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Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) in Raptor Research

collage o fowl tagging

  • looking through binocularstwo owlstwo student holding owlstudent holding owl

    The REU Site in Raptor Research (REU-RR) is funded by the National Science Foundation and Boise State University. REU-RR is a 10-week summer research program located at Boise State University, Boise, Idaho. Field and laboratory research projects are available for students.

    The goal of the REU-Raptor Research site is to engage undergraduates in biological research using birds of prey (hawks, owls, falcons, and eagles) as model systems. Though partnerships among the Department of Biological Sciences and Raptor Research Center at Boise State University, The Peregrine Fund, Inc., Intermountain Bird Observatory, College of Western Idaho, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, undergraduates will spend 10 weeks conducting field and/or laboratory research under the guidance of research mentors from academia, government, and NGOs. Students participate in a core professional development program that includes focus on endangered species restoration, responsible conduct of research, animal care, applying to graduate school, the publication process, and communication in science. The summer research experience for REU-RR participants culminates with a statewide interdisciplinary summer undergraduate research conference (ICUR) that provides participants the opportunity to communicate their work to a diverse audience of students and scientists. REU participants also have opportunity to attend the annual meeting of the Raptor Research Foundation during the fall, where four previous REU-Raptor Research students have been recognized with with William C. Andersen Memorial Awards for best student posters.

    Program Dates for Summer 2019 are 22 May – 31 July

    Applications for Summer 2019 are now closed. Applications for summer 2020 will open in December 2019.Please see the Application Tab above for additional information and to apply to REU-Raptor Research. Please know that REU-Raptor Research welcomes your application. We are especially interested in receiving applications from groups underrepresented in science (women and racial minorities), first generation college students, persons with disabilities, veterans of military service, and students from institutions where research opportunities in STEM are limited.

    If you have questions, please see the FAQ tab above or contact:
    Dr. Jim Belthoff, REU-RR
    Department of Biological Sciences and
    Raptor Research Center
    Boise State University
    Boise, ID 83725
    Email: reu-rr@boisestate.edu

  • Boise, Idaho is known throughout the world as a hub for raptor research. It is home to the Raptor Research Center (RRC) at Boise State University, The Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey, the Intermountain Bird Observatory at Boise State University, the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, and the Raptor Biology Graduate Program in the Department of Biological Sciences (DBS) at Boise State University.

    The REU-Raptor Research Site is designed to use raptor research as a model to understand biological phenomena and interactions, and to provide participants opportunity for a cohort experience, mentored research, and professional development. Research on raptors uses modern tools to address questions ranging from molecular ecology to ecosystem processes and spans both basic and applied topics of science related to birds of prey. Students gain broad exposure as well as focused study on individual research projects. Typically each student completes an independent research project with a mentor, although co-mentoring often occurs for interdisciplinary projects.

     

    For questions please see FAQ tab above or contact:
    Dr. Jim Belthoff, REU-RR
    Department of Biological Sciences and
    Raptor Research Center
    Boise State University
    Boise, ID 83725
    Email: reu-rr@boisestate.edu


  • Below are some of the mentors for REU-Raptor Research. Note that some mentors may not have openings each year, and some mentors may have several openings for REU-Raptor Research participants in a given year. Research mentors with expertise in raptor biology but not listed below may also participate.


    Dr. David Anderson

    Program Director for The Peregrine Fund’s Gyrfalcon and Tundra Conservation Project

    Research Interests: I am the Program Director for The Peregrine Fund’s Gyrfalcon and Tundra Conservation project.  MLesson of tying harnessesy goal is to learn how climate change may affect the breeding biology and population status of Gyrfalcons throughout the Arctic through a series of cascading effects that ripple through the entire tundra ecosystem.  This is a new program, and we are starting field studies in western Alaska on Gyrfalcon diet, and factors related to population biology like productivity, occupancy, and nest site selection.  See Dr. Anderson’s Peregrine Fund web page here. Dr. Anderson’s Raptor Research Center web page.


