ANBE/BIOL 415 -- CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
SPRING SEMESTER 2011
A conservation project defined, researched, and written by you. Projects
are expected to involve extensive review of library resources, interviews
with locally available experts, reflection, and synthesis. Projects that involve Service-Learning are strongly encouraged. Such projects include those that provide data and/or ideas to government agencies, NGOs, or local groups. Projects that involve teams of individuals are also strongly encouraged -- here each individual is solely responsible for a portion of a greater project that offers important insights or data for the local community. Projects should be based on the central Susquehanna River Valley region or on the region of your home.
Final project report -- 12-15 pages (maximum), typed and single-spaced. Format as for publication
in the journal Conservation Biology. See "Instructions to Authors"
on the Conservation Biology journal web site. All information must be clearly and accurately referenced. Alternative
end products of these projects might include a feature article written
for a local newspaper or video-tape documentary. Paper must be submitted to SafeAssign via Blackboard.
Instructions to Authors:
Reports should be typed, single-spaced with no more than 1-inch
margins, on standard-size paper (8.5 x 11 inches; back-to back printing
is encouraged to save paper). Ragged right margins only. Print must be in
upper- and lower-case letters, and of laser quality; footnotes should be
avoided. Metric measurements must be given unless English measurement are
clearly more appropriate. Statistical terms and other measures are to conform
with the Council of Biology Editors Style Manual. Avoid the use of
acronyms in the text unless they are absolutely necessary. Pages, including
tables, should be numbered.
The first page should include the title of the paper, the authors
name, department, Bucknell University, and date. The Abstract should begin
on the same page, immediately following the previous information.
Each paper should have an abstract of no more than 300 words. The abstract
should state concisely the goals, methods, principal results, and major
conclusions of the paper. Incomplete and uninformative descriptions (e.g.,
"a new method of analysis was given", or "results are discussed")
should not be in the abstract. Acronyms are not permitted in the abstract.
Citations, Tables, and Illustrations:
Literature citations in the text should be as follows: (Buckley &
Buckley 1980; Pacey 1983). Abstracts and unpublished manuscripts may not
be cited. For abbreviations and additional details consult the BIOSIS
List of Serials, the CBE Style Manual, and recent issues of Conservation
Biology. Tables should not duplicate any material in the text or illustrations,
information source should be clearly cited. All tables are to have complete
but brief headings, should be numbered consecutively within the text.
Illustrations and photographs should be merged into the text. Photographs
(no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches) should be sharp prints. Lettering should
be uniform among the figures.
Ideas for Projects:
Local Land-Use & Planning:
- A conservation design plan for Bucknell's Miller Run. Recently, the GEOL 298 (Stream Restoration) class, co-taught by the Geology and Biology Departments and funded by a Luce Foundation grant, used scientific principles to integrate physical and biological approaches to develop ideas for the restoration of Bucknell's Miller Run. Using the ideas and plan developed by the students and faculty of GEOL 298, our class can detail appropriate plantings and wetland area construction to support the restoration.
- Develop an ecological interpretive educational brochure for nearby Turtle Creek Park, a popular distination for local walkers. The site includes a variety of successional habitats, some along Turtle Creek. Most walkers have no idea of the ecology of this site nor the species present. An interpretive brochure would help educate the local community about the ecology of this site.
- Develop an ecological interpretive educational brochure for Bucknell University's Chillisquaque Creek Natural Area. The site includes a variety of successional and old-growth forest habitats, some along Chillisquaque Creek. An interpretive brochure would help educate Natural Area visitors about the ecology of this site.
- Develop a conservation plan to reconnect Bucknell University and Lewisburg with the Susquehanna River corridor. Issues such as greenway development, recreational uses, water quality, and more would play into such planning.
- Develop a housing development plant that uses "cluster development" of housing to
preserve natural habitats. Traditional zoning regulations dictate lot sizes and boundary setbacks. Such zoning practices generally eliminate natural habitats as the landscape is converted to lawns. Cluster development can preserve natural habitats and create recreational uses of those habitats.
