Neil MacDonaldView all stories
Over the course of his 17 year career at Grand Valley, Professor Neil MacDonald has dedicated himself to the study of natural resource ecology and management. And with the help of the Barbara Waddell and Arlene Treanor endowment funds, this research is making a real impact on the preservation of West Michigan native ecosystems.
“I began my research on Spotted Knapweed in the late 1990s,” Grand Valley’s Chair of Biology said. “With the assistance of the Waddell/Treanor endowments, I have been able to expand on my research on controlling this invasive species – specifically through the reestablishment of native plants.”
These endowments, which were established to facilitate studies in the fields of biology and natural resources management, help Grand Valley students as well.
“I was able to work with a student, sophomore Tim Botting, on my research this past summer,” he said. “And this was great for both of us in that I had a research assistant to work with and that he got practical experience in the field.”
Practical experience, however, was just one of the many benefits for Tim. “Tim was able to perform real world research, present his findings and interact with faculty members and graduate students,” MacDonald said. “Additionally, we worked with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to help reintroduce native plant species at the Bass River Recreation Area along the Grand River – it was definitely an influential and empowering experience for him.”