SHERIDAN — Hannah Jernigan, a Sheridan College alumna, together with co-authors and Sheridan College life science instructors Scott Newbold and Julie Rieder, presented research last month at the Front Range Student Ecology Symposium at Colorado State University.
Jernigan, from Cheyenne, graduated from Sheridan College in May 2015 with her associate degree in biology. Her research investigated choices made by nesting Mountain Bluebirds for small or large nest boxes over a three-year span and was conducted along an eastern footslope of the Bighorn Mountains just west of Sheridan.
“Our work with the bluebirds began as a Science Fair project for Katharine Mansfield, who is now a Sheridan College student herself. Over the years, this project has allowed children in Science Kids classes, community members and Sheridan College students to take part in research,” Newbold said in a press release. “Hannah’s work is now synthesizing and communicating this work to a larger audience.”
FRSES is a long-standing, graduate-student organized event that highlights high-caliber research in ecology conducted by undergraduate and graduate students from colleges and universities along the Front Range and beyond. Jernigan’s poster was the only research presented from a two-year community college out of 44 poster presentations and 29 oral presentations.
“Sheridan College students, like Hannah, who have gotten actively involved in hands-on research learn so much about what it means to do science, to think critically and creatively, and to persevere through the inevitable ups and downs of their research projects,” Newbold explained. “We’re fortunate to have a diverse set of faculty at the college excited to work with students on undergraduate research, and I strongly encourage students to take advantage of these opportunities.”
Jernigan and her co-authors plan to submit a research paper this spring for publication. She is currently employed as a research associate at Plenty, a company based in Laramie.