Biogeography Specialty Group Award Recipients
Student Presentation Competitions
An award for the best presentation by a student at the annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers has been presented by the BSG since 1987.  Beginning in 2001, separate awards were established for Ph.D. students and for Undergraduate/Masters students.  The criteria used to evaluate presentations include the scientific merit of the research, the soundness of the methods, analyses, conclusions, and the clarity and caliber of the presentation. Each student is judged by a panel of BSG faculty. No competition was held in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the cancellation of the in-person AAG meeting.
2022 Undergrad/Masters Jared Crain University of Tennessee "Classifying microscopic charcoal morphology to improve understanding of fire history in sediment records from neotropical lakes
  Ph.D. Julie Edwards University of Arizona "Multiple climate signals in quantitative wood anatomical measurements of Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine""
2021 Undergrad/Masters Tali Hamilton Texas Tech "The effects of grass invasion and fire severity on Acacia koa regeneration in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park"
  Ph.D. Jonathan Kleinman University of Alabama "Floristic indicators of ecosystem recovery after wind, logging, and fire in a Pinus woodland"
2019 Undergrad/Masters Connor Stephens Clark University "Characterizing the impact of federal and private land ownership on post high-severity wildfire forest regeneration in the mixed conifer forest of the Sierra Nevada, California"
  Ph.D. Sisimac Duchicela University of Texas - Austin "Effects of interacting anthropogenic stressors on paramo ecosystems in the Andes"
2018 Undergrad/Masters Joseph Andreoli University of Florida "Predicting the potential geographic
distributions of non-native fishes in Florida with climate change"
  Ph.D. Robert Andrus University of Colorado - Boulder "Moisture availability limits subalpine tree establishment"
2017 Undergrad/Masters Tyler Prince Brock University "Postglacial reconstruction of fire history from a small lake in southwest Yukon Territory using sedimentary charcoal and pollen"
  Ph.D. Danielle Haskett University of Georgia "Climate and environmental change in the Colorado Rocky Mountains during the late Quaternary: An analogue for a warm future"
2016 Ph.D. Katherine Glover Univ. of California-Los Angeles "A 90,000-year fire history from the San Bernardino Mountains, Southern California"
  Ph.D. Jeremy Johnson Texas A&M "Landscape resistance and forest response to Pleistocene glaciation in Alaska"
2015 Undergrad/Masters Tera del Priore Univ of Colorado-Denver "4000 years of environmental change in central Colorado: a paleoecological perspective"
  Ph.D. Lukas Harris Penn State Univ "Drivers of fire severity in an old growth mixed conifer forest, Yosemite National Park, California"
2014 Undergrad/Masters Christopher Petruccelli University of Missouri "Multi-scale assessment of climate and slope aspect
influences on upper treeline dynamics in the Rocky Mountains, U.S.A."
  Ph.D. Erik Johanson University of Tennessee "Reconstructing late Holocene paleoenvironments and human-environment interactions from neotropical lake sediments in southern Pacific, Costa Rica"
2013 Undergrad/Masters Thomas Christiansen Univ. of Texas-Austin “Structural disturbance classes: Explicitly linking field- and satellite-derived measurements for improved disturbance detection and quantification”
Ph.D. Isaac Park Univ. of Wisconsin - Milwaukeee “Flowering phenology across North America”
2012 Undergrad/Masters Rebecca Klauk Edinboro Univ. “Documenting vegetation differences between two sites at Howard Falls Land Trust in northwestern PA using a nested sampling method”
Ph.D. Sarah Haas Univ. of North Carolina - Charlotte “Forest species diversity reduces disease risk in a generalist pathogen invasion”
2011 Undergrad/Masters Eric Creeden Univ. of Idaho “Regional analysis of climate and weather conditions related to outbreaks of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) forests of the western USA”
Ph.D. Tomas Vaclavik Univ. of North Carolina - Charlotte “Accounting for multi-scale spatial autocorrelation improves performance of invasive species distribution modeling”
2010 Undergrad/Masters Matthew Kwit  Northern Illinois Univ. “Sugar maple leaf phenology, light levels, carbon gain, and regeneration at and north of the current range limit”
Ph.D. Grant Elliott Univ. of Minnesota   “Multi-scale influences of climate on upper treeline dynamics along a latitudinal gradient in the Rocky Mountains, USA”
2009 Poster Maria Caffrey  Univ. of Tennessee “A reconstruction of coastal paleoenvironmental change from Laguna Saladilla, Dominican Republic”
Undergrad/Masters  Joshua Wixom  West Virginia Univ. “Climatic, edaphic, and topographic influences on the radial growth of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana), Smoke Hole Canyon, West Virginia”
Ph.D. Evan Larson Univ. of Minnesota “The relative roles of climate and fire suppression in driving whitebark pine forest structure”
2008 Poster Anne Trainor Univ. of North Carolina - Chapel Hill “Influence of Landscape Characteristics on Long Distance Dispersal Events for Red-cockaded Woodpecker"
Undergrad/Masters Joanne Stewart Univ. of Denver “Distribution and differential habitat use of bats along a prairie riparian corridor in Eastern Montana ”
Ph.D. Mathew Valente Univ. of Tennessee-Knoxville “Genetic Variation, Diversity, and Phylogeography of the Southeastern US - Mexico Cloudforest Disjunct Vine, Schisandra glabra (Brickell) Rheder (Schisandraceae)”
2007 Poster Neil Toth Indiana State Univ. “Climate reconstruction from eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis ) in central Indiana”
Undergrad/Masters Chad Yost St. Cloud State Univ. “Diagnostic phytolith evidence for the presence and abundance of wild rice (Zizania sp.) from central Minnesota lake sediments ”
Ph.D. Scott Markwith Univ. of Georgia “Multi-scale analysis of Hymenocallis coronaria genetic diversity, genetic structure, and gene movement under the influence of unidirectional stream flow”
Ph.D. Ryan Danby Univ. of Alberta “Plant physiology influences landscape pattern at subarctic alpine treeline”
2006 Undergrad/Masters    Chelsea Teale   Syracuse Univ.  “Holey Ground: The distribution and status of earthworm populations in Yukon Territory, Canada”
 Ph.D.   Kevin Anchukaitis  Univ. of Arizona  “Calibrating annual isotope chronologies in Ocotea tenera (Lauraceae) from the Monteverde Cloud Forest”
2005 Honorable Mention    Zachary Taylor  Univ. of Tennessee  “Environmental history at Laguna YaguarĂș , Bolivia: Evidence from pollen, stable carbon isotopes, and an embedded mineral facies”
Honorable Mention     Evan Larsen  Univ. of Tennessee  “Variations in fire regimes of whitebark pine ( Pinus albicaulis Engelm.) Forests in the Lolo National Forest, Montana, USA”
Undergrad/Masters    Crystal Kolden  Univ. of Nevada-Reno  “Climatic variability, fuel conditions, and prescribed fire: Impacts and obstacles”
Honorable Mention    Rebecca Rowe  Univ. of Chicago  “Changes in community composition over time: response to changes in land use or climate?”
