The Team

Citizen Scientists (You!)

You too can be part of the Sparrow Swap Team by joining the project, sending house sparrow eggs to the Museum, and sharing your observations and feedback with us. You can join the project in SciStarter by clicking here.

Caren Cooper

Caren Cooper, PhD

Caren is an Associate Professor in Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University and Assistant Head of the Biodiversity Research Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Caren’s research focuses on bird behavior and reproduction, residential stewardship and conservation, and community pollution bio-monitoring and mapping. She has two current citizen science projects: Sparrow Swap and Sound Around Town. She is the author of Citizen Science: How Ordinary People Are Changing the Face of Discovery.

Suzanne Hartley

Suzanne is a graduate student at North Carolina State University pursuing a master’s degree in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation. She became interested in birds, insects, fungi and plants through her experience growing up on a farm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Her previous research experiences include working with juvenile salmon and aquatic insects in Alaska and studying the use of parasitic nematodes as a control for an invasive cranefly. She is also passionate about sharing the curiosities of science and the natural world with people of all backgrounds and ages.

Aubrey Wiggins

Aubrey is a naturalist who enjoys all wildlife from bluebirds to turtles to moths. At the Museum, Aubrey can be found helping curate mice in the mammal’s collection, entering data for the herpetology research lab at Prairie Ridge Ecostation, talking to visitors about flesh eating beetles, and being an essential part of the Sparrow Swap Team. As part of the Sparrow Swap Team, Aubrey photographs the house sparrow eggs when they arrive at the Museum, monitors the team’s bluebird boxes, creates Facebook posts, and keeps everybody smiling.

Kathryn Jewell

Kathryn Jewell is an undergraduate at NC State studying Zoology and Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology. She is an intern for the spring semester, and is currently spending the majority of her time working on the SpotEgg software until the eggs start coming in! At NC State, she is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and when not studying, enjoys being outside and training for her spartan race!

Heather Colter

Heather is currently a junior undergraduate student at North Carolina State University, majoring in Fisheries, Conservation, and Wildlife Biology. She is definitely interested in wildlife and loves spending time outdoors identifying birds, trees, and the like. She is thrilled to be involved with the Sparrow Swap team and obtain some great experience working in a research lab within the museum. She has always wanted to work within a museum ever since volunteering throughout high school at the live animal center in the Museum of Science in her native Boston, MA. When Heather isn’t in the lab or studying for school, you can find her walking around downtown Raleigh exploring, or vegging out on the couch with some buffalo wings watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix.

Emma Hirschy

Emma is currently a Freshman at NC State University, majoring in Environmental Science. Her interests and hobbies include sustainability, herpetology, and exploring the outdoors. She is excited to keep learning about the environment in the coming years at school. As a kid, she has always had an interest for birds, and would document which species came to her backyard feeder. Because of this, Emma is very excited to intern with Sparrow Swap and gain research experience.

Dominic Eannarino

Dominic is a recent graduate from NC State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. He is excited to be working on the Sparrow Swap Project, and hopes to continue gaining experience in research. After working in the field of conservation biology and environmental sciences for a few years, Dominic hopes to go to graduate school and eventually become a professor teaching conservation and wildlife management to college students.

Advisory Board

Paula Ziebarth

Like the Eastern Bluebird, Paula is native to Ohio. She grew up on the west side of Cleveland and settled in central Ohio after graduating from Ohio State University with a degree in Civil Engineering. She began monitoring Bluebird Trails in 2002. Paula is the Delaware County area contact for the Ohio Bluebird Society (OBS). She is also Coordinator of the Delaware County Chapter of Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s NestWatch. Last year Paula monitored over 400 nest sites in Delaware and Ottawa Counties. Birds she works with include Eastern Bluebirds, Tree Swallows, Tufted Titmice, Carolina Chickadees, Carolina Wrens, House Wrens and Purple Martins. Paula writes a column for the OBS Journal, “Ask Madame Wingnut”.

Shelly Sutley

Jim Bancroft

Fawn Bowden

Bev Hovencamp

Mary Hollinger

Past Team Members

Christine Hawn, PhD

Christine is an ecologist and science communicator at UMD Baltimore County. Christine received her PhD in Zoology at North Carolina State University with a focus in conservation biology.