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List of "In the Spotlight" Features
2006 Signals of Spring Webcast a Big Success
Last week, scientists from the International Crane Foundation, and student from across the nation joined us for this year's Signals of Spring webcast. Dr. Li Fengshan and Sara Moore of the International Crane Foundation (ICF) shared an exciting presentation about the organization's work in China with the Black-Necked Crane, and with students just like you!
Ms. Moore & Dr. Li explained how the researchers do the tagging and showed maps of their migration routes. The wintering area is in the Yunnan province, in Southern China, and in the spring, the cranes move to breeding areas to the north and west. Ms. Moore explained that the birds fly through beautiful valleys and mountainous regions, but sometimes are lucky enough to find high- altitude wetlands areas that they can see from the air.
Participants also learned how ICF is working with students in China to teach them about the Black-necked Cranes, and also about the importance of conservation and environmental awareness. In addition to an environmental camp, ICF has a formal education program in Chinese schools.
Signals students and teachers thought the webcast was a great opportunity to talk with researchers in the field directly. Mrs. Veronica Langworthy, teacher from OGIF/Jack Weaver School, a NASA Explorer School in Southern California commented, "I love bringing experts into the classroom, and this was a fantastic opportunity to do so, and hearing other classes questions really got my students asking good questions too!"
Students asked the scientists many questions about the birds, and the research, and learned a lot of interesting facts. For example, one of Mrs. Langworthy's students noted "the 'backpack transmitters' were interesting I only expected to see a little tag."
Another student found it surprising that, "it is illegal to kill ANY birds in China," as Dr. Li explained that no birds can be legally hunted in China, not just those who are endangered.
One New Jersey student agreed that the experience was a unique one, saying, "The webcast is an interesting experience. It was incredible to talk to scientists, who have firsthand knowledge, about all the facts involving the cranes. I hope to be able to do it again."
The webcast is a great way for students across the country to 'meet scientists,' and share ideas. A student concluded, "I thought it was cool to be taking a class at the same time with other students all over the country. We're all working, learning, and making connections using the same data."