TPG started in ENVS 110!

This social flock of scarlet macaws bonds with each other as the birds are readied for release back into the wild. (Photo by Zynnia Peterson)


Chance to Soar

Ohio Wesleyan Zoology Major Volunteers to Help Parrots in Costa Rica

By Cole Hatcher

Zynnia Peterson ’23

Name: Zynnia Peterson ’23
Hometown: Mt. Vernon, Ohio
Major: Zoology
Minor: Environmental Science
OWU Connection Experience: Volunteering with the Macaw Recovery Network in Costa Rica

Peterson volunteered with the Macaw Recovery Network’s Punta Islita Breeding Center for a month this summer. After she completed training, Peterson was able to help prepare food for captive and pre-release parrots, monitor their health and behavior, and ensure they had clean and safe living conditions.

Peterson earned an OWU Connection Theory-to-Practice Grant to support her Central American experience and received support in writing and editing her grant application from John Krygier, Ph.D., professor of Environment and Sustainability.

This macaw chick gets a check-up at the Macaw Recovery Network, including being weighed. (Photo by Keiran Ragoonanan)

Readying for Release

“Something I learned specific to parrot conservation is that human aversion and flight training are absolute musts when preparing a flock for release.

“Parrots, being more gregarious birds, can become used to humans in captivity and this can increase their likelihood of being recaptured after release unless they are taught that humans are actually scary, even though not all of them are.

“Flight training then also increases their strength and ability to fly long distances once released as well. A lot of it is just about promoting natural behaviors that parrots learn from other parrots and their environment. Since they’re more intelligent, they have to be taught these things through experience rather than via instinct alone.”

Valuable Volunteering

“I also learned that volunteering is a good way to travel. It gives you a group of like-minded people that you get to know really well as long as a safe space to go back to while you still have the ability to explore the local area on your days off.

“While I didn’t immerse myself in Costa Rican culture as I had hoped, I still had the opportunity to meet amazing people from all around the world and form close friendships.”

Identifying What’s Important

“My experience also helped me relax a little bit. I feel like it’s easy to get caught up in the busy lifestyle most Americans have, but being in Costa Rica and only having to worry about a bit of food management (we only drove to the grocery store once a week) and whether I had to do specific chores that day really gave me a new perspective on what I actually viewed as important.

“By the time I made it back home I was able to create new habits that serve me better than some of the wasteful and unpleasant habits I had before.”

ET is one of the macaws Zynnia Peterson ’23 helped to care for at the Macaw Recovery Network. (Photo courtesy of Zynnia Peterson)

My Favorite Moment

“Even though the purpose of my experience was to learn more about conservation, I would have to say my favorite moment was the night before a fellow volunteer was about to leave. She taught us all some Latin dances and then made Argentinean empanadas.

“Something I unexpectedly loved about my trip was how close you get to everyone on site, especially during our communal dinners. Everyone I met was an absolutely lovely human being, and I hope in the future we can someday meet again.”

Beneficial Bishop Encounter

“Unexpectedly my trip did involve an OWU alum. On my plane to Miami, I sat next to Mrs. Marcy Rodgers. She graduated (in 1982), and we were able to chat a lot on the plane and during my layover. She has a lot of experience traveling in Latin America, and she was very helpful and calmed some of my worries about traveling.”

Why I Chose OWU

“I chose OWU because of their affordability with GLCA (Great Lakes Colleges Association), smaller size, easier ability to connect with staff due to the smaller size, as well as their Zoology program.” (Ohio Wesleyan is a GLCA school, and Peterson’s father is employed by another GLCA school.)

My Plans After Graduation

“Until this summer, my future plans were to work in zoology with hopes of improving the pet trade for exotic animals like reptiles and parrots.

“I have been recently looking into requirements for science librarians due to my very enjoyable part-time job at my local public library, which complicates things a bit as far as the experience in conservation.

“No matter which path I choose, I think OWU has prepared me for either with skills in writing, networking, and the ability to work with others from different walks of life.”

September 29, 2022 ~ reposted from here

New article by recent grad Jessie Dong & Dr. Anderson

From Dr. Anderson: Some of you may remember Jess Dong, who graduated in 2021. Jess wrote an awesome student paper in my Plant Responses to Global Change class in Spring 2020 and I suggested she develop it into a review article for publication. With some help from me and lots of input from peer review, she worked over the last two years to generate this publication in the journal Food Webs.

The article is in an open source journal, and can be found at the link below.

