Tuesday, December 11, 2018

URSP Student Eleri Burnett Researches The Economic Impacts of Losing a Coastal Shorebird Along the East Coast

The project I am currently researching attempts to assign a monetary value to an endangered shorebird along the East Coast Shoreline named the Piping Plover. In order to do this, I have pulled together data assigning the value of the ecosystem services of the Plover, essentially meaning what the organism provides for the habitat that it is in. 

I have always had an interest in birds, and as a business and finance major, I wanted to attempt a project that could link my two passions and provide a means of incentive for conservation of this bird and all birds in a way that could mutually benefit local economies along the east coast. If I am able to provide a compelling argument that the value of this bird is worth its conservation for the economic benefit it brings communities, more citizens can relate to the money factor and may be more willing to provide resources to help with wildlife conservation.

Even though multiple people told me this project was not going to be easy, I wanted to give it a shot anyway. I spent most of the former half of the semester researching methods and looking at how other researchers came about their economic data. After I used this data, I spent days mapping the precise territory of the Piping Plover’s territory through its sightings and use of an online map feature. The final month has been analyzing the concluding number and its significance. With this, I made the realization that many can say a project may be tough, but nothing is impossible; if you are willing to put forth the effort to complete something, it is absolutely possible. Sometimes, especially with hardship, it’s easy to get demotivated, but if you persevere and remember why you initially took on this research project, you may once again find your footing.