    Dr. Sarah Schulwitz

    Program Director for The Peregrine Fund’s American Kestrel Project

    Research Interests: Artificial nest boxes are popular tools intended to aid secondary cavity nesting birds such as owls, kestrels, and songbirds. The Peregrine Fund’s American Kestrel Partnership (AKP) works with citizen and professional scientists across North America who install and monitor nest boxes to contribute data to a centralized database. Unfortunately, many citizen scientists are inconsistent with their installation, monitoring, and box relocation regimes. My research focuses on aspects of nest box programs for conservation and management of birds of prey.

    Visit Dr, Shulwitz’s web page here.


    Dr. Jim Belthoff

    Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Interim Director of the Raptor Research Center, Boise State University, and Project Director for REU-Raptor ResearchJim Belthoff lecturing in the field

    Research Interests: Much of my research focuses on the biology, behavior, and ecology of owls and other birds. I’m interested in dispersal, migration, mating systems, territoriality, ectoparasites and disease ecology, and how habitat conversion to agriculture affects birds of prey. I have current projects related to the population biology, behavioral ecology, ectoparasites, and conservation of burrowing owls; roadway mortality and ecology of barn owls, ecotoxicology in ferruginous hawks, and the behavioral ecology of flammulated owls and western screech-owls. Visit Jim Belthoff’s faculty page here. See Jim Belthoff’s recent publications here.


    Dr. Jay Carlisle

    Research Director, Intermountain Bird Observatory (IBO) and Associate Research Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Boise State University

    Jay carlisle holding hawkResearch Interests: Jay’s research interests are focused on the stopover ecology, habitat needs, and conservation of migratory land birds in the West and in Latin America. He has authored and co-authored over 15 peer-reviewed publications, many of which focus on migration and stopover issues, as well as numerous technical reports. He also dreams of establishing a year-round research program that would include migration and wintering studies in Latin America. Equally important, Jay really enjoys the outreach aspects of IBO’s many programs and hopes that IBO can be instrumental in instilling a conservation ethic in and around the communities in which we work. In 2010, Jay and several colleagues at Idaho Department of Fish and Game began working to form the Idaho Bird Conservation Partnership (IBCP), an effort designed to contribute to the management, science delivery, outreach, and conservation of birds and their habitats in Idaho via enhanced collaboration and communication. Jay is now excited to be serving as the part-time coordinator for the IBCP. In his free time, Jay enjoys birding, soccer, hiking, biking, trying to speak Spanish, and international travel. Visit Jay Carlisle’s page here. See Jay Carlisle’s recent publications here.


    Dr. Todd Katzner

    Affiliate Faculty, Raptor Research Center, Boise State University and U.S. Geological Survey

    Research Interests: Research in my lab group focuses on interactions between wildlife and human activity. For example, much of my research is geared towards understanding flight and movement behavior ofTodd Katzner raptors, so that we can use that understanding to predict risk to from development of wind turbines and other energy infrastructure. My team also studies questions related to distribution, abundance, health and behavior of wildlife on the landscape and how those patterns are influenced by human activity. Although we publish on many taxa, most of our work is focused on birds, especially large soaring birds of prey, avian habitat associations, annual movements, population dynamics, survey and monitoring, food habits and natural resources conservation. Visit Todd Katzner’s USGS page here.


    Dr. Julie Heath

    Professor, Department of Biological Sciences and Raptor Research Center, Boise State University

    Julie Heath holding perigrine falconResearch Interests: My lab addresses questions about how birds survive and reproduce in human-dominated environments. We use physiological and behavioral ecology approaches to understand interactions between global change and bird populations. Much of the research in my lab has focused on avian reproduction and migration. Studies that aid in our understanding of the links between habitat conditions and the physiological or behavioral mechanisms that are driving population declines can help inform wildlife management and aid in the conservation of declining species. Visit Julie Heath’s faculty page here. See Julie Heath’s recent publications here.


