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High Country Audubon Society Announces Research Grant for High School, College Students

High Country Audubon Society (HCAS) is pleased to announce a grant opportunity to support bird research in the High Country of North Carolina. HCAS is the local chapter of the National Audubon Society and Audubon North Carolina, serving Watauga, Ashe, Wilkes, Alleghany and Avery counties.

The Sue Wells Research Grant will award up to $500 to a high school or college student to support research or field work in ornithology, or in an area of study that will directly benefit birds or bird habitat in this area of North Carolina. Only undergraduate or graduate students currently enrolled in degree-seeking programs or high school students may apply. High school and undergraduate students who are graduating seniors must plan to complete their research prior to graduation.

The Sue Wells Research Grant was created in 2012 to support local students involved in bird research in the High Country. The first award went to Jessica Krippel, a Master of Science student at Western Carolina University. Jessica used her grant to support her research of Song Sparrow mating success.

In 2013 HCAS selected Morgan Harris, a graduate student at Appalachian State University, as the recipient of the Sue Wells Research Grant. Morgan looked at reproductive pressures on local Eastern Bluebirds resulting from tree swallows moving into their territories.

Appalachian State University student Angela Langevin was selected in 2014 and studied the interactions of the Western North Carolina cliff-nesting avian community with the cliff-face ecosystem they inhabit. She is a graduate student in ASU’s Biology program.

In 2015 Kristen Content was awarded the grant for her work looking at the relationship between behavior and avian stress hormones of Tree Swallows. Kristen was also a student at Appalachian State University.

ASU graduate student Anna Pierce received the grant in 2016 for her work examining how host density and individual personality traits influence disease prevalence in Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows.

The late Sue Wells was a driving force in the creation of High Country Audubon Society and served on the Board of Trustees until 2010. Sue was also instrumental in creating the National Bird-Feeding Society and led the movement to help make backyard bird feeding the successful hobby it is today.

Grant information and application are available at http://www.highcountryaudubon.org/suewellsresearchgrant.html

Applications are due by July 5, 2017 and the winner will be announced July 18 at the HCAS annual membership meeting.