Spring bird banding results issued

The final report for the spring 2019 bird banding season (our 14th banding season at LLCC!) contains these highlights:

  • We banded 1,421 birds of 83 species over 49 mornings (averages out to 29 birds per day).
  • In addition, we had 138 returns (captures of birds banded in an earlier season).
  • The five most abundantly captured/banded species this spring were: Dark-eyed Junco, Common Yellowthroat, Gray Catbird, Swamp Sparrow and Northern Cardinal.
  • We captured/banded two new species for the station this spring: Barn Swallow and Connecticut Warbler.
  • Our cumulative number for 14 seasons stands at 23,586 birds banded of 125 species.
  • More than 250 LLCC students and community members visited the bird banding station this spring.

The fall 2019 season is scheduled to begin Aug. 19. You are always welcome to visit as your time allows!

Tony Rothering, professor of biology

Dean Butzow publishes article in National Council of Geographic Education journal

Dean Butzow, professor of geography, wrote the article, “Using Sense of Place in the Classroom” for the National Council of Geographic Education (NCGE) journal, The Geography Teacher.  In the summer of 2017, Dean was selected to participate in NCGE’s Geocamp Iceland for educators in the U.S. The article was published in a special issue of The Geography Teacher, centered around using lessons learned in Iceland as a focus in our geography classes. Dean gave a presentation on his article at the Illinois Geographical Society Conference on April 27 in Dubuque, Iowa.

Congratulations to Dean Butzow and geography students!

Dean Butzow, professor of geography, was honored with the Illinois Geographical Society Len Hodgman Life Membership Award at the Illinois Geographical Society Conference in Dubuque, Iowa on April 27. The award is given to a member who is an advocate for and promotes the field of geography, and does excellent work in the geography field.

Lillian CampLillian Camp (pictured with poster) a current student from Springfield, presented a poster at the conference on mapping charity services in Springfield. She is completing an associate in arts with a concentration in geography and plans to transfer to the University of Louisville to major in geography and art.

Camp also won the Illinois Geographical Society Outstanding Community College Student Geography Award, along with two other LLCC students, Alex Scheller of Springfield and Brenden Friesland of Irving, who are also graduating in May with a concentration in geography. They both plan to attend SIUE and major in geography, and were accepted through LLCC’s 2+2 program with SIUE.

Dean Butzow and Abigail ShaverAlso, LLCC alum, Abigail Shaver, a junior geography major at ISU (and daughter of Matt Shaver, LLCC professor of digital media), presented her research paper, “Climate Change and Mental Health.” She is pictured with Professor Butzow at the conference.

NWS Spotter Training held March 4

More than 100 people attended the National Weather Service Spotter Training on Monday, March 4.  A special thanks to Julie Sutfin and her team for doing the setup and Dallas Woomer, Dave Ferrill and Karla Wilham for their technology setup and support.

National Weather Service Spotter Training at LLCC

LLCC hosting 13th annual Rube Goldberg Competition Feb. 23

“Outlandish machines” designed by area fifth graders will be on display as LLCC hosts the 13th annual Springfield Area Fifth Grade Rube Goldberg Competition on Saturday, Feb. 23. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to approximately 3 p.m. in the student union. There is no admission fee, and the public is invited to attend.

A Rube Goldberg device, such as the board game “Mousetrap,” is an elaborate apparatus designed to complete a certain task through a number of complex steps. Area fifth graders are currently developing their own unique Rube Goldberg devices for this year’s competition. They receive assistance from engineer volunteers, coordinated by the area Engineer in the Classroom Board. The engineer volunteers visit classes and provide instruction on machines and engineering in general, along with suggestions for their “secret” Rube Goldberg.

The purpose of this event is to introduce children to the idea of pursuing a career in engineering or closely related field. It is the only Rube Goldberg program in the nation specifically aimed at elementary age school children.

This year, 11 teams are participating from Dubois Elementary, Fairview Elementary, Graham Elementary, Our Savior Lutheran, Rochester Intermediate, Springfield Christian and Trinity Lutheran-Springfield.

Last year’s task entailed building a Rube Goldberg that would “have one object orbit another object at least three times.” Cindy George’s and Mary Schackman’s combined fifth grade class from Owen Marsh, with engineer volunteers Alan Ho from FHWA and Tim Peters from IDOT, took home the top prize. This year’s competition involves building a Rube Goldberg that through at least 10 different steps must generate a minimum of four distinct and separate sounds.