    Greg Kaltenecker

    Executive Director, Intermountain Bird Observatory (IBO), Boise State University

    greg and daughter aylaResearch Interests: One of Greg’s objectives was to provide an exciting and real-life research and training opportunity for Boise State students while conducting long-term research and community outreach. Greg’s research passion is bird migration, and his lifelong pursuit is to educate the public about birds, science, and conservation. He believes that a strong public community presence is critical to being an effective scientist and the easiest way to accomplish conservation is through active public engagement. The most rewarding part of his life is sharing his passion with the local public, and introducing children to birds, nature, and the outdoors. In his spare time, Greg can be found enjoying the public lands of Idaho while fishing, hunting, and hiking. His thoughts and efforts focus on his family including wife Deniz and two daughters Ayla and Alara. He daydreams often of his favorite outdoor pursuit: saltwater fly fishing, and Greg and family vacation to the sea as much as possible to chase this passion. Visit Greg Kaltenecker’s page here.


    Dusty Perkinsdusty perkins holding bird

    Assistant Professor, Department of Life Sciences, College of Western Idaho and Affiliate Research Scientist, Boise State University

    Research Interests:  My research interests include conservation biology, effects of anthropogenic landscape change on wildlife, ecology, and population genetics. Most recently, I have worked with undergraduate researchers to evaluate the impacts of human activities and land management practices on the breeding ecology of several animal species. My work uses traditional biological field methods, GIS, and molecular approaches to address questions related to ecology, conservation and molecular ecology. I mentor REU participants (1) on osprey (Pandion haliaetus) projects to evaluate factors that affect habitat suitability in a managed reservoir system and human-dominated ecosystem in central Idaho, and (2) on studies within the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation area related to ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis) behavior and ecology.


    Dr. Jim Smith

    Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Boise State University

    Research Interests: My laboratory focuses on molecular approaches to addressing evolutionary questions in animals and plants. Advances in the past 20+ years have enabled the use of DNA to rapidly answer many important biological questions in a cost-effective manner. Among these are questions relating to gene flow, population structure, species boundaries, source of migrants, and identifying species using DNA barcoding, all of which can be applied to raptor biology. Visit Jim Smith’s faculty page here.


  • Below are some examples of potential projects.  The projects on which REU participants work may include one or more of these or others not listed depending on student and mentor interest at the time of selection of REU participants and as Summer 2016 approaches.


    Dr. David Anderson’s Projects

    Publication Cover

    Applied Raptor Ecology: Essentials from Gyrfalcon Research. David L. Anderson, Christopher J.W. McClure, and Alastair Franke.

    Prey density and patterns of gyrfalcon occupancy and productivity on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska.

    Gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus) have an interesting diet.  Early in the breeding season the only type of prey that is available to them are ptarmigan (Lagopus spp.).  As other types of prey become available later in the breeding seasons, such as migratory birds or young squirrels and foxes, they gradually incorporate these into the diet as well.

    Each year since 2014 our Alaska team collects data on prey density and  deliveries at gyrfalcon nests. We conduct road-based surveys to estimate prey density, and we install camera traps in gyrfalcon nests to record prey deliveries. Concurrently, we monitor gyrfalcon productivity and behavior. These data allow formulation and testing of hypotheses related to how climate change affects top predators in an Arctic setting in comparison to temperate zone counterparts. REU-RR students participate through a combination of site visits and follow-up Boise based analyses to further our understanding of climate change effects on the biota.


    Dr. Sarah Shulwitz’s Projects

    Testing consequences of nest box management regimes on population trends of American kestrels (Falco sparverius)

    The Peregrine Fund’s American Kestrel Partnership (AKP) works with citizen and professional scientists across North America who install and monitor nest boxes to contribute data to a centralized database. Unfortunately, many citizen scientists are inconsistent with their installation, monitoring, and box relocation regimes. McClure et al. (2017) used simulations to demonstrate hypothesized effects of various nest box management regimes—showing nest boxes can be potentially harmful and produce misleading trends in population indices. REU-RR students will empirically test and verify results of McClure et al. (2017) using different nest management regimes to examine influence on both occupancy and local abundance of American kestrels. The REU-RR students install and monitor kestrel nest boxes and conduct surveys to determine trends in the local populations using methods outlined in Smallwood et al. (2009b).

