Eleven Oregon Tech Environmental Sciences students presented research at the Oregon Chapter of the Wildlife Society (ORTWS) Annual Conference in February. The conference provided a platform for students to present their research and to network and learn about diverse aspects of wildlife conservation and management.


Students who presented their findings include Colton Chenault, Makenzie Collier, Mario Gramajo, Alyssa Harris, Patrick Heaney, Jordan Hevern, Nicki Johnston, Riley Ore, Angelina Setka, Dominik Sterling, and Peter Woltjer. Environmental Sciences Director Christy VanRooyen, Natural Sciences Instructor Kerry Farris, and Natural Sciences Professor Jherime Kellermann, Ph.D., were lead research consultants for the projects.


  • Collier's study, "Pollen Collection and Analysis of Local Flora in the Klamath Basin," explored honeybees' role in pollination services and floral preferences. Collier used data collected from Oregon Tech’s on-campus apiary and Broodminder hive monitor data to discover which flora is preferred by the different colonies in Oregon Tech’s apiary.
  • Johnston's study, "Native Pollinators and Floral Relationships at Oregon Tech," focused on data gathered from the Oregon Tech Bee Lab to determine which native pollinators inhabit the region around Oregon Tech and the relationships they may have to floral resources in the area.
  • Jordan Hevern and Patrick Heaney conducted a study titled "Feasibility of Camera Traps to Inventory Small Mammals in Moore Park," which addressed concerns about ponderosa pine regeneration decline. 
  • Riley Ore and Peter Woltjer conducted a study titled "Floral Resources for Native Pollinators." The study detailed the importance of habitat enhancement projects and tracing success of planting pollinator-friendly seed mixes on previously disturbed ground at the Oregon Tech Klamath Falls campus.
  • Alyssa Harris and Dominik Sterling conducted a study titled "Thinking Inside the Box: a grainavore community experiment along a Wildland Urban Interface." The study investigated seed-eating community ecology and its association with vegetation and anthropogenic development.


"In the Environmental Sciences program, we have amazing students who are involved in important research related to wildlife and habitat in Southern Oregon,” VanRooyen said. “It was a privilege to grant so many of our students the opportunity to share their work with other scientists from around the state. Going to a Wildlife Society event is particularly meaningful because the society has an outstanding mentorship program for student members, where they build a network of professional contacts. These types of experiences are what set Oregon Tech students apart, and I can't wait to see what these young scientists accomplish in the future."


Natural Sciences Department Chair Nate Bickford said, "Bringing so many students to The Wildlife Society opens their eyes to the opportunities and starts their path on building collaborations."


For more information about Oregon Tech’s Environmental Sciences program, visit www.oit.edu/environmental-sciences.