October 30, 2020

Smithsonian Partnership Lets Students Explore Endangered Species

Imagine getting up close and personal with the world’s most endangered species – and then having the chance to save them. Thanks to a partnership with the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation (SMSC), Mary Washington students will soon have that experience. They’ll spend a semester working directly with these animals and learning from Smithsonian scientists and […]

Smithsonian Partnership Lets Students Explore Endangered Species

Imagine getting up close and personal with the world’s most endangered species – and then having the chance to save them. Thanks to a partnership with the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation (SMSC), Mary Washington students will soon have that experience. They’ll spend a semester working directly with these animals and learning from Smithsonian scientists and […]

Smithsonian Partnership Lets Students Explore Endangered Species

Thanks to a new partnership with the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, Mary Washington students will soon have the opportunity to study clouded leopards and other endangered species with Smithsonian scientists. Photo by Evan Cantwell/George Mason University.

Thanks to a new partnership with the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, Mary Washington students will soon have the opportunity to study clouded leopards and other endangered species with Smithsonian scientists. Photo by Evan Cantwell/George Mason University.

Imagine getting up close and personal with the world’s most endangered species – and then having the chance to save them.

Thanks to a partnership with the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation (SMSC), Mary Washington students will soon have that experience. They’ll spend a semester working directly with these animals and learning from Smithsonian scientists and George Mason University professors at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The agreement comes just as UMW’s biology department introduces a new major in conservation biology. Read more. 

Biology Professors Present at National Conference

Deborah O’Dell and April Wynn presented a poster titled “Transforming the Biology Major Through Course Based Research” at the AAC&U/PKAL meeting “Transforming Undergraduate STEM Education” held Nov. 4-5 in Boston. The poster was co-authored by O’Dell and Wynn and Biology Professors Andrew Dolby, Lynn Lewis, Alan Griffith and Deborah Zies. The presentation described changes in the biology major that ensure that every biology student participates in authentic research before they graduate.

Crawford, Davies and Griffith Publish Ecological Model in International Journal

Stephen Davies, associate professor of computer science, Alan Griffith, professor of biological science and Michael Crawford from the class of 2014, published their  modeling research article, titled “Predicting metapopulation responses of a tidal wetland annual to environmental stochasticity and water dispersal through an individual-based model.”

The article currently appears in the journal “Ecological Modelling” online and will appear in print in November. The article can be viewed here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304380015003828

Davies, Griffith and Crawford’s interdisciplinary project involved constructing a computer replica of the rare plant Sensitive Joint-Vetch in its native habitat – Virginia coastal wetlands. This detailed model was then simulated to make predictions about the plant’s population dynamics in response to various environmental factors.

Griffith Publishes Rare Plant Research in Natural Areas Journal

Alan Griffith

Alan Griffith

Alan Griffith, Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, will publish his research article titled “Secondary Dispersal in Aeschynomene virginica: Do Floating Seeds Really Find a New Home?” His article will appear in the Natural Areas Journal in October 2014. Published by the Natural Areas Association, this journal disseminates cutting-edge research, best practices and the newest knowledge related to natural areas. Dr. Griffith’s article describes and explains the appearance of the rare plant Aeschynomene virginica on the site of a recently removed dam in New Kent County, Virginia. This information is part of his ongoing research to understand how to protect this rare plant of Virginia’s freshwater, tidal wetlands.