Biology student hopes project will encourage conservation

photo courtesy Conor Gearin

Charlotte Reilly
News Editor

Many graduate students in the biology department at the University of Nebraska at Omaha are conducting research projects this summer.

Conor Gearin is researching grassland fawn birds. These birds require some level of grassland habitat because they nest on the ground. The birds’ habitat has been diminishing because much of the Midwest has been converted to cropland.

Gearin is studying how private land management impacts wildlife, specifically grassland birds.

“Land management decisions will be better with more information,” Gearin said. “I am filling in gaps in the knowledge.”

Gearin grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and was not exposed to grasslands. When he came to the Midwest, he became interested in the prairie.

He is hoping his project will inspire people to make conservative decisions.

“It is fun to get people exposed to wildlife and nature,” Gearin said. “I enjoy helping them broaden their worldview.”

Landowners will be able to use information from Gearin’s project in their practices.

“My project will not tell us anything new about the universe,” Gearin said. “It will tell us how to use and protect the land.”