PSU students participating in Smithsonian Project


PITTSBURG, Ks. — Pittstate University Students are once again chosen to do the Smithsonian Project

Dr. Christine Brodsky, PSU Assistant Professor, said, “Our whole goal for this project is just to get literally a snap shot of what’s going on in the community.”

Biology Major Caleb Durbin collaborated with Assistant Professor Christine Brodsky, a certified wildlife biologist, on snapshot USA. Together, they’re setting out and monitoring camera traps in nature areas throughout Pittsburg.

Caleb Durbin, Lead Undergraduate, said, “Mammal communities can change over the years so we first did the first snap shot to see what the communities we have what kind of diversites we have and then over the years we will see how that differs due to urbanization or urban sprawl cause we are kinda dealing with that right now and so as like buildings get built and wildlife gets cut down then we need to see how animals are adapting to it especially mammals.”

The PSU team captured more than 8,000 images of 16 mammal species like deer, raccoons, gray and fox squirrels, opossums, eastern cottontails, and many other animals. Even during times like covid 19 wildlife are affected.

“There’s already publications about birds specifically and how they’re trends have differed terms of diversity and terms of how they sing. So there was a study just recently coming from the bay area and birds were singing at a higher frequency during the lockdown because there’s no traffic nose to kind of mute there singing,” said Brodsky.

The project began last month and will continue through this month.

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