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Biology
2019 Project Proposal

Conservation Action Planning: mapping, monitoring, and assessing the health of ecological communities

Keri VanCamp (Field Station and Ecological Preserve Manager)

The Ecological Preserve has been working through a Conservation Action Planning process that focuses on strategies to manage the threats to our ecological communities in a changing climate.  The characterization of the ecological communities on the preserve is important for understanding the status of habitats and developing interventions to ensure that the key ecological attributes of the communities are maintained and restored.  This URSI project will focus on finalizing the habitat map that was created in 2016 and 2017 and implementing the monitoring protocols that we have developed to measure and track the health of the ecological communities.  We will be implementing monitoring protocols for plants, animals, and water quality.  We will work to link our findings to management interventions that will improve the resiliency of communities on the ecological preserve. Students will have the opportunity to learn a wide range of field techniques and management strategies. This position will provide an excellent opportunity for any student interested in pursuing conservation biology, restoration ecology, natural resource management and/or ecology as a career.

Prerequisites:
An interest in land management, ecological monitoring and mapping is essential.  Classes such as Ecology, Plant Diversity, Introductory Biology and Conservation Biology would be helpful.  Applicants should have plant and animal identification skills and be able to use a dichotomous key.   The successful candidate must enjoy working outdoors, have good organizational skills, and be capable of working in adverse conditions.  Experience working with GIS/GPS and conducting research are preferred.

How should students express interest in this project?
Students who have a strong interest in this project can reach out to me via email (kevancamp@vassar.edu).  I will interview a subset of candidates prior to selecting one.