Texas A&M graduate student honored with Ecological Society of American policy award

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, skledbetter@ag.tamu.edu
Contact: Matt Berg, mattberg@tamu.edu 

COLLEGE STATION – Matt Berg, a Texas A&M University ecosystem science and management student, was recently recognized by the Ecological Society of America as a Graduate Student Policy Award winner.

Matt Berg, a Texas A&M University ecosystem science and management student, was recently recognized by the Ecological Society of America as a Graduate Student Policy Award winner. (Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photo)

Matt Berg, a Texas A&M University ecosystem science and management student, was recently recognized by the Ecological Society of America as a Graduate Student Policy Award winner. (Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photo)

Berg is a doctoral student under Dr. Bradford Wilcox, a professor in hydrology, and Dr. Sorin Popescu, an associate professor in remote sensing, both with the university’s department of ecosystem science and management in College Station.

Berg has spent years working with a variety of local landowners and natural resource managers on ecological issues related to water supply and drought, agriculture, energy and water quality, Wilcox said.

As a stakeholder group coordinator, Berg worked with individuals representing multiple interests to improve water quality for an interagency priority watershed in Central Texas, approved at the federal level by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Wilcox said. He also coordinated a symposium that brought together speakers from academia and federal agencies to discuss pertinent issues in ecology.

Berg said he likes to find opportunities to share ecological information with his peers and with students at local elementary schools. He describes ecology as key in sparking “the minds of future naturalists, teachers and doctors.”

He also was recently a recipient of the Tom Slick Fellowship for the 2012–2013 academic year. The Tom Slick Fellowship is the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ most prestigious competitive fellowship. It is awarded to outstanding graduate students to support the completion of their dissertation after they have been admitted to candidacy for the doctorate degree.

The professional organization of 10,000 ecological scientists recognized four students, including Berg. Other award winners were Lindsay Deel, West Virginia University; Caitlin McDonough MacKenzie, Boston University, and Carlos Silva, University of Maryland.

The Biological Ecological Sciences Coalition sponsored a two-day event, which was co-chaired by the Ecological Society of America, where scientists and the award recipients had the opportunity to meet with legislators and participate in science policy activities in Washington, D.C.

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