An article in the February 7 issue of the Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier highlighted UNE’s work in ornithology, led by Associate Professor Noah Perlut, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Environmental Studies.
The article was inspired by the recent donation of a deceased barred owl to the University. According to the Courier, the owl died after colliding with a car on Pool Road in Biddeford, and residents of the area contacted UNE to inquire if the body would be of use.
The article discussed UNE’s wildlife-based courses, its yearly bird-banding activities, and its mosquito control project, which relies on natural methods, including the promotion of bird populations, to reduce the mosquito population on campus. All of these endeavors, the Courier reported, result in Perlut occasionally finding himself in possession of dead birds.
Perlut, who was interviewed for the article, explained that through a grant, the University obtained a cabinet for these bird specimens – a piece of equipment that enabled the Department of Environmental Studies to begin offering a class on specimen preservation.
Perlut also shared that he and his students are currently working on a design for a display in the Danielle N. Ripich Commons that will educate visitors about the bird-friendly glass that was used in the building at the request of concerned students. Some of the specimens, particularly those that died from window strikes, will be incorporated into the display.
Perlut said that he views such projects as part of the overall type of education that UNE strives to provide to its students. “I like to think we’re training them to be good global students,” he said. “We want to have thoughtful graduates who understand the world.”