Teresa Fong

Undergraduate Researcher   return to map   return to student search


Boise, ID (Ada County)


Boise State University
Undergraduate student
Interdisciplinary Studies

Feature Article    Feature Article   

Funded by EPSCoR Award:

GEM3 | OIA-1757324

Research Location(s):

Boise Idaho; Ada/Eagle Bike Park; Castle Rocks State Park

COUNTIES:  Ada, Cassia

LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT(S):  District 14, District 15, District 16, District 17, District 18, District 19, District 20, District 21, District 22, District 27

Research Statement:

Teresa, is an undergraduate student from Boise State University majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies with areas of focus in Business, Conflict Management, Leadership, Human Relations, and Urban Studies. She pursued SARE in the summer of 2023 to learn more about the environment and gain research skills. She describes her experience as “expecting only science related work, but instead I got a surprise perfect fit.” To her surprise, her mentors catered her research and readings to her interests in urban studies as much as possible. She worked under the mentorship of faculty Dr. Caughlin and graduate student Richard Rachman, on a project titled “Mapping Invasive Species at the Social-Ecological Interface.” The research investigated the spiky Idaho invasive plant species, goathead, also known as Tribulus Terrestris. Teresa’s research built upon Dr. Caughlin’s previous findings where bare ground showed to consistently increase goathead abundance, emergence, and persistence. To further investigate, her work focused on analyzing satellite imagery using QGIS and R programming to find the most up to date susceptibility mapping of goatheads in Boise, Idaho. She thanks this experience for giving her clarity on post-graduation career plans to work as an urban planner to construct resilient, equitable, and sustainable urban ecosystems.

Research Impact:

Teresa’s research brings attention to how urban infrastructure and goatheads can facilitate inequitable conditions for bicyclists, human traffic, and dog walkers. Her research in susceptibility mapping will aid public and private efforts to eradicate goatheads, including for the City of Boise’s Weed Warriors program and for the non-profit Boise Bicycle Project. Using her unique educational background she brought awareness to how urban planning efforts can benefit from subsequent research with urban scholars and ecologists to analyze the socio-ecological impacts on urban infrastructure!