Biology Students Attend Bird Conferences 

Ten NMU students recently attended the Michigan Bird Conservation Initiative (MiBCI) Conference, held in Tustin, Michigan, where research presented by NMU students swept top honors. A presentation co-authored by graduate student Gary Palmer and undergraduate student Jeremy Halka won the Best Presentation Award. Their presentation, entitled “Radar Ornithology and Wind Energy in the Great Lakes,” demonstrated how publicly-available weather radar data can be used to examine bird migration corridors, and how that information can be used to improve wind farm siting plans.


Pictured (Left to right): Jonathan Lutz, Executive Director of Michigan Audubon, gives the William L. Robinson Memorial award for Best Student Presentation to Gary Palmer (NMU graduate student) and Jeremy Halka (NMU undergraduate student).

Research presented by Brittney Dodge, entitled “DNA-Barcoding Identifies Unknown Bird Blood Samples to Species” won the Best Poster Award. The three-day conference was attended by over a hundred bird conservationists from state and federal agencies, academic institutions and non-profit organizations. Dr. Alec Lindsay, Associate Professor of Biology, led the students on this trip and said, “The research presented by our students was obviously top-rate, and they all gained valuable experience networking with and learning from scientists and conservationists from around the state.”

 

The MiBCI organizers gave the awards this year in honor of the late Dr. William L. Robinson, an emeritus biology professor who served NMU’s students for 34 years.