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2013.10.07 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Communications
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: unonews@unomaha.edu

Students at UNO, Lady of Lourdes Partner for Animal Behavior Study at Henry Doorly Zoo

Omaha - Students from Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary will join students from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) on Friday, Oct. 11, to help zookeepers monitor animal behavior at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo as part of a special semester-long service learning project.

The partnership is between Rosemary Strasser’s animal behavior students and students Shelley Brown’s students from Our Lady of Lourdes.

Oct. 11 marks the final day of observation for both sets of students, who have partnered together with the Henry Doorly Zoo to monitor the behavior of the zoo’s animals. Collected data will be analyzed and presented to the zoo.

“College students apply behavioral observation skills learned in the classroom to answer questions posed by zoo staff regarding specific behaviors of captive animals such as the frequency of certain behaviors or interactions between animals,“ explained Strasser, associate professor of psychology at UNO. “Students collaborate with keepers to address these issues and collect data to test hypotheses. College students also act as mentors for younger students interested in animal behavior assisting them in their studies.”

As part of UNO’s Service Learning Academy, the P-16 Initiative facilitates partnerships between three key groups:

- UNO students and their teachers
- Pre school-through-high school students and their teachers
- Community organizations and their members

Through these service-learning partnerships, P-16 brings the classroom into the community through application of education to find solutions to real-life problems.

Students from UNO’s animal behavior laboratory will also visit the zoo on Friday, Sept. 27 and Friday, Oct. 4. The Oct. 11 date is the only on-site visit by students from Our Lady of Lourdes.

The following week students from Our Lady of Lourdes will present posters about what they’ve learned while the UNO students will begin analyzing their collected data and provide the results to the zoo.

UNO students are part of the neuroscience program at UNO, one of only two such programs in the state of Nebraska.

For more information, please contact Laura Krueger, UNO Service Learning Academy at 402.554.2712 or by email lkrueger@unomaha.edu.

For media requests, please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at 402.554.2129 or by email at unonews@unomaha.edu.

The P-16 Initiative works in partnership with Building Bright Futures in an effort to improve academic performance, raise graduation rates, increase civic and community responsibility and ensure all students are prepared for post-secondary education.

The UNO Service Learning Academy facilitates collaborative partnerships between the university and the metropolitan community for the purpose of enhancing student learning; advancing community service and initiatives; and fostering engaged citizenship.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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© 2014 University Communications. voice: 402.554.2129, fax: 402.554.3541, unonews@unomaha.edu