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  2. In response to a warming planet with earlier springs, migratory animals are adjusting the timing of essential life stages. Although these adjustments may be essential for keeping pace with resource phenology, they may prove insufficient, as evidenced by population declines in many species. However, even when species can match the tempo of climate change, other consequences may emerge when exposed to novel conditions earlier in the year. Here, using three long-term datasets on bird reproduction, daily insect availability, and weather, we investigated the complex mechanisms affecting reproductive success in an aerial insectivore, the tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor). By examining breedingmore »records over nearly half a century, we discovered that tree swallows have continuously advanced their egg laying by ∼3 d per decade. However, earlier-hatching offspring are now exposed to inclement weather events twice as often as they were in the 1970s. Our long-term daily insect biomass dataset shows no long-term trends over 25 y but precipitous drops in flying insect numbers on days with low ambient temperatures. Insect availability has a considerable impact on chick survival: Even a single inclement weather event can reduce offspring survival by >50%. Our results highlight the multifaceted threats that climate change poses on migrating species. The decoupling between cold snap occurrence and generally warming spring temperatures can affect reproductive success and threaten long-term persistence of populations. Understanding the exact mechanisms that endanger aerial insectivores is especially timely because this guild is experiencing the steepest and most widespread declines across North America and Europe.

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  3. Addressing common student questions in introductory STEM courses early in the term is one way that instructors can ensure that their students have all been presented with information about how to succeed in their courses. However, categorizing student questions and identifying evidence-based resources to address student questions takes time, and instructors may not be able to easily collect and respond to student questions at the beginning of every course. To help faculty effectively anticipate and respond to student questions, we 1) administered surveys in multiple STEM courses to identify common student questions, 2) conducted a qualitative analysis to determine categoriesmore »of student questions (e.g., what are best practices for studying, how can in- and out-of- course time be effectively used), and 3) collaboratively identified advice on how course instructors can answer these questions. Here, we share tips, evidence-based strategies, and resources from faculty that instructors can use to develop their own responses for students. We hope that educators can use these common student questions as a starting point to proactively address questions throughout the course and that the compiled resources will allow instructors to easily find materials that can be considered for their own courses.« less
  4. Abstract Rates of human-induced environmental change continue increasing with human population size, potentially altering animal physiology and negatively affecting wildlife. Researchers often use glucocorticoid concentrations (hormones that can be associated with stressors) to gauge the impact of anthropogenic factors (e.g. urbanization, noise and light pollution). Yet, no general relationships between human-induced environmental change and glucocorticoids have emerged. Given the number of recent studies reporting baseline and stress-induced corticosterone (the primary glucocorticoid in birds and reptiles) concentrations worldwide, it is now possible to conduct large-scale comparative analyses to test for general associations between disturbance and baseline and stress-induced corticosterone across species.more »Additionally, we can control for factors that may influence context, such as life history stage, environmental conditions and urban adaptability of a species. Here, we take a phylogenetically informed approach and use data from HormoneBase to test if baseline and stress-induced corticosterone are valid indicators of exposure to human footprint index, human population density, anthropogenic noise and artificial light at night in birds and reptiles. Our results show a negative relationship between anthropogenic noise and baseline corticosterone for birds characterized as urban avoiders. While our results potentially indicate that urban avoiders are more sensitive to noise than other species, overall our study suggests that the relationship between human-induced environmental change and corticosterone varies across species and contexts; we found no general relationship between human impacts and baseline and stress-induced corticosterone in birds, nor baseline corticosterone in reptiles. Therefore, it should not be assumed that high or low levels of exposure to human-induced environmental change are associated with high or low corticosterone levels, respectively, or that closely related species, or even individuals, will respond similarly. Moving forward, measuring alternative physiological traits alongside reproductive success, health and survival may provide context to better understand the potential negative effects of human-induced environmental change.« less