Bird Friendly Communities
Photo: PEHart/Flickr

Bird Friendly Communities and Sustainable Solutions

Bird Friendly Communities

Grant Type: 

  • Leadership Program

Fellows: 

Award Date: 

May 2016

Amount: 

$40,000

Location: 

Charleston, SC

Heather Hulton VanTassel has been hired by Audubon South Carolina as its Manager of Sustainable Solutions, lead its new Bird Friendly Communities program and other climate resiliency initiatives.  The Atlantic Flyway is a major travel corridor for many bird species, some of which travel hundreds or even thousands of miles as part of their annual breeding and life cycle.  The Flyway is also home to more than a third of the population of the U.S. with its lawns, pesticides, domestic predators, and loss of wildlife habitat.  Heather will oversee this new program that is strategically aligned with a multi-state effort by National Audubon, encouraging bird-friendly actions that individuals, schools, businesses and other interested groups can take.  Heather will develop and lead a native plants campaign, act as liaison with corporate partners (including Volvo, which has agreed to manage its large Charleston campus with conservation goals in mind), collaborate with area schools (including a USC campus) to create bird-friendly campuses and to provide educators with resources tied to state education standards, and to develop and increase participation in related citizen science efforts.

Grant Outcome: 

Spotlight on Leadership

Studying the role of infectious disease and perceptions of ecological change
2014 Fellow Andrea Adams’s dissertation research involves the study of disappearing frogs in Southern California. “One species, the foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii) disappeared from the region during a short period of time in the mid-1960s to early 1970s,” Andrea explains. “One thing that can cause such rapid declines in amphibians is the pathogenic amphibian chytrid fungus. I study this fungus’s distribution and disease dynamics in different amphibian species in Southern California to see if it could have been a major contributing factor to the disappearance of the foothill yellow-legged frog in the region. To do this, I conduct molecular work in the laboratory, as well as field and museum work.”Read more >

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