Wildlife Research Goes High-tech!

joan with NEBIR caracara

While in Florida recently, Prof. Morrison successfully captured and tagged a Crested Caracara, the raptor she has been studying there for over 20 years.  This caracara will be helping Prof Morrison test new transmitter technology.  The transmitter, seen on the bird’s back, operates on the cell phone networks, collecting accurate GPS locations on the bird every 3 hours then transmitting data to the cell towers every 12 hours.  This transmitter operates using a solar-charged battery.  After only a few weeks, a pretty good picture of the caracara’s home range has emerged!  The intent of this effort is to evaluate effectiveness of this new GPS/GSM technology for eventual use in a longer term study focused on determining how breeding caracaras throughout Florida respond to habitat conversion within their home range.

ENVS Faculty Participate in Treehouse Lecture Series

Hammonasset State ParkIn April Christoph Geiss and Joan Morrison will both give lectures or lead discussions at the Treehouse. On April 8th Christoph will give an introduction to landscape photography, sharing some advice and enjoying the excuse to show cool pictures. On April 22nd Joan will lead a discussion on the connection between “Environmental Health and Human Health“. We hope to see you all.

Yes, for all you bird folks out there: these are “sanderlings” a migratory bird species fattening up on Long Island Sound before heading back north to their breeding grounds in northern Canada. Who says a geologist can’t do birds. :-)

ENVS Program Participates in Hartford’s 2014 Great American Cleanup


Trinity’s ENVS program will participate in the 2014 Great American Cleanup. The details are still a bit murky, but Cameron volunteered us to pick up trash and eradicate invasives around the pond at Pope Park. On Saturday April 19th we plan on spending the morning at the park, do some good and end the half day of hard labor with a picnic or barbecue.
Contact Cameron or Christoph if you are interested in joining us on. Pope Park will provide trash and invasive plants, ENVS will provide transportation, gloves, tools and the food afterwards, and you provide the labor. Everybody wins!

ENVS 149 Spills the Beans

more beans

bean counter in action

 Jon saved one of the most fun labs of the semester for the week before spring break. Over the past week our students have grown beans and tried to poison them with various compounds. Some samples clearly didn’t look so good any more.

So, what did we learn this week?
1. Sparkleen soap is not very good at killing beans. methanol does much better.results

2. Error bars are a pain in the – you know what – to produce in Excel.
beans about to be spilledKyaw counting beans

First McCookout of the Semester a Great Success

McCook 121- party centralDespite strong winds and freezing temperatures the first McCookout of the season was a full success. Cameron, Justin and Dan lit the coals and provided lots of food that was eagerly awaited in the geology lab. About twenty majors and new students met over lunchtime to chat, eat, discuss classes and declare their majors. With Spring finally in the (extended) forecast we hope to make McCookout a weekly event for the rest of the semester.

dan on the grill

The real reason why dan volunteered to do the barbecue

And the prize for best hair goes to ...

And the prize for best hair goes to …

No food in the lab!

No food in the lab!



Iver Earns an Easy A !

The senior seminar class visited Hammonasset Beach State Park today to learn about conservation practices in one of Connecticut’s busiest state park. We got a little introduction to the park by Henry Alves, the Park and Recreation Supervisor at Hammonasset. Afterwards we went to Cedar Island to look for one of the three snow owls that are currently in the park. Nope, we didn’t see any, but learned about salt marshes, glacial moraines etc.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn the way back Iver decided to show us his manly side and, for an easy A, did the polar bear plunge:

And, yes, I must have missed that fashion trend:

Decisions, decisions …

Any way you look at it - bwA few weeks ago, Jon and I got an excited e-mail from Kelsey Semrod (’12): not only did she get accepted to Duke, but Yale and Michigan also try to get her as a graduate student.
Should Kelsey end up at Yale to join Ben Butterworth (’08), Colby Tucker (’09), and Maggie Thomas (’10) we might think about a new “Bantams to Bulldogs” program.

Congratulations, Kelsey!

P.S. Thanks Colby, how could I forget Ben. What would that little school down there in New Haven do without us? :-)