threeawn, through the integration of targeted grazing and prescribed fire.  Through development of effective management strategies that reduce the density of this undesirable species, Nick’s research, in conjunction with other ongoing research, could improve cattle production and help improve the condition of invaded pastures.

Thesis title: Integrated Weed Management Strategies for Purple Threeawn.

Publications:
Dufek , N. and R. Murphy. 2008. Native forbs occurring in brome fields within a mixed-grass prairie landscape (North Dakota). Ecological Restoration. 26:4. p. 298.

Presentations:
Strong, D., M. Rout, N. Dufek and L. Vermeire. 2012. Fire and nitrogen effects on purple threeawn dominated plant communities in the Northern Great Plains. Prairie County Extension Tour. Terry, Montana.

Dufek, N., L. Vermeire, R. Waterman, and A. Ganguli.  2012.  Fire and nitrogen fertilization effects on purple threeawn in vitro fermentation and gas production.  Society for Range Management 65th annual meeting, Spokane, Washington.  (abstract: CD-ROM)


Sarah Lovas

Degree: MS
Advisor(s):
R.J. Goos
Dates in Program:
January 2011 - Present
Source of Matching Funds: North Dakota Soybean Council

Research Description:  This research compares different iron fertilizer sources for foliar fertilization under field conditions, and also compares different sources of iron for soil application.  A goal of this research is to develop a simple test for the relative effectiveness of iron fertilizers for soil application.

Thesis title: Comparison of iron fertilizer sources for foliar and soil application


Brandon Montgomery

Degree: MS
Advisor(s):
David Hopkins
Dates in program:
June 2012-Present
Source of matching funds: USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service/Soil Survey Division, Soil Survey Research Grants program

Research Description: The research Mr. Montgomery will pursue utilizes soil morphologic and characterization data for three benchmark soil series that taken prior to 1960. These data were accrued at a significant cost at several locations in northern North Dakota and the original location notes allow confident resampling. The original locations will be identified and resampled to investigate effects of soil change on physical and chemical soil properties over a half century temporal interval. Five sites will be chosen and sampled using transects containing the early profile location at the center of a five-node transect.


Ashton Walter

Degree: MS
Advisor(s):
 Deirdre Prischmann-Voldseth & Amitava Chatterjee
Dates in Program:
June 2012 - Present
Source of Matching Funds: R & E Board for Sugarbeet Research, North Dakota Soybean Council & Hatch funds

Research Description: Direct and indirect effects of glyphosate on soil arthropods, soil properties, and soybean plants


Skye Gabel

Degree: MS
Advisor(s):
Tom DeSutter & Jack Norland
Dates in Program:
January 2012 - Present
Source of Matching Funds: North Dakota Department of Health & EPA Wetland Condition Assessment

Research Description:  Skye’s research project focuses on the understanding of phosphorus fractions and concentrations in wetland soils within native, range, and cropped landscapes. In addition, she is investigating phosphorus levels within restored wetlands to determine the efficiency of restoration (sediment removal). Within wetlands, phosphorus is a primary nutrient that enables competitive plant species, such as cattails, to out compete native plants, and production agriculture is the primary source of this phosphorus. Through a better understanding of phosphorus fractions and concentrations, one can better understand the condition of North Dakota’s wetlands and how these conditions relate to land-use practices.


Austin Link

Degree: MS
Advisor(s):
Edward Shawn DeKeyser
Dates in Program:
June 2012 - Present
Source of Matching Funds: Red River Riparian Project Grant & Adrian Fox Graduate Assistantship

Research Description:  There are two major components of his research that involves aiding cattle producers in North Dakota, as well as aiding producers in managing their wildlife.  The first is an interseeding trial in southeastern North Dakota which involves renovating poorly producing pasture land with native species and increasing production while increasing biodiversity.  The study is designed to aid cattle producers with the most effective technique to increase vegetative production.  The second is a bottomland hardwood restoration trial that involves treatments that are compatible with livestock grazing within riparian areas in eastern North Dakota.  Part of the reason for the current lack of regeneration of these woodlands is herbivory by white-tailed deer, which are desired by the landowners, sometimes as a secondary source of income.  The study is designed to establish woodland vegetation within areas actively grazed by livestock so landowners can maintain livestock production, wildlife numbers, and increase bottomland woodland habitat.


Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

Follow NDSU
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • Google Maps

North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8901 / Fax: (701) 231-7861
Campus address: Walster Hall 106
Physical/delivery address: 1402 Albrecht Blvd., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 7680 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: School of Natural Resource Sciences

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 4:30:47 PM