These are just some of the projects financed by the UNC Greensboro Green Fund. Backed by student activity fees, the Green Fund invests in projects aimed to support sustainability efforts on campus and in the Greensboro community. Funding is awarded to projects that focus on social equity, environment, economy, or aesthetics. Check out this story for more specific details.
Peabody Park Bluebird Study
“My research interests focus on identifying small, critical habitat areas that reptile and bird species rely on for survival, with the goal of preservation of these habitats and the education of the public on the importance of habitat preservation,” says Melanie Stadler, student in the Environmental Health Sciences PhD program in the Biology Department.
Stadler was awarded a $1,000 grant to purchase supplies and equipment to build a bluebird nest box trail in Peabody Park on the UNCG campus. “I was able to buy and install 10 bird nest boxes and predator guards on each nest box post. I now have 70 boxes at four different parks in Greensboro, so I am able to compare the reproductive success of birds in many different habitats. The boxes have provided so much useful data this season!”
The research will support Stadler’s graduate dissertation, which focuses on cavity nesting birds and how the habitat surrounding nest boxes can offer different food sources that may improve overall reproductive success for these birds and their young.
“I do not have final results yet, as my study requires at least three breeding seasons for significant data analyses, but the nest boxes on campus have all been used regularly this breeding season. Four different cavity nesting bird species nested in the boxes on campus numerous times from March through August. I only expected two different species, so this was quite a nice surprise and great for data comparisons,” Stadler says.
Bird-Window Collision Study
Stadler’s interests extend into another project in which she’s teamed up with Megan Damico, PhD candidate in Environmental Health Science. The pair is studying bird-window collisions on campus, starting with the Sullivan Science Building. They are using the more than $3,700 grant to compensate student researchers’ time while working on the study.
“The solutions we’re implementing to solve bird-window collisions could reduce energy consumption in buildings and save money in the long term,” Damico explains. “We are also planning to make this into an undergraduate student research project to allow students to learn research skills like data collection, analysis, and publication of their work.” Read this story to learn more about the project.
How to submit a proposal
All students and staff are encouraged to submit their own project proposals. The Green Fund proposal web page provides helpful information regarding submission dates and project guidelines, as well as a link to submit your proposal.
Students are reminded that they do need a UNCG employee (faculty or staff) to serve as an advisor on their project and sign their proposal before submitting it to the committee.
“The application process was easy but took some time, so start early and work on it in chunks,” advises Damico. “It’s important to cover your bases with the details. If you have early data to support your research question, put that in there. Also be sure to emphasize why this project will help UNCG’s sustainable future.”
UNCG Green Fund Co-Chair Catherine Bowlin says, “We love proposals that have detailed budgets. Include things like what type of materials are needed and how much each costs, so we know exactly where our student fees are going. We can split bigger projects into phases to make it more manageable; then, we can fund the first phase, even if the second or third phase proposals aren’t yet completed.”
Stadler adds, “Don’t be intimidated by the application, and don’t be afraid to contact the Green Fund grant administrators and ask questions. They are very helpful!” Check out the Green Fund’s Frequently Asked Questions and send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org to contact staff in the Office of Sustainability.
Impact your world for the better.
To submit a proposal to the Green Fund for a sustainable project, click here:
Story by AMBCopy, University Communications
Photography provided by Melanie Stadler