Louisiana Staff Member
I am from Nepal, a small developing country in Asia extremely rich in natural resources and the country of Mount Everest. I received my B.S. from Institute of Forestry, Tribhuvan University, Pokhara, Nepal in Forestry Science in September, 2007. Then, after working as a Research Assistant for a couple of forestry related Non-Governmental Organizations in Nepal for about a year or so, I started my M.S. program in forestry in August 2009 at the LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources with a Gilbert Fellowship Award under Dr. Sammy King. Currently, I am using dendrochronlogical techniques to evaluate the encroachment of water elm (Planera aquatica) into Catahoula Lake, a RAMSAR wetland in central Louisiana. Invasion of water elm has been a major problem in this lake in recent years as it shades out herbaceous food resources that are valuable for waterfowl and shorebirds. My basic hypothesis is that the expansion of water elm trees in the lake has been affected by the construction of a diversion canal built on the lake in 1971 which resulted in more rapid drying and more stable hydroperiods. I hypothesize that water elm establishment has increased particularly at lower elevations due to drier fall conditions and reduced summer/fall variability caused by the construction of diversion canal. I hope to recommend changes in the hydrological regimes to minimize, if not eradicate, the establishment of water elm trees in the lake. I hope to defend my M.S. thesis in upcoming December 2011.