Posted January 23, 2012

Faces of Temple: Haley Gilles

Faces of Temple: Haley Gilles

Year: Senior

School: College of Science and Technology

Major: Biology

Home town: Pawcatuck, Conn.

Why I chose Temple: "In my home town, most people go to Boston or Connecticut for school, but I wanted to try something new. When I visited Temple, I loved the whole international scene. It's very diverse, it's in a big city and I loved how wireless the school was. I'm very high-tech — I love the TECH Center. It just clicked. I love it."

Transformative moment: "My research project on bird collisions has to be my defining moment here. It all started when I was working in the Conservation Department at the Philadelphia Zoo. I met a woman there who was working on a project with the Audubon Society monitoring bird collisions in Center City. It's a big problem in Philadelphia and in cities around the world. A lot of migratory birds fly down the East Coast every spring and fall. The birds don't see the glass on buildings, so they run into the buildings and die on impact. Sandy McDade, director of the Office of Sustainability at Temple, pushed me to apply for and a Creative Arts, Research and Scholarship grant from Temple so that I could collect data about bird collisions here at Temple. I got some volunteers involved, and we would go around and collect birds and have them identified. We monitored six buildings at Temple this semester and found 75 birds. They estimate 1,000 die every year on campus. There are solutions. I put up squares of non-reflective film on a window in Beury Hall [see above]. That's one technique to reduce collisions. The next step is awareness. I came to Temple wanting to be veterinarian. Now my ultimate goal is to be a conservation biologist and mitigate human-wildlife conflicts. That's exactly what I'm doing here."