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As a field biologist, most of my research expenses are from travel to and from field sites. This includes not only the cost of gas (which is crazy expensive right now!), but wear and tear on the vehicle. I feel strongly that students should not be responsible for these travel expenses in order to conduct research. Thus, I worked really hard to use my startup funds to purchase a dedicated field vehicle.

We now have a brand new, hybrid F150 truck for BREE Lab Research! I can't wait to test it out this spring and summer. My two grad students will definitely make use of it for their work, which involves backcountry travel in the San Bernardino Mountains to collect lizards from recently burned areas and long trips to San Pedro to collect invasive Italian Wall Lizards. Let the road trips begin!

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It is our second year participating in the City Nature Challenge (CNC) and in order to mobilize participants in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, I hosted a Zoom Webinar on the global event! I spoke about the history of the CNC, how participation contributes to science and conservation efforts, and how anyone can participate. Don't worry if you missed it! You can watch the recording on YouTube:

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Sarah Vasquez (CSUSB undergraduate) presented a poster on her research at the campus-wide Meeting of the Minds Symposium! Sarah is studying the skin microbiome of Western Fence Lizards and is interested in knowing whether urbanization affects the diversity and composition of bacteria and fungi residing on lizards' skin. So far, we've found that urban lizards do have less diverse microbiomes and we show significant differences in taxonomic composition. She created a video to go alongside her virtual poster event. Great job Sarah!

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