Sofia Oleas ’15 spent Summer 2014 working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateagune Island, VA, where she monitored shorebirds such as Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers. Sofia tells us: “Monitoring Piping Plovers is important because they are endangered. Similarly, Least Terns and Black Skimmers are also endangered and are found in the same habitat as Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers.” Although Sofia only collected data on Least Terns and Black Skimmers occasionally, she was happy to be a part of the effort towards their conservation. Because American Oystercatchers are neither listed as endangered nor threatened, but other shorebirds in the same habitat are, data collection on their numbers and fledge rates are an important step towards their official conservation. In addition to her work with shorebirds, Sofia also collected deceased Delmarva Peninsula Fox Squirrels (DFS) to monitor the impact of motor vehicles on the island's subpopulation. Although the DFS were recommended for delisting in 2012, the process is long and is dependent on further data collection. The picture depicts Sofia next to a Piping Plover enclosure that she constructed with other biology interns to protect the Piping Plovers' eggs from depredation (red foxes, ghost crabs, greater black back gulls, etc).