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Biology and Environmental Science News

The Biology Department will use the Winter 2016 term in January to get away! Twelve students and two biology faculty will travel to Costa Rica for twelve days as part of the three-credit ENV 320 Environmental Field Studies course. The students will develop research questions before they go to Costa Rica where they will study the unique habitats and rare species that reside all around the country. Students will have the opportunity to conduct research at two field stations during their trip. They will also visit hot springs, waterfalls, active volcanoes, cloud forest, and beaches, as well as participate in zip line, white water rafting and safari boat tours.

Last January students took a trip to the Galapagos Island where they were able to see the famous Galapagos turtles, “Middle of the World”(pictured above),  volcanoes, islands, museums, and Charles Darwin’s Research Station. We know the students are going to have a blast and we look forward to hearing stories and seeing pictures from this year’s trip to Costa Rica.

In late July, while most faculty were making their preparations for classes to begin, Dr. Sydella Blatch had a different type of preparing to do; she was preparing for 10 to 12 hour days at a week-long leadership conference in DC. ...Click here to read more.

In August, Dr. Keith Johnson and Dr. Mark Norris took several students to the 100th Ecological Society of America meeting that was held here in Baltimore. The students presented posters of their research as part of the meeting and were able to attend talks by leading scientists and network with professionals in the field. Pictured here is one of the students, environmental science major Bethany Liberto, in front of her poster. Bethany worked with Dr. Norris to study "Oak forest characteristics and functioning along an urban-rural gradient."

Congratulations to biology major Neill Baker! He was named Volunteer of the Month for August at Irvine Nature Center. Neill has been completing his internship capstone as a naturalist at the center this summer and kept very busy with many educational and convservation projects. The staff at Irvine had wonderful things to say about Neill. Read the whole story here - here to read more.

Dr. Keith D. Johnson and his summer research students Blake Ford and Rojesh Shrestha beat out nine other teams including the University of Maryland, NOAA, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Smithsonian at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Annual Oyster Olympics. The event was held at the Oyster Restoration Center in Shady Side, MD on July 10, 2015. Teams competed in a number of events including cage-building, oyster shell bag filling, shell shaking, a scavenger hunt and a canoe race. It was a great opportunity to learn about restoration, network with others working in the field, and help get materials prepared for further restoration while having some fun. GO MUSTANGS!!

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