Undergraduates give strong showing in range management competitions

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    By SARAH HARTSFIELD

    A team of undergraduate and graduate students went to a Society for Range Management meeting in Omaha, Nebraska this weekend, performing well in several prestigious competitions, said Bruce Roundy, department of botany and range science chair.

    Rachel Fugal had the highest individual score in the range plant identification contest. She also had the highest combined score in the range plant identification contest and the undergraduate range management exam.

    By winning these awards, Fugal also won two trips to Washington, D.C. She will meet the heads of the land management agencies, such as the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

    Marla Judy placed fourth in the combined contest and exam and won a $500 prize.

    The Range Plant Identification Team placed third in their plant identification contest. The contest requires the team to be able to identify up to 200 different range plants, sometimes only with the parts of the plant.

    The team was coached by Val Jo Anderson, an assistant professor of range science, and assistant coached by graduate students Amy Sullivan and Robert Cox.

    Cox, 26, from Orem, is a graduate student majoring in botany. He said placing in this competition is a big honor for BYU.

    “It is great recognition in academic and professional circles for our school,” he said.

    Sullivan, 23, from Clayton, Calif., a graduate student majoring in wildlife and range science, said she was excited about the results of the competition. She said participating in the competitions and presentations were good experiences.

    Six BYU students also participated in the undergraduate impromptu public speaking competition.

    Six of the eight papers presented at the meeting were given by BYU students.

    Emily Jordan, 23, from Spokane, Wash., majoring in conservation biology, said she presented a paper on the “Let it burn” policy, which concerns how fire is managed in a wilderness. She also placed sixth in the plant identification contest.

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