The Millersville Endangered Species Team is currently working on a paper outlining the results of their first analysis on threats to endangered species in partnership with students from the College of William and Mary. Both teams have now begun a new effort to take a more in-depth analysis at listing documents and identifying a broader array of threats that impact species. In addition, this analysis will be looking at threats to different species taxa. Both teams met at the William and Mary Campus in Washington D.C. on September 7th and went over the new protocol. We are looking forward to another great collaborative project with Dr. Matthias Leu and the students from William and Mary.
In 2014, Meta Griffin graduated with Honors from Millersville University with a Degree in Environmental Biology and a Minor in Chemistry. After Millersville, Meta took an internship position at the Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge in Indiana. A year later she was accepted into graduate school at Frostburg State University in Maryland where she got her Masters Degree in Applied Ecology and Conservation Biology. Her thesis was on evaluating early-successional habit for breeding bird communities at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey. While at Graduate School, Meta was given the Outstanding Student in Wildlife Award from the Maryland and Delaware Chapter of the Wildlife Society. Meta is now a Grassland Conservation Associate with the American Bird Conservancy in Oklahoma where she promotes habitat management efforts on private lands to benefit wildlife conservation. We wish Meta all the best in her future efforts and look forward to her continuing to do great things.
The Millersville Conservation Biology Class spent their Monday morning snorkeling and seining at the eelgrass beds. Students got to experience this productive and unique ecosystem first hand and discuss conservation restoration efforts for this important habitat.
On Wednesday and Thursday of July 13th and 14th 2017, the Millersville University Conservation Biology Class, out of the Chincoteague Bay Field Station, trawled for fish. The purpose of the trawl was to document species richness, diversity and community similarity between different marine habitat types found with Chincoteague Bay. Click the link below to view some of the highlight species of the trawl. Pictures were taken by Kavin Faccenda and Kelsey Ulrich. All species caught were released back to the bay. Great Job Everyone!
During the early part of July 2017, through the Chincoteague Bay Field Station, Millersville Conservation Biology students conducted a remote camera survey on the Nature Conservancy Brownville Preserve in Nassawadox, Virginia. Students set up cameras along wildlife trails and roads and documented the movements of a number of white-tailed deer, red fox, northern raccoon, Virginia opossum, gray squirrel and wild turkey. Below is a link to a compilation of video footage taken during the survey.
First week down at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station. My Conservation Biology class and I have been seeing a lot of wildlife, especially birds and herps or herptiles (i.e., reptiles and amphibians). We have seen gray and green tree frogs, eastern narrow-mouthed and Fowler’s toads, an eastern hog-nosed snake, Forester’s and royal terns, black skimmers and red-headed woodpeckers. Check out the great pictures taken by Kevin Faccenda of some of these animals. Looking forward to next week.
During her time at Millersville University, Gabrielle Berry (’15) was involved in lab technician work, volunteering for field activities and conducting Field Internships while completing her Environmental Biology degree. In addition, Gabbie was on the Women’s Softball team while focusing on academics. After a number of seasonal positions, Gabbie began graduate school at the University of Southern Mississippi where she is conducting research on turtles. We wish her all the best. Looks like she is enjoying her time with alligators and alligator snapping turtles. Good Luck Gabie!
On April 14th, 2017, Millersville University held its first ever Wildlife Field Day Workshop just for Millersville students. The field day event consisted of 3 workshops: fur-trapping, archery and wildlife forensics. These workshops were put on by Professionals from the PA Game Commission and the PA Trappers Association.
On April 2017, Millersville University was well represented at the Pennsylvania Commonwealth of University Biologists Annual Meeting. This organization provides support for teaching and research activities of faculty in the biological sciences from the fourteen state-owned universities in the State System of Higher Education in Pennsylvania (PASSHE). Its activities have included scientific meetings, symposia and institutes for the enhancement of the professional development of its members and associates. It also provides a forum for graduate and undergraduate students for the presentation of their research. At this forum, Millersville Students did a great job of presenting their research and won multiple awards, including first place at the Biology Quiz Bowl Event.
The Millersville University Biology Department and Meteorology Program began a joint project of a hawk watch count on the Millersville University campus in collaboration with Dr. Laurie Goodrich, Raptor Biologist with the Hawk Mountain Observatory (http://www.hawkmountain.org/). Hawk count sites have been collecting data on migrating hawks for years. They use long-term migration databases to monitor changes in raptor (i.e., hawks, eagles, osprey, vultures and falcons) populations. Monitoring raptor populations is important because raptors are sensitive bioindicators at the top of food chains, and changes in the numbers of raptors reflect changes in the health of the environment. All student count data is uploaded to a national database at, www.hawkcount.org. In addition, results are recorded on the Trektellan international bird migration count database, http://www.trektellen.nl/?language=english&.
The real exciting news is that Millersville University students can keep track of these raptors as they fly over campus in real time. The Millersville University Hawk Count project can be found on the Dunkadoo webpage, https://dunkadoo.org/project/millersville-hawk-count . By following the link to this project, all students can see what birds of prey have flown over campus, up to the minute, and be able to see hawk count statistics gathered on campus. Pictures below by Kevin Faccenda.
Conservation Happenings at Millersville University