During Millersville Ornithology Labs, we have been able to get a couple of views at some nice birds. The bottom picture below is of an uncommon Bonaparte’s Gull spotted along the Susquehanna River and we even spotted a pair of mating Peregrine Falcons at Safe Harbor Dam.
On January 28th, Millersville students Alex Sandercock, Delaney Costante and Kayli Thomas met with students from the College of William & Mary University to discuss the development of a database that outlines threats for all federally listed threatened and endangered species. This was a productive meeting that went into the biological and political complexities of how species are determined to be in need of federal protection. Students are now progressing forward with this project and are conducting a validation analysis of their current database.
For the last few winters, the Millersville squirrel patrol committee has been busy on campus helping to control the population of problem squirrels. Thanks to their efforts, complaints about squirrels jumping out of garbage cans, entering dorm rooms and chasing students has declined. Many are calling these efforts some of the most protective on campus. Below are images of the committee at work. A special thanks to Fiona Haines for these images.
On November 21st, The Millersville Conservation Biology Class had the opportunity to attend the Premier of a brand new documentary entitled ‘Love Thy Nature’. Click on the following URL to get more information on this excellent film http://www.lovethynature.com/. The next day, the Director of the documentary, Sylvia Rokab, visited the Conservation Biology Class in person and lead the class in discussions about conservation issues and what students can do to make a difference. This was a great opportunity for students to share their experiences and thoughts about conservation issues and discuss solutions for the large conservation challenges of the future.
On November 2nd 2016, Millersville Biology students (Bernard Hopewell, Halie Parker, Maggie Wallner and Brendan Miller) helped out at the Pennsylvania Game Commission Elk Check Station in Benezette, PA. Under the guidance of Elk Biologist Jeremy Banfield and Wildlife Veterinarian Justin Brown, students helped with weighting and aging elk. Students also learned how to take samples and check for diseases such as Tuberculosis, Meningeal worms and Chronic Wasting Disease. This was a great learning experience provided by great Professionals at the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Funds for Millersville student travel were provided by the Hummelstown Shooting Association and Field and Stream Association.
On October 16-19, 2016, Millersville Biology students, Alex Sandercock and Kayli Thomas, attended the 2016 Wildlife Society Meeting. They both presented research posters on quantifying threats to threatened and endangered species. This was a joint research effort with fellow Biology student Delaney Costante and students from the College of William & Mary working with Dr. Mathias Leu. Their research efforts made quite an impression, as they received the Best Undergraduate Poster Award at the meeting. Funds for Millersville student travel were provided by the Hummelstown Shooting Association and Field and Stream Association as well as the Millersville University Noonan Grant.
Undergraduate Research Students Tyler Bridgehouse and Grace Nussbaum have been busy marking and monitoring small mammals since the beginning of the Fall 2016 semester. They are comparing different brands of temporary animal hair dyes in comparison to permanent ear tags. The use of these new dyes show promise for small mammal studies lasting many weeks, and these dyes have less of an impact on mammal health in comparison to ear tags.
On September 26th, 2016, six Millersville University Environmental Biology students (Rachel Malampy, Kira Klaassen, Maggie Wallner, Zoe Zentner, Brendon Miller and Anthony Kessler) joined Dr. Aaron Haines for a day of Workshop training Sessions at Penn State Du Bois. This event was hosted by the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Wildlife Society with the purpose of offering professional development educational opportunities for natural resource biologists working in Pennsylvania, including State and Federal agencies, Private consulting groups and Academics.
Workshops were also open to students, of which, Millersville University students attended training workshops dealing with Mist-netting and Bird Banding, Non-lethal Methods in Wildlife Damage Control, Speed Training in Wetland Delineation, Raising and Tagging Monarch Butterflies, New Geospatial and Sensor Technologies for Quantifying Animal Behavior, Plant Identification for Biologists and an Introduction to Bat Sampling Technology.
This was the first time such an event has been hosted in the state. The goal is that future field day professional development opportunities will continue to become available to students. Funds for Millersville student travel to this event were provided by the Hummelstown Shooting Association and Field and Stream Association.
The Pennsylvania Master Naturalist program is a statewide partnership initiative that aims to connect people with their local ecosystems through intensive natural science training and local conservation service work. It is designed to teach adult participants about the natural history and ecology of Pennsylvania’s diverse ecoregions.
As a service learning project, students from the Millersville Conservation Biology class helped set up a mammal workshop for the Pennsylvania Master Naturalist program. Students set out small mammal traps and remote cameras to survey mammal species at the Climber’s Run Nature Preserve. Below are some of the results from this effort.