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Ani Fitzgerald

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Biology 2130
Dr. Cao
ServiceLearningProjectPaper

FormyservicelearningprojectIchosetobuildbirdhousesandbirdfeeders.Whilemostpeople
wouldassociatebirdhousesbeingbuildfromwood.ThebirdhousesandfeedersIcreatedwereusedfrom
mainlyrecycledmaterial.ThematerialsIgatheredformyprojectwere:milkandhalf&halfcartons,
straws,constructionpaper,paint,stickers,scissors,twigs,ahotgluegun,andbirdseed.
Themilkandhalf&halfcartonsservedaduelpurposeformyproject.Theyhelpedtooutline
whatmybirdhousesandfeederswouldlooklikeandprovidedstructuralsupport.Thescissorshelpedto
cutdifferentopeningsforthebirdtotakeshelterandprovideanaccesspointforthebirdseedtobefilled.
InitiallyItriedtojustpaintoverthecartonswithpainttoaddmorecolorandhideallofthenutritional
informationonthebackandsideofthecartons.However,nomatterhowmuchpaintIapplieditwas
neverthickenoughtocoverupallthenutritionalinformation.TosolvetheproblemIsuperglued
constructionpaperoverthecartonsandpaintedoverthem.Ithencreatedtheroofsformybirdhousesand
feeders,byhotgluingpopsiclesticksorstrawstogether.Thedesignontheoutershellofeachisalittle
different.Threeofthemhavethetwigsgluedontotheirsides.Theseinparticulartookthelongestto
createsinceIhadtobreakeachindividualtwiginorderforthemtoproperlyfit.Theothertwowere
simpledesignsthatalmostanyonecouldmake.Onehadbeendecoratedwithpopsiclesticksontheouter
shell,straws,andtheotherwascoveredindinosaurstickers.
TheprojectwascompletedintheLynchHallmainofficeandthedownstairscommonarea.The
mainofficewasusedforamajorityoftheproject.ThereIcutouttheentrywayforeachhouses/feeder
andcutheconstructionpaper.ThemaincommonsinLynchwasusedforpaintingandhotgluingthe
twigsontothecarton.Thisspacewasusedbecauseithadmoretablespacetolayoutallthematerial,had
tablesclosertooutlets,andprovidedaseasierspacetocleanusallthedebrisfromthetwigsandpopsicle
sticks.TheonlyparticipantintheprojectwasI.Anresidenceadvisor(RA)signedoffonmyhourseach
timeIwenttogoworkonthem.Theoverallgoalofthisprojectwastohelpoutthebirdswhose
ecosystemwasdisruptedbytheconstructionhappeningaroundthegreenwaybyconstructingthree
birdhousesandtwobirdfeeders.Thesewouldsupplyafoodandhousingtothebirds.
Asasocietyitisourdutytoprotectandrespecttheearthandalltheresourcesitpresentsus.
However,throughouttheyearswehaveencounteredanumerousamountofecologicaland
environmentalissue.Manyoftheissueswenowfacearearesultofourownactionsasasociety.Through
thisprojectIgainedabetterinsightintohowrelevantandprominenttheissueofdeforestation,

