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Bird Sanctuary Receives Grant for the Pollinator Garden! PDF Print E-mail
Bird Sanctuary News
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 16:45

The National Association for Interpretation (NAI) Region 4 recently announced its Interpretive Project Grant Award Winners, and is pleased to report W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary is among the 2014 recipients.

The Interpretive Project Grants (IPG) program is designed to provide a source of funding for small projects by Association members within the Great Lakes region including Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Ontario.

Kellogg Bird Sanctuary’s project Kellogg Bird Sanctuary Pollinator Garden – will update the existing Pollinator Garden and bring more diverse, native plants to supplemental garden areas including a water garden, xeriscape garden and rain garden.  According to grant applicants Kara Haas and Kimberly Ginn of the Sanctuary, “the educational goal of this garden exhibit is to communicate the importance of native Michigan plants and the birds, bees and butterflies that pollinate them.”


Plants, such as this Maximilian Sunflower, support
pollinators including birds and insects

“It is always interesting and enlightening for the Committee to see all of the wonderful projects underway in Region 4 - we have very passionate and creative members in our region,” said Jennifer McDowell, Chair of the Interpretive Project Grants Committee. “Congratulations to the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary for emphasizing the importance of native plants and their delicate role in the ecosystem.  Engaging visitors about the value of these plants as native caterpillar host plants, or unique food sources to migrating birds creates a connection that will likely encourage planting native species to create wildlife sanctuaries in their own backyards.”


Grant funds will help produce educational signs about this bee condo.
This summer 2014 intern project, offers a quick stop from flower to “home” for the bees.
Dr. Steve Hamilton Awarded by MSU for Civic Engagement PDF Print E-mail
KBS News
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:35

Dr. Steve Hamilton (Professor, KBS/Dept. of Zoology) has been given a Curricular Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Award by Michigan State University for his work with the Kalamazoo River Watershed Council and with the Kalamazoo River oil spill in 2010.

Dr. Hamilton is the founder of the Kalamazoo River Watershed Council, an organization that relates Kalamazoo River environmental and water quality information to the public. Due to his expertise in water quality and environmental issues, he was instrumental in assisting the government and community organizations with the Kalamazoo River oil spill cleanup. For his efforts with the cleanup, he was awarded the Petoskey Prize for Environmental Leadership by the Michigan Environmental Council.

These awards are given annually to recognize those individuals for their outstanding efforts in curricular service-learning and civic engagement that is linked to their college's mission.

Undergrad researchers present at symposium PDF Print E-mail
KBS Research News
Thursday, 07 August 2014 21:49

Congratulations to the undergraduate researchers who presented posters at the 2014 KBS Undergraduate Research Symposium, held on Wednesday, August 6. For a gallery of photos, please visit the KBS Facebook page. Projects included:

