Conservation Biology student Lacey Wetzel has been blogging about her class experiences at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station. The link below provides tabs to her Blog and to her Photo Album (refer to the bottom photos). Lacey will be continuing her course work in Conservation Biology for the next 2 weeks. She updates her page almost daily.
Below is a link to a news story by the LancasterOnline newspaper about bat research being conducted by undergraduate research student Carter Farmer at the Millersville Applied Conservation Lab.
Volunteers move through darkness in Lancaster County to find the last survivors of a devastating bat disease
The Millersville Animal Museum collection database is now online. The goal of the Millersville Animal Museum Database is to provide a catalog of all vertebrate (i.e., bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian) specimens found within the Millersville Animal Museum collection. I want to acknowledge the following undergraduate students for making this webpage possible: Gabrielle Berry, Austin Harrison and especially Rochelle Jones and Kyle Thomas for developing the code for this webpage. I also want to thank William Gausmann from the Millersville IT department for making this site live. The database is still a work in progress, thus some miss-spellings are found. We are currently working on this. Please click on the link below to search through the Millersville Animal Museum Database.
Because of significant declines in bat populations throughout the country, it is important to ensure that remaining populations have healthy habitats to support their continued survival. With financial support from a Community Engagement Grant, funded by the Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change, Millersville biology student Carter Farmer has been working with local citizen scientists to survey for bat species on Lancaster County Conservancy Preserves.
In this project, citizen science volunteers help monitor bat species using auditory detection equipment. The purpose of this project is to develop and refine an active bat survey protocol for citizen scientists. Ultimately, citizen science efforts can potentially help in identifying important bat sites and save biologists’ and agencies’ time and money, thus (hopefully) aiding in the conservation of these critical species.
Citizen science survey efforts have led to the identification of rare bat species on Lancaster County Conservancy Preserves, such as the Little Brown Bat and Tricolored bat.
Millersville Biology Alumni Delaney Costante, Alex Sandercock and Kayli Thomas recently had their undergraduate research published in the journal Conservation Science and Practice, a scientific journal from the Society of Conservation Biology. This journal publishes papers that expand conservation knowledge ranging from practical experience to advances in theory, and places special emphasis on studies that connect findings to conservation outcomes to address which strategies work as well as which strategies fail.
Their paper was entitled ‘Temporal analysis of threats causing species endangerment in the United States’. The paper looks at how threats causing species to become endangered have changed over time, and which strategies to address these threats are working and which are not. Please click on the link below to access their paper.
The Millersville Applied Conservation Lab has deployed temporary acoustic bat monitoring units along the Kittatinny Ridge of Pa. for Cowans Gap State Park, Swatara State Park, Big Boyd Tree Preserve Conservation Area, Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center, Lehigh Gap Nature Center and Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. Below are pictures showing set up of survey devices, by Environmental Biology Student Nicole Notarianni, and habitat types surveyed for rare bats.
All audio files recorded from passive units for each survey night was analyzed using the SonoBat version 4 software. A total of 10,123 bat calls were recorded with a total of 7 species identified using the Sonobat program. Identified bat species include Big Brown, Red, Hoary, Silver-haired, Tri-colored, Little Brown and Indiana bats.
On Saturday September 22nd, Millersville hosted the 2nd Pennsylvania Chapter of the Wildlife Society Wildlife Training Field Day Event. Approximately 100 students and wildlife professionals from around the state including IUP, Penn State, Penn State – DuBois, Keystone College, York College, PA Game Commission, PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, US Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, Normandeau Associates Environmental Consultants, and others attended this event. We had 15 Millersville Students participate in this event. Details of the event can be found on this link: http://wildlife.org/pennsylvania-chapter/other-meetings/ .
Millersville Biology students Delaney Costante and Grace Smoot both attended the Annual Wildlife Society Meeting which took place in Cleveland Ohio. This Annual Conference is one of the largest gatherings of wildlife professionals, educators, and influencers in North America.
The conference enables people to attend a number of education sessions that are directly applicable to wildlife work and research, and allows participants to network with a variety of wildlife experts and colleagues from around North America and the world.
The Millersville presentations took place during the Conservation Policy and Planning session and included talks on ‘Temporal Analysis of Threats Impacting Federally Protected Species’, and a second presentation on ‘Recovery of Species from the Endangered Species Act’.
Grace and Delaney also had time to explore downtown Cleveland on the edge of Lake Erie and at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Center for Conservation Innovation (CCI) at Defenders of Wildlife works at the intersection of conservation science, technology, and policy to develop creative solutions to the biggest challenges facing wildlife. In October of 2018, Dr. Matthias Leu and Dr. Aaron Haines presented their cutting-edge research as the first speakers of the CCI Seminar Series. The data presented was a result of 3 years of undergraduate student efforts at William and Mary College and Millersville University to quantify how threats causing species to become endangered have changed over time. Refer to the link below for more details.
Quantifying Threats to Improve Species Recovery, by Dr. Matthias Leu (College of William Mary) and Dr. Aaron Haines (Millersville University of Pennsylvania)