Research Topics?

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Research Topics?

Postby mcclinj » Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:33 pm

I am about to enter my second semester as a junior in college. The major I was enrolled in is no longer being offered, however since I am almost done, I am being allowed to finish via independent study. This will most likely involve completing a research project designed by myself and my advisor.

My question to all of you is, as waterfowlers...what would you like to see studied.

This will be an undergrad research project, and therefore will be low budget and completed primarily, if not entirely, by myself.

-John
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Re: Research Topics?

Postby aggiechiro » Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:01 am

well is it going to be 1 semester, the whole year or either? inside or out? do you have a fixed location?
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Re: Research Topics?

Postby mcclinj » Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:15 am

Unsure as of the timeline, I would like to develop it into approx 1-2 yrs. It will be a combination of field / lab work and library research. Whatever the project entails, I will most likely be limited to within 100 miles of Pittsburgh PA.
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Re: Research Topics?

Postby aggiechiro » Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:42 am

well i know some folks from a school down here that did a multi-year study. basically they setup camp at one of the public hunting lands and asked each hunter(everyone said yes) to swab the birds. they tracked species and gender then looked for bird flu and whatever else they could find in them and compared the numbers over time.

it was very interesting to see just how many stains they found and how many samples of each. maybe something along those lines if it interests you.
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Re: Research Topics?

Postby pahunter1 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:22 am

john,

i would be interested to see what the impact (direct and non-direct) of the gulf coast oil spill will / is doing to our local population of migratory birds.

or
what the seemingly influx of waterfowlers{as noted below} is doing (impact study) to the states resident populations.
or even
with the "advancements and improvements" (i put that term loosely) of the PA PGC AR & HR (antler restriction & herd reduction), many hunters are fed up with traditional deer hunting and have turned to "alternate hunting outlets", such as waterfowl/coyote/groundhog hunting. will this "shift in priorities" impact the deer populations positively and simply create a negative impact on other species?
Just an Average "Joe" hunting the "Keystone State"
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Re: Research Topics?

Postby FlyFishingFreak » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:47 am

Well I think with such a new policy being implemented there would be little research or data to find.
I have been interested in the use of UV reflective paint and the effects of using it on decoys. will it make a difference? you could hunt and do research.
Whats you major? I'm wildlife Ecology/ Conservation Biology at The University of Nevada, Reno. My major was almost axed but luckily it got moved. I'm a graduating senior in December. They were going to get rid all of our natural resources and science and keep liberal arts. ***.
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Re: Research Topics?

Postby mcclinj » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:05 pm

Flyfishingfreak,

I am returning to school after several years away. At PIT, my major is Biological Science there used to be both an (1)Environmental Studies and a (2) Health Careers / Pre-med option.

Apparently during my time away the Environmental track was axed.

I already completed all the Environmental / Ecological courses, so they are willing to let me finish via independent study.

They also now offer a full GIS course, that has about 5 computer science prerequisites, which if I can get permission to skip those ( since I already have GIS experience and have taken a short course at the school before) I am going to take.

It must be a budget thing, because all the classes necessary for the major are still available.
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Re: Research Topics?

Postby BigSprig84 » Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:10 pm

Maybe a comparison study between the benefits of ALUS vs. CRP. ALUS - Alternative land use services. CRP - Conservation reserve program. ALUS is a canadian born program, whereas the CRP was developed for the U.S.

Just some ideas...

Good luck!
Goose doooown boys...
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Re: Research Topics?

Postby usfgeology » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:48 pm

Congrats on nearing the finish line. In my humble opinion, I would recommend taking the GIS classes available. In doing so, perhaps you could team up with USFWS and perhaps secure some funding (with the help of your advisor). This could be a double whammy as you could A) potentially defer some of your tuition costs and lab/equipment/field costs via the grant funding and B) stick it to the school by demonstrating the financial value the natural sciences can have for a university. As a geologist for an environmental consulting firm, I can tell you that GIS proficiency with an environmental education is a golden resume nugget.

On to the suggestions. Not sure how familiar you are with GIS but theoretically it bridges the gap between traditional AutoCAD drawings and database-type data repositories. In joining up with USFWS you could perhaps digitize their study/aerial survey plots and assist with year-to-year comparisons of wetland size/health. Or you could digitially cross-reference year-to-year bird counts within a GIS database so that when city/county/state wide bird counts can be more easily visualized for long term trend analysis. IE take all the historic black duck aerial survey counts, DNR hunting records, moisture trends, etc and correlate them visually on a state-wide GIS map. This would enable quicker and more non-scientific folks to visualize population trends, areas of habitat decline/improvement, etc. You could theoretically team up with DU or a similar habitat building organization (and ask for funds from them) to assess the trends in waterfowl population over time (using USFWS aerial bird counts) to evaluate the effectiveness of habitat restoration/creation activities in and around your state.

Wow...that got me going. You have an incredible opportunity here. Hopefully you view it that way. Good luck to you in your endeavors and keep us posted on what your going to do.

Andy
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Re: Research Topics?

Postby Paul Flicek » Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:53 am

The impacts of the gulf oil spill on Common Loons and Scaup should be interesting. I think the die offs of Scaup in northern MN need to be looked at very closely as well, as they are a dwindling population. I'm not sure if you have heard of that instance, but it was an eye opener. Basically the Scaup ate some snails with trematodes, then died by the thousands. Here is for your reading pleasure:

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/waterfowl/scaup.html
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Re: Research Topics?

Postby sherlockbonez » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:33 pm

Paul Flicek wrote:The impacts of the gulf oil spill on Common Loons and Scaup should be interesting. I think the die offs of Scaup in northern MN need to be looked at very closely as well, as they are a dwindling population. I'm not sure if you have heard of that instance, but it was an eye opener. Basically the Scaup ate some snails with trematodes, then died by the thousands. Here is for your reading pleasure:

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/waterfowl/scaup.html


Agree from next door in Ont.
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