Superintendent Winfried Feneberg
114 Cougar Court
New London, NH 03257
For Immediate Release
Monday, May 13, 2019
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Kearsarge Student Receives Marjot Foundation Grant to Study Invasive Plant
NEW LONDON –Superintendent Winfried Feneberg is pleased to share that a Kearsarge student has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Marjot Foundation to conduct research on an invasive aquatic plant.
The Marjot Foundation is a nonprofit that awards grants to students in New England and New York on an annual basis to support environmental research.
Kearsarge Regional High School sophomore Christopher Brahan has been awarded a $5,000 grant to study variable milfoil, an invasive plant found in lakes and ponds in New Hampshire, which quickly devours ecosystems.
“I wanted to research variable milfoil because it is a huge problem here in New Hampshire,” Brahan said. “Most people think its just a plant like lily pads or cattails, but it is much more than that. This one plant alone can kill whole ecosystems in lakes because they do not have any natural predators here. Over several decades a lake that once was a habitat to loons, salmon, and crayfish could be home to just milfoil.”
Over the next year, Brahan will collect variable milfoil specimen from lakes in the Kearsarge area and conduct research at Kearsarge Regional High School. He’ll be growing the specimen he collects in a large tank where they’ll be separated in different containers. His goal is to determine which substrates, or conditions like silt and fine organic material, are necessary for the plant to thrive and grow.
“This grant will provide Christopher with a remarkable opportunity to perform real, hands on research right in our backyard,” Superintendent Feneberg said. “It is an honor that the foundation has awarded him this funding, and exciting to see a student taking on such a vested interest in the environment.”
Brahan will have help as he conducts his research from Erik Anderson, a science teacher at Kearsarge Regional High School. In addition to his lab work, Brahan will write a midyear update paper about his project, organize data, create a poster board for the New Hamsphire State Science and Engineering Expo and write a lab report.
Brahan will present the findings of his research at the 2020 New Hampshire Science and Engineering Expo (NHSEE).