Imaging Making a Mark on Southeast Arkansas Deer Population
It has worked well for numerous hospitals around
the nation to detect bone density. It has served as a lifesaving
tool for firefighters searching for trapped humans in a house engulfed
with flames. Now, the lifesaving technology, Thermal Infrared Imaging
(TII), is making a mark in the hardwoods of southeastern Arkansas.
TII has been used by the CIA and in the War
in Iraq. It has been used by NASA experts to develop space explorations.
Most recently, though, this technology has been used close to home by local
biologists and environmentalists to determine a precise census of the white-tail
deer population in southeast Arkansas.
The precise imaging is much more advanced
than the previous spotlight method of counting deer. For that reason,
the University of Arkansas – Monticello’s (UAM) School of Forest Resources
decided to invest in the equipment for research purposes. The university
conducted a research study in conjunction with the Arkansas Game and Fish
Commission on The Choctaw Island Wildlife Management Area in Desha County.
According to Dr. Phil Tappe, UAM School of
Forest Resources Professor and co-researcher of the Thermal Infrared Imaging
project, the new technology is yielding exciting results.
“This imaging system allows us to assess the
detection rate of white-tailed deer using aerial thermal infrared videography.
The result is a nearly-precise count of the deer population on the island.”
The process is conducted using a complete
imaging package, which is small enough to fit in a large briefcase.
Two options are available: in the air or on the ground. Either
way, the imaging is done with a Mitsubishi IR-700 thermal imager.
For aerial purposes, the imager is placed in a hole in the bottom of a
small single engine airplane. The airplane conducts a slow fly over
of the land. The imager takes pictures and sends them through a video
encoder into a laptop computer.
“The imager has the capability to shoot about
50 frames per second. The camera gives a high resolution quality
and is sensitive to about one-tenth of a degree.”
Before the actual imaging of southeast Arkansas
deer herds, the system was used to detect human movement in the hardwoods
of Choctaw Island. UAM forestry students and personnel from the Arkansas
Game and Fish Commission were placed in various locations throughout the
“To make sure we understood how to properly
operate the system, we placed people in various locations of the island.
Some were placed in water and others on land. We did a slow fly over,
and our results were impressive. The system picked up all but one
of the people in the field and the woods, but it didn’t pick up those in
the water. The water retained a lot of heat and caused energy rate
to be lowered. It even picked up one guy who lit a cigarette.
That’s how impressive this technology is.”
The body temperature of a deer is approximately
101 degrees compared to the average body temperature of the human being
at 98.6 degrees. Researchers were concerned that the Thermal Infrared
Imaging system would not make the distinction. But, it did.
Like the humans, a study was conducted on
the deer population on Choctaw Island. The results were compared
to a spotlight study of deer conducted by UAM graduate student Erin McCammon.
McCammon worked on three routes of the White River National Wildlife Refuge
and did a spotlight count on the deer population in that specific area.
According to Tappe, “After conducting the
trial run on humans, the imaging system was put to test with deer. Over
twice as many deer were detected during thermal infrared counts compared
to the traditional spotlight counting.”
Deer appear on the video as a white image
on a black background. The system is so sensitive that it will detect the
movement of a mouse on the forest floor. In addition, it can detect
the bed in the grass that a deer recently used.
“The system provides a silhouette of the deer.
You are able to tell a doe from a buck. It’s that distinctive.
In addition to deer, the system picked up bats, owls, possums, even rabbits
during our flyover.”
UAM is only one of two universities in the
nation with this technology. The other university with the capability
to conduct such compelling research is the United States Air Force Academy.
“There were only about 120 of the cameras
made and we were fortunate enough to obtain one. The other cameras
were purchased primarily by the federal government.”
While the equipment may have cost the university
approximately $80,000, Tappe believes the benefits will outweigh the costs.
“We were very fortunate to receive a grant
from the Arkansas Forest Resources Center. It may have been expensive,
but the research possibilities with the equipment are endless. Who
knows what good it may do in the future.”
With southeast Arkansas serving as a wildlife
refuge, this information is important to wildlife managers.
“Deer are extremely important to southeast
Arkansas both economically and environmentally. This new way of counting
the herds allows wildlife managers and forest managers alike to plan for
the deer population.”
In addition, thermal imaging gives a
much better projection of the deer population simply because it allows
one to see beyond the visible eyesight.
“It gives us a tool to see beyond what we
can see. It helps us help wildlife managers. We are able to
make better projections as to the deer herds in southeast Arkansas.”
