Sun, 09/23/2018 - 3:53pm

Articles

What’s My Story: Zoologist

Roland Kays started studying animals in a physics class. He thought he wanted to work in a genetic engineering lab but thought better of it when he saw a film about a zoologist peering into prairie dog mounds looking for burrowing owls. He switched his major to zoology and fell in love with mammals. Today, he keeps tabs on thousands of mammals in their natural habitats with the aid of new technology and citizen volunteers at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

What's My Story: Ph.D. Research Assistant in Chemistry

It took Tana Villafana some time to figure out that she wanted to be a chemist. She started out hoping to be a writer and a musician. But as things worked out, she got to combine her love of the humanities with her love of electromagnetism.

Ph.D. Research Assistant: employed by a university to conduct research while seeking to earn a doctorate degree. They are typically responsible to a principal investigator.

Where the Wild Things Are

Camera traps provide pretty basic information. Biologists use the images to confirm what animals live in a given area. There is photographic proof, along with the date/time stamp, that an animal was in a specific place, at a specific time and on a specific date.

And while any photograph is cool, if it happens to be of an animal that is endangered or difficult to spot, the picture becomes even more valuable.

But while the research is new, the irony is that the use of camera traps really isn’t.

Fish Tagging

Ecosystems have limits to the numbers of organisms and population sizes they can support. These limits are set by predation, competition, diseases and the physical habitat (reefs, artificial reefs, mud flats, sea grass, and marsh). Fish biologists are using two types of tagging to understand how the physical environment constrains the population dynamics of the red drum, North Carolina's state fish.

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