Shelley Casey

Eastern Alamance High School
Alamance County Schools
Mentor: Dr. Ron Sederoff, NC State University
Sponsor: National Science Foundation

Saving the American Chestnut
What happens in the ecosystem when a species like the American Chestnut, Castanea dentate, a tree that once reigned over 200 million acres of eastern woodland, nears extinction? Why does this impact history? How is it scientifically important? Are there solutions to the problem? Dr. Sederoff and Ms. Casey are developing multi-media lessons to encourage students to answer these compelling questions. Ms. Casey’s students will study how biotechnology has been used to map the Chestnut genome and develop a blight resistant tree. They will engage in hands-on activities that explore the biological, historical and economic impacts of the American Chestnut.