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Newsmaker: Matthew Opdyke

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Jim Judkis
Matthew Opdyke, associate professor of environmental science at Point Park University, and a graduate student were awarded a grant from the University of Pittsburgh's Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology to study the species diversity and distribution of lichens at Pymatuning State Park this summer.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, April 24, 2014, 11:15 p.m.
 

Matthew Opdyke

Noteworthy: Opdyke, along with a Point Park University graduate student, was awarded a grant from the University of Pittsburgh's Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology to study the species diversity and distribution of lichens at Pymatuning State Park this summer.

Age: 39

Residence: Pine

Family: wife, Heidi; and son, Benjamin, 10 months

Occupation: associate professor of environmental science at Point Park University

Background: Opdyke worked at the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory to help develop wetlands to remove metals from coal ash waste at the Savannah River site in Aiken, S.C., from 2000-02. From 2005-07, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Michigan State University. Opdyke became a Point Park faculty member in 2007. He is a member of the Ecological Society of America and the Botanical Society of America.

Education: Bachelor's degree in biology from Mansfield University in 1998; master's of science in environmental science from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., in 2000; and doctorate with a concentration in environmental science from the University of Illinois in 2005.

Quote: The most rewarding part of his job “is working with the students. So I really enjoy a chance to get out into the field and just help students learn about the natural environment,” he said.

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