Environmental science graduate student Courtney McInnerney was one of six graduate students selected from across the state to present in the Clarence Cottam Competition held at the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society Conference in Dallas.
McInnerney’s research, conducted at the Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area located in Anderson County, will provide valuable data on the transition of bird species in restored post oak savanna habitats.
"Oak savannas were once an abundant vegetation type in the Midwest United States but have now declined to less than 1 percent of their original range," McInnerney said.
Because of this drastic decline, numerous state and federal agencies, as well as nonprofit organizations, are engaged in long-term restoration projects to help restore this ecosystem and the wildlife that depend upon it. Under the direction of Dr. Christopher Comer, professor of wildlife ecology at SFA, McInnerney is investigating the results of one multi-phased restoration project initiated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 2007.
The Clarence Cottam Award is given to recognize and promote outstanding student research. Papers and presentations at the Texas Chapter Annual Meeting will be judged for significance and originality, creativity of research design and implementation, quality of methodology, validity of conclusions, and neatness and conformity to Journal of Wildlife Management (JWM) style and format.
You can learn more about McInnerney's work here.