Nichole Besyk

Graduation Year: 

I first travelled to north woods of Wisconsin when I was five weeks old. My continuing experiences in that quiet, powerful forest revealed to me a glimpse into the natural order at a young age. From then on I?ve always held a special connection to, and respect for, the natural world. This connection eventually led me to study ecology, the mysterious web-like functioning of our world. In 2012, I earned a BS in Forest Ecosystem Restoration & Management from the University of Wisconsin?Stevens Point. Recently, I?ve narrowed down my ecological interests to the central axis of terrestrial systems: the hidden world beneath our feet. The soil discreetly accomplishes nutrient, water, and energy cycling which makes the whole system run. The raw and unrefined molecules of life?of redwoods, wood sorrel, banana slugs, and humans? are found in the soil. Specifically, phosphorus is a soil element which is essential to life. Its availability to plants and soil organisms can have defining effects on ecosystems. With guidance from my major advisor, Dr. Susan Edinger Marshall, I plan to study phosphorus limitation in old, red, northwest California soils.