From March 23-28, 2017, 9 student members of the OSU Bird Nerds and Fisheries and OSU Wildlife Club took part in this six-day field trip to Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and the surrounding region. It was made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Oregon Chapter of the Wildlife Society. OSU Bird Nerds and OSU Fisheries and Wildlife Club sincerely thanks this wonderful organization for their support of our students. We would also like to thank Laurel Kullerud and Jeff Mackay of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Fisheries Biologist, Ben Ramirez, the Board of Directors of the Friends of Hart Mountain, and Duncan Evered and Lyla Messick of Malheur Field Station for their hospitality, great information, training, and support.
This was the first time the majority of the students on this trip had experienced Hart Mountain and Malheur NWRs and the surrounding region. Students monitored Greater Sage-Grouse leks on Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge for USFWS along with volunteers from the Board of Directors of the Friends of Hart Mountain. Upon leaving Hart Mountain, student participated in an electrofishing workshop in Bridge Creek on Malheur National Wildlife Refuge with ODFW Assistant District Fisheries Biologist, Ben Ramirez. Students also practiced techniques for identifying bird species by song, visual ID, and call. Students also observed many other wildlife species in the region, including Pronghorn, Mule Deer, and many small mammals. In addition we spent time discussing and exploring the history, geography, and geology of the Northern Great Basin and southeastern Oregon. The trip was a tremendous success with a great crew of students.
- Jesse A. Laney
Vice President 2016/2017
Oregon State University Bird Nerds
Student Reflective Statement
The Hart Mountain/Malheur National Refuge trip during the Spring Break of 2017 was an amazing experience. Not only did I discover a totally unknown part of Oregon – which is incredibly beautiful – but I also learned a lot. It was a great opportunity to get hands-on experience on field research. Monitoring Greater Sage-Grouse was fun and a completely brand-new type of bird survey for me. Seeing them in their natural habitats displaying their special behaviors was surprising. I felt very privileged to be able to witness that. Southeastern Oregon is wild and very few people are there which was really nice as I felt completely surrounded by Nature. It was also very exciting to learn about Redband Trout and to try electrofishing. It’s not often we get this kind of opportunity! I am very thankful to everyone who participated in making this trip possible and to everyone who came along for making it such a fun adventure!
- Marie-Morgane Rouyer, Université de Poitiers / Oregon State University