- Innovative uses of conservation easements to preserve regional natural areas. The local land trust, Merrill Linn Land and Waterways Conservancy, works to preserve and protect the region's landscape. Conservation easements are the primary tool used in such preservation and protection.
- A number of regional environmental/conservation groups (e.g.,
Seven Mountains Audubon Society, Merrill Linn Conservancy, Sierra Club,
Northcentral Conservancy) exist in the central Susquehanna Valley -- how can such organizations be even more effective in preserving the region's landscape?
- Develop ideas and plans for a sustainable landscape for central Pennsylvania apply Green
Plans in a rural community.
Impacts of an Agricultural Landscape:
- Develop a plan for riparian buffers and constructed wetlands for the treatment of agricultural runoff in streams such Buffalo Creek. Such buffers and wetlands can markedly reduce the amount of nutrient and soil loss into the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
- Traditional agricultural farming methods differ from those of organic farming. Develop a comparative ecological analysis of organic agricultural methods and conventional
- Effects of agricultural fragmentation of valley natural communities -- patches,
corridors, and matrix. How do these effects impact resident and migratory species and how can the effects of fragmentation be reduced?
- Restoration of the locally significant Montandon Wetlands following sand and gravel mining by Central Builders Supply. What uses can be made of the mined and restored wetlands by future generations?
- Influence of acid-mine drainage on Susquehanna River Bioregion. What can be done to mitigate the damage caused by acid-mine drainage? What's the role of constructed wetlands for the treatment of acid-mine
- Invasive species can have a devastating effect on native communities. For example, the Asian insect -- hemlock woolly adelgid -- appears to be devastating old-growth hemlock stands such as Snyder-Middleswarth's Tall Timbers. Invasive plants such as purple
loosestrife, Japanese knotweed, and stilt grass are displacing native plants. Develop a plan to reduce such impacts.
- The effects of acid rain on regional aquatic ecosystems. Much of the bioregion includes poorly buffered substrates, which are markedly impacted by acid precipitation. What steps can be taken to counteract these detrimental effects?
Forest Management & Resource Use:
- Pennsylvania's State Forest Lands and State Game Lands are managed for multiple uses. Analyze these multiple uses to determine how well current plans work. Do plans need alteration?
- Pennsylvania's State Game Lands are managed to encourage game species (those that are hunted and including some that are not native such as the pheasant). Analyze current management to determine if practices harm native species and natural communities.
Human Impacts on Land & Waterways:
- Dams have numerous detrimental impacts on waterways including the Susquehanna River. The nearby Sunbury Fabridam was created over three decades ago to encourage recreational use of the Susquehanna. But economic benefits from recreation might be offset by ecological costs such as preventing the upstream migration of fish (e.g., shad). Analyze the effects of the Fabridam on watershed
function and species composition from both an ecological and economic perspective. Does the proposed installation of a fish ladder around Fabridam make good ecological and economic sense?
- Recycling, landfills, and waste at Bucknell and/or Lewisburg: develop a plan to reduce the waste stream and increase the recycled stream
Population Viability Analysis (PVA) of Locally Vulnerable, Threatened, or Endangered Species:
- A number of threatened and endangered species occur within the region's habitats. Develop a PVA of a listed species from the local landscape (e.g., plants such as jeweled shooting star, northeastern bulrush, small whorled pogonia; invertebrates such as various dragonflies, damselflies, and mussels; or vertebrates such as one of several fish, reptiles, or amphibians, and birds like the American bittern, sedge wren, peregrine falcon, or mammals like the least shrew and Delmarva fox squirrel).
- Analyze the long-term prospects for birds such as the pileated or hairy woodpecker in central Pennsylvania
forests. Develop a plan to enhance those prospects.
- Many Neotropical migrant birds have declined in breeding success in Pennsylvania
forests (e.g., wood thrush, scarlet tanager). Analyze the situation for one or more of these species and offer a plan to mitigate the decline. Such an analysis could include the effects of forest fragmentation and cowbird nest parasitism on central
Pennsylvania woodland birds.