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Impact of global warming to be discussed at APSU symposium on local natural history

Anyone interested in learning more about global warming and its impact on local ecosystems should head down to Land Between The Lakes on April 3 and 4.

Thats where Austin Peay State Universitys Center of Excellence for Field Biology will host its 13th Symposium on the Natural History of Lower Tennessee and Cumberland River Valleys, and this years theme will deal with that hot-button issue of the planets rising temperatures.

Scientists from around the country will be on hand to discuss their findings on how the local environment is being affected by this change. Anyone interested in learning more about global warming and its impact on local ecosystems should head down to Land Between The Lakes on April 3 and 4.

That's where Austin Peay State University's Center of Excellence for Field Biology will host its 13th Symposium on the Natural History of Lower Tennessee and Cumberland River Valleys, and this year's theme will deal with that hot-button issue of the planet's rising temperatures.

Scientists from around the country will be on hand to discuss their findings on how the local environment is being affected by this change.

“For Friday's session this year, we're trying to tie long-term monitoring of various types of environments to its value in assessment of global climate change,” Dr. Steven Hamilton, director of the APSU center, said.

Among the distinguished academics invited to speak is Dr. Gregory Butcher, director of bird conservation for the National Audubon Society. He'll discuss how populations of more than half of North American birds have shifted their winter ranges further north in response to warmer temperatures. Dr. David Inouye of the University of Maryland will discuss how his studies of high altitude plant cycles, like flowering, are changing in response to climate changes. Dr. David White, Endowed Commonwealth Chair of Murray State University, will describe findings of 20 years of investigation in Kentucky and Barkley Lakes.

Anyone interested in this or other topics in regards to zoology, botany and environmental science is encouraged to attend the symposium. There's a $10 registration fee, and for $40, attendees can stay the night at the Brandon Springs Group Camp at LBL.

“We provide housing at a real nominal cost,” Hamilton said. “It's a lot like being at summer camp.”

The secluded, wooded setting provides a virtual giant, outdoor lab for field biologists and others interested in this area of study.

Additional information on the symposium, including a cost breakdown and directions to Land Between The Lakes, is available on the center's Web site, www.apsu.edu/field_biology/index.htm. -- Charles Booth