Phoenix homeowners help birds — with landscaping

Urban ecologists investigate bird diversity  A persistent question among urban ecology researchers has been the long-term impact of urbanization on bird species biodiversity. Specifically, they wonder whether the portions of cities with higher diversity are simply exhibiting an “extinction debt” – populations doomed to extinction but not yet disappeared – or if other factors such as range shifts or local environmental changes play a role in changes in diversity.     Now, researchers led by co-first authors Paige S. Warren, environmental conservation, and Susannah B. Lerman of the USDA Forest Service, with Riley Andrade, Kelli Larson and Heather Bateman of Arizona State University, report on results from their long-term monitoring of birds in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Details appear in the current online issue of Ecosphere.  The study looked at bird communities over time in relation to habitat, societal factors, human responses and bird populations. Findings suggest that although the presence of bird species, bird abundance and the number of bird species all decreased over time, in areas where homeowners provided desert...
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Sea turtles ‘cold-stunned’ by late migration

Sea turtles ‘cold-stunned’ by late migration

Researchers pinpoint climate factors that lead to increase in stunning and stranding events The number of cold-stunning and stranding events among juvenile Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, one of the world’s most endangered species, is increasing at an “alarming” rate and has moved north from Long Island Sound to Cape Cod Bay, say researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, MassAudubon and the University of Rhode Island. Their recent study looked into what variables are most important in predicting such events, to more effectively help the distressed reptiles.  First author of the new paper in the journal PLOS ONE last week is UMass Amherst conservation biologist Lucas Griffin, a Ph.D. candidate in marine science. As he and colleagues point out, climate change may present the broadest threat among many to sea turtle conservation, but not enough is understood about its potential effects on sea turtle cold-stunning events.  “We know so little about this critically endangered species and it’s really important for us to learn more to bolster their resilience.” —Lucas Griffin With long...
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Forest conservation shows economic benefits

Graduate student analyzes contributions forests make to local economies  We may often think about the benefits of forest conservation for wildlife, hiking trails, and the like, but how much do we recognize what forests contribute to the economic life of a region?  Helena Murray, M.S. student in environmental conservation, reckons with this question from an economic angle in her new report: Economic Contributions of Land Conserved by the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program. The report’s examples and implications were discussed on the homepage of the forest service’s website as an innovative approach to evaluating the value of conserving forests.   From Private Forests, Public Benefits:  Privately-owned forests provide water, recreational opportunities, timber and other forest products, as well as habitat for fish and wildlife. However, as forests become fragmented by roads or converted to development, the benefits they provide can be compromised or lost altogether.  Now a new report is asking that we take a closer look at the economic contributions of the privately-owned forests – specifically, forests conserved through the USDA Forest...
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BCT’s Spring 2019 Lecture Series Announced

BCT’s Spring 2019 Lecture Series Announced

The BCT program just announced its lecture series for the spring semester 2019. All lectures are free and open to the public. AIA and USGBCI CES credits are available. You can find these events in our calendar or you can subscribe to the entire series in your calendar application using this link. Reposted from: https://bct.eco.umass.edu/news/bcts-spring-2019-lecture-series-announced/...
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Clouston and Schreyer discuss Mass Timber on Mass Construction podcast

Clouston and Schreyer discuss Mass Timber on Mass Construction podcast

Joseph Kelly of MassConstruction.org visited BCT last week for a tour of the Olver Design Building, our award-winning home at UMass. He also brought along his microphone and taped a podcast with Professors Clouston and Schreyer about the Design Building and the current wave of new MassTimber buildings. You can listen to the podcast below (just click "play") and find the complete podcast archive (and subscribe to his series) here or on iTunes. Reposted from: https://bct.eco.umass.edu/news/clouston-and-schreyer-discuss-mass-timber-on-mass-construction-podcast/...
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