Undergraduate Students Wildlife Projects

Undergraduate Students – Past and Present Wildlife Projects

Birds Western Meadowlark


Title: Attendance patterns and survival of Western Meadowlark nests (2006)

Student: Scott Groepper
Adviser: Larkin Powell and Walter Schacht

At the Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory in the western Sandhills a solar powered video monitoring system was assessed as part of a grassland bird project. Western meadowlark nests were monitored to document attendance patterns and chick survival.

Journal Article

Sharp-tailed Grouse Lek research with song birds

Title: Use of Sharp-tailed Grouse Leks by Grassland Bird Species in the Nebraska Sandhills (2015)

Student: Ethan Freese
Adviser: Walter Schacht and Larkin Powell

The purpose of the research was to determine if prairie grouse leks contribute to habitat heterogeneity across the landscape for songbirds in the Nebraska Sandhills. The research was conducted on leks at the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge and Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest. Leks were less than 25 m in diameter with visual obstruction readings (VOR) of 0 cm compared to VORs of 4 cm on neighboring off-lek sites.  Distribution of songbirds (e.g., Western Meadowlark and Grasshopper Sparrow) were not influenced by the presence of leks.




Title: Influence of Pasture Management Regimes on the Abundance of Four Target Beetle Groups (2012)

Student: Christina Doehling
Adviser: Fred Baxendale, Tiffany Heng-Moss and Walter Schacht

Limited information is available on the impact of pasture management regimes on the local arthropod community. The objectives of this study were to identify the insect orders and families associated with managed smooth bromegrass pastures and determine the effect of three management strategies on the abundance and occurrence of four key beetle groups.

Journal Article

Nest Absences of Greater Prairie-Chickens

Habitat Measurement Method

Title: Using iButtons to Determine Nest Absences of Greater Prairie-Chickens (2011)

Student: Josiah Dallmann
Adviser: Larkin Powell and Walter Schacht

Recent technological innovations allow monitoring of nest activity that reduced disturbance and expense without altering nesting activities. However, the efficacy of these techniques to asses nest absences has not been determined for grassland, obligate ground-nesting birds. Monitoring nests to determine timing of absences requires technology which can accurately detect nest absences.