Professor Lopez is very familiar with the community college system, having started her educational journey at Sierra College in Sacramento, where she received her Associate of Science degree in Natural Resources.
She then transferred to Humboldt State (now Cal Poly Humboldt or CPH) to study Biology, with a minor in Botany. An early interest in natural science provided her with a deep appreciation for plant communities and their ecology, of which led to her involvement in two research labs.
While in her junior year, she began a research project in the Tomescu Paleobotany lab (the science of studying ancient plant fossils found in sedimentary rocks). She worked to characterize an unknown fossilized plant specimen belonging to the Early Devonian flora (400 million years ago), which culminated in a publication where she and her team were able to characterize this early cladoxylopsid as Adelocladoxis praecox, the oldest anatomically described cladoxylopsid known to date!
While in her senior year, she also worked to complete multiple research projects related to fire ecology in the Wildland Fire Lab. Here she studied post-fire regeneration, conifer seed maturation and seed mortality. After receiving her BS in Biology, she went straight into a Master’s program studying Fire Ecology. While finishing up her MS degree last year, she worked as a forestry crew member for California State Parks. Here she had the opportunity to survey rare plants and serve on the CSP burn team. Recently, she helped burn at Boyes Prairie of Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park during a prescription burn to aid in the retention of native grasses.
Maddie graduated with a MS degree from Cal Poly Humboldt in the spring of 2022. Currently, she is working with one of California’s rarest native plants, the Lassics lupine (Lupinus constancei; 1B.1) to determine the role of fire-related cues on germination.
And now she’s made her way to CR where she’ll bring her experience and expertise to teaching Dendrology, Intro to Wildland Fire, Geospatial Concepts, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Forest Health and Protection, and Technology and Applications in Natural Resources.
She would also like to see a Fire Ecology program or certificate become available at CR.
Maddie says she’s deeply grateful and excited to be at College of the Redwoods! She is honored to have the opportunity to share knowledge and perspectives with the student body, her colleagues, and the campus community.