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Maxwell Francke

Maxwell Francke
Project Title: 
Pear psylla management via strategic waterspout pruning
Program Year: 
Natural Resources Conservation & Sustainable Food and Farming

I am a senior working on a double major in Natural Resources Conservation and Sustainable Food and Farming at UMass Amherst. I grew up on Cape Cod where I was able to explore nature freely and adventurously, building my interests in the natural sciences. I have had a meandering journey studying bat flight in wind turbines, monitoring coastal birds living on Cape Cod beaches, cultivating and teaching sustainability at the UMass Permaculture garden, and as an assistant for a UMass wildlife data collection project. For my REEU 2022 project, I studied pear psylla using Integrated Pest Management techniques. I want to explore my many different interests before settling on a specific career path and pursuing a master’s degree. Overall, I feel satisfied with the variety of experiences my undergraduate time has given me. In the future, I am interested in improving how humans interact with their environment and diving into the field of policymaking and community planning, specifically how community planning/culture can affect the environment.

Learn more about the Research and Extension Experiences for Undergraduates (REEU) Program


Currently I have been working as a technician for a research project involving Mass Audubon and Jay Cordeiro, a professor from Bridgewater State University. The project focuses on habitat creation for the endangered Spadefoot Toad by creating wetland liner vernal pools. It's a super fun technician job where I get to go into the woods at night and survey amphibians! During the summer I also had another seasonal job working at Waquoit Bay Research Reserve doing education and outreach for the research happening there. A lot of the research at Waquoit is focused on salt marsh restoration and pollution control. 

Although I'm not currently researching agricultural research, REEU definitely gave me better skills in research and outreach in general, especially along the lines of literature reviews, using excel, and writing articles and papers! I feel like doing REEU gave me a good taste of what doing a masters thesis would be like without the full commitment which helped me figure out what I wanted long term.

Francke's REEU Symposium Presentation