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Julia Berndt

High School Fellow


Have you always been interested in birds?

"Ever since I was six."

How is it to catch birds and go mist netting?

"It's kind of a pain to set up the net, it's tall and it's really long. We set two poles with the mist net stretched out between them and we'll put in a device, like an iPod, with some speakers to make some bird calls and attract the birds in, and they'll come flying in. It's sort of like a wall of netting and they fall into the pockets of the net. The only bad thing is you have to wake up at four in the morning, which I did for a week. I was going to bed at 8 o'clock at night and then waking back up and I was so exhausted by the end. But it was so fun because when you catch your first bird, it's like, Oh my gosh, it's so tiny!"

How has the experience been of being in a community where there are high school youth, undergraduates, and lead scientists?

"Everyone’s really, really friendly. I'm not uncomfortable with anyone. They all care, they're aware of what's happening out in the world. They're doing something to try and help it. And it's enlightening, in a word."

Julia worked with Solny Adalsteinsson's Tick & Wildlife Ecology team during summer 2018. Learn more about their prescribed fire and tick-borne disease ecology research here.