Department of Biological Sciences

USM Students Observe Wildlife Research in Action

USM students observing the banding of Saw-Whet OwlsUSM Biology students had the opportunity observe wildlife research in action during a recent outing to the River Point Conservation Area on October 18, 2012. Accompanied by employees from the Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI), the students surveyed the 41-acre property in Falmouth, ME, for Saw-Whet Owls. BRI researchers catch these owls, named for the sound they make that resembles the whetting of a saw, in order to determine their migration timing at different mainland and island locations along the coast of Maine.

During the outing, the group captured three owls and observed BRI researchers during the banding process. BRI employees shared research methods, objectives, and early results from the owl research project.

USM Student Allyson Clark

“This was a great way to offer hands-on experience to USM students,” remarked Patrick Kennan, Outreach Director for BRI.

The outing provided USM student Allyson Clark with an opportunity to highlight what she has learned during her time as an intern with BRI. Allyson has been working as a Migratory Songbird Bander and Nest Box Monitor within the Institute’s River Point Wildlife Monitoring and Education project since May 2012.

USM students and faculty and researchers from the Biodiversity Research Institute

The Biodiversity Research Institute, headquartered in Gorham, ME, assesses emerging threats to wildlife and ecosystems through collaborative research, and to use scientific findings to advance environmental awareness and inform decision makers. For more information, visit their website at

For more information about USM Department of Biology, visit