Population Growth at the Southern Extreme: Effects of Early Life Conditions on Adelie penguin Individuals and Colonies
Effects of early life conditions on Adelie Penguins
Polar regions are experiencing some of the most dramatic effects of climate change resulting in large-scale changes in sea ice cover. Despite this, there are relatively few long-term studies on polar species that evaluate the full scope of these effects. Over the last two decades, this team has conducted globally unique demographic studies of Adélie penguins in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, to explore several potential mechanisms for population change. This five-year project will use penguin-borne sensors to evaluate foraging conditions and behavior and environmental conditions on early life stages of Adélie penguins. Results will help to better understand population dynamics and how populations might respond to future environmental change. To promote STEM literacy, education and public outreach efforts will include multiple activities. The PenguinCam and PenguinScience.com website (impacts of >1 million hits per month and use by >300 classrooms/~10,000 students) will be continued. Each field season will also have ‘Live From the Penguins’ Skype calls to classes (~120/season). Classroom-ready activities that are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards will be developed with media products and science journal papers translated to grade 5-8 literacy level. The project will also train early career scientists, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students and post-graduate interns. Finally, in partnership with an Environmental Leadership Program, the team will host 2-year Roger Arliner Young Conservation Fellow, which is a program designed to increase opportunities for recent college graduates of color to learn about, engage with, and enter the environmental conservation sector.
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