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Field Notes

Lauren Benedict

May 16, 2018

  • Help with UNC Birdsong Research 

    When North American ornithologists hear a bird singing, they’re likely to assume it’s a male. But in many species, the females sing too — and a new commentary co-authored by UNC’s Lauryn Benedict argues that a better understanding of these unappreciated female songs could lead to advances in many aspects of bird biology.

    Benedict and co-author Karan Odom of Cornell University urge their colleagues to spread the word that female birds sing, to share resources, and to disseminate their findings. You don’t need to be a professional ornithologist in order to help expand knowledge of female song, either — Odom has created a website where any birdwatcher can upload their observations.

    “If you observe a female bird singing, document it by uploading field notes, audio, or video to the collections on our website,” Benedict says. “Make sure to indicate how you recognized the bird was female.”

    Visit Odom’s website

  • Faculty Researcher Earns Fifth Award through Fulbright Program

    Karen Barton, associate professor of Geography and GIS, will spend six weeks in Nepal next winter after being awarded a Fulbright Specialist grant to conduct a study of natural hazards.

    Barton will work with the Institute for Crisis Management Studies in Kathmandu with Dr. Ram Thapaliya. Their study will involve natural hazards mapping and community resilience in the aftermath of the 2015 Gorkha earthquake, which killed more than 9,000 people. Up to 10 UNC undergraduate and graduate students, co-chaperoned by UNC professor James Doerner, will join Barton for several weeks and will conduct interviews with area residents and map high-risk hazard sites.

    This is the fifth time Barton — an expert on rural agricultural and fishing communities, and local responses to environmental change — has been selected for a Fulbright program award. She conducted separate seminars in Brazil (2007) and the Middle East (2010). In 2016, she was one of 16 faculty members in the nation selected to attend a five-week program on religion and diversity in West Africa, and last year she was selected as a visiting scholar at Dagon University in Burma.

  • UNC One of Two Universities Selected to Partner on National Collaborative

    UNC has been selected as one of two partner universities in the Active Schools national collaborative to address physical inactivity and obesity among youth.

    In addition, UNC Sport and Exercise Science (SES) faculty Russell Carson and Brian Dauenhauer have been appointed to positions on the nonprofit organization’s leadership committees.

    Through the UNC Active Schools Lab, community engagement efforts, student-centered research and school-based educational activities are already underway. Those interdisciplinary efforts include a grant exceeding $700,000 from the Colorado Health Foundation for UNC SES faculty to contribute to building a statewide system that connects efforts to promote health and wellness for children starting in high-need schools in northern Colorado.

    According to Active Schools, two out of three children don’t meet the national guideline of 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Active Schools serves as a clearinghouse to help schools access best practices, programs and resources to increase opportunities for physical activity among students.

  • UNC Faculty Author Writes Book on Embracing Culture Shock to Bridge Divides

    Contemplative anthropologist and mindfulness teacher Michael J. Kimball, professor of Anthropology, has a new book for people who want to bridge cultural divides. It’s called Ethnowise: Embracing Culture Shock to Build Resilience, Responsiveness & Connection.

    Drawing on the latest findings in anthropology, neuroscience and mindfulness studies, Ethnowise helps readers learn to disrupt habitual reactions to the unfamiliar, grow resilience to cultural discomfort, and transform culture shock into connection.