blogging from the student's perspective

I am just now calming down after having a great weekend. I got the chance to go to the Notre Dame football game and the Colts game (they both won!) Walking downtown Indy, I could not forget to look for injured birds. I did not see any but last week I saw a dead bird on Market Street. I also found 4 dead birds in my zone on campus; all in one check. It has become way more obvious to me now than ever that this is a problem, and with more and more migrating birds coming through Indy, I am scared to see how many more I find on my campus route.

Now that we are split into our 3 groups of Public, Buildings, and Design, we can each have a more specific focus in our project. Tim Carter, of the Center for Urban Ecology, spoke to us about Citizen Science and  Indianapps last week. I think that being in the Public group, I will find marketing this application a major part of my mission (of course, that is, if the app gets linked on the website). I truly hope it does soon, since the fall migration period is here. The app will allow for anyone with the Internet, on their phone or computer, to report a bird collision. This will help keep track of all the birds that are taken up by a cleaning crew before an actual LOI volunteer gets there, which are the birds that are usually missed and forgotten. I also mentioned Citizen Science. This is science based on the personal or collective education and participation of citizens that do not necessarily have to have a science background. My Public group will be dealing with this aspect of the LOI project.

It is the Public group’s duty to think of some ideas that will get the city of Indianapolis talking. There are the obvious media outlets that we need to contact. A “death list” comparable to a birdwatcher’s “life list” was a morbid idea that was mentioned, and while it is better to not check a species name off such a list, it is a way to introduce a personal feeling of involvement. Another project that I think should happen and could be done by my group is downtown bird route signs. If people downtown see these signs, they will become more aware and possibly participate on their walk. Overall, all of our groups have some great ideas being discussed right now, and I can’t wait to get the actual creation process underway and start bringing these ideas to life.

The Lion King “Circle of Life” song just popped into my head since I was talking about life so much. This is making me think of the Circle of Lights that will be on display in downtown Indy during the holiday season. I think they are of the lowest wattage, but now I am thinking about how much energy it takes to light 4,784 lights for a month…


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