URI junior learns about sustaining the landscape

KINGSTON, R.I. — October 28, 1998 — “I’m studying the ecological concept of ‘survival of the fittest’ as it pertains to the plant world,” says Jessica Kostarides of Wakefield, R.I., a junior environmental plant biology major at the University of Rhode Island. “The concept of sustainable landscapes fascinates me,” she says. By examining foliage in URI’s Learning Landscape for insect and disease problems, Kostarides is testing the resilience of each cultivated variety. Those plants that do not live up to their expected durability will no longer be recommended for use in coastal areas. Kostarides is involved in this project as a fellow for URI’s Partnership for the Coastal Environment, an eight-month program that incorporates students into the research and outreach work of the professors and research staff of the university. She is working with Plant Sciences Professor Richard Casagrande of Kingston. The URI Coastal Fellowship Program combines a structured, prestigious undergraduate learning experience with the resources and talents of the public and private sectors. While gaining the skills as well as the contacts that will ensure their success, students build the confidence needed to perform on the job before they enter the job market. Fellows also received a stipend for their work over the summer. Kostarides says she believes the interaction between her field work and classroom learning is cyclical: “I have a better understanding of classroom concepts through my work experience, and consequently I absorb more from lectures.” x-x-x For More Information: Jhodi Redlich (401) 874-2116