Predicted impacts of global change on bottom-up trophic interactions in the plant-ungulate-wolf food chain in boreal forests

Jess Dong
Ohio State University, School of Environment and Natural Resources, 2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210, United States of America

Laurel J. Anderson
Ohio Wesleyan University, Departments of Biological Sciences and Environment & Sustainability, 61 S Sandusky St, Delaware, OH 40315, United States of America

 

 

2021 Olentangy Watershed Forum @ OWU @ Wed. Oct. 27

It is still possible to pre-register via Erin Gibson: see contact information above. Folks from OWU should feel free to drop in if interested.

The Forum will be held on the 3rd floor of OWU’s Merrick Hall, from 9am-4pm on Wednesday, October 27.

The Dirt: Interdivisional Studies of Waste and Discards

Starting off the postings with a re-post of “The Dirt” – a compilation of research on discards, waste, and related topics. The newish field of discard studies is remarkably interdisciplinary and interdivisional.

Recent Discard Studies Posts

Peer-reviewed publications (articles & books)

Note: If an article is behind a paywall, email the author. They are almost always authorized by copyright to distribute their own work.

We have begun posting the gender parity of The Dirt, especially given evidence that COVID-19 is increasing the skew in knowledge production to be ever more male, white, and childless. This bibliography is 53.6% percent women authors, based on Dr. Jane Summer’s  Gender Balance Assessment Tool. This is the first Dirt to have more women than men authors since we’ve been recording gender figures, likely thanks to a call out via Twitter where we mentioned that over 90% of the people who send us notice of their publications (which we love!) are white men. Keep those notices coming, women/non-binary/tw-spirit/trans/gender minitory authors!

Other publications

Special Issues and Collections

Theses and Dissertations

Calls for Proposals & Participation

The following are calls for papers for Special sessions in the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S) conference, online & at Toronto, October 6-9:

 

Positions

 

If you have an item to add to The Dirt, please contact editors@discardstudies.com. We are especially interested in non-English language submissions, and those from outside North America and Europe.

OWU Faculty Sean Kay on California’s Stanislaus River

Dr. Kay teaches, among other things, PG 280 Environmental Politics and Policy at OWU. He’s co-authored a new article on environmental policy and the Stanislaus River in California (link).

As many know, in the last few years, I’ve taken a dive into teaching and research on environmental issues.  I’m very excited that this paper that I have co-authored with Dakota Goodman has been published by Friends of the River this week – “Deliver the River:  States’ Rights, Cost-Benefit, and Environmental Justice on California’s Stanislaus River.”  Friends of the River is the non-profit in California that my father helped to co-found in 1973, to lead the campaign to save the Stanislaus from a wasteful and unneeded New Melones Dam and Reservoir.  After my father passed away, I got his files on this, and we were able to use those to rerun and update the case against the dam, including cost-benefit assumptions, and we have shown the extent of the loss, and lies, that were used to sell the dam – and document the harm it has done ecologically and to local communities.  And, we show the way forward to deliver the river, finally about 50 years later, so that the Camp 9 Run on the Stanislaus can finally be liberated and a better way of water management achieved in California.

I hope folks can take a few minutes and read (and feel free to share!) the article – it’s both a strong personal tribute to my dad, but more importantly to the river we all lost, and yet still remains under the reservoir, waiting to flow once more.

More information here.

OWU Sponsored Event: 17th Annual Virtual Olentangy Watershed Forum, Thursday, Oct. 22

17th Annual Virtual Olentangy Watershed Forum, October 22, 2020


Recording of event is here.


Please register using this Eventbrite link. To get the Zoom link, check your email (OWU students, staff and faculty) or contact Carline Cicerchi or John Krygier.


The Annual Olentangy Watershed Forum brings together a series of speakers to discuss the status of the watershed. This year features Keynote speaker Jonathan Overpeck, co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize as part of the United Nations advisory group on climate change and Dean of the School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan, “American Rivers and Climate Change: a Tale of Two Hydrologic Extremes”

The forum is great for regional practitioners as well as students, who can network and make contacts for internships and projects.


8:00 – 8:10 Welcome and introductions, Sean Kay, Ohio Wesleyan University

8:10 – 8:55 Keynote speaker: Jonathan Overpeck, co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize as part of the United Nations advisory group on climate change and Dean of the School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan, “American Rivers and Climate Change: a Tale of Two Hydrologic Extremes”

8:55 – 9:05: Q & A

State of the Watershed Updates

9:05 – 9:15: Update from Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW) by Kelly Thiel. FLOW was formed as a non-profit 501(c)3 in August 1997. FLOW’s mission is to keep the Olentangy River and its tributaries clean and safe for all to enjoy, through public education, volunteer activities, and coordination with local decision-makers.

