Earlier this week, Mark Michaels, Co-Founder of Project Principalis and Research Associate with the National Aviary, gave two very interesting and exciting guest lectures about his involvement with an ongoing Ivory-billed Woodpecker research project in Louisiana to the Biology 122 and Environmental Science 105 classes. He provided a background on their project and presented evidence suggesting that Ivory-bills are present in their search area. He showed photographs of evidence of Ivory-billed Woodpecker feeding, played sound recordings, described sightings, and showed trail-cam pictures and drone videos.
Michaels wasn't the only Ivory-billed Woodpecker expert in the room. BAC's own Fredrik "Figge" Bryntesson has researched the historic status of this rare bird, so rare that many scientists consider it to have become extinct at one point, whereas others think it is critically endangered. Figge has recently presented the history of a sanctuary for Ivory-bills in Florida to the BAC community and local Audubon and environmental groups.
Thanks to the committed faculty who bring in guest lecturers, BAC students are able to hear first-hand the passion from experts in their field, their active research, and budding findings. Paired with internships and field visits, students are able to experience the vast variety of ways the degree they're working for can be utilized.