Thompson Rivers University

TRU prof gets international attention for rangeland research

  Posted on: February 15, 2017

Dr. Wendy Gardner, assistant professor, Natural Resource Science

TRU researcher Dr. Wendy Gardner received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Society for Range Management, an international organization dedicated to the study, conservation and management of rangelands.

“Dr. Gardner is a star, not only for Thompson Rivers University, but across Western North America,” said Oregon State University’s Dr. John Buckhouse, who nominated Gardner for the award, which was presented during the society’s annual general meeting in St. George, Utah, earlier this month.

Gardner, who is an expert in rangeland management and ecology, has received local, regional and world-wide recognition for her tireless research and natural resource publications, both at the peer-reviewed level, and in the field.

“She has the talent, the determination, the drive, and the ability to make a significant impact on our world and on the people who populate it,” wrote Buckhouse in the nomination package.

“I believe that in order to keep our rangelands intact and healthy the place to start is through education. In order to be successful at educating the public about the importance of rangelands we need to have a strong understanding of how these systems operate — founded by research — and a way to transfer this information into on-the-ground management,” Gardner said.

Gardner, who is the coordinator of the Master of Science in Environmental Science program, is the lead researcher on a Metro Vancouver-funded project examining two tailings sites at Highland Valley Copper that she amended with biosolids in 1998. It is hoped that the long-term data set will determine how biosolid treatments impact the chemical and physical properties of the soil, specifically in terms of plant available nutrients and metals, carbon sequestration, soil texture and water holding capacity. Last year Gardner, along with Dr. John Karakatsoulis, spent two weeks in Nepal leading efforts to develop effective forest fire management techniques and establish community-level fire responses. She is currently involved in several rangeland-related research projects, and is co-supervising three graduate students.