Jared Collins worked at Memorial Park Conservancy, a not-for-profit organization that conducts conservation research and implementing management strategies in Memorial Park, an urban park in Houston that is almost twice the size of Central Park in New York City. As part of the conservation staff, he was able to assist with the everyday tasks of the conservation staff while also conducting his own research project.
Jared set up wildlife cameras at various wetland locations around the park, ranging from a 5-acre artificial lake to streams that run into the Houston bayou system. Using the images gathered by the cameras, he was able to characterize mammal and bird diversity using the wetlands and how the various species in the park utilized those ecosystems. He then gave a presentation of his research findings and made recommendations for how to improve the management of these systems to better serve the diverse wildlife that lives in the park.
Although impacted by COVID-19, summer funding allowed Jared to still make the summer a successful and rewarding experience that will be invaluable for the future.