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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 10, 2014

Forest Service Scientist Earns Prestigious Presidential Award

Runyon collecting airborne compounds from invasive plants to examine how biocontrol insects affect plant chemistry
Runyon collecting airborne compounds from invasive plants to examine how biocontrol insects affect plant chemistry - Click to enlarge

FORT COLLINS, Colo., January 10, 2014 – Forest Service scientist Justin Runyon is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Runyon, one of 102 recipients of the prestigious annual award, is a Research Entomologist at the Rocky Mountain Research Station’s Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Bozeman, Mont. The winners receive their awards at a Washington, DC, ceremony later this year.

“The impressive achievements of these early-stage scientists and engineers are promising indicators of even greater successes ahead,” President Obama said. “We are grateful for their commitment to generating the scientific and technical advancements that will ensure America’s global leadership for many years to come.”

Runyon’s research focuses on the chemical ecology of plant-insect interactions. He explores the ecological interactions between invasive plants and herbivores to improve use of biocontrol as a management tool. He also examines how bark beetle attack changes the chemistry of trees and how these changes affect tree flammability to better predict and manage wildfires.

The PECASE awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.

The Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) is one of seven regional units that make up the U.S. Forest Service Research and Development organization - the most extensive natural resources research organization in the world. The Station maintains 12 field laboratories throughout a 12 state territory encompassing the Great Basin, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, and parts of the Great Plains, and administers and conducts research on 14 experimental forests, ranges, and watersheds, while maintaining long-term databases for these areas. RMRS research is broken into seven science program areas that serve the Forest Service as well as other federal and state agencies, international organizations, private groups, and individuals. To find out more about the RMRS go to www.fs.fed.us/rmrs. You can also follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/usfs_rmrs.

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Runyon collecting plant airborne compounds to better understand plant-pollinator and plant-herbivore interactions
Runyon collecting plant airborne compounds to better understand plant-pollinator and plant-herbivore interactions - Click to enlarge