Rebekah Stanton, Ph.D.
Rebekah Stanton, Ph.D.
I come from a family of educators and have always been impressed by the enthusiasm they and my own teachers had for directing my education in a way that got me excited about learning. Such positive educator role models have really shaped my interest in and passion for sharing the things that I love with others through clear and effective teaching. My experience working with students from the elementary school level, all the way through to university graduate level has taught me that all people are capable of learning and that learning is fun, exciting, and natural! It is my main intention as an educator to encourage students to take ownership of their own learning by providing a learning environment that piques their interest and curiosity of the world, leading them to seek out learning and clarity for themselves within their own fields of interest. I wish to create an environment that praises and encourages curiosity and is a safe space for trying, failing, and trying again. By helping a student to become an independent learner in this way, I believe they will be able to function as a thoughtful and informed member of any community.
I am a plant and wildlife ecologist with a substantial interest in the impact that humans have on ecological systems. My PhD research focused on the impacts of invasive grasses, that have been largely perpetuated by human activity, on fire regimes in the Great Basin and Mojave deserts. I also studied the impacts of those fires on local rodent and plant communities. I am particularly interested in the herbivorous food preferences of rodents and thus their effects on plant regrowth following wildfires. My research showed that while fire may alter the species make-up of the rodent community, it does not necessarily have a large impact on rodent abundance. However, the different species all seemed to have similar food preferences and so their variance did not alter the ultimate fate of post fire plants. Rodents did prefer native plant seedlings over invasives though, giving invasive plants an overall competitive advantage since as seedlings, they are not targeted as much as a food source. Native shrubs were targeted the most as seedlings, identifying that these species should be compensated for in re-seeding efforts following wildfires. My hope is to continue learning about the world around me so that I can better understand the role that I and others play in mitigating the effects of human induced climate change.
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