Wildlife ecology student basks in nature observation assignment

This University Communications-produced video highlights how Hannah DePorter, a sophomore studying wildlife ecology, went above and beyond expectations in Environmental Studies 400, a new Nelson Institute course taught by Trish O’Kane last semester.

The course, titled What does the fox say? Sustainability from a non-human perspective, encouraged students to get outside and intensively observe one area of campus, and then devise recommendations for the 2015 Campus Master Plan Update.

DePorter, who hails from Chicago, selected a “territory” along the Lakeshore Path. She picked a good spot: In late January she noticed a great horned owl hanging around the area.

“That really sparked this project and made me super interested in it, and so I would come out here longer than 30 minutes, weather permitting,” says DePorter, who had the pleasure of watching a pair of owlets grow up in her territory over the course of the semester.

Once the weather turned favorable, DePorter brought her hammock along, strung it up and did her observing from there. Looking up, she says, “you get to see a lot more that is often missed.”