Lindsey Rustad – IF/THEN Ambassador

Personal Statement

It’s past midnight in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, but my team and I are still out beneath the icy canopy of the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. With temperatures hovering below freezing, our breath comes out in great billows of steam. Our headlamps are trained upward, as the fire hoses cover the trees with ice, replicating the devastating ice storms that cause massive damage and power outages in New England.

This ambitious experiment will let us study how forests respond to ice storms – and how we can help the forests recover. What stresses forests stresses those of us living in and near them. This is why I became a forest ecologist.

As a Forest Ecologist at Hubbard Brook, I work with scientists from across the world to develop and implement large scale experiments like that of the ice storm, studying how forests react to drought, changing nutrient levels, and more. The forests protect our water quality, give us oxygen to breath, and harbor critical biodiversity. With our work, we can help both our forests and our communities adapt to a changing world.

Biography

Lindsey Rustad can usually be found deep in the forests of New England — whether she’s hiking, kayaking, fly fishing, or patiently studying how these majestic ecosystems work. As a forest scientist, she has spent over three decades conducting research to understand what makes forests tick. Her laboratory is the outdoors, and she is internationally recognized for her large and often daring experiments on forest soil warming, drought, acid rain, and even ice storms. Her passion is bringing together scientists, artists, and citizens to address some of the most vexing issues facing the world today.

Lindsey received a BA in Philosophy at Cornell University in 1980, an MS in Forest Science at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences in 1983, and a PhD in Plant Science in 1988 at the University of Maine. She is a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America and has received awards from the USDA Forest Service as a Distinguished Scientist. Lindsey lives with her husband Lou Zambello in Maine, where they raised their three children.

Make a salt crystal tree with Lindsey here.

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The South Dakota Afterschool Network works to better our state and its communities by connecting providers, parents and policymakers with proven tools and resources to increase the quality of and access to out-of-school time programming for K-12 children and youth.

Afterschool is a lifeline that keeps youth safe, helps kids learn and grow, and provides parents the ability to work without worry. While South Dakota is home to more than 300 afterschool programs, the demand for programs exceeds available spaces. In fact, 1 in 3 South Dakota children (34 percent) who are not in an afterschool program would be enrolled if it were available. That’s more than 42,000 children who are missing out on opportunities to participate in programming that supports their development academically, socially and economically.

Afterschool can provide valuable opportunities for students to explore STEM, and we are here to help your program succeed in STEM Learning! From webinars and trainings to our signature TMC Trailers that bring turnkey STEM activities to your doorstep, our diverse collection of resources meets you and your students where you are and provides the support you need to deliver quality programming to your students at any age. 

The South Dakota Afterschool Network wanted to create a mapping tool to better understand the landscape of afterschool and summer programs available for children and families. From the initial launch of the new mapping tool, we have identified some startling findings.