Bird's the Word at the ACES Family Academy

July 14, 2015
Future ornithologists with Common Yellowthroat ( Geothlypis trichas)

On July 9-10th, the College of ACES Alumni Association hosted the first annual ACES Family Academies, a program that offered alumni and their children educational classes to take while enjoying the ACES campus.  These classes introduced participants to the variety of subject areas studied in ACES, and provided hands-on experiences with research techniques used by scientists on campus as well as in labs around the world.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES) participated by offering a course titled, “Bird’s the Word:  Exploring Avian Ecology and Conservation.”  Graduate student Janice Kelly and NRES department head Dr. Jeff Brawn instructed the course and discussed how marking/banding wild birds is an important technique for monitoring avian populations.  The instructors demonstrated these techniques by catching songbirds at Phillips Tract, a local research property managed by the University of Illinois.  The participants were able to see wild birds up close while learning about the ecology and conservation concerns of many familiar birds.  The participants also learned about ongoing research projects conducted by students and faculty in NRES that use mark-recapture data for monitoring purposes.

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