Lighting the SPARC of Scientific Collaboration: A Proposal to Add Two SUNY Campuses to a Regional Conservation Biology Network

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Bastiaans, Elizabeth
SUNY , State University of New York , IITG , Innovative Instructional Technology Grants , SPARCnet (Salamander Population and Adaptation Research Network) , Salamander Population and Adaptation Research Network (SPARCnet) , Environmental Monitoring Methods , SUNY Oneonta , SUNY Cobleskill , Remote Sensing Arrays , Conservation Biology - Teaching
We propose to add two SUNY campuses, Oneonta and Cobleskill, to a region-wide network of conservation biologists (SPARCnet, the Salamander Population and Adaptation Research Network), focused on studying the response of an abundant forest amphibian to climate change and habitat alteration. As part of established courses, undergraduate research, and graduate research, we will carry out core SPARCnet projects investigating the effect of snow removal during the winter on red-backed salamander overwinter survival, migration, and population dynamics. Students will learn to use innovative technologies for marking animals and for monitoring temperature and precipitation on the local and regional scales. They will gain hands-on skills with capture-mark-recapture and environmental monitoring methods, as well as proficiency handling large, publicly available datasets from remote sensing arrays. This proposal represents a transformational impact on SUNY Oneonta and SUNY Cobleskill’s conservation biology teaching because it will give students and faculty the opportunity to learn new, innovative research methods and work alongside a wide professional network of researchers, managers, and educators.
This IITG Tier 1 project seeks to add two teaching-focused SUNY campuses to a region-wide network of conservation biologists studying the effects of global change on forest amphibians.