Each year, we at the League are fortunate to be able to help shape and develop new knowledge about the redwood forest. Through our research grants program, we sponsor several teams of scientists who are working to answer a wide range of questions on everything from the tiny plants that grace the forest floor to the great trees themselves; from the fish that spawn in the streams to the birds and bats that roost in the treetops; subjects as tiny as the sorting and shuffling of genes and as grand as the fires and floods that shape the land. This year’s field season is well underway, plots have been laid out and measurements are being made, observations, calculations, inferences and extrapolations all being done.
Even as one group is hard at the work they set out to do, we are looking ever forward. Next year’s research grants are being developed this summer, with a first round of pre-proposals due by September 27. These pre-proposals are essentially a short essay describing the question and its relevance to redwood conservation, and the methods used to answer the question. Because of the high level of interest and our limited funding, only a few of these applicants will be invited to develop a full research proposal, due on December 6. These full proposals build on the initial application, describing in detail the techniques the team will use to make their discoveries, the experience of the investigators in their field, and a budget that describes how the grant will be used. In January, we will make the extremely difficult decisions as to which of the proposals we can fund, and by April, the new League researchers will be on their way! Check our website (LINK TO ‘STUDY’ SITE) for details on previous research projects and learn how to apply for funding this year.