  • "Eggs-pressing condition: What do House Wren eggs say about the female?" Aaron Aguirre, MSU Fisheries and Wildlife Club, Getty Lab. Mentor: Cara Krieg.
  • "Do soil microbial communities from cropping systems of varying diversity account for differences in yields?" Olivia Barrera, MSU Plant Biology, Gross Lab. Mentors: Kay Gross and Karen Stahlheber.
  • "Listening to what females have to say: Female song characteristics may communicate fighting condition to rival House Wrens." Alexandra Burnett, MSU Zoology, Getty Lab. Mentor: Cara Krieg.
  • "Multi-mutualist effects on arthropod communities and plant performance." Sara Carabajal, Humboldt State University, Lau Lab. Mentors: Kane Keller and Susan Magnoli.
  • "Using community weighted means to understand compositional changes over time in restored southwest Michigan prairies." Madeleine Cleary, MSU Fisheries and Wildlife, Burdvig Lab. Mentor: Chad Zirbel.
  • "Land use history and soil microbial communities affect plant invader success in prairie restorations." Kent Connell, University of Tennessee - Knoxville, Lau Lab. Mentor: Tyler Bassett.
  • "Effects of nitrogen disposition on the mutualistic qualities of rhizobia." Nolan Foust, Kalamazoo College, Lau Lab. Mentor: Tomomi Suwa.
  • "Ecophysiology traits related to drought resistance in annual and perennial C3 grasses." Michelle Franklin, University of Michigan, KBS Resident Mentor. Mentor: Mike Grillo.
  • "Sorghum growth and production in soils from different switchgrass varieties." Katie Grantham, MSU Environmental Biology/Zoology, Gross Lab. Mentor: Karen Stahlheber.
  • "Safety in numbers: Bufo americanus tadpoles school together when predators are near." Maxwell Grezlik, MSU Environmental Biology/Zoology, Gross Lab. Mentor: Sara Garnett.
  • "Plasticity and evolution of algae cell-size under thermal stress." Farhana Haque, University of Texas - Austin, Litchman Lab. Mentors: Jakob Nalley and Daniel O'Donnell.
  • "Sustainable pest control in agricultural systems." Gabriel King, MSU Department of Entomology, Lau Lab. Mentor: Jeremy Jubenville.
  • "The effect of NOx emissions from soil on plant photosynthetic activity." Michele Lozano Dominguez, Arizona Western College, Robertson Lab. Mentor: Ilya Gelfand.
  • "Are competitive interactions between clover and spotted knapweed driven by evolutionary differences in rhizobia?" Gabe Price, St. Ambrose University, Lau Lab. Mentors: Jen Lau and Dylan Weese.
  • "Effect of rhizobia on pollination and herbivory rates." Lauren Taylor, St. Ambrose University, Lau Lab. Mentors: Jen Lau and Dylan Weese.
  • "How to make biodiesel" and "Effects of weed presence and spatial arrangement on a soybean and sorghum strip intercropping system." Alex Whitlow, MSU Biosystems Engineering, MSU Extension and KBS LTER. Mentors: Julie Doll, Dean Baas, Dennis Pennington, Santiago Utsumi.
  • "Soil nitrogen and carbon measures sensitive to management on KBS LTER." Alessandra Zuniga, New Mexico State University, Robertson Lab. Mentors: Brendan O'Neill and Christine Sprunger.
Robertson contributes to landmark USDA report PDF Print E-mail
KBS Research News
Thursday, 07 August 2014 15:33

Phil Robertson, director of KBS’s Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) program, is among Michigan State University researchers who helped shape "a report that, for the first time, provides uniform scientific methods for quantifying the changes in greenhouse gas emissions and carbon storage from various land management and conservation activities...."

Read more in the MSU Today article linked here.

LTER goes to Capitol Hill PDF Print E-mail
KBS Research News
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 17:24

G. Philip Robertson, director of the KBS Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) program and a KBS faculty member (Plant, Soil & Microbial Sciences), visited Washington, D.C. in June to speak at a Congressional briefing on environmental issues.

Read more about the event in an article from LTER Network News, linked here.

Pollinator garden spruce up PDF Print E-mail
Bird Sanctuary News
Monday, 14 July 2014 20:36

This week I have started to really dig into researching for my summer project; enhancing the native pollinator garden here at Kellogg Bird Sanctuary. I’ve been meeting with staff members and volunteers to get feedback on what we hope to exhibit and teach as the garden grows into what we have hoped for. Complimentary to the experiences and visions of the people who have been getting their hands dirty in the garden for years; I’ve been researching everything related to the species we are featuring, as well as their native pollinators.

Butterfly Weed


Our main goal for the finished garden is to show the potential in creating or encouraging native plant communities to protect the native pollinators that rely on these plants to survive. Many of these species are not very well known outside of the horticulture or ecosystem restoration fields, but some are known if for nothing else than the pollinators they are associated with. A perfect example of this is the Monarch butterfly and their connection to various species of milkweed. Southwest Michigan offers a great climate for these migratory butterflies, because it provides quality habitat for the milkweed species that the butterfly and its caterpillars cannot live without. This obligatory relationship is not uncommon among wildflowers, grasses and pollinators such as bees, butterflies and birds. Pollinators can become so highly specialized that they only use one plant for all of their life’s needs, which could include protection from predators, food and a place to reproduce. In return, the animals close contact with the plants aids in pollination and spreading of seeds.



The summer is still young and I have a lot of work left to do, but I am happy to have a grasp of the intended vision for the finished project. In the weeks to come, we hope to have a better physical appearance as we clear out some of the overcrowded plots and thin-out weeds. Finally we will install some signs to highlight what it really takes to keep a native garden looking its best.

For more information about native pollinators and pollinator gardens, here are some great websites to help start a garden of your own.



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