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FHSU graduate student to present thesis research at KWEC

HAYS – Katya Frank, a Fort Hays State University graduate student, will present her graduate thesis research to the public at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 7, at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center in Great Bend, located 10 miles northeast of Great Bend, 592 NE K-156. . 

Frank, Green Spring, Wisc., spent last summer bird watching at 25 shelterbelts at Webster Wildlife Area in Rooks County and Wilson State Park and Minooka Park in Russell County. In total, she recorded 58 species of birds. 

Shelterbelts are hotspots for wildlife in Kansas, and birds use them for migration, shelter, mate attraction, food resources and nesting. 

Frank compared characteristics of shelterbelts to identify what influences the total number of bird species that are in the community. 

“My thesis project is looking at how differences among shelterbelts influence the number of bird species that use those shelterbelts,” said Frank. 

Frank has a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, and is now pursuing a Master of Science in biology from FHSU. She currently has a graduate wetlands assistantship at KWEC. Her goal is to pursue a career in environmental education after graduation. 

The presentation is free and open to the public.