CSUB student wins in CSU statewide competition

May 9, 2008
Kathy Miller, 661/654-2456, kmiller26@csub.edu or
Michele Newel, 661/654-2720, mnewell1@csub.edu
Student Wins State Competion Photo

Aaron Ramirez, a California State University, Bakersfield student, was awarded second place at the CSU Statewide Student Research Competition for his presentation "Starvation in Hollywood: The Mechanism of Post-Fire Resprout Failure on Santa Catalina Island."

The annual CSU competition spotlights the outstanding accomplishments of students engaged in research and creative activity at both the graduate and undergraduate levels in all academic disciplines. One of the largest student achievement events of its kind in the CSU system, the competition gives students the chance to perform research relevant to their field of study.

Ramirez began his research in summer 2007 after being accepted to a competitive research program at Pepperdine University. While there, he began studying ecosystem recovery after fire, with a special focus on the effects of deer on the vegetation on Santa Catalina Island.

Ramirez reports the study has "proven very significant for both scientific and conservation biology. The Santa Catalina Island Conservancy is using the results of my project to reform their management practices."

Ramirez will graduate from CSUB in June with his bachelor's degree in biology. He was named the outstanding biology graduate for 2007-08 by CSUB faculty in recognition of his success. Ramirez also received the MARC U* STAR scholarship from the National Institutes of Health, which funded his research.

"In the past two years the CSUB biology program has equipped me with a new set of dreams and goals, but more importantly, it has provided me the tools to achieve them," he continued. "I'm very optimistic about my opportunities and grateful to those who have helped me along the way."

At the CSU competition, students made oral presentations and answered questions, and were judged on the clarity, organization, appropriateness, and value of their research. The juries were made up of business leaders, private-sector scientists, faculty from non-CSU colleges and universities, public school leaders, and practicing artists.

This year the winners were recognized at a banquet at CSU East Bay on May 3 and will receive cash awards at a later date.

Up to 10 students from each campus can enter the competition in subject-based categories. Ramirez's award was in the Undergraduate Biological and Agricultural Sciences category.

For information, contact Margaret Moorhead at (661) 654-2231.