Millersville Students Win Research Award at 2016 International Wildlife Society Meeting

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.

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Small Mammal Marking Study

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.


Environmental Biology Students at Field Day Training Event

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.


Conservation Biology Class Help with Master Naturalist Program

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.

Species photographed at the Climber's Run Nature Preserve
Species photographed at the Climber’s Run Nature Preserve

Video From Remote Cameras

Below is video of footage from Remote Cameras set out at Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuge by the Millersville University Conservation Biology Class.  Cameras were set out to document species diversity on the refuge.

Marking Amphibians at Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuge

The Millersville University Conservation Biology Class is currently conducting a rapid biological assessment for the United States Fish & Wildlife Service at Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuge.  One of the field techniques we used was marking amphibians, mainly American and Fowler’s toads, with Visible Implant Elastomer (VIE) Tags.  Below is a video we made while in the field showing this marking process.  Marking these animals in the field will allow us to estimate their population size and density on the refuge.

Wildlife Internships at Millersville University

Millersville Environmental Biology Students Halie Parker and Anthony Kessler are currently conducting internships with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission.  Both students are doing very well.  Last week we were all involved in the elk calf capture.  This is done to make sure the elk calves are of healthy weight and do not exhibit any signs of disease or parasites.

Halie Parker, Myself and Anthony Kessler at the Elk Calf Capture.
Halie Parker, Myself and Anthony Kessler at the Elk Calf Capture.

Camera Trapping with The Mammalogy Class

During the last month, the Millersville Mammalogy Class has been conducting remote camera surveys and spotlighting surveys for white-tailed deer and reporting the results to the Cross Gates Golf Course.  Results suggest that there are deer in the area (a herd of 7 deer were spotted), but deer are not occurring at any high densities.  Below are pictures of the different types of animals photographed during the remote camera survey effort.  Species include groundhog, red fox, Northern raccoon, Virginia opossum, American mink, wood duck and Northern flicker .

Remote Camera Trapping Efforts
Remote Camera Trapping Efforts


Conservation Happenings at Millersville University

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