Don’t Fly for Me Argentina

Submitted by Carolyn Arnold on April 18, 2010

fn_s09_penguin3It’s early in the morning on the Patagonia coasts of Argentina. The summer sun is shining (in January!) and Jonathan Haskins ’10 and Frank Spizzoucco ’10 are about to spend the morning with penguins. Hundreds and hundreds of penguins.

Haskins and Spizzoucco traveled to Argentina for two weeks during their winter break to assist biology professor Dr. Brian Walker in his study of Magellanic penguins.

The students – who earlier worked with Dr. Walker conducting bird studies in Nicaragua – assisted their professor in examining how tourism disturbance affects the physiology and behavior in adult penguins and their chicks. Much of the work involved collecting blood samples from penguins to quantify physiological stress levels from those seen on the tourist’s paths and those that have less human interference.

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