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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.

Hamilton wins MEC's Petosky Prize PDF Print E-mail
KBS News
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 21:47

HamiltonCongratulations to KBS's Dr. Stephen K. Hamilton, Professor of Zoology, named the 2014 recipient of the Petoskey Prize for Environmental Leadership by the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC).

The annual award honors an individual whose commitment, creativity and courage have inspired others to safeguard Michigan’s air, land and water for future generations.

Hamilton served as an independent scientific advisor to policymakers, clean-up workers and concerned community members after a pipeline rupture in 2010 spilled an estimated 843,000 gallons of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River system, creating the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history.

As associate director of the biological station, where he has taught since 1995, Hamilton’s research focuses on biogeochemistry and ecosystem ecology with particular attention to aquatic environments.

He has served as president of the Kalamazoo River Watershed Council since 2006.

In a statement, the MEC called Hamilton “a rare species: an accomplished scientist who uses his knowledge to inform the public, engage the media, consult with decision makers and champion environmental protection.”

Hamilton will be recognized at the MEC’s 16th Annual Environmental Awards Celebration on Wednesday, July 9 at the Ann Arbor City Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

More information can be found on the MEC website and on Facebook.

KBS Intern Studies in Yellowstone PDF Print E-mail
Bird Sanctuary News
Friday, 27 June 2014 20:30

Introductions are in order!  I am Austin Hackert, one of two Avian Care Interns for the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary this summer. The internship includes daily cleaning, feeding, and monitoring of the captive birds and facilities. It is a great hands-on experience learning how to handle gamebird, waterfowl and native raptors.  In addition to the birding part of the job, I am also working on a project to expand our education and outreach through a native pollinator garden, showcased near the Resource Center of the Sanctuary.  After a fun filled summer and a few more courses in the fall, I will be graduating this winter from Michigan State University with a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife, concentrating on Wildlife Biology.


Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to study...vacation academically in Yellowstone National Park as the first iteration of a new National Park study away program through Michigan State University. This new course is a great way to get the hands on experiential learning that the Fisheries and Wildlife department requires and continues to encourage for undergraduate studies.   As a first time traveler out west, I didn’t even know what to expect.  Beginning with the little things like my favorite radio show playing on the way to the airport, and a beautiful vista setting the stage at the airport in Bozeman, Montana, I knew the trip was going to be great.

The faculty had a few days planned officially with the Yellowstone Association, travelling through and learning about various aspects of the park.  The remaining half of the week the nine other students and I travelled across Yellowstone and the foothills in Montana taking in the sights, sounds and culture.  We had the chance to speak to local ranchers and biologists about issues with wolf reintroduction, climate change and park management, and of course there was no shortage of wildlife watching.  For the first time I saw a plethora of elk, bison, and pronghorn, along with some slightly more adventurous sightings of a wolf, black bear and grizzly bear.  Not to forget my summer pastime, I also saw various nesting raptors, including red-tails, bald eagles, osprey and a peregrine falcon.  It seemed only fitting to finish the trip with a lazy horseback ride through the hills of Montana and a short trip rafting down the Yellowstone River before travelling back to Bozeman the following morning.


Combining the awe striking landscapes, wide range of wildlife and the pleasure of good company, I can say it was a bittersweet trip back to the state I know and love, but I’m looking forward to the rest of the summer here at Kellogg Bird Sanctuary.


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