on Adventure–Indoors and Out
UW-Stevens Point alumna published in Journal
of Raptor Research
Recent graduate Jenna
Cava discovered a new bird species that is establishing habitat in Portage
County and other Wisconsin counties through research she began as an
undergraduate at UW-Stevens Point. The peer-refereed international Journal
of Raptor Research accepted Cava’s lead-authored article, “Shift to Later
Timing of Autumnal Migration Sharp-Shinned Hawks,” last fall.
Studying Cooper’s Hawks as an undergraduate, Cava and her mentor Professor Robert Rosenfield (Biology), who has a doctorate in zoology, discovered Merlin
falcons in the Stevens Point area and conducted research co-authored by Andy
Richardson, a UW-Stevens Point alumnus with a B.S. in Wildlife.
Cava is currently pursuing a master’s at the University of New England with a
research focus on the causes and consequences of natal philopatry in Savannah
Sparrows and Bobolinks in Vermont. She has received a NSF Graduate STEM Fellows
in K-12 education to support her work. Currently, Cava is part of a long-term
study on the effects of agricultural management on nesting grassland birds,
focusing on Bobolinks and Savannah Sparrows.
“The study was started by my
co-adviser Noah Perlut in 2002,” said Cava, “so I have a wonderful dataset from
which to work and I will be able to do more fieldwork this coming summer.”
After completing her master’s at the University of New England, Cava plans to
pursue a Ph.D.
UW-Stevens Point played a part in Cava’s success as she was mentored by faculty
members who gave her guidance as she conducted research, co-authored two papers
and lead-authored two other papers. “My Honors Internship with Bob Rosenfield
was wonderful for helping me get involved with research early-on and follow
through with presentations and publications,” said Cava. “My involvement as a
project co-leader in the UW-Stevens Point Wildlife Society Chapter also helped
me gain experience in wildlife research. All of the hands-on experience certainly made me a great
candidate for graduate school!”
As she continues her education, Cava is also in the review process of her third
lead-authored paper based on her work in the Wildlife Society and independent
study she completed at UW-Stevens Point
with Assistant Professor Jason Riddle (wildlife ecology-CNR).
As a graduate who had unique opportunities in her field of work and hands-on
experiences, Cava gained insight on future possibilities of research prospects,
career paths, and interests. With help from faculty at UW-Stevens Point, Cava
was able to craft her own independent study program and begin her next
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