Friday, June 29, 2012

Lights, Camera, Action!

Sharing Chino Farms is always an exciting experience. Whether it's with a birding group, school group, or family there's something engaging about describing all of the wonderful research happening at Chino/CRFRS/FBBO and seeing other people become interested. For the interns at CRFRS, Wednesday was especially exciting because not only were they asked to share their work, they were filmed too! Shane Brill from Washington College's Office of College Relations and his crew of interns came out to the grasslands at Chino Farms to see what it was all about.
Intern Eric Waceiga talks with the film crew. 
Students were able to talk about their research and the film crew even got to see some birds up close when they interviewed Dan Small (field ecologist) and Eric Waceiga (summer intern) who were banding birds. Many of the students talked about the Grasslands as a great opportunity for conservation. Shane and the crew were also very interested in discussing the implications of our research for the agricultural community. Jeff Sullivan (summer intern) discussed the impact traditional farming methods have on diversity and the potential for increasing that diversity with smart management techniques like buffer strips. Ian Hall (summer intern) described some of his work in the crop fields and noted that not only the diversity but the volume of birds decreased as a result of commercial agriculture.
Film intern Harris Allgeier releases a Red-Winged Blackbird.
What ecologists are learning is that everything is impossibly intertwined. We cannot simply bring Grasshopper Sparrows back to Maryland and dump them into a corn field, they would not thrive. We need to start with the grasses that will encourage the insects, which will eventually entice the birds. This also means that when we destroy something like a meadow or a stand of trees, we are impacting much more than we know. Through observation, documentation, experimentation, and publication of our research at CRFRS/FBBO we are learning who we are as human beings and where we fit in the larger ecosystem that is the world.
To learn more about CRFRS and FBBO check us out on facebook!
Or take a look at our site on the CES webpage:

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