Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for Aug. 12

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Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for Aug. 12

Recent accomplishments earned by members of the UNL community include faculty John Carroll, Dave Gosselin, Larkin Powell, Kelly Pritchett and Wayne Woldt. Among students, the UNL Weeds Team earned four honors at a regional contest, while Hannah Birge, Jazmin Castillo and Jaclyn Nelson also received awards.


John Carroll, director of the School of Natural Resources, was appointed co-chair to the Galliformes Specialist Group under the International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission. The group is committed to the worldwide conservation and sustainable management of all native populations of Galliformes species and their habitats. Carroll’s term will begin in September; his co-chair will be Simon Dowell of Chester Zoo in the United Kingdom. The two were founding members and the first two chairs of the Partridge, Quail and Francolin Specialist Group, a forerunner to the Galliformes group. The pair are supported by an advisory board made up of 13 fellow scientists.

Dave Gosselin, director of the environmental studies program, will be presented the 2016 Spirit of Service Award for his work in environmental studies at the College of Agriculture Sciences and Natural Resources faculty meeting in late August. Each year the Center for Civic Engagement recognizes faculty that exemplify what it means to truly serve the community. Gosselin is also a professor of earth sciences in the School of Natural Resources.

Larkin Powell, director of the Great Plains Cooperative Ecosystems study unit, co-authored an article, “Factors Affecting Female Space Use in 10 Populations of Prairie-Chickens,” which was awarded The Wildlife Society’s research paper of the year award. The paper was published in September 2015 in the journal Ecosphere. Ginger Winder from Benedictine College in Kansas was the lead author. She took 10 data sets of prairie-chickens from the Great Plains and combined them for an analysis. The data set from prairie-chickens from southeast Nebraska studied by School of Natural Resources doctoral student Ty Matthews was included. Powell, Matthews and Jennifer Smith, former SNR doctoral student, were co-authors. The paper will be presented at the society’s international meeting in October.

Kelly Pritchett, associate professor of practice with Special Education and Communication Disorders, has been selected as the 2016 Golisano Health Leadership Award honoree by Special Olympics Nebraska. She was presented the award during the Special Olympics Nebraska Fall Games banquet Aug. 6. Pritchett is the first-ever recipient of the honor, which is the highest honor for health partners and individuals awarded by Special Olympics. The award is presented to an individual or organization that is dedicated to improving the health of people with intellectual disabilities and advancing the year-round health work of Special Olympics. Over the course of the last seven years, Pritchett has led the Nebraska Healthy Hearing Clinic team that has provided free hearing exams for more than 1,200 Special Olympics Nebraska athletes. For more information, click here.

Wayne Woldt, associate professor of biological systems engineering, was awarded the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering Presidential Citation for his work on a three-part series on unmanned aircraft systems published in Resource magazine. He was presented the award at the 2016 Annual International Meeting luncheon July 20 in Orlando. The series was a team effort and gave a broad overview of unmanned aircraft, their potential use in agriculture, their potential challenges, rules and regulations governing their use, available and ever-changing technology and ongoing research related to unmanned aircraft in agriculture.


Hannah Birge, School of Natural Resources graduate student, has been selected to receive an Irvin A. and Agnes E. Nelson Memorial Fellowship. Funds from the fellowship are to be used for professional development, purposes related to research or for the student’s training.

Jazmin Castillo, fisheries and wildlife major, recently was named a UNL McNair Scholar. She and nine others from UNL presented their research at the national California McNair Symposium at University of California-Berkeley on Aug. 4 to 7. Castillo was chosen to be a plenary speaker for her research on the spotted hyena population in Botswana, Africa.

Jaclyn Nelson, a horticulture major, was awarded the Jacob and Rita Van Namen Marketing Scholarship for 2016 by the American Floral Endowment. This award is intended to develop knowledgeable, creative individuals who will improve the floriculture industry. The Van Namen Scholarship requires students to have a career interest in agribusiness marketing and distribution of floral products. Nelson is the owner of Marie’s Floral in Wallace, Nebraska.

The UNL Weeds Team, which includes 28 undergraduate and graduate students, earned four honors during the regional North Central Weed Science Society Study Weed Contest. Hosted by Purdue University, the regional contest included 25 teams and almost 100 students from the north-central region of the United States. Ryan Langemeier, an agronomy major, won the undergraduate herbicide identification category. At the graduate level a team of Josh Miller, Zahoor Ganine, Matthew Nelson and Spencer Samuelsen finished second overall. A second graduate team of Parminder Chahal, Bruno Canella Vieira, Maxwel Oliviera and Don Treptow was third. At the undergraduate level, the team of Jose Henrique de Sanctis, Rodger Garr, Felipe Faleco and Langemeier finished third. Team coaches are Greg Kruger, Christ Proctor and Rodrigo Werle.

This column is a regular Friday feature of Nebraska Today. Faculty, staff and students can submit their achievements to be considered for this column via email to For more information, call 402-472-8515.

John Carroll
Dave Gosselin
Larkin Powell
Kelly Pritchett
 George Meyer, left, and Wayne Woldt complete a preflight check on the Tempest unmanned aircraft.
Courtesy Photo
George Meyer, left, and Wayne Woldt complete a preflight check on the Tempest unmanned aircraft.
Hannah Birge
Jazmin Castillo
Jaclyn Nelson
The UNL Weeds Team brought home top honors at the NCWSS Student Weed Contest at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Chris Proctor
The UNL Weeds Team brought home top honors at the NCWSS Student Weed Contest at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

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