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Citadel News Service
8 Nov 2012

CGC student’s research on bird communities attracting attention

Pamela Corwin, a biology student in The Citadel Graduate College, is getting noticed for her research on how seasonal and ecological changes affect bird species.

pamela-corwin1Corwin recently won the Best Student Poster award at the S.C. Water Resources Commission annual conference for her work "Avian Community Response to Seasonal and Successional Changes along the Cooper River, S.C." Last spring her work was recognized as the Best Student Presentation by the Southeast branch of the American Fisheries Society.

"Pamela is one of the sharpest and hardest working graduate students I have ever encountered. Her drive to excel in everything she does is inspiring," said her research advisor Paul Nolan, associate professor of biology. "For example, she took a standard writing assignment from my graduate Ornithology course and turned it into a peer-reviewed article published by the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology's 'Neotropical Birds Online' series."

Nolan said the abandoned rice fields where Corwin did her thesis research represent a habitat type that may provide valuable ecological services, such as recharging oxygen levels in the river, providing nursery sites for fish and temporarily storing storm water surges.

"Yet, we know very little about how they work across seasons and through the years," he said. "Pamela's work is some of the first that attempts to understand one part of that puzzle."

A Goose Creek resident, Corwin is a member of Sigma Xi, Lamdbda Alpha and Phi Kappa Phi, national honor societies and Who's Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges. She has earned scholarships from the S.C. Wildlife Federation, National Guard Association of South Carolina, USAA, Veterans United Scholarship, Veterans Administration Mortgage Center Scholarship and AMVETS - Dr. Aurelio M. Caccomo Family Foundation Memorial Scholarship.

Corwin is a member of the South Carolina National Guard, full-time graduate student, full-time employee at South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, volunteers for Charleston Audubon, is a published photographer, and has sold fine-art watercolors in downtown Charleston galleries.

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