Kimberly Cook Bio, Research, Abstract en-us Mon, 30 Mar 2015 02:20:31 UTC Mon, 30 Mar 2015 02:20:31 UTC

Kimberly Cook

Bio, Research, AbstractKimberly Cook, McNair Scholar, Research, Wildlife Biology


Kim is currently pursuing her BS in Biology with a focus on Wildlife. She is interested in ecology, specifically species interactions such as those that occur between animals and the plants in their habitat. She will graduate from Eastern Washington University in 2015 and plans on taking steps to obtain a PhD in biology or a related field.





Dr. Margaret O'Connell  and Dr. Rebecca Brown

 TRiO McNair Research Internship:__________________________________________________________

Effects of Fire and Pocket Gopher Burrowing on Annual Grass Invasion in a Mima Mound Prairie (Summer 2014)

Prairies of the Western United States support diverse biological communities. These communities are typically maintained by natural disturbance regimes including fire and grazing or burrowing by native mammals. Given the productivity of these prairies, there has been widespread conversion to crop and range land. Consequently, the native distribution of prairies has been greatly reduced with bunchgrass communities being one of the most endangered North American ecosystems. For example, less than one percent of Washington prairie habitat remains intact. The Mima mound Prairie at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge is a rare remnant of Washington state semi-arid grassland. However, in recent years, an increase in invasive annual grasses has occurred on the refuge, currently exotics constitute over 20% of species observed.

Invasive grasses convert prairie to less diverse habitat with negative effects on wildlife, ecosystem function, and biological diversity. One factor affecting plant invasion may be soil disturbance, allowing for the colonization of invasive species by opening up space through the removal of native plants. On the refuge, burrowing pocket gophers (Thomomys talpoides) create extensive soil disturbance. In unaltered grasslands the excavations created by pocket gophers create nutrient gradients and improve soil porosity which promotes plant diversity. However, when invasive plants are present, simulated pocket gopher burrows have been found to favor exotic plant species colonization after disturbance.

Comparing invasive grass distribution on and off pocket gopher tailings could provide insight into habitat conditions that promote invasive grass species.   In this fire-adapted area, the abundance of invasive grasses may interact with fire suppression. My objective is to test the hypotheses that 1) pocket gopher burrows support a relatively high abundance of invasive grasses as compared to other undisturbed parts of the Mima mound, and 2) fire will reduce the abundance of invasive grasses.

Visual Sediment Deposition Following Dam Removal on the Elwha River, Washington (2014)
Dammed rivers trap sediment in reservoirs, causing decreased downstream sediment deposition. Dam removal rapidly releases this sediment to downstream reaches. The removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon Dams on the Elwha River, Olympic Peninsula, Washington provides an opportunity to observe this sediment transport. The objective of my study was to document the sediment deposition on different sections of the river. I predicted heavy sediment deposition in the river channel and riparian zone downstream from the dams. To document this, I compared photographs of 28 plots above, 40 plots between, and 38 plots downstream from the two dams both before and in the first summer following dam removal (2013). Pictures of a 100m2 vegetation plot were taken in the same position before and after dam removal. The photos illustrate that the middle and lower reaches experienced high levels of visual fine sediment deposition, and the upper reach remained visually similar to previous years. This photographic data will provide a visual baseline for assessing the long term effects of dam removal.


Conference Presentations:_________________________________________________________________

Visual Sediment Deposition Following Dam Removal on the Elwha River, Washington,

  • 17th Annual Student Research and Creative Works Symposium, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA (2014)


Honors and Awards:______________________________________________________________________

  • McNair Scholar Summer Internship, Awarded $2,800. The goal of the McNair Program is to increase the attainment of PhD degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society. (2014)
  • TLES Research Scholar Fellowship (2014)
  • Washington Native Plant Society Northeast Chapter Research Grant (2014)
  • Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid-of-Research (2014)
  • High Demand Scholarship, Eastern Washington UniversityHigh (2013-2014)
  • Dean's List, Students achieve honor roll if they maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher and complete at least 12 credits each quarter (2012 - 2013)


Programs by College/School EWU Home Admissions Apply for Admission Academics at Eastern Life at EWU Search Athletics Upcoming Events News Community Resources EWU on TwitterTemplate/ewulogo.png

Future Students

AdmissionsAdmissions InformationUndergraduate Admissions Graduate Studies International Admissions Apply for Admission Request InfoCosts and AcademicsCosts and Tuition Net Price Calculator Financial Aid & Scholarships Academic Overview Programs by College/SchoolCampus LifeLife at EWU About EWU Housing & Residential Life Study Abroad Veterans Resource Center EWU Greek LifePlanning AheadAdmitted Students New Student Orientation Academic Calendar Bookstore Campus Map Information for Counselors

Current Students RequestedStudent Employment Programs by College/School Student Activities myEWU Portal Technology BookstoreStudent ServicesFinancial Aid and Scholarships Student Financial Services Health and Wellness Disability Support Services Counseling & Psychological Services Academic AdvisingAcademic ResourcesCatalog Academic Calendar Records and Registration Online Learning EagleNET CanvasCampus ServicesHousing & Residential Life Dining Services Recreation @ EWU EWU Libraries Parking Services Career Services

Faculty & Staff

StaffEmployee ResourcesHuman Resources Benefits Payroll Student Employment Academic Calendar Eastern 24/7ServicesParking University Police Mail Services Commute Trip Reduction Dining Services Marketing & CommunicationsAdministration & BusinessBusiness & Finance Budget Services Office of the President Office of the Provost Contract Services Facilities & PlanningTechnologyInformation Technology Help Desk EmailexternalClassroom Technology OIT Project Management NetStorage

Alumni & Friends ConnectedAlumni Association Alumni Events Eastern Magazine Career Support Alumni Partnerships Office of AlumniSupport EWUGive Now EWU Foundation Ways to Give Philanthropic Impacts Eagle Athletic Association Planned GivingFriends of EWUBookstore Site Map Athletics Tickets Office EWU on Facebook Campus RecreationMost RequestedContinuing Education Events Photo Albums Alumni Gear Store EWU Events Calendar Alumni Search Give to EWU About EWU Site Map EWU Foundation Visit EWU Diversity EagleNET EWU Libraries Jobs Campus Locations Canvas AdministrationtrueHome ~ Academics ~ TRiO McNair Scholar Program ~ Past and Present Participants ~ 2014 Research Interns ~ Kimberly Cook State Authorization Summer Session Programs by College/School EWU Graduate and Undergraduate Catalog Academic Calendar Undergrad Academic Advising Records and Registration Academic Support Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program Honors Program
Academics at Eastern Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement ProgramweeklyAcademics/TRiO-McNair-Scholar-Program/Past-and-Present-Participants/2014-Research-Interns/Kimberly-Cook.xmltruerssrssHTTP_ACCEPT:text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8 HTTP_ACCEPT_ENCODING:x-gzip, gzip, deflate HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE:en-us,en-gb,en;q=0.7,*;q=0.3 HTTP_USER_AGENT:CCBot/2.0 ( Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8 Accept-Encoding: x-gzip, gzip, deflate Accept-Language: en-us,en-gb,en;q=0.7,*;q=0.3 Host: User-Agent: CCBot/2.0 ( (