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Audubon’s Climate Watch: Uncovering the Effects of Climate Change on Bird Species

November 13, 2017

7:15 pm - 9:15 pm

with Brooke Bateman, Director of National Audubon’s Climate Watch

In an uncertain future, we must be able to both forecast and monitor how species are responding to climate change. To track climate effects throughout species’ ranges requires a landscape-scale coordinated and structured effort. Audubon’s Climate Watch program integrates climate projections with community scientists’ local knowledge to track how birds are responding to climate change. Skilled volunteers from across the U.S. collaborate with Audubon scientists by testing the predictions of target species’ mid-2020s climate model projections through on-the-ground monitoring of bluebirds and nuthatches. Here we will provide an overview of the science behind the program, the general protocol, key resources available, and how to get involved in Climate Watch. We will also highlight how we can directly test hypotheses about bird climate change responses and present preliminary results from the program.

Brooke Bateman is the Director of Climate Watch in the Science Division at the National Audubon Society, and received her Ph.D. in Zoology and Tropical Ecology at James Cook University in Australia in 2010. Brooke conducted postdoctoral research with James Cook University, the University of Tasmania, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Australia and later, as a postdoctoral associate and assistant scientist on a NASA funded project with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Brooke’s research focuses on spatial ecology and species distribution modeling, with emphasis on the effect that extreme weather events and climate change have on biodiversity. Since 2010, Brooke has led or contributed to 22 peer-reviewed publications and works closely with on-the-ground practitioners and stakeholders to link research to on-the-ground conservation and management actions. As the Director of Climate Watch, Brooke works with community volunteers to better understand how North American birds are being affected by climate change. In addition, Brooke collaborates with scientists from universities, government agencies and within the National Audubon Society’s Science team to develop research focused on climate, citizen science, and conservation of birds.


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