According to Tappe, this is just the beginning
of the thermal imaging of deer.
“One’s imagination is the limit. Thermal
imaging can be used in a variety of capacities to better the environment.”
Tappe and Dr. Rob Kissell of the UAM Forest
Resources faculty are responsible for the thermal imaging project.
In addition to McCammon, several other students are incorporating the idea
into their research studies. All of the results are forwarded to
the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Tappe believes the technology which has been
used by firefighters to save lives and by hospitals to detect bone fractures
can also be used to impact the environment of southeastern Arkansas in
a positive way.
“It’s expensive, but the work being accomplished
is worth the price tag.”
Group Has Weekly Fellowship
There’s nothing like a homemade meal straight from the oven, a welcoming
group of humble, generous college students, and some good ole’ music to
make someone feel right at home.
Such has been the goal of a group of students
who have been meeting together since spring 2002 for weekly fellowship.
However, the meetings do not stop at food,
fun, and Jesus. It goes much further. These young adults have
Each Wednesday night is an uplifting experience
for University of Arkansas-Monticello students and professors and for people
from the community because they are given a place, a home, to come together
and share what is on their hearts.
Covenant is more to them than just church–it’s
a support group for God and for each other.
The idea began last spring, when Reverend
Ben Coulter, a sophomore at the University of Monticello, opened his home
to his friends for dinner and a movie. After eating hamburgers, the
congregation of no more than ten Hamburg graduates and Rodeo Club members
Ben grew up partying with piled into his living room to watch “The Ride,”
a Christian film. After the movie was over, the group drowned out
the melodic tunes of Ben’s guitar with laughter as they played until midnight
with smiles on their faces and Jesus in their hearts. Even then,
Ben never thought Covenant was going to explode, but it did.
Word of mouth spread and a little over a year
later, an average of 40-60 people meet, not only in Ben’s house, but also
in two other homes in the Westside Manor apartment complex. As you
walk into the front door of Ben’s home, where the enormous group congregates
to eat before splitting into study groups, you are greeted by friendly
smiles and Arkansas Razorback memorabilia as the potluck aroma sneaks out
the door, enticing you into the kitchen where homemade dishes are covering
every inch of counter. Only occasionally will you find Taco Bell
and Popeye’s among John Smith’s famous squash or Tara Craig’s apple cobbler.
Though this ever-growing group needs a large,
cement parking lot and an even larger building to gather in, you will never
see Covenant meet anywhere else. They enjoy creating a comfortable
environment by welcoming the community into their houses, sharing their
faith as well as their home.
As Ben looks around the room, he laughs,
“I grew up partying with most of these people.” Those attending Covenant
openly talk about their past, the mistakes they have made, and how they
have grown since they opened their lives to God and left their rebellious
past behind them. “Now,” as Ben says, “we’re just regular folks living
for Jesus.” Here, no one is better than anyone else. At Covenant,
no one has anything to hide.
The morning after a wild prom party in 2000,
Ben woke up and knew immediately something was wrong.
“I knew I was lost. I knew I needed
to get right. I was lucky to be alive.”
And on January 11, 2000, he gave his
life to God and surrendered to preach, to share Jesus with the world.
He started with those closest to him. He wanted the guys he grew
up with to see how he had changed and he realized that he could not be
strong in his faith alone.
His goal is to see leaders strong enough in
their faith with God that Covenant can multiply. Now, a new meeting
group, stemming from what began as old friends celebrating their new life
with God, has begun to meet every Monday night. And all the while,
Covenant grows even larger. Each week a new face is brought into
Throughout the meetings, he has witnessed
first-hand changes in people’s hearts. Ben also enjoys seeing what
Covenant is doing for friendships. He’s taken delight in watching
UAM’s baseball and softball teams getting involved as the University of
Arkansas-Monticello is brought together under one roof.
All in all, Ben says that he wants to, “... give glory to God, Jesus--
not me, us; We’re doing it for him– wanna’ see him get glory.”
He wants the entire community to join the weekly uplifting experience.
Ben opens Covenant to everyone, “Black, white, poor, rich, drunks, drug-heads...
cause we’ve all been there.”
Covenant meets in Westside Manor Apartments,
formerly Jennie Lane, Highway 278 East every Wednesday night at 7:30.
Students Attend Law Forum in Texas
The University of Arkansas-Monticello recently
attended the 2003 Law School Forum, held in Houston, Texas at the J. W.
