We're extremely excited to announce that Christine Cadigan has accepted the position of summer intern for the CT Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation. The internship is made possible by grants from the Stanback Scholarship Fund at the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University, and the CT Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation. The internship would not be possible without the generous support and involvement of Dr. Fred Paillet at Univ. of Arkansas. We also thank John Anderson of Aton Forest and Star Childs of Great Mountain Forest Corporation – both organizations located in Northwestern CT that are supporting the internship and project. In addition we thank Dr. David Foster at the Harvard Forest, and Sara Fitzsimmons at Penn State. Dr. Foster is providing access to archives of the Harvard Forest, and Sara Fitzsimmons served as the primary coordinator for the project. Many others helped or will be providing assistance over the summer – this project depends on all for its success.
Christine will be primarily working on a project designed by Dr. Fred Paillet researching distribution of living sprouts and the remains of large trees killed when blight first arrived in a region. The project would entail a formal comparison of Aton Forest and Harvard Forest, focusing on the two old woodland cores and mapping the distribution of sprout clones outward from those cores as a way of inferring seedling establishment. The objective would be to learn everything possible that might have produced the dramatic difference in observed sprout populations. Dr. Paillet has compiled an impressive thesis and project approach. If you care to discuss further I would suggest you reach out directly to Fred, or I can help provide additional details.
In addition to the field sampling/mapping, Christine will be expected to establish historical factors such as land ownership, tax records and anything else that can help identify prior land use and management. She'll need to understand who owned the land, and what use of the property might have influenced propagation. This research is expected to help us understand factors that influence long term chestnut communities, especially those in a forest setting. As The American Chestnut Foundation continues its plans for reforestation, this type of research is expected to inform the process. As a State Chapter of TACF, CT is pleased to be supporting such ground breaking efforts.
Christine will be located in Norfolk, CT and will also be assisting the CT Chapter with pollination of pure American chestnut identified in Northwest CT as well as other light operational management tasks. We look forward to Christine completing the semester at Duke and joining us this summer. I am sure you will all reach out to her in her role.