Science NewsletterApril 9 , 2007
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Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.
Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer since to remain constantly at work will cause you to lose power of judgment. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller, and more of it can be taken in at a glance, and a lack of harmony or portion is more readily seen. -
-Leonardo da Vinci
In this issue:
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH AND SCHOLARSHIP WEEK
Monday, April 16
The James Bradford Senior Colloquium BSC 336, 343 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 18
Ohio Bird Sanctuary Aviary Presentation The Quad 3:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 19
Undergraduate Research Banquet _________ PBC 300 5:00 p.m.
Undergraduate Research Poster Session BSC Lobby 8:00-9:00 p.m.
Friday, April 20 – Monday, April 23
RAPTORS UP CLOSE
Gail Laux, Executive Director of The Ohio Bird Sanctuary will give a lecture and demonstration on birds of prey on Wednesday, April 18 at 3:00 p.m. on the Quad (rain location: John Glenn Gym). Admission is free and light refreshments will be served in the lobby of the Boyd Science Center.
Ms. Laux will demonstrate the characteristics of three birds of prey and lecture on the importance of biodiversity and preservation. Three birds of prey will be on site. The mission of the Ohio Bird Sanctuary is to preserve the biodiversity of Ohio through education, rehabilitation, and stewardship.
DR. DANNY INGOLD TO SPEAK ON THURSDAY, APRIL 19
As part of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Week, Dr. Danny Ingold will lecture at
"Restoration Ecology at the Wilds: Unique Opportunities for Student/Faculty Research"
The academic and scholarly relationship between Muskingum College and the Wilds has grown considerably during the past decade. With it have come new opportunities for collaborative research efforts involving Muskingum College students and faculty, as well as Wilds staff, largely in the field of restoration ecology and natural history. This talk will focus on a few of the research efforts that have been undertaken at the Wilds in the past decade, with a particular emphasis on long-term studies of grassland birds living within restored habitats.
Grassland birds are a particularly good barometer of the health of a recovering grassland ecosystem since such birds are dependent on adequate plant structure, patch size, and food supply. In 1997-1998 we studied the reproductive success of several grassland bird species at the Wilds, and from 2000-2006 we color-banded over 500 grassland birds of four species to monitor their propensity to return to prior nest sites from year to year. In 2000-2006, we found that 33% of Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis; 38/117) returned to nest in the same plot, or area between plots, during one or more years following their banding. Twenty three percent of Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum; 62/268) returned during one or more subsequent years, while 22% of Bobolinks (9/41) and 12% of Henslow’s sparrows (A. henslowii; 12/100) returned. These data suggest that this recovering, and in some cases restored, surface mine landscape, is providing suitable reproductive habitat for native bird populations.
But efforts to estimate the overall health and resilience of a disturbed, recovering, or restored habitat, such as the Wilds, ultimately require a broad array of investigations. Recently, a number of other student/faculty collaborative investigations have been initiated with the aim of assessing the suitability of this habitat to support and sustain a number of other taxa. To date, the results from such investigations have generally supported the notion that this grassland landscape represents a functioning but highly altered ecosystem.
Dr. Ingold is the inaugural recipient of the Homer A. Anderson Distinguished Professorship of Natural Sciences.
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