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Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program

Jorge Mendoza

What Summer did you participate in the K-State REU Program: 2008

Highest Degree Earned: B.S, Kansas State University, 2010

Current Position: Graduate Student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Photos:  Now (Field work in Costa Rica 2011; Right)

Briefly describe your REU research project. 

The project was fieldwork at Konza Prairie and involved using radio telemetry to study habitat requirements and the behavioral ecology of Upland Sandpipers and Common Nighthawks by collecting blood samples and taking measurements of the birds (Mentors: Dr. Brett K. Sandercock and Rebecca Lohnes).

What did you learn from this REU project? 
Besides learning field techniques and abilities to think more critically, I became more passionate for ecology. It also help me consider research in evolutionary ecology as a career.

What was the best thing you remember about your summer in Manhattan, KS? 
Being in the field and learning directly from professors.

Briefly describe how the REU influenced your development as biologist
It helped me consider different aspects of biology and ecology.  It was extremely helpful to have seminars  or invited speakers to learn about different aspects outside my research including, grazing, burning, insects, etc.

Did your experience in the REU significantly influence your career goals?  If so, how? 
REU significantly influence my career goals.  My goal was to get a degree in optometry though I was interested in ecology.  After conducting research in this field help me realized that I wanted to go into a career in ecology.

Did you publish or present your REU research?  If so please provide the details.  
Below are poster presentations and oral presentations from my REU.  The last two are my actual project that I presented for the REU Presentation.  I was initially working with Upland Sandpipers but in my REU we had the really bad hail storm (also a tornado) and it destroyed several of the sandpiper's nests so I started working with Common Nighthawks.  However, after my internship I started working with Brett in sandpipers as a continuation. 

Konza Prairie: Breeding Place for Upland Sandpipers & Common Nighthawks, First Annual Developing Scholars Program Lectures,   Kansas State University. 2009

Konza Prairie: Breeding Place for Upland Sandpipers & Common Nighthawks, Northern Flint Hills Audubon Society, Manhattan, Kansas. 2009

Parental Care of the Migratory Upland Sandpiper at Konza Prairie, “Evolution 2009,” Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE), the Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB), and the American Society of Naturalists (ASN), University of Idaho. 2009

Investigating the Home Ranges of Common Nighthawks and Parental Care of the Migratory Upland Sandpiper at Konza Prairie, Alianza’s Recognition Reception Celebrating Latino Student Achievement, Kansas State University. 2009

Parental Care of the Migratory Upland Sandpiper at Konza Prairie, 9th Annual Developing Scholars Program Research Symposium, Kansas State University. 2009