July 2020 E Newsletter

the power of PLACE

Cross-Generational Research

Five million wildflowers and counting! The National Science Foundation will invest almost $750,000 to support the RMBL phenology project another 5 years. Dr. David Inouye (emeritus at the Univ. of Maryland) started tracking when plants flower in 1973. His daughter-in-law Dr. Nora Underwood (Florida State University) now heads the project and is joined by Dr. Rebecca Irwin (North Carolina State Univ.) who has tracked native bees for 12 years as part of the study. Dr. Aimée Classen (Univ. of Michigan) is adding plant roots, and Dr. Brian Inouye (David’s son, Nora’s husband, Florida State Univ.) is also a member of the team.

Ian Billick - Director RMBL

Ian Billick | PhD
Executive Director, RMBL


Dr. Dirk Van Vuren and Dr. Caitlin Wells

Squirrel Spotting

What do the words “wildlife at RMBL” bring to mind? Marmots? Fair enough, but there’s another member of the Tribe Marmotini that RMBL scientists have been studying for over 30 years. It’s the golden-mantled ground squirrel (Callospermophilus lateralis). And it might arguably surpass the marmot on the cuteness scale. But who’s keeping score? We love them both.

In fact, it was Ken Armitage’s 60-year-old study of yellow-bellied marmots that put Dr. Dirk Van Vuren, Dr. Caitlin Wells, and their faithful graduate students hot on the trail of golden-mantled ground squirrels in the first place.

Long Term Data from RMBL used to look at marmot survival and climate change
The impact of climate change on marmot survival differs between seasons