Dr. Jim Bednarz is a senior lecturer and advisor of UNT's Biological Sciences Department, specializing in behavioral ecology, conservation biology, and avian ecology. The semester he is currently teaching Principles of Ecology (BIOL 2140) and Conservation Biology (BIOL 3160). This winter and early spring he will be working on the UNT American Kestrel study, a project that involves studying the winter ecology of a small falcon, the American Kestrel (Falco sparverius), that commonly winters in the north Texas Region and, for unknown reasons, is exhibiting a widespread population decline in North America. Dr. Bednarz will be enlisting three undergraduate researchers, Schyler Brown, Kaitlynn Davis, and Audrey Naughton, and one graduate student, Kelsey Biles, to join him in this research. The team will be trapping, marking, and monitoring the behavior and movements of these falcons throughout the winter in an effort to conserve the American Kestrel. During the spring semster, Dr. Bednarz will also be teaching Ornithology (BIOL 4055/4056) and working with students in the classroom and the field to learn about avian biology.
Dr. Bednarz will also be working with a number of additional Ecology and Biology majors studying the breeding ecology of Painted Buntings (Passerina ciris; an amazingly colorful songbird) at the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA) during the late spring and summer. Other research projects that Jim is involved in include studies of migratory populations of birds at LLELA and the social ecology of Harris's Hawks (Parabuteo unicinctus) in south Texas (near Harlingen, Texas).
As an Advisor, Dr. Bednarz strongly encourages students to consider very carefully their personal, family, and work demands as they register for classes in spring semester. He advises that students should only register for the number of course credit hours that are manageable with their other personal and work demands. He reports that he often visits with students that are overwhelmed with the demands of academics and life and are failing in the classroom or not meeting their family and work obligations. His advice is for students to only take the appropriate number of classes and labs that allow them to succeed both academically and personally, saving them the extra stress that comes with a packed schedule.
Learn more about the American Kestrel Partnership here.