SF State alum explores link between climate change and big birds

After earning a master’s degree from San Francisco State University in 2010, Rae Goodman recently published the results of her thesis research in the journal Global Change Biology. Contrary to their expectations, she and her colleagues found that global warming is making California birds bigger.

In other places, animals are getting smaller. Why would global warming make California birds bigger? We got that gem of research, an unexpected result. We think it has to do with how the climate is changing, how variable it is. In an arid climate like California, there might be more storms and more food, for example.

What does this mean for humans? This is one more piece of data about how climate change is affecting species. We found an unexpected result, so that says there are other things about climate change we don’t expect. One of the things we need is more research.

You’re now a high school teacher. Do you use your research in class? I actually present my research to my students. It makes it more real and it looks more possible, that someone they know has done science.

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