    Dr. Jim Belthoff’s Projects

    Roadway mortality of barn owls (Tyto alba) along a local interstate highway

    Thousands of barn owls die annually along roads (Boves and Belthoff 2012); in fact, we have documented the highest roadway mortality rates reported world-wide in southern Idaho. Our research has focused on deciphering factors contributing to the high rates (Belthoff et al. 2015, Arnold et al. 2018, Regan et al., in press). Important next steps are to undertake research to evaluate mitigation alternatives. Thus, REU-RR projects will address the efficacy of ‘pole barriers’ to alter flight of owls near roads to reduce vehicle collisions. The initial research makes use of captive barn owls to investigate flight in relation to differences in pole diameter, spacing, height, color, and with and without flagging elements. The hypothesis is that poles spaced at optimum heights/distances will cause owls to fly over traffic, with the notion that poles are more cost effective and less obtrusive to other wildlife than complete fencing or walls. Data on flight altitudes, speed, and behavior (flight between or above poles) are recorded using infrared video and onboard gps transmitters. Once controlled experiments are completed, transportation agencies will develop pole barrier arrays in owl mortality hotspots, during which time REU-RR projects can examine free-living GPS-equipped owls in response. A nest box population of barn owls that we study will also facilitate REU-RR projects focused on integrative pest management, ranging behavior, and ecology in urban and rural environments.

    Host-ectoparasite relationships in burrowing owls

    We have ongoing research focused on ectoparasites of burrowing owls to assess if and how fleas (Pulex irr

    itans: Pulicidae) influence owls. This is an unusual association between a flea and an owl that has developed only in Pacific northwest populations of burrowing owls involving the ‘human flea,’ which typically infests mammals (carnivores). Previous REU-RR students examined (1) if and how flea prevalence altered sunning behavior in burrowing owls, (2) the physiological and behavioral (preening) influences of fleas on owls, and using a stable isotopes approach (3) geographic origins of fleas on owls, e.g., whether they became infested on breeding grounds or transported fleas from wintering areas (Navock et al. 2019). ­­A 4th REU-RR student examined how flea assemblages on owls changed after an epizootic of plague that killed local ground squirrels to examine whether fleas more typical of ground squirrels sought sympatric alternative hosts (i.e. burrowing owls). Remaining questions relate to how fleas alter the immune system of owls, how Pulex irritans infesting burrowing owls differ from P. irritans on more typical carnivore hosts (could they be a cryptic species?), what is the genetic population structuring of fleas on burrowing owls to understand the effects of owl movements on ectoparasites, and one particularly basic but important question of how the owls acquire fleas, i.e., from nests, from prey, from interactions with other owls? REU-RR students help design experiments to address these questions about host-parasite relationships..


    Dr. Jay Carlisle, Rob Miller, and Greg Kaltenecker’s Projects

    Breeding ecology of northern goshawks in the northern Great Basin

    IBO and Boise State partner with the USDA Sawtooth National Forest to study breeding northern goshawks (Accipiter gentilis), a management indicator species for the forest. The naturally fragmented forest structure in the area presents unusual challenges for the species, including a unique prey assemblage (i.e., lack of tree squirrels, a common prey item for goshawks in most regions of their range), isolation from other western populations, high levels of human disturbance, and unusually high prevalence of endo- and ectoparasites. The study population is numerically strong but suffers from high annual turnover and a younger demographic structure than more stable populations elsewhere. The goal of this project is to examine the factors influencing the demographic structure of the population. Studies are planned that focus on the importance of annual variation in prey availability, genetic population structure, demography, the impacts of endo- and ectoparasites, and effects of human disturbance on nestling health and survival. REU-RR students help formulate research questions and design projects that draw from literature. Students have access to long-term data sets to address novel questions on predator-prey dynamics, demography, and/or aspects of northern goshawk nesting ecology. Camping with the team at the remote field site is required.


