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An Environmental Sciences major, Nicole Desnoyers interned two summers at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire. She worked on a long-term study of the Black-throated Blue Warbler, a neo-tropical migrant songbird whose populations have been studied intensively at Hubbard Brook for over 25 years.
"Each adult warbler is captured in a mist net and marked with a unique combination of colored bands on its legs," she explains. "It's fun to observe the return of these same birds in early May and watch them immediately start establishing their territories. My job was to determine each individual's arrival date, map the males' territories, find and track every nest, band the nestlings, take blood for paternity tests, and ultimately determine the fate of every nest."
Nicole, a native of northern Vermont, would like to continue along the career path her summer research has taken her and plans to attend graduate school. "I’ve learned how to do intensive research, read and evaluate scientific publications, and look at things from a basic science-based perspective," she says. "Those skills will serve me well in any career path. The Environmental Sciences curriculum also exposed me to many different areas of environmental science that I feel I have a good basic understanding of. There are things I learned in my conservation biology and biodiversity focus track that I often would directly apply in my day to day work at Hubbard Brook."