An encounter between Ashley Byun, Fairfield University’s associate professor of biology with a doctorate degree, and Brian Jones, a state archaeologist with a doctorate, at a recent TEDx event in Danbury spurred the idea for using radar to map the complicated maze of burrows that is home to two Black-Tailed prairie dog colonies at the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport.
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) mapping equipment was taken to the zoo by Jones, according to a Nov. 20 press release from the zoo. David Colbert, program and public information coordinator for the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History, and Debbie Surabian, state soil scientist with the United States Department of Agriculture, assisted in the work. The team was joined by Scott Brady, with the Friends of the Office of State Archaeology, and Jim Knox, curator of education for the zoo, along with Linda Tomas, zoo registrar, and animal care specialists Greg Westman and J.T. Warner.