Students’ Research Takes Off at Airlie

Posted: March 27, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

George Mason graduate and undergraduate students interested in studying waterfowl have a unique resource at their disposal-the program of Environmental Studies at Airlie in Warrenton, Va. The program, a division of the International Academy of Preventive Medicine, works to protect wetlands and their native species.

The program began in 1988 when William Sladen, a professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins University and affiliate professor of biology at Mason, brought his collection of free-swimming swans to Airlie. The collection currently numbers 170 swans.

George Mason began its association with Airlie Center about 10 years ago but has only recently started sending students from the Biology Department and New Century College there to perform research. One of the students is Donielle Rininger, who is also the lead biologist at Airlie. She works with the Trumpeter Swan Migration Project in which swans are trained to follow ultralight aircraft to re-establish migratory routes.

For more information on Environmental Studies at Airlie, visit its web site at The complete version of this article may be seen in the March issue of the Mason Gazette.

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