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A dedicated cadre of volunteers have made important contributions to our programs for decades.

Volunteers Advance Conservation Science

Kira Steinberg


Bob and Mary Mayer count shorebirds on Bolinas Lagoon. PRBO photo

Long-term projects benefit from long-term support, and PRBO has been lucky to have a dedicated cadre of volunteers who, for decades, have made important contributions to our programs. We wish to acknowledge some of them here.

Bob and Mary Mayer, volunteers since PRBO's inception in 1965, were valuable assets to more than 20 years of Bolinas Lagoon and San Francisco Bay surveys. Bob was also member and chair of PRBO's Board of Directors.

Frances Bidstrup joined the Snowy Project as a volunteer at Pajaro River in 1979. Now Volunteer Coordinator for the project, Frances manages dozens of volunteers and hundreds of banded birds sightings from Washington to California.

Janet Wessel recently reached her 25th year of volunteering with PRBO. Her contributions range from counting birds for the Pacific Flyway and Bolinas Lagoon surveys to reorganizing PRBO's libraries at the Palomarin Field Station and our headquarters.

Tom Charkins, recently retired from the Farallon Patrol after 20 years and 100 runs to the island for PRBO, was named Outstanding Conservation Volunteer at the 2004 annual meeting. Long-time Patrol members also include founder Charlie Merrill, Henry Corning, Dick Honey and JoAnne Kip, and Stu Knott. PRBO is compiling a list of all our volunteers over the past 40 years, to whom we are enormously grateful. Please call (415) 868-1221, ext. 301, or email ksteinberg@prbo.org with your information!

Did You Know?

Volunteers in PRBO projects:

First large-scale project: Beached Bird Survey 1971-1984, to understand patterns of seabird mortality, essential for assessing oil spill damage.

Longest-running project: Farallon Island seabird research, 1972-present.

Most volunteers employed: Pacific Flyway Project, 2000+ skilled volunteers collected baseline data on shorebird use of wetland habitats from Alaska.

Most unusual: the Farallon Patrol, volunteer skippers who sail 27 miles from the Golden Gate, year-round, to supply PRBO's Farallon Island Field Station.