Seven Sterling College students participated alongside Dr. Jonathan Conard, assistant professor of biology, in this year’s BioBlitz, an annual event held at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, on April 19-20. BioBlitz is an intensive species monitoring event in which scientists and volunteers gather in an attempt to count the variety of species present within a 24-hour period to help the Refuge determine what species are in the area. The Refuge teamed up with Sterling College and several other colleges to accomplish the species monitoring.
BioBlitz began in 2011 and Sterling College has participated since its origination. The Sterling College team was responsible for taking a census of small animals by trapping in a variety of habitats. Students also assisted other groups at Quivira by monitoring birds, reptiles and other species.
After the final tallies, 108 bird species, eight herptiles, 12 mammals, four fish and 62 plants were recorded.
“The event gave students a chance to learn more about species diversity and monitoring techniques,” said Conard. “It was also a unique networking opportunity for students to get to work alongside graduate students and scientists from other institutions.”
Students who participated in the event included Brianna Fuchs of Aurora, Colo., Chelsey Moore or Wichita, Kan., Michaela Moore of Wichita, Kan., Haley Ray of Derby, Kan., Lora Reardon of Houston, Texas, Anna Simpson-Mills of Lyons, Kan., David Spencer of Lyndon, Kan., and Josh Thomas of Sterling, Kan.