The Birds and the Trees

By Nathaniel Park- Biodiversity 

With the beginning of our fourth week into Action Research, the biodiversity team has made exciting new advances in our mission plan and with very helpful advice from our stakeholder, we have a solid foundation to begin our research.

In our weekly meeting we set up clear duties that were expected of all of our members as well as determined our research methodology and goals.  The administrative duties such as communications, minutes taking, and organization were split amongst the members to streamline meeting times and to ensure that objectives are clearly outlined and completed.  We also divided up the team into two groups to cover the main subjects of our research, flora biodiversity and fauna biodiversity. 

Our team’s main research goal that we have solidified this past week is to determine the differences in biodiversity with manicured areas on campus versus non manicured areas to make note the effect human alterations have on the local wildlife and plant species. Wild type areas are places such as Sage Hill, Stone Canyon Creek and the Botanical Gardens that have minimal gardening and manicured areas are areas like Wilson Plaza or Royce Quad that have significant alterations for aesthetics.  Within these areas, we plan to record the biodiversity of the plants, reptiles, birds and insects on a regular basis for our data collection. 

During our meeting with our very knowledgeable stakeholder, Dr. Ryan Harrigan, we were able to obtain good advice on data collection and data analysis.  We set up a tentative schedule for the data collection on flora and are debating whether or not to place insects into our data collections. We also discussed appropriate biodiversity indices to use during our data analysis and will continue to consider different indices through the course of the project. 

As we begin our data collection process, we hope that everything goes smoothly and as planned and that we will not be too exhausted from waking up at the crack of dawn to count some birds.