Danielle Bara


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    NJ Audubon

  • Role
    Scientist Mentor: I will mentor teams of students online

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    Since graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science in 2015, I have continued to develop a deep passion for ecological research and restoration. Recently I was working for the National Park Service Northeast Temperate Network through a partnership with Schoodic Institute as a Forest Ecology Technician. In this position I am part of a traveling crew that collects long-term forest health data in national parks in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

    Prior to this position, I was an intern at Valley Forge National Historical Park in Pennsylvania, where I was heavily involved with the deer management program as well as invasive species control. I was also an apprentice in the Restoration Ecology Department at the Wilds in southeastern Ohio, where I experienced the challenges of restoring areas previously scarred by strip mining.

    Having been to many parks in the region and seen firsthand the decline of ecosystem health due to invasive species, deer overpopulation, diseases, and more, I have developed a strong interest in ecological restoration and natural resource management.

  • Profile Question 1
    What is best about being a scientist?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    The best part about being a scientist is that you never stop exploring and learning about the world around you. A career in science allows and encourages you to wonder about why and how things work, and then to investigate those questions.

    Another great thing is that no day is ever the same. As you develop a research project and collect data and analyze and share your results, you may move on to another project that delves deeper into the original question you were trying to answer. You may spend time outdoors or in the lab, collaborating with colleagues and other professionals, or speaking to students and the public to educate them on the work you are doing.

  • Profile Question 2
    What is your favorite plant? Why?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    There are so many to choose from, it is difficult to say. And my answer may change depending on the day! If I am feeling hungry I might choose one with a delicious fruit such as blueberries or peaches. In the spring and summer I might choose a plant such as trillium or lily for their beautiful flowers. For now I will choose a species which I had not known of until recently, the downy rattlesnake plantain. This is a small plant native to the eastern United States that can almost go unnoticed, but it is quite the sight to see. The basal leaves are a striking contrast of white and dark green, making a beautiful pattern. It is also a member of the orchid family! While its flowers are not as large and showy as other members of the family, they are unique in their natural habitat.

  • Profile Question 3
    What is the coolest thing you have discovered or learned about plants?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    Many people know that they can count tree rings to tell how old a tree lived to be before it died. This is because each year the new growth is added to the outside of the tree. As the tree grows, the outer layer is where the living tissue is and where the nutrients travel, and the inner layers are no longer living. This means that a tree can be completely hollow and still be living just fine!

    There are also trees that will persist if they have fallen over while still living. The branches simply grow straight up and almost look like smaller trees.

    In one instance, I saw a large ash tree that had cracked and was held together by threads in some places, but it was still producing leaves! While it is hard to say how much longer the tree would live, it was certainly doing better than one would expect.

    At the same time, trees, as well as other plants, can be incredibly fragile. Anyone who has tried to grow plants of their own can probably attest to that. Many tend to be finicky with the conditions they need to not only thrive but simply to survive. In nature, certain species can be completely wiped out by insects or disease. It is a delicate balance of life and one that we continue to try to understand.

  • Help represent the outreach efforts of your societies. Please click all those organizations you are a member of:
    (not set)

  • Capacity: How many teams at a time are you comfortable working with?

Recent Posts

ahslauerafwspring2018 project 7 Danielle Bara

Hey everyone!  I am glad to see that you all are excited to learn more about plants and the factors that may effect them.  This is my first time as a scientist mentor with planting science, so I am excited to learn with you as you carry…


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NSF_Logo.jpg This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant #2010556 and #1502892. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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