Wild Campus students create wildlife habitats

14.01.14-1a Wild Campus image_previewUniversity of California, Davis
January 14, 2014

Put together a group of hard-working, do-good college students who care about environmental issues, and you end up with a really “Wild Campus.” At UC Davis, students formed the student-run Wild Campus organization two years ago to conserve wildlife in the greater UC Davis area.

Students plant tules in Putah Creek.

Students plant tules in Putah Creek.

Working with campus experts (such as faculty and staff in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology) and local environmental and conservation organizations, the volunteer students are improving the habitats for local wildlife and engaging the public in hands-on activities.

This is an extraordinary program that gives the students real-world environmental management skills, along with leadership opportunities and communications experience. Professor John Eadie, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology at UC Davis, said of the Wild Campus program, “Hands-on activity is a huge part of the educational experience.”

A healthy turtle habitat, a few months after planting .

A healthy turtle habitat, a few months after planting .

 

Marielle Medina, director of Wild Campus, and a junior majoring in wildlife, fish and conservation biology, says that in addition to offering conservation experience, Wild Campus provides students with leadership and administrative experience that will help them in the professional world. Medina noted, “our efforts to educate the public on habitat conservation help shape a generation that is more aware of its impacts, beginning an epoch of widespread environmental conservation efforts.”

In the UC Davis Putah Creek Riparian Reserve, the students are establishing wildlife habitat areas and monitoring populations of amphibians, birds, fish, insects, mammals, and reptiles. They will record the changes over the course of time. Recent work in the riparian reserve (aka “the living classroom”) has included planting native oak seedlings, and installing tule plants to provide protection for the Western Pond Turtle, a species of concern.

A juvenile Western Pond Turtle.

A juvenile Western Pond Turtle.

A past project — Build a Wild Home Day — involved working with the UC Davis Arboretum on a successful public outreach program to build bird and bat boxes for installation on campus. (Great photos of this program are on the group’s Facebook page.)

The Wild Campus organization has a large cadre of eager and dedicated students who are improvising and making the most of limited resources. However, they are in need of donated field equipment (used equipment is fine) and financial contributions.

Visit the Wild Campus website and Facebook page for a feel-good look at what these ambitious students are doing to improve the environment, along with ways you can help them succeed.

Media contact:

Ann Filmer, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis, (530) 754-6788, afilmer@ucdavis.edu

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About afilmer

Ann Filmer is senior director of communications at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Davis (UC Davis).
This entry was posted in Aquatic & marine systems, Communities, Ecosystems & biodiversity, Endangered & invasive species, Environment & natural resources, Fish & aquatic animals, Land use, Students & education, Sustainability, Wildlife and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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