Lake Erie Center

GK-12 Personnel

Nicole Lightle
GK-12 Fellow (Partnered with Dave Bourland, Bowsher High School)

I received a B.S. degree in Forestry focused in forest biology from Colorado State University in May of 2007. While completing my bachelor's degree, I was able to hold several research-related positions in both the field and laboratory, as well as tutoring mathematics to college-age students. My cumulative career experience also includes work within several natural resource agencies, including the Colorado State Forest Service, National Park Service, and U.S. Forest Service. I came back to graduate school in the Fall of 2010 to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a scientist and researcher in higher education. I am currently working towards a Master's degree in biology under the guidance of Dr. Scott Heckathorn, whose lab focuses on plant ecophysiology and biochemistry. My thesis research is focused specifically on the dominant tree species in the Oak Openings region of Northwest Ohio. The physiological and morphological changes experienced by tree seedlings after undergoing extreme temperature events may have localized impacts on recruitment, species composition, competitive interactions, and nutrient loading into the local watershed. These types of heat pulses are likely to increase in frequency with global climate change. Through participation in GK-12, I hope to instill enthusiasm and love for science and the natural world in high-school students, in order to inspire the next generation of scientists. 

Last Updated: 6/26/15