    Dr. Julie Heath’s Projects

    The effects of global change on raptor populations

    Human activities are driving rapid changes in climate and land use that affect avian behavior, physiology, life histories and population ecology. Our lab has several compelling systems for studying global change ecology of raptors. For example, in southwestern Idaho, winter temperatures have warmed and snow fall has declined over the past 25 years. In addition, land cover has changed from shrub-steppe to invasive grasslands, and agriculture areas have been converted to suburbs. We have two long-term projects focused on how American kestrel and golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) ecology has changed with climate and land cover.

    Potential REU projects include: 1) Examining the risk of disease and parasite infection on nestling golden eagles; 2) Determining the carry-over effects of migration strategies (that have changed) on reproduction of kestrels; and 3) Exploring how human disturbance affects metrics of physiological stress (i.e., telomeres). There is a large collaborative team to assist with eagle research. Visits to kestrel nest boxes are safe and dependable so that we can quickly train students on how to handle birds, minimize investigator disturbance, accurately collect and record data, and obtain an appropriate sample size. The extensive history of research on these populations, covering a broad range of topics, provides a rich background that will help to develop new ideas for student research. Given the increasing importance in understanding human impacts on biological systems, participation will provide students with subject matter and research questions that they are likely to encounter in future academic or professional work.


    Dr. Todd Katzner’s Projects

    Avian interactions with renewable energy development

    Thousands of raptors die every year from collision with wind turbines. Recent work in my lab has focused on understanding avian flight behavior to predict risk to birds from wind energy development. However, much past work has focused on one or two species, with the assumption that protection of those can serve as a conservation umbrella for other species. Our team has a dataset of ~30 million GPS datapoints collected from telemetered birds – golden eagles, bald eagles, California condors, ferruginous hawks and others – that are available for a student to analyze. The goal of this project will be to compare the flight altitude response of golden and bald eagles to evaluate similarity in their behavior and to understand the extent to which either species can reasonably serve as a proxy for the other when mapping risk to birds. REU-RR participants will (a) map GPS data and filter them; (b) link them to topographic position as estimated from digital elevation models (DEMs); (c) measure flight altitude above ground level; and (d) use generalized linear models to evaluate flight altitude response to different topographic position categories. Although all data for this project are already in hand, the student will also participate in data collection on a number of other field research projects.

    Dusty Perkin’s Projects

    Modeling osprey (Pandion hailaetus) and ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis) habitat suitability in Idaho

    We use field techniques, geospatial analyses and molecular biology approaches to understand how anthropogenic activities, habitat characteristics, prey availability, and parasites influence raptor breeding ecology and behavior. Laboratory and field opportunities exist, and students learn to conduct field techniques, safely access and capture, handle and mark nestling raptors, obtain tissue samples for laboratory analysis, and conduct population dynamics research. Some projects use GIS for habitat suitability modeling or molecular techniques to identify blood pathogens and their influence on breeding success. Hawk projects evaluate factors influencing reproduction, survival, ecotoxicology, and population dynamics. Some overnight travel is required.

    Dr. Jim Smith’s Projects

    Raptor population genetics

    My laboratory focuses on molecular approaches to addressing evolutionary questions, and I mentor REU-RR students individually or in collaboration with other REU mentors. I mentored previous REU-RR participants on research projects related to northern goshawk genetic population structure and using DNA approaches to elucidate parentage in burrowing owls in a study of mating systems. Advances in recent years have enabled the use of DNA to rapidly answer many questions in a cost-effective manner, and this sets ups well for undergraduate research. I envision REU-RR collaborations on avian mating systems and analyses of population structure in raptors and their ectoparasites among other molecular projects.

  • REU-Raptor Research Benefits for Participants

    • REU-RR participants present the results of their research
      Student Research Conference

      REU-RR participants present the results of their research during an interdisciplinary undergraduate research conference.

    • Image of researchers banding Burrowing Owls
      Hands-on Research

      REU-RR participants gain hands on research experience with birds of prey and their habitats.

