Other Student Opportunities

The natural history collection is a thriving, growing collection! A number of students currently are working with the collection, as part of independent research projects, Honors projects, or learning skills through work-study. Below, we spotlight some of the recent student projects.

  • 2018-present: Over 30 students have been documenting bird-window collisions on campus. With over 1000 hours of surveys logged, they have found dozens and dozens of birds that are now a part of our bird collection or in waiting to be prepped as museum skins. Two student-driven manuscripts have been published about this work.
  • 2019-2020: Karissa Ellis became an expert on bird taxidermy and prepared a substantial number of new bird skins that ahve been of immediate use in vertebrate zoology and other courses. In 2020, Logan Vanmeter and Angie Holmes are picking up where Karissa left off.
  • 2019: Calli Tang worked on identification of invertebrate specimens in our collection, now that contemporary field guides are widely available for many species. Her ID projects included dragonflies, lady beetles, and cicadas. 
  • 2019: Hannah Reed worked on identification of earthworms in our collection, now that a high quality dichotomous key has been published for annelids in our region
  • 2019: Eric Allen published a manuscript that documents all new county records in our herbarium, according to the Digital Atlas of the Flora of Virginia. He collaborated with Dr. Powers, Dr. Small, and Dr. Tom Wieboldt, retired curator of the Massey Herbarium at Virginia Tech:  Allen, E.T., K.E. Powers, C.J. Small, and T.F. Wielboldt. 2020. County additions to the Virginia flora vouchered at the Radford University Herbarium. Castanea 85(1):14-22.
  • Allyse Fritz, now a teacher, cataloged the rare snails collected by Paul Burch
  • Jacob Vaught (now a student at Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine) identified the crayfish in our collection, using contemporary keys to crayfish of Virginia. Angie Holmes will use 2020 to identify new additions to our collection since Jacob's past work.
  • Brittani Sanford, an honors student, completed identification of grasshoppers in our collection. Marisa Dameron (now a student at Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine) updated these IDs recently.