Anders Hart is from Salt Lake City and came to Utah State as a Natural Resources major. His research focuses on restoring native vegetation in Great Salt Lake wetlands using seed enhancement technology. Anders said he’s always been interested in his field and really wanted to get involved in more applied research.
As an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Karin Kettenring’s Wetland Ecology Lab, he’s done greenhouse experiments to determine if a surfactant seed coating can increase the germination of alkali bulrush seeds and growth of seedlings. Alkali bulrush seeds are an important food source for migratory and nesting birds that use Great Salt Lake wetlands. So far results have been inconclusive, but if the coating proves effective, it could enhance the success of revegetation projects following the removal of the invasive grass, Phragmites australis.
“Working with faculty is really cool,” Anders said. “I get to talk to them a little more than I otherwise would and get their insights on everything from data analysis to career advice.”
Anders said being a part of the URF program is great because of all the support he gets from The Office of Research and Graduate Studies. “Being a URF gives me more motivation and gives me some oversight,” he said.
“You don’t always know if things will work out and if you’ll get the results you were hoping for,” Anders said, “So you just have to take a leap and do your best work.”