This award provides support for improvements in housing, electrical, and computer systems at the Palomarin Field Station, an independent non-profit field station established in 1967 at the the southern end of the Point Reyes National Seashore. The station is managed by PRBO Conservation Science (formerly the Point Reyes Bird Observatory). The need for these improvements arises from a considerable increase in station use over the past decade. Currently, the station hosts 26 field research projects led by visiting investigators representing over 20 institutions. While many Palomarin research projects focus on terrestrial birds because of the availability of long-term population data and individually color-marked birds of known age, other projects focus on non-avian topics. Representative projects include studies of bird communities associated with coastal riparian habitat, studies of old growth redwood forest and coastal scrub areas recovering from fire, ecological studies at the urban-wildlife interface, and the oldest continuously maintained avian mark/recapture project west of the Mississippi. The award will support improved computer networking and internet access, improved facilities for visiting scientist housing and work space, and for other general infrastructure improvements. These improvements will meet the increased demands on the facility and result in increased work efficiency, improved internet access, increased visiting scientist collaborative potential, more efficient energy usage, and meet the data storage demands of Palomarin's massive electronic databases. In addition to its long-term research activities, the station also hosts a unique internship training program for undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students, and significant efforts in public outreach and education. Palomarin receives a large number of public visitors in the form of organized groups (classes ranging from preschool to University to Elderhostel) and drop-in visitors (approximately 10,000 per year) because of its proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area. Palomarin outreach activities include public mist-netting and bird-banding demonstrations, workshops for grade school teachers, and classes for grade school children aimed at increasing public awareness and interest in conservation science. Recently initiated efforts are aimed at bringing Palomarin science learning opportunities to diverse and low-income communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Peter H. McCartney
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Point Reyes Bird Observatory
United States
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