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Hatley tracks bears for senior project

February 23, 2011

By Lauren Robinson, Opinions Editor

This semester, the Biology Department will be showcasing the senior projects of several Young Harris College seniors in a series of student-led lectures. On Mon. Feb. 7, Kyle Hatley, a senior biology major from Kennesaw, gave a lecture entitled “Determining the Relative Abundance of Black Bears in Union and Towns County” in Maxwell room 106 at 7 p.m.

“When I was a junior, a big research project like this seemed very daunting. However, after picking a topic and getting Dr. Stallings as my mentor to help me with my research it was a great experience that I’ll never forget,” said Hatley.

For his senior project seminar, Kyle chose to study animal behavior.

“I chose this topic, because I thought it would be a great opportunity to work with the DNR [Department of Natural Resources,] and it didn’t even feel like research because I enjoyed it so much,” said Hatley.

In his research with the DNR, Kyle planted traps that would attract black bears otherwise known scientifically as the Ursus americanus. The research was conducted in Union and Towns County on the Duncan Ridge, Young Harris-Brasstown Bald and the Arkaquah Trails. This research was not a quick study. Kyle worked on the research project for a little over a year before he actually presented it to his peers and professors.

When asked how he would rate this project, Hatley answered, “I would rate my project an A. I had so much help working with Dr. Stallings, and it was great to go out into the field rather than being confined to a lab.”

In fact when asked if Hatley would recommend this project to other biology students, he responded enthusiastically, “Yes, This project was a blast. The data that I gathered will be used by the DNR. And it would be great if someone could continue this project, especially since we have developed such a good relationship with the DNR.”

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