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Remembering Bob Mayer

Claire Peaslee and Lynne Stenzel

Bob Mayer in 1988. PRBO photo.
For Bob Mayer, participation in every aspect of PRBO came naturally. He provided invaluable leadership on our Board of Directors for ten years, including two terms as president. With Bob's recent passing, on September 14, 2007, PRBO lost a valued long-time friend.

Bob and his wife Mary joined PRBO shortly after its founding, in 1968. Mary says the fledgling organization "felt like home." Both were raised in the Midwest—Mary in a bird-aware family (her father contributed to a classic life history of the Sandhill Crane)—and loved spending time in nature.

Says Mary, "We got involved with PRBO as soon as we heard about it. With its focus on birds and natural habitats, PRBO really gave wing to a rising environmental awareness at the time."
Bob and Mary Mayer count shorebirds on Bolinas Lagoon, circa 1980. PRBO photo.

Memories of Bob at PRBO are inseparable from those of wonderful hours spent surveying waterbirds on Bolinas Lagoon. He and Mary were mainstays on a team covering the Kent Island marsh area, which often held over half the waterbirds on this important wetland.

The Mayers were active citizen scientists in other PRBO projects, including surveys of Snowy Plovers at Ocean Beach in San Francisco for many years. Devoted birder/naturalists, Bob and Mary rarely missed a PRBO Natural Excursion or, more recently, our birding trips. Says PRBO Naturalist Rich Stallcup, "They were always first to arrive and last to leave. Their presence made each journey more thorough and enjoyable." They counted birds to raise money for PRBO in many a Bird-A-Thon.

Bob Mayer influenced aspects of PRBO from governance at the Board level to grassroots participation in fund-raising and field work. He was a strong supporter of the staff in his role on the Board, to which he brought years of business experience. He believed in and cared for PRBO in ways that shaped the organization.

PRBO is deeply grateful to Bob and the Mayer family for the contributions they have made to PRBO and for their loyal friendship spanning four decades.

The family suggests that memorial gifts in Bob's name be directed to PRBO Conservation Science. For this and many reasons, Bob's legacy at PRBO will be enduring.