Concord University News
For Immediate Release: 
Feb 24 2003

Concord Professors Receive Grant from National Geographic Society: Will Contribute to “Experiential Learning” for High School Students

High school students in Kanawha, Putnam and Cabell Counties in West Virginia will soon have a unique opportunity, thanks to the National Geographic Society, to do a little bird watching … under the watchful eye of students from Concord College in Athens and Marshall University in Huntington.

Concord College, Marshall University, the West Virginia Department of Education, Region II Planning, Regional Intergovernmental Council, and Kanawha, Putnam, and Cabell school districts, supported by a grant from the National Geographic Society, have partnered to study the loss of bird habitats due to urban sprawl in a 60-mile corridor between Charleston and Huntington.

The grant is for $65,000 and will be administered by Concord College.

Concord College Assistant Professor of Biology Ronald A. Canterbury and Professor of Geography Joseph T. Manzo wrote the 35-page proposal that was submitted to the National Geographic Society.

“The study will help call attention to people and their relationship to the environment in West Virginia. The Geographic Society is supporting the study because it will, at the same time, provide experiential learning for high school students, the next generation of voters. Our goal is to, with student help from Concord and Marshall, produce an ecological model that people across the country can use,” stated Manzo.

“High school students will be given a unique opportunity to count and tag birds in nature and urbanized landscapes, enter data into a computerized database and model and predict future outcomes. We need to understand how the loss of habitat affects the loss of biodiversity and wildlife which will impact our long-term survival as a species,” stated Canterbury.

Marshall University Professor of Biology, Dr. Thomas K. Pauley: “We are excited about studying suburban sprawl and bird populations in the urban corridor between Charleston and Huntington, and we will work with Concord College in promoting experiential learning for the area’s students and teachers.”

For additional information, please contact Dr. Manzo, 1-304-384-5208 or