2013 and 2014 Hawk Mountain Expedition

"Most significantly is the importance of allowing students to develop questions based on observations…. I learned much more about critical thinking and organizing questions... Much better understanding of using Excel as a research tool.”

Teacher’s testimonial in response to the question "How could you use what you’ve learned in this program in your teaching?”

Hawk Mountain, July 26-29, 2014 in Kempton, PA.

Although Turkey Vultures and Black Vultures rank as the world’s two most common and widely distributed avian scavengers, we remain largely ignorant of the costs and benefits of their food searching flights. This is unfortunate as these two avian scavengers represent species that are doing well at a time when most other vultures are in serious decline. Teachers’ research has informed questions about food searching, and provided clues for determining why many other vulture species are in decline. 

Supported by Jules Winter, Ph.D with Erin Brown and researchers at the Acopian Center for Conservation Learning.

The research has informed the extent to which food-searching flight behavior differ between turkey and black vultures, as well as the extent to which flight behavior with each species has shifted due to environmental factors. Teachers have engaged in field observations of the flight behavior of both species.  In small groups they have designed questions, collected, analyzed, and presented preliminary data that has furthered an understanding of predator/prey relationships under varied environmental situations.