“Science Friday” Features Deutschlander – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

“Science Friday” Features Deutschlander

WEOS, Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ radio station, presented a national broadcast of National Public Radio’s flagship call-in science program in front of a live audience in Cornell University’s Bailey Hall.

This broadcast of “Talk of the Nation: Science Friday,” hosted by Ira Flatow and made possible by Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Cornell University, was held from 2 to 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 9, and featured HWS Associate Professor of Biology Mark Deutschlander as a panelist.

Specializing in ornithology and animal orientation and navigation, Deutschlander, who is also president of the Braddock Bay Bird Observatory (BBBO) in Rochester, sat on the panel with David Bonter, vice president of the BBBO, during the first hour of the show, which was devoted to bird migration.

Deutschlander said it was “word of mouth” that landed him a spot on the show.  The producer contacted Bonter, who specializes in migration ecology, and when the producer specified a need for a migration navigation expert, Bonter suggested Deutschlander.

“It’s exciting,” said Deutschlander before the show.  “And the nice thing about this research is that often when people hear that it’s about how birds migrate and how they find their way, it’s immediately something they’re interested in.”

Audience members at Bailey Hall had opportunities to ask questions of the guests along with callers from a national audience. Science Friday airs on hundreds of NPR member stations in many major markets, including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Houston, Washington D.C., among many others.

Veteran NPR science correspondent, and award-winning TV journalist, Ira Flatow is the host of “Science Friday.”  He anchors the show each Friday, bringing radio and Internet listeners worldwide a lively, informative discussion on science, technology, health, space and the environment. Mixing his passion for science with a tendency toward being “a bit of a ham,” Flatow describes his work as the challenge “to make science and technology a topic for discussion around the dinner table.”

Flatow has shared that enthusiasm with public radio listeners for more than 35 years. His recent honors include: National Science Teachers Association Faraday Science Communicator Award (2007), National Science Board Public Service Award (2005), World Economic Forum Media Fellowship (2005), Elizabeth Wood Writing (2002), AAAS Journalism award (2000), Brady Washburn Award (2000), the Carl Sagan Award (1999).

Deutschlander received his Ph.D. in zoology from Indiana University, where he specialized in animal behavior and minored in neuroscience.  His research over the past 12 years has focused on sensory aspects of migration and navigation, particular the use of visual cues and the earth’s magnetic field in animal orientation.  He has conducted experiments on a wide variety of organisms including salamanders, trout, hamsters, and, of course, birds. His research repertoire extends from field studies to behavioral and neurophysiological experiments.  

Deutschlander’s research interest in birds and migration began while he was an undergraduate student with Dr. Robert Beason at S.U.N.Y. Geneseo, where together they studied the magnetic sense of bobolinks.  He has also studied magnetic navigation in Australian silvereyes, as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Technology in Sydney.  Deutschlander is currently President for BBBO and has held a sub-permit since 2002. He will bring new research initiatives to the observatory as he explores the orientation mechanisms in warblers and the ultraviolet reflectance patterns in the plumage of North American passerines.  For more information on his professional activities, please visit Deutschlander’s home page at http://people.hws.edu/deutschlander/.

Owned by Hobart and William Smith Colleges, WEOS-Finger Lakes Public Radio has been the NPR affiliate station for the Finger Lakes region of New York State for more than 15 years.