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Biology 2130
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conservation,andrecyclingare.Therateofurbanizationisincreasing;ourcitiesandindustrialareasare
constantlygrowingandexpandinginordertocompensateourgrowingpopulation.Withthepopulation
constantlygrowing,moreandmorelandisbeingtransformedintoareastobeusedforhousing,shopping,
economic,industrial,orrecreationalpurposes.
AttendingtheUniversityofNorthCarolinaatCharlotteallowedmetoseewhatarealeconomic
capitallookslike.Thisalsoallowedmetoseetheeffectscreatinganeconomiccapitalhasonthe
environment.WhenmakingmybirdhousesandfeedersIdecidedtogogathersmalltwigsfromthe
MallardCreekGreenWay.Thiswasoneofmymainroutsformyruns,butwhengatheringtwigsIhad
timetolookatalltheconstructionbeingdone.Initiallytheareabeingusedforconstructiontobefilled
withnothingbuttalltrees,aquietandtranquilplace.Nowachunkofthatlandhasbeendemolishedin
ordertomakespacefortheSkyRail.OneofthereasonsIchosetoconstructbirdhousesandfeederswas
tosupplyaspaceforbirdstotakeshelter,nest,andeat.Afterwalkingthroughthegreenandseeinghowa
wholechunkoflandcanbelevelhelpedtosolidifytheideathateconomicalgrowthconstantlytrumps
ecologicalpreservation.Societyisconstantlybattlingawaroftryingtopreservetheenvironmentbutat
thesametimedestroyingadelicateecosystemalongwiththeresourcesitcouldpotentiallyprovide.
Creatingthesebirdhousesandfeedersallowedmetotakethetimetorealizethatdeforestationisonly
becomingmoreandmoreofanissueaswedestroyareasrichintreesinordertohelpincreaseeconomic
growth.
Gatheringthetwigsonthegreenwayalsoallowedmetoseehowtheconservationofecosystems
isbeingovershadowedforeconomicalgain.Thecompaniesinchargeofclearingthelandhavedone
nothingtotryandpreservethelandsurroundit.Theyareconstantlydisruptingtheecosystemwithallthe
drillinganddigging.BydoingthesebirdhousesIunderstandjusthowtrulybeneficialtheycanbetoan
ecosystem.Buildingbirdhousesandfeederswillhelptosupplyatemporaryhomeforthedisplacedbirds
inorderforthemtocontinuelivinginthearea.Conservationmainobjectiveistoreversethelossof
biodiversity.Bycreatingbirdhouseandfeedersyouhavetheabilitytopartiallyrestoretheecosystem.
Thus,byhangingtheminthetreesandsurroundingareaneartheconstructionsite,thishelpstoreduce
thelossofbiodiversity.
LastyearinmyAPEnvironmentalScienceclasswedidanupcyclingproject.Thisiswhereyou
makesomethingfromrecycledgoods.IhadmadeacandleholderfromthebaseofawineglassIhad
scored.Thisprojectshowedmeanewpurposerecyclablematerialscanbeusedfor.Earlierintheyear
youmentionedhowpeoplemadebirdhousesfortheirproject.Iwantedtotakethatonestepfurtherand

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incorporaterecycledgoodsintoit.Gatheringrecycledgoodsfortheprojectallowedmetoseehowmany
viewrecycling.GoingthroughmyownroomIfounditemsinourcommonareatrashthatisrecyclable.
ByhavingtogogathertherecyclablematerialformyselfIfoundthatpeopleareusuallyintoobigofa
rushortheythinkrecyclingistoobigofahassletodealwith.Allovercampusweareassetupfor
recycling,areasthathavebidssetuptorecyclepaper,plastic,andglass.Manyofthesebidsaresetup
directlynexttoatrashcan,yetpeoplestillchoosetojustthrowawayalltheirtrashevenalargemajority
couldbedividedintotherecyclebins.Thegreenwayalsohasbottlesscatteredthroughoutthepathsand
someareeveninthesmallstreamthatflowsalongsidethepath.Recyclingistryingtohelpsavethe
planetandmanyofthepeoplewhohavetheabilitytohelpchoosenottoandthisishavingnegative
affectsontheenvironment.
Inthebeginningofthissemesterthefirstchapterwecovereddiscussednaturalselectionandthe
conceptthatfitnessisnotameasureofhowphysicallystronganorganism.Insteadfitnessrelatesto
numberofoffspringanorganismproduces.ThebirdhousesandfeedersIcreatedhelpedtoplayacrucial
partofabirdslife.Providingshelterandafoodsupply,thusallowsthebirdstohaveaccesstofastfood,
whichgivesthemenergytoattractamateandhaveasafeplacetolaytheireggs.Birdhousesholdadirect
connectiontoabirdsfitnesssincetheyhelptoprovideprotectiontothebirdsoffspringhelpingto
increasethesurvivalnumberofoffspringwhichasalreadystatedcorrelatestoafitnessofanindividual.
Birdhousesandbirdfeedersalsohelptoreducethecompetitionforfoodandshelter.Thisisespecially
beneficialtoareasthathaverecentlyexperiencedhabitatdestruction.Thebirdhousesandfeedershelped
tocounterbalancethoseeffects.Towardstheendofthesemesterwerecentlytalkedaboutbroodbirds.
Thesetypesofbirdslaytheireggsinanotherbirdsnestandhavethemraisetheiryoung.Birdhouseshelp
tosupplybirdswithaplacetonest.Thesenestingareasarenecessarytobeestablishedsothatthebrood
birdscanquicklylayoneoftheirowneggsinthenestandleavetohaveitbeincubatedandcaredformy
thehostbird.
Aftercompletingmyvolunteerprojectandresearchingtwoarticlesthatcorrespondwiththework
Idid.Theintegrationofbirdhousesandfeedersdisplayapositiveeffectontotheenvironment.Inthefirst
articleIfoundittalkedabouthowhumanspossessastronginfluenceontheenvironmentandtheanimals
thatoccupyit.Asasocietyweareconstantlygrowing,thisgrowthusuallyinvolveshumansintruding
ontoanddestroyingecosystemsinordertoincreaseurbanization.Themethodsofurbanizationposea
greatthreattoourenvironment.Habitattransformationfromdeforestationandlackofconservationare
increasingecologicalandenvironmentalissues.FrommyprojectIsawfirsthandhowurbanizationis