Professor and pre-law advisor Chris Wright
and prospective law-school students Betty Dintelman, Matt Baumgarten, and
Nicole Smith were able to tour the University of Houston as well as the
South-West Texas School of Law to get a better feel of what law schools
from across the nation have to offer.
Sponsored by the Law School Admission Council
programs and participating law schools, the 2003 Law School Forum, free
law school recruitment programs, administer to the questions of future
law school students.
At the forum, students were able to talk with
law school representatives from over 140 American Bar Association approved
schools about what they have to offer.
San Francisco’s Golden Gate University, Harvard,
Yale, and even the University of Little Rock were among those present at
the Houston convention.
While visiting with the schools, students
were able to ask about specific admission criteria and get firsthand advice
from representatives. Admission materials, including catalogs and application
forms, were available at each table.
After talking with delegates from individual
universities, each participant attended one of four information sessions:
The Application Process, Financing a Legal Education, Minority Information
Panel, and What Do Lawyers Do?
In addition, videos that hi-lighted the seminars
were shown throughout the day giving the students a more in-depth and well-rounded
knowledge of their future in law.
Professor Wright feels that the program not
only helped him bring home knowledge that he can pass on to students, but
the Law School Forum helped out those that attended.
He stated, “I think they got a great deal
out of it. They were able to meet with representatives from over
140 law schools and see what they were looking for in students and see
if their interests matched the law schools.”
Betty Dintelman added, “I learned that just
getting into law school is going to be more difficult than I thought, but
I also learned a lot about the tools and resources available to me to complete
Aid Offered at UAM
“I knew I wasn’t going to get any help from
my parents, so I was pretty much on my own,” said Deena Jarrett, a senior
Jarrett did not really know how she was going
to pay for her college education. She knew there were several types
of financial aid offered, but she wasn’t positive about which ones she
The University of Arkansas at Monticello offers
many different types of financial aid.
The Federal Pell Grant helps eligible undergraduates
pay for their education after high school. This need-based award
does not have to be repaid and is awarded for the fall and spring semesters
based on full-time (12 hours or more) students. Pell Grants can be
adjusted for students that are enrolled part time.
The Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity
Grant, (FSEOG) is an award to help undergraduates with exceptional financial
need. FSEOG funding is limited. Federal Pell Grants recipients
are given priority on FSEOG awards. It does not have to be repaid.
An Arkansas State Grant is awarded by the
state based on the information that the student provided on the Free Application
for Federal Student Aid. Recipients must be enrolled full time.
The award will be canceled for any student that becomes part time.
This does not have to be repaid.
Undergraduate and graduate students are given
the opportunity for Federal College Work Study. The FCWS program
provides eligible students with the chance to work at an on-campus or a
community service job.
Funding is limited and the FCWS helps students
earn money for college expenses. The students who are able to secure
a job through FCWS, may work a maximum of twenty hours a week and are paid
minimum wage. Students are paid once a month for the hours worked.
On-campus jobs are not guaranteed through FCWS. A student that is
interested in work study must locate a job on his/her own.
Unfortunately, UAM is unable to have a job
for every qualified student. By accepting a FCWS award you are not
guaranteed the full amount listed on the award letter.
A Federal Perkins Loan is for undergraduate
and graduate students. This is a low-interest (5%) loan.
UAM will be the lender for a Perkins loan, and they are made through the
Financial Aid office. Funding for this type of loan is limited. The
student must sign a promissory note in the UAM Financial Aid office to
receive this. This must be paid back.
Students enrolled at least half time (6 hours-undergraduates, 3 hours-graduate,)
are eligible for a Federal Stafford Loan. There are many different
lenders to choose from, so choose your lender carefully. The lender
must have a Master Promissory Note on file before funds will be disbursed
to UAM. One also has to complete a Stafford Entrance Counseling.
This will only take about 15 minutes and it is available 24 hours a day
seven days a week. UAM will be notified when everything is completed.
When you graduate, withdraw, or drop below halftime you must take the Stafford
Exit Counseling. The entrance and exit counseling can be found at
http://mapping-your-future.org. Even if you become dissatisfied or
you do not graduate you must repay this loan back.
Jarrett went to the UAM financial aid office
and discovered the different types of aids she could receive. Scholarships
and grants paid for most of her college education. Since she has to practice
teach for a year, she will be attending college for four and a half years.
This will cause her scholarships and grants to run out. She has received
a loan this semester that she will use to pay for the rest of her college
education, ending with graduation December 2004.
If you have any questions feel free to contact
the UAM Financial Aid Office at 460-1050. Or just drop by the financial
aid office which is located in Harris Hall.