Katrina Hosbach ’16 Tracks Nature on Campus for Senior Thesis

By Caitlin Burns | May 4, 2016

A nighttime photo of a raccoon using the Tookany Creek to get around campus.

By Hope Cuff ’18

Did you know coyotes have been known to wander through Arcadia University’s campus? Biology student Katrina Hosbach ’16 discovered the coyote duo last fall after setting up wildlife cameras at three sites on campus for her yearlong ecological study for senior thesis.

With help from Dr. Tobias Landberg, professor of Biology, and student researchers Sarah Obuchowski ’17, Tori Plymouth ’17, Elizabeth Lewis ’16, and Amanda Vong ’18, Hosbach has tracked local wildlife on campus each day using 24-hour recordings. The rare coyote aside, she has also found that campus is home to white-tailed deer, foxes, blue herons, groundhogs, rabbits, and–of course–squirrels.

“This type of long-term ecological data is critical for understanding how our local management practices, as well as how global climate change, affects animal diversity, abundance, and activity patterns in our little suburban campus,” Dr. Landberg said. “And we are learning surprising, interesting, and useful things about our campus while students are getting opportunities to become biologists.”

Weekly highlights of the wildlife cameras can be found on the Arcadia University Wildlife Facebook page.