The Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF) was selected to  receive one of AOPA Foundation’s $10,000 awards from its “Giving Back” program. The RAF was one of ten charities who “do good work through general aviation, keeping pilots safe and safeguarding the future of GA,” according to today’s AOPA Foundation announcement.

The RAF has committed to match the grant with an additional $10,000 and will seek contributions from associated organizations. The funds will pay for a scientific study of the impact of aircraft noise on wildlife, and form a credible basis for productive discussion regarding aviation access to some of our nation’s special places.

The application process was led by RAF Florida state liaison, Jack Tyler with input from the Science & Environment Advisory Committee.

RAF’s Science & Environment Advisory Chair, Dr. Ric Hauer, is Professor of Limnology and Director of the Institute on Ecosystems at the University of Montana. Under his direction, the study will commence summer of 2014.  Field research will be conducted in backcountry airstrip settings; wildlife trapped, blood samples collected; decibel levels measured. The completed study is scheduled for peer-review April, 2015.

Using best scientific practices in research design and analysis, the goal of the study is to develop the first valid measures of stress-producing corticosteroids in birds and mammals attributable to noise from small aircraft in multiple backcountry airstrip settings. Publication in peer reviewed science publications will widely validate these measurements to land managers and the general public.

Submitted on September 19, 2013.

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