University of Vermont

University Communications


McNair Scholar Picked to Present Research in NYC

By The View Staff Article published April 11, 2006

Natalia Fajardo, a senior in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, has been selected through a competitive process to present her research at a spring conference in New York City. The event will be held April 27-28 at the American Museum of Natural History.

Fajardo is a UVM McNair Scholar who conducted research during the summer of 2005 with mentor Allan Strong, a Rubenstein assistant professor. Fajardo’s McNair-sponsored research was titled “Natal and Breeding Dispersal in Bobolinks and Savannah Sparrows,” conducted at six grassland field sites in Chittenden County over a period of 10 weeks.

The field work was often demanding. “The hardest part was getting up at 3:40 in the morning every day,” Fajardo told Vermont Quarterly magazine. “Just very long days, especially mid-July when the full bright sun is right on top of you.”

The New York conference, “Conserving Birds in Human-Dominated Landscapes,” is sponsored by the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation and brings together top students from across the country for two days of workshops, guest speakers, research presentations and discussions. The event is focused on the conservation of rare birds in the wild and the recognition there are diverse avian responses to broad-scale human activities in urban areas, agricultural areas, coastal communities and all avian landscapes impacted by humans. In addition to students, participants in the conference will include researchers, conservation practitioners, educators, land-use and urban planners, developers, the agricultural community and bird enthusiasts.

The mission of the federally funded UVM McNair Scholars Program is to work with qualified undergraduates to increase the number of first generation, lower income and underrepresented minority students who earn a doctorate. The program provides participants with critical academic, research and professional experiences to enhance their competitiveness in gaining admission to doctoral programs. Students with undergraduate majors in the natural and social sciences, humanities, math, education and engineering are strongly encouraged to apply.