LEWISBURG, Pa. — These are Bucknell University midsummer story ideas that may interest you.
CAMPUS NATURE PATH — This fall, Bucknell will premiere a new nearly 4-mile multiuse path along the perimeter of its grounds, connecting the main campus to the athletic fields across Route 15. Nearly a half-mile of the path will be wheelchair accessible. It’s a project that’s been decades in the making, with proposals for an expansive pedway tracing back to the mid-1980s. Those plans progressed when Professor Claire Campbell, history joined Technology Desk Manager Bud Hiller and Technology Support Specialist Jamie Piperberg on a campus sustainability working group focused on ecological restoration, public health and outdoor immersion. The team used Google Maps to chart a rough course and then walked it themselves to further refine the trail’s loops and turns. In addition to enhancing transportation and safety, the path will also provide opportunities for environmental repair and connecting with nature. “Part of this initiative is about raising our awareness of the natural landscape around us and the ways Bucknell is contributing to sustainability,” says Hiller, who credits University administration for making it happen. “So there’s the option to add features like pollinator gardens to enhance the path even further.” Other possible additions include signage with information about sustainability features on campus — such as the Bucknell Farm or tree restoration along the Miller Run creek — as well as outdoor class spaces. CONTACT: Campbell, 570-577-1364, firstname.lastname@example.org; Hiller, 570-577-3288, email@example.com
DIMMING OF LIGHTNING BUGS — Habitat loss, light pollution and pesticides are among causes being cited by scientists for driving down populations in some firefly species, causing concern for biodiversity and food chain stability. Earlier this month during a Bucknell Center for Sustainability and the Environment conservation event at The Robert Porter Allen Natural Area and the Sylvan Dell Environmental Center in South Williamsport, Professor Sarah Lower, biology, spoke about studies on the firefly population. She has been studying fireflies for 12 years and is a member of the Fireflyers International Network, a community of scientists which uses the term “fireflyer” to describe those who chase fireflies and think about lightning bugs. With some firefly species dwindling, Lower hopes to reclaim habitat from the once heavily farmed area to create an optimal environment in order to attract more fireflies at the Robert Porter Allen Natural Area. While she’s not exactly sure why lightning bugs are in decline, loss of habitat and light pollution are among the reasons she cites too. Lower joined with four Bucknell students to present National Science Foundation-funded summer research at the 10th Annual PA Firefly Festival in late June. CONTACT: Lower, 570-577-3145, firstname.lastname@example.org
BUCKNELL’S AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR — Some kids want to be sports stars when they grow up, but for as long as he can remember, Tyler Behrle ’23 has wanted to be a ninja. This spring, he got his shot. On Monday, June 13, Behrle made his debut on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior, an episode of the show recorded in March in San Antonio, Texas. He completed the first four obstacles of the course before falling on the Piston Plunge. His performance placed him in the top 30 finishers, enabling him to move on to the semifinals, a show which first aired on Monday, July 18. While he didn’t advance on, an appearance on the reality competition show feels long overdue to the sociology and economics double-major from North Caldwell, N.J. He was selected to appear on the show last season but had to cancel those plans due to COVID-related travel restrictions — but Behrle’s been getting ready for a lot longer than that. It started on a backyard jungle gym, where at age 12, he would run up the slide, pretending to scale the program’s signature 14-foot Warped Wall, and traverse the swing chains in imitation of obstacles like Cliffhanger and the Unstable Bridges. By the summer before high school, he had torn down the swingset and with his father, built an obstacle course in the yard — one that would eventually include an actual Warped Wall, along with homemade versions of obstacles like the Salmon Ladder and Quintuple Steps. A ninja had begun his training. Behrle intends to audition for the show again. CONTACT: Behrle, email@example.com
CONTACT: Mike Ferlazzo, 570-577-3212, 570-238-6266 (c), firstname.lastname@example.org