Variation in predator information across habitats

Mentor & Lab: Chelsea Hunts & Ari MartinezForest Fear Lab

Positions: 2 interns

Tentative dates: June 1st to Sept 1st 2024

Project Location: Santa Cruz Mountain Reserve and UC Natural Reserve System

Project Background: Predation plays an important role in an animal’s decision-making process of where to forage and when to flee. In the Martinez lab, we study the causes and consequences of predator-driven behavior in birds. Santa Cruz and surrounding areas are a great system for studying just this. The lab focuses primarily on mixed-species flocks of songbirds and how they communicate information about potential risks to flock members and how this information changes along natural and unnatural habitat disturbance gradients, for example, wildfires (natural) and logging (unnatural). Projects will be centered around this general theme and may include performing experimental trials, sound analysis, literature review, and data analysis.

Intern duties: Interns will be expected to work several hours at a time in the field starting early morning (often before sunrise). Their work will include data collection, performing experimental trials, learning local bird ID by sight and sound, and using data to create final projects or posters for the Fall Symposium.

Intern qualifications: Some bird ID useful. Field experience is a plus but is not required, however, a high level of comfort outdoors is recommended. Interns will spend several hours hiking on trails during hot summer months and are required to carry equipment and food/water for the day. Ability to follow research protocols and safety procedures accurately.

Do you recommend the intern(s) volunteer in your lab during Spring quarter?

UC Santa Cruz Land Acknowledgement

The land from which we base our work is the unceded territory of the Awaswas-speaking Uypi Tribe. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, comprised of the descendants of indigenous people taken to missions Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista during Spanish colonization of the Central Coast, is today working hard to restore traditional stewardship practices on these lands and heal from historical trauma.