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University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
In 2005 Bobbie began graduate studies at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s College of Natural Resources in the area of forest ecology. Her thesis topic is fire effects on the understory and seed bank of a white pine forest. Webster earned her Bachelor of Science from UWSP in Resource Management–Land Use Planning along with Political Science and Public Administration majors in 2003. Working for the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Center for Land Use Education was her first career opportunity.
Bobbie has participated in discussions and followed the topic of the disconnection between ecological knowledge and natural resource managers. She believes it is important that scientific knowledge be communicated to a larger audience. First, the resource managers who are responsible for applying and incorporating ecological knowledge need more and convenient venues to acquire this type of information. Policy makers and administrators also need to be made aware of current findings in a way that is easy to understand and not overwhelming. Students in a wide variety of fields who will one day be in leadership and resource management positions should be educated on the latest research, and should know where to go to educate themselves in the future. Finally there are appropriate ways that the general public could be exposed to knowledge from ecological studies.
In the past, to improve communication on a topic related to ecology, Bobbie wrote content for and created a website to educate citizens and local government officials about incorporating forestry into comprehensive plans. Bobbie also developed and conducted a workshop for local government officials, forestry professionals and UW-Extension staff using this information. Researching how local communities were addressing groundwater protection in their comprehensive plans was another step Bobbie took to improve ecological policy. Currently Bobbie is becoming more knowledgeable about the area of forest ecology. In the future Bobbie plans to bear in mind and take action in whatever capacity she is working in to better communicate ecological knowledge. After completion of her Master of Science degree she intends to work in a position that will help increase sustainability and improve management of forests and other natural resources, whether for a non-profit organization such as a land trust or a governmental agency such as the US Forest Service. As our world experiences constant changes Bobbie also intends to educate local citizens about ecological sustainability through volunteer work with the League of Women Voters which she has been a member of for the past three years.