Sunday, May 4, 2008

Clayton State University SEEDS Chapter Awarded Two Grants

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) has awarded Clayton State University’s Strategies for Ecology Education, Development and Sustainability (SEEDS) Chapter two special grants.

A special project grant of $4,900 was awarded to the SEEDS Chapter for their grant proposal on “An Evaluation of the Jesters Creek Restoration Project.” This grant will fund a multi component assessment project to include outreach and education as well as assessments on the vegetation, soil characteristics, insect, bird, and bat communities in recently restored sections of Jesters Creek in Morrow, Ga.

“This project is multi-faceted and it is hoped that it will not only help improve restoration projects in Georgia, but also provide experience and exposure to ecology for students,” explains Serge Farinas, SEEDS Chapter President.

Student project leaders will train other students, including an ecology class, to assess and monitor the restoration efforts. The SEEDS chapter along with other project participants will make presentations to Clayton State students through a biology seminar and campus poster sessions. A panel discussion will be held with representatives from the Clayton County Water Authority and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Being awarded this grant feels great! It is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to gain experience and do good work at the same time. I know for myself, it is very motivating to know that my hard work can affect things in a positive way. I hope that this project will be a good contribution to facing the daunting ecological problems affecting us all,” says Farinas.

The Clayton State SEEDS chapter was also awarded a $500 chapter maintenance grant. This grant will help the chapter through funding events and activities. The chapter is working on plans to visit the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research (GCE-LTER) Project on Sapelo Island. The group is also organizing a caving expedition.

“Understanding and awareness of our native ecosystems can lead to a better appreciation and concern for them. Activities are a really good way to get people immersed in ecology and to get people interested in ecology,” says Farinas.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

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