Recently Garden Club of Denver members learned more about The Garden Club of America’s Scholarship Program and its three recipients from Colorado – Tucker Hancock, Conor Kimball and Alyssa Albertson McAlexander. Alyssa accepted the Garden Club of Denver’s invitation to speak at their monthly meeting on February 13 held at the Denver Botanic Gardens. 
Determined to keep her presentation from getting too technical, Alyssa described her interest in plant/fungal interactions. Specifically she collected and studied Bristlecone Pine (Pinus aristata) needles from several locations in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Her research analyzed the fungal endophytes present in the pine needles to determine whether the endophyte communities vary between bristlecones that are partially resistant or fully susceptible to the pathogen White Pine Blister Rust.
Garden Club of Denver members were impressed with Alyssa’s depth of study around this subject and the meticulous care she took in collecting her samples. At the conclusion of her studies, Alyssa proved that certain Bristlecone Pine communities are more resistant to the White Pine Blister Rust and that there are ways we can help to protect these valuable and long-lived Bristlecone Pine communities in Colorado.
Alyssa Albertson McAlexander received her master’s student in Botany at Colorado State University, Tucker Hancock is a candidate for a Master of Landscape Architecture at the University of Colorado, and Conor Kimball is a freshman at Colorado State University. 
For nearly 90 years, The Garden Club of America has been helping advance student research through scholarship and fellowship funding. In 2017, 86 scholars were awarded more than $330,000 to support a variety of academic endeavors ranging from summer environmental study and field work, to graduate level research. Their study took place in institutions across the nation and some conducted field work across the globe. 

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