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UA Foundation awards migratory bird research grant

The University of Alaska Foundation announces Chris Harwood as the
recipient of the 2012 Angus Gavin Memorial Migratory Bird Research
Grant.

Harwood, a graduate student in wildlife biology at the University of
Alaska Fairbanks, received the $15,000 award for his research proposal
entitled “Breeding Ecology of Whimbrels in Interior Alaska.” Harwood
will conduct this research in conjunction with the Alaska Cooperative
Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.

The award is provided to support research on bird species found either
permanently or seasonally in Alaska or its coastal waters, including
their biology, general ecology and habitat relationships. With his
award, Harwood intends to understand the cause of the bird’s decline
by studying its breeding period. Whimbrels are a subspecies of the
curlew.

Michael Spindler, Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge manager, underscored
the importance of Harwood’s research. “Chris’ research will help
identify potential breeding locations for whimbrels throughout
Interior Alaska and therefore further conservation of this species on
federal, state and private lands.”

This grant was established in 1981 with a gift from the Atlantic
Richfield Co. to honor the memory of Angus Gavin, an environmental
advisor to ARCO.   Gavin was hand-picked by ARCO Chairman Robert O.
Anderson to observe, categorize and quantify the little known flora
and fauna of Prudhoe Bay in 1969. Gavin was to draw conclusions, pro
or con, about the impact of oil field development on the ecology of
the North Slope and to recommend operational changes that would
minimize or negate any adverse effects on the environment.

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