9:15 – 9:30: Update from Del-Co Water by Jeff Kauffman. Del-Co Water Company, Inc. was formed in 1969 and provides quality drinking water to seven counties (Delaware, Morrow, Marion, Knox, Franklin, Union, and Crawford) serving a population of over 140,000.

9:30 – 9:45: Update from City of Delaware and Olentangy Watershed Alliance (OWA) by Caroline Cicerchi. The City of Delaware works diligently to protect existing stormwater infrastructure as well as the Olentangy River and its tributaries through its Stormwater Management Program. OWA was formed as a non-profit in April 1999, with a mission to inspire appreciation and stewardship of the Upper Olentangy River and its watershed.

9:45 – 9:55: Update from Preservation Parks by Chris Roshon. The mission of Preservation Parks of Delaware County is to protect and conserve the natural and historic features of Delaware County and to inspire outdoor exploration and learning.

9:55 – 10:05: Q & A and Break

10:05 – 10:15: Vanessa Bishop, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

10:15 – 10:30: Erin Wolfe, Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District. “Del-Aware Water: Outreach Efforts in the Watershed”

10:30 – 10:50: Jim Palus, FLOW. “Putting FLOW’s Greenspace Implementation Plan Into Action”

10:50 – 11:20: Ed Rankin & Anthony Sasson, Midwest Biodiversity Institute, “Fish and Mussels Trends in the Central Scioto River Basin”

11:20-11:50: Jesse Womack, The Nature Conservancy. “The Nature Conservancy & the Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework”

11:50 – 12:00: Janelle Valdinger, Ohio Wesleyan University, “Connecting with Career Connection”

Videos: Careers in Water Management Speaker Series (October, 2020)

Careers in Water Management Speaker Series I: Video

  • Jeff Paetz, Phoenix Environmental (15 minutes)
  • Heather Sheets, Ohio Clean Marinas (15 minutes)
  • Caroline Cicerchi, City of Delaware (15 minutes)

Careers in Water Management Speaker Series II: Video

  • Sarah Orlando, Ohio Sea Grant (15 minutes)
  • Chad Spring, City of Delaware (15 minutes)
  • Erin Wolfe, Delaware SWCD (15 minutes)
  • Janelle Valdinger, Ohio Wesleyan University (10 minutes)

Careers in Water Management Speaker Series III: Video

  • Christine Szymanski, ODNR Scenic Rivers (15 minutes)
  • Jeff Kauffman, Del-Co Water Company (15 minutes)
  • Chris Roshon, Preservation Parks (15 minutes)

Dr. Anderson Receives NSF Funds for Online Field Ecology and Data Science

OWU’s Dr. Anderson, the second nicest professor on campus, has been awarded a NSF grant!


The National Science Foundation is awarding Ohio Wesleyan University a one-year, $86,735 grant to oversee the creation of online teaching tools that advance field ecology and data science.

Laurel J. Anderson, Ph.D., OWU’s Morris Family Professor of Natural Sciences, is the principal investigator on the federal grant. She also is president of the Board of Directors for the Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN), a consortium of colleges and universities that will work together to create the new teaching tools. Dr. Anderson will partner with Dr. Tim McCay from Colgate University to administer the project.

“The pandemic has created an urgent need to reimagine our teaching of field ecology, which is usually done with in-person field trips,” said Dr. Anderson, who helped to found EREN in 2010.

“However, field ecologists also use computer technology extensively to explore natural patterns at large scales,” she continued. “These projects allow us to meet our need to socially distance and have students collecting data wherever they happen to be. Then, we use online tools and datasets to see how their data fits into large-scale patterns.”

The National Science Foundation (NSF) grant will support four projects developed by teams of faculty-researchers at schools across the nation. The projects are:

  • Backyard Pollinator Surveys led by Dr. Kaitlin Stack Whitney at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
  • Plants in the Human-Altered Environment led by Drs. Jason Kilgore at Washington & Jefferson College and Karen Kuers at The University of the South.
  • Mosquito Surveys along Anthropogenic Impact Gradients led by Dr. Allison T. Parker at Northern Kentucky University.
  • Lichens in Diverse Landscapes led by Drs. Danielle Garneau at SUNY Plattsburgh, Matthew Heard at Belmont University, and Mary Beth Kolozsvary at Siena College.

The teaching tools being created will use data from the National Ecological Observatory Network(NEON) to show students how local data connects to ecological patterns at a continental scale.

NEON is a continental-scale ecological observation facility fully funded by the NSF and operated by Columbus, Ohio-based Battelle. NEON provides open data from 81 field sites nationwide to document how ecosystems are changing. The information is used to better understand how human activities affect ecology and how society can more effectively address critical ecological issues.

Source: OWU News & Media