National Bird Conservation Award. Geoffrey Geupel, PRBO’s Director of Emerging Programs and Partnerships, was nationally recognized this spring for outstanding contributions to bird conservation. He received the National Award for Leadership in Bird Conservation, from Partners In Flight (PIF), at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. Many public agencies and conservation organizations collaborate in PIF, a coalition aimed at protecting bird populations throughout the Americas. Geoff’s 2010 PIF conservation leadership award took the form of a hand-carved Wrentit—a signature species in PRBO’s long-term songbird monitoring studies at the Palomarin Field Station.
|Geoffrey Geupel (right) receives the national Partners in Flight award for outstanding contributions to bird conservation, presented by Dan Ashe, PhD, U.S. Fish and Widlife Service Director nominee. Photo courtesy Partners In Flight.|
Plover Lovers. Gary Page and Lynne Stenzel were recognized for 40 years of remarkable conservation leadership at PRBO, at the Friends of PRBO gathering on March 16, 2011. The evening’s program centered on Snowy Plovers and the conservation of California’s coast. Lynne and Gary’s work has resulted in protected status for plovers nesting on West Coast beaches, and also an effective, multi-agency recovery program for the birds. PRBO friends attending the March event included John and Ricky Warriner, whose early citizen science gave rise to a Snowy Plover success story in the Monterey Bay area. Burr Heneman, a past PRBO Executive Director, described Gary and Lynne as exemplifying the devotion that makes PRBO Conservation Science special.
Climate Change Report. Tom Gardali, Nat Seavy, PhD, and others completed a report on “Projected Effects of Climate Change in California: Ecoregional Summaries Emphasizing Consequences for Wildlife.” It immediately met with enthusiastic responses from PRBO partners. Rick Kearney of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found the report “written at exactly the right level of detail for our biologists and field managers to begin using immediately” and “very timely as we strive to consider the effects of climate change in the full range of USFWS conservation programs.” Find the report online at PRBO’s home page or http://data.prbo.org/apps/bssc/uploads/Ecoregional021011.pdf.
Marine First Responders. Meredith Elliott coordinated a March workshop for partners of the collaborative pro-gram known as ACCESS (Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies; www.accessoceans.org). The workshop’s overarching goal was to improve pre-paredness for incidents such as oil spills that may affect the Gulf of the Farallones region. ACCESS, formed by PRBO and NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries, is developing a web-based application for use both by emergency responders and by environmental resource managers. The workshop fostered communication with agency partners, improving our ability to shape the ACCESS program with regard to managers’ needs.
National Climate Experts Team. PRBO President and CEO was honored this spring to be an invited member of the Climate Experts Team organized by the National Wildlife Federation. One goal of the group is to develop a practical guide to climate-smart conservation actions for use across the country.
Seabird Education Awareness. Lishka Arata, a PRBO conservation educator, adapted a marine education program for fourth- and fifth-graders from San Francisco. Lessons on seabird ecology and ocean conservation focused this year on the Farallon Islands. Along with classroom and lab activities, the students took a virtual field trip to the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge: they held a live video chat with PRBO Farallon biologist Pete Warzybok, who showed them real-time island views using the live web camera (www.calacademy.org/webcams/farallones).
Creek Running Clear. Alicia Young, a biologist in PRBO’s Sierra Nevada group, gave a talk to local community members in February about Clear Creek, an important Sacramento River tributary in Shasta County. The watershed was severely damaged from past gold and gravel mining activities. As part of a ten-year cooperative restoration effort, PRBO has monitored the avian population at Clear Creek to help guide and evaluate the ecosystem’s recovery.
For more, see www.prbo.org.