GCA’s Francis M. Peacock Scholarship For Native Bird Habitat

Established in 1994 and administered by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York, the Frances M. Peacock Scholarship for Native Bird Habitat is awarded to college seniors and graduate students for the study of habitat-related issues that will benefit threatened or endangered bird species and inform land management decisions.

The 2023 Scholarship recipient, Diane Klement has been a leading activist in conservation since graduating high school, including being awarded Marine Education Fellow at the Marine Extension Georgia Sea Grant.

Klement, currently a master’s student, is studying Natural Resources and Forestry at the University of Georgia. This past year Klement’s field research focused on “Linking Avian Demography to Plant Communities through Fine-Scale Space Use” to halt the rapid decline of migratory birds. Klement sought to understand which plants provide high-quality avian habitats and therefore should be actively targeted in conservation efforts.

Klement’s research used new tracking technologies and corresponding space-use estimates to accurately quantify habitat quality for Painted Buntings, a declining neotropical migratory bird, whose brilliant colors are a favorite of bird lovers and can be seen across the central and southeast states.

Following the completion of the project, in the fall of 2023, Klement presented the research results in a keynote presentation, entitled “Painting the Bunting” to the Georgia Ornithological Society meeting.


-submitted by Lindsay Dodge