Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version



Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2023


Copyright 2023, Colleen Ballinger


My project was about comparing ecological communities in different locations. As many of us Natural Resource studiers know, urbanization has become a prime factor in ecosystems and landscapes of the modern world. Numerous studies from the Urban Ecology field have shown us that urbanization is on an unstable trajectory for the future (Wu 2014). My research will be to find out where and what species of wildlife live in varying levels of urbanization. This topic is important to me because of how impactful habitat loss is to wildlife. Habitat loss is the number one cause of wildlife death here in the United States. My research question is asking is there a significant difference in wildlife amongst varying urban environments? Because humans have such a large effect on our environment, it will be very intriguing to see how wildlife in different urban environments adapt (Pardini et al 2017). It is important to my study to also know and understand alternate reasons for a decrease in wildlife in an area. In a past study to study the interactions between climate and habitat loss effects on biodiversity, they found that current climate and climate change are important factors determining the negative effects of a habitat loss on species density (Mantyka-Pringle et al 2012). The experimentation will be setting up the field cameras in three different locations and then comparing the data between areas. The description and modeling will come in when I need to present my data via poster. My modeling will represent the results of my experiment. I am currently thinking that my model will be represented by a bar graph that will show the number of different species located in the different areas. I will then use the data to describe my findings and compare to my hypothesis from the start of the project and see if I can accept it.