Katie Frerker

PMF Fellow/Conservation Education Coordinator
USDA Forest Service-IITF

Jardin Botanico Sur
1201 Calle Ceiba
San Juan, PR

klfrerker @


  • M.S. Botany, University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI), 2012.

  • B.S. Urban and Community Forestry, University of Minnesota (Minneapolis/St Paul, MN), 2003.

Current Research

I am interested in studying how the overabundance of white-tailed deer is impacting the native plant communities of northern Wisconsin. My current research involves re-visiting deer exclosures in the Chequamegaon-Nicolet National Forest to see how the plants are responding to 20 years of treatment. I would like to examine the relationship between browsing impacts and species abundance and determine which functional traits make certain species more susceptible to browsing by deer.

I am also interested in studying the methodologies used for capturing and recording deer browse on a sampling site. I am currently collaborating with the Great Lakes Network Office of the National Park Service on a project to determine which methods of browse sampling are most informative and cost-effective.

Research Experience

National Park Service Great Lakes Network Office, Ashland, WI, 2008 and 2009. Collected extensive monitoring data on trees, shrubs, and herbs, and assisted in establishing permanent vegetation monitoring plots at Voyageurs, Sleeping Bear Dunes, and Pictured Rocks National Parks.

University of Idaho GAP Analysis Program, Moscow, Idaho, 2006. Collected ground reference data for Northwest GAP land cover mapping activities.

Volunteer Association of Protected Wilderness Areas, Zapotal, Costa Rica, 2004. Mapped hiking trails, identified plants to species level as part of inventory assessment, and compiled information in bilingual guidebook for area tourists.

Center for Interamerican Studies, Cuenca, Ecuador, 2004. Evaluated pollutant levels in lake water of Paraiso Park and composed written report in Spanish summarizing findings.

University of Minnesota Extension Services and TRE Nursery, St. Paul, Minnesota, 2003 and 2004. Worked with Dr. Jeff Gillman and Dr. Gary Johnson to maintain field and greenhouse experiments.

University of Minnesota Undergraduate Research Project, Lagos de Montebello National Park, Chiapas, Mexico, 2002. Initiated and conducted field evaluation of reforestation efforts in the indigenous community, Tziscao.


Frerker, K., K. Johnson, and K. Nelson. 2003. Evaluation of reforestation sites in Lagos de Montebello National Park, Mexico. UCI Undergraduate Research Journal.


Frerker, K. 2003, March. Evaluation of reforestation sites in Lagos de Montebello National Park, Mexico. Presented at The National Conference of Undergraduate Research, Salt Lake City, Utah.


Teaching Assistantship, Zoology 151, Biology Lab, University of Wisconsin—Madison, Fall 2010

Curriculum Vitae