For the past two weeks I’ve been participating in the REEU Forestry & Natural Resources program here at Purdue. Overall, my expectations of the program have been fulfilling. The first week was slow and we all didn’t really know each other, whereas, the second week moved by quickly and our friendships were forming. The first week we predominantly focused on touring various nature sites and the topic of our research for the summer. This past week is when we got together to work on our research proposals which we presented on Thursday. My partner is Avery and our study topic is “Can Managers Use Bat (Chiroptera) Species as Bioindicators to Inform Edge Habitat Management?” We’ll be looking at three different habitat sites (forest edge, forest interior, and water edge) of five points at Martell and PWA. We’ll conduct habitat surveys, vertebrate surveys, and insect surveys as part of data collection. The other portion will be time stamped photos of various species we think we might capture i.e. racoons, deer, opossum, etc. We will deploy audio recorders at the different sites to record bat activity. We hypothesized that bat densities will be positively associated with biodiversity within edge habitat, and that bat density is positively related to diverse horizontal and vertical stand composition in a forest habitat. On Monday, we will begin our data collection process. I’m excited for what the rest of the program has in store and hope that my partner and I can learn something from each other.
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