CFRI student employee finds new research niche

Mere days into her freshman year, Ryleigh Gelles applied for a job with the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute at Colorado State University. After multiple seasons as a student employee, this natural resources management senior is now blazing her own research path.

As Gelles immersed herself in forest measurements, she never forgot her inherent love of wildlife. She wanted to combine both interests and so CFRI Research Associate and mentor Kevin Barrett helped her develop an independent study research project to examine wildlife responses to forest management initiatives.

“We found a shared interest in pollinators and began talking about how habitat could be affected by forest management treatments like prescribed fire,” said Gelles. “We wanted to find out how we could manage for both wildlife and forest health at the same time.”

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