NASA has given out a grant to the University of Georgia that will help undergraduate professors to observe and report on the effects of climate change on birds.
The grant of $447,000 will fund fall, spring and summer courses in 2010 that will teach students about global climate change models, research methods and designing field experiments, the University said in a press release.
“This training offers a unique opportunity for students to obtain an understanding of the complexities and challenges involved in predicting floral and faunal responses to a changing climate, in addition to exposing them to important field and analytical methods at the cutting edge of applied ecology,” said Jeffrey Hepinstall-Cymerman, an assistant professor.
The three-year grant will allow participating students to look at global change models, design field experiments and complete other activities. Students will be able to conduct the experiments in the field.
According to the Ledger Enquirer, Professor Michael Conroy said the effect of climate change on birds is sometimes overlooked when the subject is debated but, he said, if springs continue to get warmer, then it affects when the primary food source for birds which are insects emerge.
If birds don't adjust to that change, then young birds will not have enough food to eat, he added.
Currently, the United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen is in its fourth day, where 190 countries have gathered to negotiate an accord to limit the negative effects of climate change and contain their own emissions.