NWS free storm spotter course March 4

The National Weather Service will offer a free two-hour “Severe Weather Storm Spotting” class at LLCC on Monday, March 4 starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Student Union. The training program is open to the general public.

The session will be led by James Auten, lead meteorologist, NWS in 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.

In addition to learning about the formation and tracking of tornadoes, the session will give attendees an opportunity to become official NWS storm spotters. For those who wish to become certified storm spotters, Auten will provide information about the types of data NWS needs to better inform the public about the severity of the storm and what can be expected as it moves along its track. Some of the observations they need reported include hail, estimated wind speed, flash flooding and tornadoes.

There is no age limit for those who wish to attend. However, attendees must be at least 18 years old to receive storm spotter certification. Preregistration is not required. Those with special needs should send a request to Chris.Miller@noaa.gov no later than Wednesday, Feb. 27 so that LLCC can accommodate the request.

For more information, contact Dean Butzow, 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 hosting Transitional Math Summit on campus today

LLCC Math and Sciences is hosting a Transitional Math Summit today in the Trutter Center from 1-4  p.m. More than 50 teachers, principals and advisors from 16 high schools in the LLCC district will attend. Kathleen Almy, Illinois Director for Transitional Math, will be conducting the summit.  According to Bill Bade, dean of math and sciences, a new state mandate requires high schools and community colleges to work together to create transitional math classes. High school seniors would complete the classes (if needed), and successful completion would ensure that for up to 18 months after completion, they could enroll in any state school college-level math class without having to take a placement exam or otherwise test into the transfer level class. These classes would be implemented in the next few years.

Fall bird banding results issued

The final report for the fall 2018 bird banding season (our 13th banding season at LLCC!) contains these highlights:

  • We banded 2,076 birds over 65 banding days this fall.
  • The average number of birds banded was 31.9 birds/day.
  • The highest one day total was 174 birds banded (Oct. 4).
  • We added one new species (Summer Tanager) to the cumulative station total which now stands at 123 species.
  • The five most commonly banded species for the season were: American Goldfinch, Dark-eyed Junco, Chipping Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Warbler and House Sparrow.
  • We had 64 returns (recaptures of birds banded in an earlier season) and 387 repeats (recaptures of birds banded earlier in the fall 2018 season).
  • Our station cumulative total is now at 22,165 birds banded over 13 seasons.
  • Approximately 300 LLCC students and community members visited the banding station this fall.

The spring 2019 season is scheduled to begin March 21. You are always welcome to visit as your time allows!

Tony Rothering, professor of biology

Geography Awareness Week and GIS Day

In honor of Geography Awareness Week (Nov. 12-18) and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Day (Nov. 14), LLCC Math and Sciences hosted activities for students in A. Lincoln Commons using a giant floor map of Illinois. The map, approximately 14 feet by 21 feet, was made available for use by the Illinois Geographic Alliance. It was designed by the National Geographic Society.

Geography Awareness Week is an annual celebration of geography and the important role it plays in our lives. GIS Day provides an opportunity for people to learn about geography and the uses of GIS.

LLCC student activity on giant floor map of IllinoisLLCC student GIS Day activity with giant floor map of IllinoisLLCC student activity on giant floor map of IllinoisLLCC student GIS Day activity with giant floor map of Illinois

LLCC Chemistry Club hosts “Haunted Lab,” 5-6:30 p.m.

LLCC Chemistry Club presents: 6th annual Haunted Lab Oct. 26, 5-6:30 p.m. Children 5 and older with parents/guardians invited
The LLCC Chemistry Club will host the sixth annual “Haunted Lab” this evening from 5-6:30 p.m. in upper Sangamon Hall.

Children ages five and older and their parents/guardians are invited to the free event. Pre-registration is required at www.llcc.edu/haunted-lab.

Children will see “spooky” science demonstrations and learn about experiments they can do at home. Experiments will be conducted by club members under the guidance of Jennifer Ramm, LLCC professor of chemistry.

Science demonstration shows will run about 20 minutes and will take place in Sangamon Hall Rooms 2213 and 2215. Children will see bubbles, color changes, fire and much more as they learn about science.

Shows begin every 15 minutes at 5, 5:15, 5:30, 5:45, 6 and 6:15 p.m. While waiting for shows to begin, children can participate in hands-on activities and face painting across the hall in Room 2216.

Children are welcome to wear Halloween costumes to the event. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase.