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Friday, June 12, 2015

HERS Student receives the NAPIRE Award

David Tyndall presenting his HERS research
David Tyndall, a current undergraduate student at Haskell Indian Nations University and participant in the Haskell Environmental Research Studies (HERS) Program, has received the prestigious Native American Pacific Islander Research Experience Award (NAPIRE) and will travel to Costa Rica to participate in the NAPIRE summer research program.

The NAPIRE Program provides a unique, intensive opportunity for undergraduate students to conduct scientific field research as well as apply the scientific method to ecological discovery in a collaborative and team-oriented environment.  The experience requires students to complete a research project which includes experimental design, data gathering and analysis, and a presentation of their results at the NAPIRE Symposium.  In addition to completing a research project, students will participate in lectures, seminars and field activities that focus on tropical ecology and conservation as well as interacting with the indigenous groups observing the role of Native People in tropical forest conservation.

David, a member of the Red Lake Minnesota Band of Chippewa Indians, is currently working towards a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science at Haskell Indian Nations University.  During his time in the HERS program, his research interests focused on Fish Waste Anaerobic Digestion, an effort to manage fish waste and convert it into electricity and fertilizer for the reservation. This project inspired him to work with University of Kansas Associate Professor of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, Belinda Sturm as a member of her wastewater management research team. Kansas NSF EPSCoR partially funded Dr. Sturm’s research as part of its major initiative, Climate change and Energy, Basic Science, Impacts and Mitigation.

From his NAPIRE research, he hopes to better understand water quality impacts on decomposition rates of leaf-litter. He also hopes to discover and better understand the culture of Costa Rica as well as observe the role of Native People in tropical forest conservation.

As for his future, David plans to graduate from Haskell Indian Nations University with an Environmental Science degree, and either attend graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering or join the Air Force where he can have a career and protect my country at the same time.”

Kansas NSF EPSCoR would like to congratulate Mr. Tyndall for the success he has leveraged from his opportunity at the HERS Institute.