Dr. Thomas Lavelle Quay earned his Master's Degree at NC State in 1940 studying winter bird communites in Raleigh "The Ecological Succession of Winter Birds at Raleigh, North Carolina". He went on to earn the first Ph.D. awarded by the University and taught ornithology in the Department of Zoology for over 30 years.
We will continue Dr. Quay's studies of winter bird communities in 2018. This year the class will evaluate changes to winter bird communities on habitats similar to those studied by Dr. Quay. The primary goal of this exercise is to gain an appreciation for the process of planning, carrying out, and interpreting an avian field study. Working in three teams, we'll use the occupancy approach demonstrated in our first lab session to assess changes to Raleigh's winter bird communities and their habitats. Your goal as a team is to complete three replicate five minute counts on 20 points in your chosen habitat type within a three week sampling window between 23 February and 18 March.
1) Meet with your team to formulate an approach for your study, the distribution of effort, leadership and communication, and in consultaion with the other teams, decide on the location of your sample points. Submit a short (500 word) project proposal on Friday, 2 February summarizing your objectives and describing your study site (5 points).
2) On Friday, 16 February submit a draft methods section for your study outlining your study approach and proposed analyses (5 points).
3) On Friday, 16 March submit draft introduction (5 points) and literature cited (5 points) sections of your study. This section should place your study in the context of related research and clearly explain your project objectives. All references should be fully documented in a literature cited section using the citation format from The Auk
4) On Friday, 6 April submit a draft results section for your study and a preliminary summary of your field data (10 points). Your data summary should include all data collected for your project to date in an organized format (e.g. Excel or Access). Provide summary statistics for data (e.g. naive species occupancy estimtes, # individual birds seen per point, total number of detections, covatiates measured e.g. # trees per plot).
5) On Friday 13 April submit a draft discussion/conclusion section for your study (5 points) as well as a short abstract (about 250 words) (5 points). Your discussion/conclusion should focus on the strengths and weaknesses of your approach and findings, and place your findings in the context of related studies.
6) On Wednesday, 25 April you will make a scientific presentation of your results. The presentation will be graded on:
Content - (30 points). This will include all of the sections previously submitted with revisions/changes as appropriate.
Title and Authors
Presentation (20 points)
Presentation style (format, font, color choices, clarity and organization)
Individual contribution (10 points) scored by team members
|Draft project proposal||5 points|
|Draft introduction and abstract||10 points|
|Draft methods||5 points|
|Draft results and data summary||10 points|
|Draft discussion and literature cited||10 points|
|Final content||40 points|
|Final presentation||20 points|
|Individual contribution||10 points|
|TEAM 1||TEAM 2||TEAM 3|
The Raleigh Christmas Bird Count data, collected since 1916, are available in a spread sheet format for analysis and comparison to your field data.
|Team 3 2005 Presentation||Team 1 2007 Presentation||Team 4 2007 Presentation|
|Team 3 2005 Summary||Team 1 2007 Summary||Team 4 2007 Summary|
|Team 3 2005 Data||Team 1 2007 Data||Team 4 2007 Data|