Another mind-blowing waste of money
You really have to love grants. Stick the words 'consequences of climate change' somewhere in your proposal, and it'll get rubber-stamped. From the Independent Record:
A University of Montana scientist was recently awarded a National Science Foundation grant and believes his research into the effects of elevation and climate change on tropical birds will inform science’s understanding of how those species survive in a warming world.
Tom Martin leads the study, which is called “Dimensions: Collaborative Research — Historical and Contemporary Influences on Elevational Distributions and Biodiversity Tested in Tropic Asia.” It was recently backed by a $2 million National Science Foundation grant, and has partners from the Smithsonian Institution, the University of Kansas and Louisiana State University.
A large sum of the grant, $1.3 million, will come to UM for the study, and Martin will lead a group of student researchers to the tropical island Borneo to study birds in two superfamilies — the Sylvoidea and Muscicapidae families. The team of researchers will depart in early February and return in June.
The study examines the effects of elevation and temperature change on tropical birds, which Martin describes as ideal test subjects due to their narrow tolerance for environmental shifts. In the wild, species in the same genus are stacked on top of one another, separated both by elevation and latitude. As you move higher up a mountain or to higher latitudes, you will see species change with little to no bleed-over, he said.