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Current Research Projects

Updated November 15, 2013

Research on Quarry Pond and Woodland Pond
Karen Tan, Dennis Callicutt, and Anna Urso, students enrolled in Bio 345, Conservation Biology with Professor Dana Dudle.  The students will compile data from various sources about the Quarry Pond and Woodland Pond and will collect water samples.  The students will create informational brochures that will be available to the public.  Project dates:  October-December 2013.

Effects of land use on small mammal populations
Michael Britton, Michael Tobin, Curt Hardacre, and Emily Vincent, students enrolled in Bio 345, Conservation Biology with Professor Dana Dudle.  The students will use Sherman traps to assess small mammal populations in three locations:  next to the campus farm, the field adjacent to the campus farm, and one of the restored prairies in the southern part of the Nature Park.  The students will trap, mark, and release the mammals.  Project dates:  October 15-November 25, 2013.  Trap sites marked with blue flagging.

Creek wading and sand castle building
Barbara Fields-Timm and students enrolled in first-year seminar, Univ 197E, Walking the Quarry’s Edge.  This is an experiential component of our seminar. Students will wade a section of Big Walnut Creek and journal their observations and experience.  Creative sand castle building will follow at a place TBD.  

Limestone cairns in the quarry
Barbara Fields-Timm and students enrolled in first-year seminar, Univ 197E, Walking the Quarry’s Edge.  Students will construct limestone cairns in the quarry bottom off of trail Q2.  Dates of project:  Sept 15-Oct 2, 2013.

Large painting project
Barbara Fields-Timm and students enrolled in first-year seminar, Univ 197E, Walking the Quarry’s Edge.  Students are constructing a large painting composed of individual canvases that interpret an aspect of the Nature Park.  There will be fourteen canvases pieced together.   The painting will be temporarily installed at a site to be determined - either the quarry bottom under the Prindle overlook or along a trail (Q2, K1, K2).  Dates of project:  October-November 2013.

Mapping an invasion:  expansion of Phragmites australis in an abandoned limestone quarry
Dana Dudle and students enrolled in Conservation Biology, Bio 345.  Students will work in the quarry pit for two weeks (off the trail) to measure the location, perimeter, area, density and reproductive status of several patches of Phragmites australis, the invasive common water reed.  Stake-wire flags will mark each patch until mid-September.  We will map our findings using Arc-GIS.  

Phenotypic plasticity of reproductive and vegetative traits in Saponaria officinalis
Dana Dudle, Khadijah Crosby ’14, Leah Freestone ’14, and J’Nai Macklin ’14, Bio 490.  Our group is measuring the variation due to genetics and environment in several plant traits. During fall 2013, we will quantify specific leaf area, leaf pigments, and seed production in replicates of eight genotypes of the introduced species Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet or soapwort).  The replicated genotypes have been grown in a common garden environment under two light treatments (60% shade and full sun).