September 29, 2011, 11:00 am C101 Glaske, LeTourneau University, Longview, TX
A Summer at RMBL: Studying Rodents in the Rockies:
The Rocky Mountains provide a spectacular setting for various ecological research projects. At the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, projects range in topic from flower phenology to yellow-bellied marmots. The lab offers opportunities to take classes, participate in research, and learn about careers in ecology and graduate school. My research project involved studying the coexistence of Tamias minimus, the least chipmunk, and Spermophilus lateralis, the golden-mantled ground squirrel, by looking at their presence in meadows with various distances from cover. T. minimus generally forages close to cover, while S. lateralis forages farther from cover. Most meadows with less than 14 meters from cover contained only T. minimus, and most meadows with equal to or greater than 14 meters from cover contained both T. minimus and S. lateralis. This difference in behavior shows the importance of predation risk to species coexistence.