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One Intern's Insight:
Summer Avian Research Experience

Jazmyn Bernard, summer intern

(Left) Jazmyn Bernard leaving the field office at Camp Bullis to band golden-checked warblers. (Right) A male golden-cheeked warbler that Jazmyn helped Kashmir Wolf band at Camp Bullis.

In summer 2018, Jazmyn Bernard, undergraduate student in the School of Renewable Natural Resources, was given the opportunity to serve as an avian research intern at Joint Base San Antonio–Camp Bullis. a U.S. Airforce base in San Antonio, Texas. Her role was to assist Dr. Ashley M. Long (Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology in Louisiana State University’s School of Renewable Natural Resource) with her research on golden-cheeked warblers (Setophaga chrysoparia; warbler hereafter), in collaboration with staff at Texas A&M University and Camp Bullis. The federally endangered warbler is a small insectivorous songbird that breeds exclusively in Ashe juniper (Juniperus asheii) woodlands of central Texas and winters in broadleaf forests of southern Mexico and Central America. The objectives of Dr. Long's project are to establish a long-term banding program on the base and to examine density, habitat use, and reproductive success of the warbler in relation to various vegetation characteristics. Dr. Long and her colleagues at the U.S. Army’s Fort Hood, Camp Bullis, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also recently initiated a project to identify migratory connectivity for warblers using miniaturized light-level geolocator technology.

Jazmyn's typical day involved mapping locations of multible warbler teritories using GPS recievers. Experienced in using GPS unit and knowing how to map new points was critical. Taking the RNR 3004 (Photogrammetry, GPS, and GIS) offered by Mr. Maurice Wolcott (Instructor-RNR) was a big help for this. The GIS class allowed her to be more familiar with the ArcGIS software used to organize the field data. Knowing where the last sighting of the bird was recorded by GPS, could only supply a vague location to where the bird could be in the present. As such, to find a bird it was necessary to also listen for the warbler’s song or call. Due to experiences gained in RNR 3018 (Louisiana Wildlife with Dr. Kevin Ringelman, Assistant Professor-RNR), Jazmyn was able to distinguish between the many calls that could be heard in the field.

Other skills included learning to band for identification, the use of mist netting, and identification of other species of concervation concern. The more practical aspects of field work included the sometimes arduous conditions of field work such as insects, hiking through densely wooded areas, enduring bad weather, heat, and even the the inteference of sounds of loud artillery fire from the nearby military base while trying to identify specific bird calls. Learning time managment while collecting data under field conditions was another challenge. All useful skills for post-graduate employment

Congratulations Graduates!
Spring 2018

RNR Graduating Class of Spring 2018

Images of the College of Agriculture Diploma Ceremony and the RNR Graduates' Reception are available on the Photo Gallery page.

Student Awarded Pathfinder Fellowship

Jeremy ReinmanCongratulations to Jeremy Reiman for being awarded the Pathfinder Fellowship by The Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science.

The Pathfinder Fellowship program provides travel funds to graduate students in hydrology to enhance their research by adding a field site to conduct comparative research, collaborating with a research group, or working with researchers to add an interdisciplinary dimension to a project.

With the competitive funding received, Jeremy will travel to Shanghai, China in summer 2018 to conduct field measurements and collect water samples from the Yangtze River. He will work on a collaborative research to investigate diurnal CO2 outgassing and riverine dissolved carbon dynamics in the Mississippi River and Yangtze River, two large alluvial rivers in the world.

LSU students participate in
marine research in Mozambique

[Left] LSU at Praia do Tofo, Mozambique. From left, assistant professor Reagan Errera and students Kathleen Rodick, Sydney Cottingham, Zach Stratton, Bryce Loschen, Olivia Lewis, Scott Graham, Courtney Murr, William Jackson, Katy Murry. The students participated in a Coastal African Field Studies class from May 8-June 4. Photo provided by Reagan Errera

[More images are available on our Photo Gallery page]

(07/05/17) BATON ROUGE, La. — Nine LSU students journeyed to Mozambique in May to conduct marine research in the small coastal village of Praia do Tofo and in their month-long stay had encounters with whale sharks that one student described as almost spiritual.

“I was swimming eye to eye with it,” said Sydney Cottingham, a senior from Bowling Green, Kentucky, studying natural resource ecology and management in the LSU College of Agriculture. “It was breathtaking and humbling to be so close to something that majestic.”

Reagan Errera, assistant professor in the School of Renewable Natural Resources, led the field studies class. The group collaborated with researchers with All Out Africa, a nonprofit organization that implements social and conservation projects.

Errera is working with All Out Africa to conduct research on various species of phytoplankton, the microscopic plants of the ocean, in the area. Her main research focuses on identifying seasonal trends and the spatial extent of the neurotoxin domoic acid.

By identifying seasonal trends, she hopes to determine if human and wildlife health might be at risk. She said shellfish and finfish can accumulate domoic acid, leading to amnesiac shellfish poisoning.

Fall 2017 Graduates!

Fall 2107 Graduates of SRNR

More photos of Graduation are available on our Gallery page.

revised: 10-Oct-2018 16:38