Page 25 - IU Southeast 2012 Spring Mag

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IU Southeast
Spring 2012 23
Reigler said undergraduate students
who work on Blackacre projects
get a rare opportunity to help with
everything from writing grant
proposals to presenting research
Those are skills Jones said she uses in
her profession.
“The research projects were great fun
and certainly helped me hone my field
skills and research writing skills,” Jones
said. “It is wonderful experience for
students to get out there and practice
proper field techniques and learn in
such a ‘hands-on’ way.”
Another long-term study looking at
the relationship between invasive
plants and turtle populations is being
conducted by biology professor Omar
Attum and his students.
“Urban preserves face many challenges
due to their intrinsic nature of
being small, surrounded by urban
development, and being isolated from
other natural areas,” Attum said.
“Blackacre is a natural laboratory to
study the conservation issues of urban
nature preserves.”
Sharing the site
Both Taylor and Reigler said the field
station agreement will allow students
from other schools in the area to work
on projects at Blackacre, too. Taylor also
pointed out that other IU Southeast
departments besides biology, including
geology and geography, are beginning
to participate in research at the
“We have no intention of making this
an IU Southeast monopoly or limiting
which disciplines can study there,”
Taylor said. “We want to encourage
research that helps the state as a whole,
as well as create research that can be
used all over the world to protect areas
like Blackacre.”
Donald Dott, director of the Kentucky
State Nature Preserves Commission,
said his group encourages research
on all 60 of Kentucky’s preserves but
what’s happening at Blackacre could
have an impact on the area’s youngest
scientists, as well as on the preserve
“It’s a valuable way to gain critical
information that we can use to answer
species and habitat management or
restoration questions,” Dott said. “At
Blackacre, with the large number of
elementary and high school students
who visit the preserve for educational
programs, the IU Southeast research
can also inspire these students to
pursue a career of their own in the
biological or wildlife sciences.”
Eggs found under a rock in the stream during a salamander survey.