• Professor
    Biological Sciences
  • Ph.D., University of Maryland, 2002
  • M.S., Pennsylvania State University, 1991
  • B.S., Pennsylvania State University, 1981
  • Expertise
    • Plant Ecology
    • Rare Plant Conservation
    • Rare Plants
    • Wetland Ecology
    • Wetlands
  • agriffit@umw.edu
  • 540-654-1422

I have been with the UMW Deparment of Biological Sciences since 2002.  I earned my Ph.D. (2002) in plant biology from the University of Maryland. I was trained in the lab of Dr. Irv Forseth.  I earned an M.S. (1991) in resource economics from Pennsylvania State University, teacher certification (1986) from Millersville State University, and a B.S. (1981) in biology and environmental resources management from Pennsylvania State University. I worked as an economist and analyst in the Energy Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy. Before returning to graduate school I taught high school biology, I taught college environmental and conservation courses with the Conservation Leadership School at Penn State and I was a Peace Corps volunteer (Senegal, West Africa, ’82 to ’84)

My papers have appeared in Ecological Applications, Plant Ecology, Wetlands, and Northeastern Naturalist. I have received grants from The Nature Conservancy, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and The National Science Foundation. I am a  member of the Ecological Society of America and the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of The Ecological Society of America. I have been researching the ecology of sensitive joint-vetch, a rare plant of the mid-Atlantic tidal wetlands since 1998. I also actively participate in research and assessment to improve undergraduate student learning. For example, I lead the development of the UMW Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), a plan designed to enhance the experiences of first-year students.

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