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destroyingecosystems.AlargeareaacrossfromWallisHallandBelkhallwasdemolishedandallthe
treesandsoilwascutdown.Allinordertomakeroomfortheskyrailwhichisbeingputintomake
transportationeasierforthegrowingcampusandcity.Urbanizationcanbelinkedtochangesinaspecies
reproductivesuccess,survivalrate,populationdistribution,andtheoverallbehaviorofthespecies,
(Clucas&Marzluff,2012,p.8).ThesecondarticleIreadtalkedabouthowapersonsecologicalliteracy
islinkedtotheaccessandexperiencestheyhavewithnaturewhentheywereyounger.Duringthe
childhoodphaseofourlivesweareamazedandcuriousabouttheworldaroundus.Handsonexperience
withnaturehelpstoincreaseachildsinterestandappreciationfornature.Humansformarelationship
throughthepersonalexperiencestheyhave.Arelationshipwithnaturecantformifachilddoesnthave
exposertowitnessnatureinitspurestform,outsidewithnodisturbancesfromhumans.Withoutitasense
ofawareness,gratitude,anddesiretopreservenaturewillbelimited.Urbanizationhasanegative
correlationtoachildsecologicalliteracy.Itslimitinghowmuchtimechildrenspendoutsideexperience
nature.Whenthechildisoldertheywonthaveanyrealdesireorinitiativetopreservesomethingthey
themselvesdonthaverealmemorableexperiencewith.(Nancy&Julie,2007,P485).Duetothat,when
thatpersonaisolder,deforestationandalackofproperconservationmeasureisntsomethingtheygive
muchthoughtabout.Buildingbirdhouseandfeedersareonewayforachildtodevelopabondwith
nature.Theylearnaboutitandthedifferentecosystemsandhavehandsonexperienceseeingtheir
birdhouseplayaroleintheecosystem.Inthearticleittalkedabouthowkidsthoughtoftheideaasaway
tointeractwithnature(Nancy&Julie,2007,P488).Tohelpbettertheusereducetheeffectsthat
urbanizationhasontheenvironment,programsshouldbedevelopedandimplementedintheschool
systemsandthecommunity.Theissueofrecyclingcanbeaddressedbycreatingmoreareastorecycling
andtoeducatethepubliconthebenefitsofrecycling.

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Dr. Cao

WorksCitedPage
Clucas, B., & Marzluff, J. M. (January 01, 2012). Attitudes and Actions Toward Birds in
Urban
Areas: Human Cultural Differences Influence Bird Behavior. The Auk, 129, 1,
8-16.
Nancy, D. R., & Julie, M. J. (January 01, 2007). Youth Design Participation to Support
Ecological Literacy: Reflections on Charrettes for an Outdoor Learning
Laboratory. Children Youth and Environments, 17, 2, 484-502.

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Biology 2130
Dr. Cao

Thetwobirdfeedersareonthesidesandthe3birdhousesareinthemiddle

Ani Fitzgerald
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Biology 2130
Dr. Cao