Grinnell College is often at the forefront when it comes to environmental initiatives. That extends to the people who work at the college. Jon Andelson, director of the Center for Prairie Studies, passed along the following about a recent award presented to one of those well-deserving people:
Larissa Mottl, manager of Grinnell College’s Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA) and outreach coordinator for the Center for Prairie Studies, was named the first recipient of the Iowa Native Plant Society’s Conservation Award in recognition of Outstanding Education and Community Outreach at a ceremony on February 18, 2012, at CERA.
In presenting the award, Thomas Rosburg, professor of biology at Drake University, noted that “since 2000, Larissa has been actively promoting the goals of the INPS through her work at CERA and through serving the INPS as its president for a two-year term.” At CERA, Larissa works to restore prairie, savannah, and woodland ecosystems by removing non-native species and conducting prescribed burns. She also directs research with students.
“Larissa’s dedication to native plants,” Rosburg said, “is also exemplified by her organization and leading of many public fieldtrips and workshops. The workshops have helped to bring a new awareness and understanding to dozens of participants about sedges, insects, woodland wildflower restoration, and prescribed burning.”
Larissa earned a BA degree in Biology and Chemistry at the University of Minnesota, Morris. In 2000, she received a MS degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Iowa State University, where she studied techniques to restore native plants to woodland habitats.
The Iowa Native Plant Society is a member forum for plant enthusiasts, gardeners, professional and amateur botanists, photographers and naturalists that aims to encourage conservation and ethical use of Iowa's native plants, promote education about Iowa's plants, their habitats, ecology and cultural uses, foster the preservation of these plants and their environments, and appreciate and enjoy Iowa's native flora.
Starting in 2012, the Iowa Native Plant Society will annually present the Iowa Native Plant Society Conservation Award to recognize an individual who demonstrates outstanding success in advancing the goals of INPS.