Sweet Briar Researcher’s Work Featured in Children’s Book

| December 17, 2008

The work of Lincoln Brower, a research biologist at Sweet Briar College and expert on monarch butterflies, is included in a recently published book that seeks to explain climate change to children and young teens.

Lincoln Brower, who has studied monarch butterflies for 50 years, is featured in a new children’s book.

“How We Know What We Know about Our Changing Climate: Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming” by Lynne Cherry and Gary Braasch compiles a wide range of scientific study relating to the environment and presents the work in short vignettes.

“It is very comprehensive on many of the problems associated with global warming,” Brower said of the 67-page book. “The photos are elegantly done, and it should appeal to children, as is the authors’ [and] publisher’s intent.”

According to author Lynne Cherry’s press release, “The book depicts scientists at work; teaches children the language, methods and process of science; imparts knowledge of technological tools and data collection; provides methods and ideas for school and home projects about weather and climate; describes and encourages participation in citizen-science programs; shows how each child can immediately reduce their carbon footprint and inspires them to do so by showing the effects of many kids working together already influencing communities to change.”

Brower – who taught biology at Amherst College for 22 years and is Distinguished Service Professor of Zoology emeritus, University of Florida – has researched overwintering, migration and conservation biology of monarchs for more than 50 years. He is an ardent defender of the monarch butterfly and its habitats.

His work studying the microclimate of the monarchs’ overwintering grounds in the mountains of central Mexico is described on pages 18 and 19. As in other sections of the book, the chapter includes information on “citizen scientists” who contribute to our understanding of science through participation in efforts such as the Monarch Larval Monitoring Program and Monarch Watch. Brower is especially enthusiastic about another project, Journey North, whose Web site he considers a “wonderful educational” resource.

According to Cherry’s press release, the citizen-science projects described in the book allow student readers to see how they can contribute to understanding global warming and, “by seeing how scientific information leads to informed decision-making, students will understand the excitement, utility and practical applications of careers in science.”

The book can be previewed at www.howweknowclimatechange.com. For information, contact Ronit Dancis at [email protected].

Brower may be reached through Sweet Briar’s college relations office at [email protected] or (434) 381-6330 or (434) 381-6262.

Category: Biology, Uncategorized