The UNT student chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration (UNT SER) is proud to announce their official affiliation with the National Audubon Society via the "Audubon on Campus Chapter Program." Audubon Campus chapters are student-led organizations that work to create meaningful change on and off campus.
"Developing this relationship with Audubon will provide our students opportunities to gain experience and knowledge for a career in Avian Ecology. We have quite a few 'bird nerds' in SER!" said Dr. Jaime Baxter-Slye, an Instructional Laboratory Supervisor and Adjunct Lecturer in the Biological Sciences Department. "This affiliation is exactly what these students need to launch into a global community of other like-minded professionals."
UNT SER liaisons for the Audubon Campus are UNT Ecology students Bee Caceres, Christine Fox, Victoria Langham, Brandon Meadows, Clarissa Molina, and Brand Richter, who worked together to establish the program. They are joining a network of leaders across the country who provide mentorship and guidance among their fellow students to further Audubon's mission of avian education and conservation.
"I am excited to make UNT a safer place for migrant and resident bird species, as birds are my favorite taxa and vital members of our ecosystem," said Victoria Langham, one of the student liaisons of the Audubon Campus chapter. "Urban environments need to become bird friendly so we can continue to have a pollinated world. I am excited to serve as an example to other universities through our outreach and leadership, while encouraging others to appreciate birds and become passionate about avian activism!"
These students will serve as liaisons between Audubon and UNT SER to receive and distribute educational information and internship opportunities to their organization's eighty student members. The liaisons will also provide updates on what UNT is doing to promote bird habitats and conservation efforts.
"The ecology students at UNT love birding, but many student birders noticed dead birds around large, glass buildings on campus," said Christine Fox, UNT SER student liaison. "Bird collisions are a common problem and we decided the best way to take action to prevent future unnecessary bird deaths was to establish our chapter of the Audubon on Campus Chapter Program, which we will use as a catalyst to promote a healthy community of birds on campus."
Each campus chapter is responsible for implementing one conservation action per year that will help transform their campus into a more bird-friendly community. The UNT students have already proposed a project to the We Mean Green Fund to initiate UNT as a "Bird Campus Committee," which would consist of UNT faculty, staff, and students.
"I'm am thrilled that our UNT students and community will learn directly from the National Audubon Society," said Dr. Baxter-Slye. "UNT SER will also be able to apply for grants and obtain ideas for on-campus projects to increase bird habitats. Our campus is situated in the central flyway for migrating North American bird species. So, it is very important that we maintain a good bird habitat right here at UNT!"
"I'm really looking forward to connecting more of our students interested in bird conservation with resources from the Audubon Society," said Clarissa Molina, UNT SER student liaison. "There are so many students wanting to get more involved in meaningful action on campus, and it's so cool to be a part of that!"
The UNT chapter will be eligible to apply for grants to help with projects and initiatives. For more information or to contact the chapter please reach out to Dr. Jaime Baxter-Slye at firstname.lastname@example.org or the SER officers at email@example.com.