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May 8, 2017

Students Present Findings on College's
Swallows at National Conference


Six Moreno Valley College students presented an update on Moreno Valley College's continuing research on the area's swallow population at the annual Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative, which was hosted this year by Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Minneapolis, MN.

Conference presenters

The students—Rebecca Bednorz, Juana Pelaez Sanchez, Carolina Sanchez, James Corbitt, Josue Franco and Luis Cuevas—presented research on the College's swallows. Each year, hundreds of swallows make the College a stopping point, building nests around campus. For the past four years, students closely monitored the swallow population and insect populations, which allowed them to study various aspects of the swallow's life, including diet. Students also regularly analyzed water pollutants used by the birds to build their nests.

The annual Student Poster Conference is funded by grants from Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI) and the National Science Foundation.

The CCURI uses an inquiry-based teaching model where students are exposed to real world science through a case study in an introductory course followed by hands-on research experience resulting from questions about or related to the case. CCURI is providing resources for 44 institutional partners including introductory workshops/conferences that are building regional and national collaborations, start-up supplies, and a wide variety of faculty development opportunities.

"Our students did a great, no, awesome job conducting research, preparing posters and presenting," Joanna Werner-Fraczek, associate professor, Biology, said. "The students received many compliments for their achievements. In fact, two students were interviewed by the organizers, and each of the students received an invitation to publish their work in the journal for the undergraduate research. The overall project was recognized for the comprehensive, multidisciplinary studies that include various short- and long-term projects."

The community is invited to celebrate MVC Swallow Day on Thursday, May 11. The College's celebration will begin at noon with Spanish students presenting research related to swallows present in Latin literature, poetry, art and music at the Lion's Den. Beginning at 12:50 pm in the Student Academic Services Building, Room 103, students will share their posters and Nicholas Peterson, a biologist, from California Wildlife Department will discuss conservation efforts in Riverside County.


2017 Swallow Day