tHeresa Kissane awarded faa coe student award

December 2009

CEAT PhD Graduate Student, Theresa Kissane, was awarded the FAA Center of Excellence (COE) 2009 Student of the Year Award. Theresa earned her M.S. and B.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from the University of Illinois in 2009 and 2005 respectively, graduating with high honors. Her Graduate Advisor was Professor Bruce Branham who is the Co-PI on the CEAT OMP funded project entitled "Turf Management at ORD". Theresa began a Ph.D. program in fall 2009 within the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Illinois with Professor Ed Herricks, CEAT PI and lead for the CEAT FAA Airport Wildlife Safety Program.

Theresa is performing research in urban wildlife management with emphasis on hapitat manipulation to reduce bird and small animal abundance at airports. Her work has contributed to the Center's research efforts to advise the O'Hare Modernization Program on wildlife safety at airports using turfgrass and soil selection for effective habitat management practices for improved safety at ORD. Experiments in this project have shown that bires use areas with low quality soil less than areas with higher quality soil and that trufgrass species can also influence bird use. Research in hapitat use at airports can lead to a better understanding of how to improve the safety of air travel. Theresa's research has been directly connected to CEAT for the past four years with the OMP and CEAT's sponsored project on Wildlife Safety for ORD as a Masters Student and Research Assistant. She is continuting her research as a Ph.D. candidate through the CEAT program with Prof. Herricks continuing to investigate the effects of turfgrass on airport wildlife, incorporating avian radar and toxicology techniques.

Her work has contributed to the CEAT FAA Wildlife Safety Program and CEAT Airport Wildlife Safety project at O'Hare by investigating methods of establishing low quality habitat on airport space that makes the airfield less attractive to wildlife, and therefore safer for aviation.