    • Sign for Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area
      Snake River Birds of Prey Area

      REU-RR participants will have opportunity to work within the world-famous Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area.

    • REU Student holding nestling Osprey
      Osprey Banding

      REU Student with nestling Osprey near Lake Cascade, Idaho

    • Checking a nest stand
      Ferruginous Hawks

      Banding Ferruginous Hawks in the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey Area

    • Osprey Banding near Cascade, Idaho
      Osprey Banding

      Osprey Banding near Cascade, Idaho

    • Climbing Seminar
      Climbing Seminar

      Learning climbing techniques to access raptor nests

    • Baby Hawk
      Ferruginous Hawks

      Ornithological Research


    Our summer research program is an excellent way for students to gain skills and prepare for graduate school and a career in a STEM field.  In addition to the research experiences and professional development opportunities afforded by REU-RR, each participant will receive:

    1. A stipend of $5,250
    2. Campus housing
    3. A food supplement to assist with purchase of meals
    4. Travel expenses to and from Boise
    5. Potential to apply for travel funding to attend national conferences, and
    6. Participation in Idaho Conference on Undergraduate Research (ICUR)

     

    For questions please see FAQ tab above or contact:

    Dr. Jim Belthoff, REU-RR
    Department of Biological Sciences and
    Raptor Research Center
    Boise State University
    Boise, ID 83725
    Email: reu-rr@boisestate.edu

  • APPLICATIONS FOR SUMMER 2019 ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED.

    DEADLINE FOR COMPLETED APPLICATIONS WAS: Monday, 18 February 2019.

    We welcome applications from students from all biological disciplines who are interested in field or laboratory research. We are especially interested in receiving applications from groups underrepresented in science (i.e., women and racial minorities), first generation college students, persons with disabilities, those returning from military service, and students from institutions where research opportunities in STEM are limited.

    Eligibility:

    To be eligible for the REU-RR program, you must:

    1. Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
    2. Not be graduating with your undergraduate degree until at least the end of Fall 2019 term
    3. Be a full-time college or university student, and
    4. Be available for full-time program participation and research during the 10-week summer program.

    Application Instructions for REU-Raptor Research:

    To apply to our program you must complete Steps 1 and Step 2 below:

    1.  Complete the online application by the February 18, 2019 priority deadline.
    The online application requests the following information (which should be assembled prior to starting the form):

    • Contact information
    • Academic information that includes colleges/universities attended, major, year in school, expected graduation date, GPA (overall and science/math), and grades for up to 10 science/math courses.
    • An electronic copy of college transcripts (unofficial is suitable) that includes Fall 2018 grades and Spring 2019 classes in which you are registered.
    • Education and career plans.
    • Demographic and background information, including citizenship status, race/ethnicity, military experience, and parent/guardian education information.
    • Two short essays (each no more than 300 words) that describe 1) why you want to participate and what you expect to get out of the REU-Raptor Research Site program, and 2) any prior relevant experience (e.g., research, laboratory classes, employment, etc.). We suggest preparing your essays in advance using word processing software and then copying the text into the form when you are ready to submit the application.

    The online application is at the link below:

    ONLINE APPLICATION TO REU-RAPTOR RESEARCH

    2. Request two letters of reference from academic faculty (see FAQs if your references are not academic faculty).

    • At least one of the references must be able to comment on your potential for independent research. Both should attempt to comment on your interest in science, motivation, work ethic, etc.
    • Request that the reference providers submit their letters/comments at the following website: https://orgsync.com/140348/forms/92246
    •  Request that the letters be submitted by the application deadline. References should be alerted that their letters will be held in confidence and not shared with REU applicants.

    Applications received on or before the application deadline will be given priority. Later applications may be considered if there are still openings in the program. Any questions should be directed to Dr. Jim Belthoff via the contact information below. Email correspondence is preferred.

  • REU-Raptor Research: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    We are happy to answer questions that prospective applicants to our REU-Raptor Research Site may have.  However, please check the following for answers to frequently asked questions before contacting us.

    1. How do I apply to REU-Raptor Research?

    See application instructions, complete the online application, and arrange for two letters of reference by providing the web link to references. See the Application Tab above.

