Point Blue's Palomarin Blog

Taking the Long View: An inside look at the goings-on at the longest running avian ecology field station west of the Mississippi.

Where are they now? Fifty alumni attend major ornithological conference in Colorado last week!

10.19.14
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Where Are They Now?

Where do Palomarin interns go after they complete their internship with us? Our growing numbers of Palomarin alumni often continue on in the fields of conservation science and bird ecology, many becoming influential in their chosen field of study. Still others whose lives have gone in different directions have pursued paths of equal remark and fascination. To celebrate the diversity and successes of our former interns, volunteers, and staff, in the “Where Are They Now?” series we share stories of individual alumni, then and now.

In the Spotlight: Fifty Point Blue / PRBO alumni who attended conference last week

At least fifty attendees of last week’s 900-participant joint conference of the American Ornithologists’ Union, the Cooper Ornithological Society, and the Society of Canadian Ornithologists, were Point Blue / PRBO alumni! That’s 5% of the total number of attendees.

And a full THIRTY of those present were once interns at the Palomarin Field Station!

We rallied as many alumni as we could (about ½ of the 50 present) for a group photo. We regret that we were unable to get the message out to all of you and didn’t get everyone in the photo!

We rallied as many alumni as we could (about ½ of the 50 present) for a group photo. We regret that we were unable to get the message out to all of you and didn’t get everyone in the photo!

Seven Point Blue staff – most of us who currently work at the Palomarin Field Station – attended and presented the AOU/COS/SCO conference in Estes Park, Colorado from September 23th-28th.  There we were greeted not only by on-campus bugling elk, an incredible program of scientific presentations, Rocky Mountain avian specialties (American Three-toed Woodpeckers, Brown-capped Rosy-finches, White-tailed Ptarmigan, Dusky Grouse) – but also by an amazing number of former Point Blue / PRBO interns, field technicians, staff, board members, and volunteers!

The conference took place at the YMCA campus in Estes Park, Colorado, where there was no shortage of Rocky Mountain elk present – and bugling, even long into the night!

The conference took place at the YMCA campus in Estes Park, Colorado, where there was no shortage of Rocky Mountain elk present – and bugling, even long into the night!

These alumni used to work on projects ranging from the Palomarin Field Station to Southeast Farallon Island, from Bolinas Lagoon shorebird studies to projects in the Sierra Nevada and the Eastern Sierra, from the Central Valley to the shrubsteppe habitat of the Great Basin.

About half of these alumni are currently in graduate school, many presenting on the excellent work they are doing for their theses or dissertations as talks or posters over the course of the four main days of the conference. Other alumni who were there are now university or college professors, researchers, wildlife biologists, post docs, and environmental consultants. It was amazing to see what everyone was up to now, and discover just how interconnected the ornithological community is – including to Palomarin and Point Blue Conservation Science.

– Diana Humple, Palomarin Field Station project leader and Point Blue / PRBO Alumni Coordinator

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