Julie Means

Cerulean warbler
Cerulean warbler

Graduate Assistant

"If we don’t conserve the environment, who will?"

I graduated from Ohio University and have been doing fieldwork studying cerulean warblers in southeastern Ohio.

The Natural Areas has the potential to house a lot of bird species. I was surprised to see from some 1938 photos how bare the land was and how much has recovered through the process of succession and land protection.

I selected the NA areas, as it is a large area in the midst of urban sprawl and agriculture. The proximity to the University and the ease of use as it is open to the public were important considerations for my research. The NA is unique in that it is not all one single age, some lands are in succession and others are mature. It is such a diverse and heterogeneous area.

The Natural Areas are really convenient for my study and if they weren't available it would make it much more difficult. It saves time and money to have them so close. If I had to use private land I would have to get permission for my research which would increase the time and expense of the project.

My plan is to survey the Natural Areas patches of woodlands that have regenerated, for their bird diversity and abundance. It’s important to monitor bird life so we can better assess our conservation efforts. Bird conservation is my passion and I hope to make a career out of it. I am hopeful that my research will encourage others to become more active in preserving the environment and the diversity of the species.