 Ph.D.    Jason Sibold  Univ. of  “Influences of Pacific (ENSO and PDO) and Atlantic (AMO) Ocean climate drivers on subalpine zone fire occurrence in the Colorado Front Range”
2004 Honorable Mention   Peter Gogol Univ. of Kansas  “Association of soil moisture and leaf litter moisture with nymphal deer tick ( Ixodes scapularis Say) activity”
Undergrad/Masters   Paul Reyerson St. Cloud State Univ. “Phytolith-based reconstructions of Last Glacial Maximum paleograssland vegetation densities in Washington State”
Honorable Mention    Shelley Rayback  Univ. of British Columbia “Reconstructing summer temperature for Hot Weather Creek and Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island, Canada”
Honorable Mention    Martin Arford  Univ. of Tennessee “A multi-site investigation of Holocene paleoenvironments in northwestern Costa Rica”
Ph.D.   Jennifer Marlon Univ. of Oregon “A meta-analysis of charcoal-based fire history records from the northwestern United States”
2003 Undergrad/Masters   Chad Lane Univ. of Tennessee “Stable carbon isotopes in sediments as indicators of prehistoric forest clearance in Costa Rica”
Ph.D.    Rachel Kurtz Pennsylvania State Univ. “Impacts of land use change on terrestrial carbon in the Eastern United States, 1972-2000”
2002 Undergrad/Masters   Jacqueline Smith Univ. of Arizona “Predicting montane community distribution using classification tree analysis for southern Arizona”
Ph.D.    Rosemary Sherriff Univ. of Colorado-Boulder “Fire history at high elevation in the Colorado Front Range”
2001 Honorable Mention    James Speer  Univ. of Tennessee “Reconstructing southern Appalachian oak-mast history using dendrochronology”
Honorable Mention  Andrea Brunelle-Daines Univ. of Oregon “Holocene relationships between fire, climate and vegetation as recorded from four northern Rocky Mountain sites”
Undergrad/Masters    Amy Bloom Univ. of Utah “Diatoms in eastern Sierra Nevada lake sediments: Indicators of past climate and environmental change”
Ph.D.    Jonathan Price Univ. of California-Davis “The Hawaiian flora as a model for relating evolutionary processes to spatial patterns of biodiversity”
2000   Mike Pisaric Queens University “Holocene treeline changes in northern British Columbia from pollen and stomates”
1999   Susy Svatek Ziegler Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison “Natural disturbance regime of hemlock-hardwood forests in Adirondack Park”
1998   Laurie Grigg Univ. of Oregon “Late-glacial climate and vegetation changes in Oregon”
1997   Amy Richert Univ. of Nebraska “Spatial analysis of whooping crane habitat in Nebraska”
1996   Karen Arabas Pennsylvania State Univ. “Results of prescribed fire on eastern serpentine barrens forests”
1995   Katrina Moser McMasterUniv. “A paleolimnological investigation of forest fires in northern Alberta, Canada”
1995   Kat Mulqueen Montana State Univ. “Breeding bird populations in logged and unlogged forest stands in southwestern Montana”
1994   Philip Keating Univ. of Colorado-Boulder “Biogeography and disturbance ecology of upper montane ecosystems in the southern Ecuadorian Andes”
1993   Scott Mensing Univ. of California-Berkeley "Pre-mission invasion of Erodium cicutarium in California"
1992   Joy Nystrom Mast Univ. of Colorado-Boulder “A dendrochronological method of studying tree mortality patterns”
1991   Mark Cowell Univ. of Georgia “Environmental gradients in secondary forests of the Georgia piedmont”
1990   Keith Hadley Univ. of Colorado-Boulder “Stand response to repeated insect disturbance in the montane forests of Rocky Mountain National Park”
1989   Edward Harvey Univ. of California - Santa Barbara “Spatial pattern of inter-island plant and animal colonization in the Galapagos archipelago”
1989   Robert van deHoek Cal State - Northridge “The California Islands: Alien plants and theory of island biogeography”
1988   Barbara Holzman Univ. of California- Los Angeles “Recovery of a desert creosote community after fifty years of disturbance”
1987  William Baker Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison "Landscape ecology and nature reserve design in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Minnesota"