Matt Zak recently placed 3rd for best paper at the 2013 STEM Undergraduate Research Conference held at Slippery Rock University. Matt’s paper was entitled ‘Uncertainty in Population Estimates for Endangered Animals and Improving the Recovery Process.’ Great job Matt!
Andrew Wolfgang is currently working on two different avian based research projects. The first project involves using avian species as indices of habitat restoration success. Andrew surveyed several stream sites, including a recently restored stream site and model stream sites. Andrew then used his survey results to set up a monitoring protocol to evaluate habitat restoration success between restored streams and model streams. Andrew then quantified his analysis using EstimateS statistical software. EstimateS accounts for survey uncertainty when assessing species richness, community similarity and species diversity. Comparisons made with these statistics are then easily translatable to other survey efforts.
Andrew’s second project involves using the Wildlife Acoustics Song Meter device to remotely record bird calls from the field. Currently, Andrew has been analyzing song recordings using the Wildlife Acoustics Song Scope program to evaluate whether this program can accurately identify bird calls and songs.
Meta Griffin and Tristan Conrad have now moved into the second part of their research project. They have collected all their soil samples and are now drying them for analysis. During the Spring semester, both Meta and Tristan will be testing baited and non-baited soils for specific chemicals to determine if illegal baiting activity can be detected with soil analysis.
On Monday November 11th, the Conservation Biology class at Millersville University visited a new Preserve recently purchased by the Lancaster Conservancy; Camp Snyder. Mike Burcin, CEO and Educational Coordinator with the Conservancy, gave a tour of the area to the Conservation Biology class and discussed current stream restoration efforts being conducted and future projects to be pursued on the Preserve. Mike also discussed how the Conservancy identifies sites to protect and the different management issues that come up when working with the public and local governments with protected areas. Photos by Rebecca McCabe.
On Monday, October 28th, The Millersville Conservation Biology Class participated in trapping and banding of house sparrows on the Millersville campus. The purpose of this study will be to begin a mark/recapture effort of house sparrows on campus to determine their population density and sex ratio.
Click on links below for videos
Releasing Male House Sparrow
Students Banding House Sparrow
On Thursday night, October 24th, Biology students from Millersville University went to the Hidden Valley Northern Saw-whet Owl Banding Station. They got an overview of the Northern saw-whet owl research project and a first hand look at the field procedures used for the owl research project.
Click here for a quick video Northern Saw-whet Owl
On Friday October 11th, Millersville University Environmental Biology Students, Matt Zak and Tristan Conrad, had an opportunity to work with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s black bear research project. Under the supervision of New Jersey’s Black Bear Project Leader, Kelsey Burguss, students got exposed on how to trap, mark and sedate bears. They were also involved in taking important measurements on bears and were informed of the management challenges for black bears in the state of New Jersey. A total of 4 bears were trapped, sedated, processed and released. We also got to help researchers from East Stroudsburg University take blood and tick samples from bears so they could conduct genetic analysis and identify infectious bacteria. This was an amazing experience for the students. We all learned a lot, and are very grateful to Kelsey Burguss and his team for providing us this valuable educational experience.
Refer below for some great pictures of bears as well as Tristan Conrad, Matt Zak and myself in the field.
Students Gabrielle Barry and Justin Young have been working on organizing the Millersville Animal Museum. Both are currently inputting data into the Museum Archive Database. The goal is to finish identifying and marking all birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. After this is complete, the database of all these specimens will be made available online.
Both Meta Griffin and Tristan Conrad, Biology Majors at Millersville University, began their field work today setting up plots for their research project. They received help from local high school volunteer Cameron Strosser. Meta and Tristan are setting up soil sites covered with commercial white-tailed deer bait. They will be comparing these soil sites to non-baited sites using techniques to test for chemicals in the soil. Updates on their research efforts and findings will be posted on this blog.
It is the fall migration season again. Thus, we went out this morning to check out some migrates passing through campus. Had a nice list of species. The warblers were definitely making a push through. Also saw a kettle of broad-winged hawks passing through on Monday. Below is a list of some common birds as well as migrants that came through.
Magnolia Warbler, Chestnut sided warbler, Eastern Wood Peewee, Blue Jay, Red-eyed Vireo, Tennessee Warbler, Black-throated green warbler, Downy woodpecker, Red-bellied woodpecker, Cedar waxwings, Common yellowthroat, Wilson’s warbler, Empidonax species of flycatcher, American redstart, Gray catbird, Indigo bunting, White-breasted nuthatch, Carolina wren, Ruby-throated hummingbird, Belted kingfisher, Great blue heron, Tufted titmouse, Chickadees, American robin, House finch and Hooded warbler.
Magnolia Warbler (allaboutbirds.org)