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Tweetspeak students go into chase mode to observe and count birds

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NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.-- When it comes to cluster courses, the Tweetspeak cluster has undergrads in chase mode with their binoculars and smartphones as they chase and count birds around campus and on the road. 

The crew recently completed a day trip to the Jennings Environmental Education Center near Slippery Rock, where they practiced feeder bird counting as well as tracked birds, including Barred Owls, on a hike around the state park.

The course includes 18 students enrolled in the Biology of Birds class linked to the Digital Media Essentials course.

Students engage in citizen science and ornithology while become beginning birders in the bio course. They support their science literacy by becoming citizen journalists sharing the stories and info about their birding adventures in the digital media course. 

On Feb. 14, students will participate in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count, an international effort supported by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society. The four-day event recruits birders and birdwatchers from all around the world to count and report information of birds in the area in which they live. They submit the data is submitted online for scientific research.

Other cluster assignments include using Instagram and Twitter to tell their stories, share original reporting and create a conservation project and podcast.

You can use the social media handle @tweetspeakwc follow on Instagram and Twitter and find the individual accounts of the undergraduates in the cluster.

Biology associate professor Kerri Duerr teaches the birding class. Biology of School of Communication lecturer Bradley Weaver teaches the digital media course. 

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