    2. How many students are supported in the REU-Raptor Research Site?

    We typically have funding to support 8-10 students per year.

    2. When will I hear about the decision on my application?

    Finalists are typically selected in mid-March of each year.

    3. If I graduate in Spring 2019, am I eligible to participate in the REU program in Summer 2019?

    Unfortunately, no.  The NSF stipulates that all REU participants must be current undergraduates.

    4. If I am still in school or some other engagement will not allow me to start the REU program on the specified date, am I still eligible to apply?

    Yes. We have an input field in the application for students to indicate when they can start the program. While it is preferable that all students start the program together, at times individual research projects may allow a slightly later start.

    5. The application asks for two reference letters from academic faculty.  If I do not have close relationships with academic faculty, is it OK if one of the letters comes from my employer or a graduate teaching assistant/postdoc?

    Yes, although letters from faculty are preferred when possible.

    6. Can I receive academic credit for the summer experience?

    Yes. REU-RR participants typically will receive 1 cr. of undergraduate research from Boise State University for their participation (at no cost to the students). Students may also work with either their home institution or Boise State University to pursue additional academic credit for the experience.

    Image of students on the Friendship bridge

    Summer 2015 REU-Raptor Research Students on the Boise State University campus with Edward Wilson’s “Letters to a Young Scientist”

  • National Student Awards

    Best Student Paper Awards

    Stephanie Szarmach. Northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) genetic diversity and connectivity among the naturally fragmented forests of the northern Great Basin, U.S.A. William C. Andersen Award for Best Student Poster, 2014 Annual Meeting of the Raptor Research Foundation, Corpus Christi, TX.

    Jilma Rachel Guinea, Characteristics of reproductive habitat for harpy eagles in Darien Province, Panama. 2014 National Conference for Society for Advancement of Chicaos/Latinos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), Los Angeles, CA.

    Claire Nellis, Physiological and behavioral effects of ectoparasites: Does being bugged cause stress in burrowing owls?  William C. Andersen Award for Best Student Poster, 2015 Annual Meeting of the Raptor Research Foundation, Sacramento, CA.

    Aidan Branney, Burrowing owls, common ravens, and power transmission lines in the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, Idaho. William C. Andersen Award for Best Student Poster, 2016 Annual Meeting of the Raptor Research Foundation, Cape May, NJ.

    Kara Moran, Investigation of the geographic origin of burrowing owl fleas with implications for the ecology of plague. William C. Andersen Award for Best Student Poster, 2017 Annual Meeting of the Raptor Research Foundation, Salt Lake City, UT.

    Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

    • Ty Styhl.  2017. University of Idaho

    Journal Publications (REU-Raptor Research student authors in bold)

    Navock, Kara A., D.H. Johnson, S. Evans, M.J. Kohn, and J.R. Belthoff. 2019. Investigation of the geographic origin of burrowing owl fleas with implications for ecology of plague. The Auk: Ornithological Advances: In press.

    Askelson, Kenneth K., R.A. Miller, J.D. Carlisle, G.S. Kaltenecker, J.F. Smith, and S. Bayard De Volo. In Review. Unusual northern goshawk mtDNA haplotype found in Rocky Mountains. Journal of Raptor Research.

    Szarmach, Stephanie J.,  Kenneth K. Askelson, R.A. Miller, J.D. Carlisle, G.S. Kaltenecker, M. Arshad, J.F. Smith, and A.J. Roles. In Revision. Northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) genetic diversity and connectivity among the naturally fragmented forests of the northern Great Basin, USA. Journal of Raptor Research.

    Rus, Adrian, I., A.E. Duerr, T.A. Miller, J.R. Belthoff and T. Katzner. 2017. Counterintuitive roles of experience and weather on migratory performance. The Auk: Ornithological Advances 134: 485-497.  auk-16-147.1

    Media

    ScienceDaily: Eagles migrate through bad weather to arrive in time to nest.

    Sierra Club: When young eagles ride the winds.