My name is Jessica Fanelli and I am a rising senior at the University of Scranton.
I am a biology major and a biochemistry minor. As a member of the Honors Program, I am conducting a senior research project that will conclude in the defense of a senior thesis. I am working with Dr. Robert Smith on this project to study species diversity and density of migratory bird populations in the Lackawanna State Park. For my senior research project, I have been awarded a University of Scranton Royal Scholars Summer Fellowship! The fellowship provides me with a $3500 stipend, to allow me to spend the coming summer carrying out this project.
One of the primary goals in this study is to discern differences in species diversity and richness across varying habitat types. We will be using audio recorders to record bird calls in order to identify the species present in different areas. Recorders will be placed in a field habitat, a forest/field edge habitat, and within a forest habitat. With the recorders taking data in the spring and potentially during the summer breeding season, we will be able to study the effect of habitat on species richness and diversity.
Prescribed burns are going to be taking place in the coming years at the Park. Thus, these data can be used not only for my project, but also for future research when comparing the species diversity and richness before and after the burns have taken place.
I am so thankful for this award and my research opportunity here at Scranton. I would especially like to thank Dr. Smith for all of his help, flexibility, and guidance. With this project, I will be able to expand my skills in data collection and analysis exponentially. Additionally, I would like to thank Dr. Voltzow for her guidance and her recommendation to pursue this award for my project. These faculty members are helping me to grow as a scientist and as a person, and I am so grateful for this and every opportunity I have here at Scranton.