LLCC to host Illinois Junior Academy of Science Regional Science Fair Saturday, March 21

LLCC will host the annual Illinois Junior Academy of Science (IJAS) Region 10 Science Fair Saturday, March 21. The public is invited to view the 45 science projects on display from noon to 3 p.m. in Cass Gymnasium. An awards ceremony will begin at 3 p.m.

The regional science fair, facilitated by Tony Rothering, LLCC professor of biology, provides students an avenue in which to exercise their knowledge and understanding of scientific methodology. IJAS encourages students with special ability and interest in science to go beyond the limits of the classroom in developing their own ideas, aiding them in their progress toward potential careers in science.

Students from eight area junior high and high schools will participate. Students whose projects receive an outstanding score will advance to the IJAS State Science Fair in Decatur on May 1-2.

NWS free storm spotter course today at LLCC

The National Weather Service is offering a free, two-hour “Severe Weather Storm Spotting” class in the Student Union of Menard Hall today, March 2, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Open to the public, attendees will learn about the formation and tracking of tornadoes and have the opportunity to become official NWS storm spotters. There is no age limit for those wishing to attend. However, attendees must be at least 18 years old to receive storm spotter certification. Pre-registration is not required. Those needing special accommodations should email Chris.Miller@noaa.gov.

The session will be led by James Auten, lead meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Lincoln. The class will cover the formation and movement of tornadoes and other severe storms. Also included will be a discussion of personal safety considerations when severe weather is threatening and proper reporting guidelines.

For individuals who wish to become certified storm spotters, Auten will provide information about the types of data the Weather Service needs to better inform the public on the severity of the storm, and what can be expected as it moves along its track. Some of the observations that need reported include hail, estimated wind speed, flash flooding and tornadoes.

For more information, contact Dean Butzow, LLCC professor of geography, at dean.butzow@llcc.edu or 217-786-4923, or visit the NWS Lincoln Office “Severe Weather Spotter Training” webpage at: https://www.weather.gov/Lincoln/spotter

NWS free storm spotter course March 2 at LLCC

The National Weather Service will offer a free, two-hour “Severe Weather Storm Spotting” class in the Student Union of Menard Hall Monday, March 2, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Open to the public, attendees will learn about the formation and tracking of tornadoes and have the opportunity to become official NWS storm spotters. There is no age limit for those wishing to attend. However, attendees must be at least 18 years old to receive storm spotter certification. Pre-registration is not required. Those needing special accommodations should email Chris.Miller@noaa.gov.

The session will be led by James Auten, lead meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Lincoln. The class will cover the formation and movement of tornadoes and other severe storms. Also included will be a discussion of personal safety considerations when severe weather is threatening and proper reporting guidelines.

For individuals who wish to become certified storm spotters, Auten will provide information about the types of data the Weather Service needs to better inform the public on the severity of the storm, and what can be expected as it moves along its track. Some of the observations that need reported include hail, estimated wind speed, flash flooding and tornadoes.

For more information, contact Dean Butzow, LLCC professor of geography, at dean.butzow@llcc.edu or 217-786-4923, or visit the NWS Lincoln Office “Severe Weather Spotter Training” webpage at: https://www.weather.gov/Lincoln/spotter

LLCC welcomes new dean of natural and agricultural sciences

Dr. Kimberly VogtKimberly Vogt, Ph.D., from Indianapolis, has joined LLCC as dean of natural and agricultural sciences. She began her new duties Jan. 6.

Dr. Vogt comes to LLCC from Marian University where she served as chair of the department of biology for three years and assistant professor of biology for an additional four years. Prior to that, she served as instructor of biology and biology lab coordinator at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and as an adjunct instructor at Waubonsee Community College and Kishwaukee College.

Vogt is originally from central Illinois. She earned a doctor of philosophy degree in ecology and evolution as well as a bachelor’s degree in biology from Northern Illinois University, and attended Joliet Junior College for undergraduate studies.

Fall bird banding results issued

Below are a few of the highlights from the fall 2019 bird banding season, our 15th banding season at LLCC. (For a copy of the full, detailed report, email tony.rothering@llcc.edu.) You will notice numbers were significantly lower than a typical fall season. We are hoping it is just an anomaly instead of a new norm.

  • 1,289 birds of 74 species were banded over 69 banding days this fall (this is significantly lower than our fall average of 2,208 birds banded over a similar time frame).
  • The above numbers translate into 18.7 birds banded/day (our typical fall average is 33.2 birds/day).
  • We had 269 recaptures (birds banded earlier in the fall or banded in an earlier season).
  • The oldest bird recaptured was an American Goldfinch that was banded during the spring 2014 season.
  • The top five species banded (based on the number banded) were: White-throated Sparrow, American Goldfinch, Dark-eyed Junco, American Robin and House Wren.
  • During the first weekend of November, we did a little nocturnal banding and successfully banded two owl species: one Eastern Screech Owl and one Northern Saw-whet Owl (our target species).
  • One new species was banded at the station (Bell’s Vireo) which brings our cumulative station total to 24,875 birds banded of 126 species.
  • Over 300 people visited the station over the banding season including LLCC students, Cub Scouts, and many other community members.

The spring 2020 season will begin March 19. You always are welcome to visit if your schedule allows!

Tony Rothering, professor of biology

Congratulations to LLCC Agriculture!

Bill Harmon accepting award on behalf of LLCC at NAAE national conferenceLLCC Agriculture is one of just six programs nationwide to receive the 2019 National Association of Agricultural Educators Outstanding Postsecondary Agriculture Program Award. Bill Harmon, agriculture program coordinator, accepted the award at the NAAE annual convention in Anaheim, Calif. on Dec. 3. The award honored LLCC as an outstanding agriculture education program from the Midwest region.