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  • The David S. Lee Fund for the Conservation of Caribbean Birds

    Fern Davies

    OCTOBER 24, 2016 Funding Opportunity—The David S. Lee Fund for the Conservation of Caribbean Birds

    2016 Awards Now Open!
    Size of Award: $1,000 is budgeted for one or two grants from the David S. Lee Fund.
    Application Deadline: December 15th, 2016 at 5 p.m. EST.
    Address Questions and Send Application to: Will Mackin, Co-Chair Seabird Working Group, BirdsCaribbean,mackinwa@guilford.edu; copy to info@birdscaribbean.org
    Announcement of Awards: February 1, 2017
    Donations to the Fund: Tax-deductible (U.S.) at www.BirdsCaribbean.org.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________davidlee20holding20tropicbird-450x305.jpgDave Lee holding a White-tailed Tropicbird in the Bahamas. (photo by Mary Kay Clark)
    David S. Lee was a pioneering naturalist and conservation biologist who helped get BirdsCaribbean started nearly 30 years ago, and inspired many naturalists with his work and his writing. He was a man of many interests, and with respect to the Caribbean, published numerous papers and articles in the popular press on seabirds, Bahamian fish, turtles, snakes, bats, and orchids.
    Donations from Dave’s wife, Mary Kay Clark and his mother, June Bash, allowed the establishment of the David S. Lee Fund for the Conservation of Caribbean Birds that will award money to conservation projects in his honor. The money is being held in a trust and will be used to award an annual grant for innovative projects that protect Caribbean birds and their habitats.
    Goal of the Fund: The David S. Lee Fund for Conservation seeks to continue David’s passion for protecting wildlife. The fund will support direct, innovative conservation work in the Caribbean Region for birds and their habitats. The fund will be managed by BirdsCaribbean and used for annual small grants.A-striking-male-Magnolia-Warbler-perches-momentarily-on-a-branch-while-foraging-for-food-during-its-spring-migration-by-Gerald-A.-DeBoer-on-shutterstock_313635932-copy-1-450x300.jpgA striking male Magnolia Warbler perches momentarily on a branch while foraging for food during its spring migration. (photo by Gerald A. DeBoer, Shutterstock)
    Eligibility: Scientists/naturalists working in the Caribbean, in conservation organizations or academic programs, may apply. Applicants should be students or early career ornithologists, conservationists, or wildlife professionals (i.e., not established faculty or senior staff of a conservation organization, less than 7 years post-graduation). A student must be enrolled in accredited Masters or PhD program in ecology, biology, conservation, or related field to be eligible. Applicants must be paid or sponsored members of BirdsCaribbean at the time of application.
    Use of Funds: The funds can cover travel to field sites, living expenses in the field, or costs for equipment and supplies to conduct conservation projects. Examples of equipment and supplies include traps, cameras, automated recording units, nest boxes, etc. Ineligible costs include salary or other wages, overhead fees, etc. Projects that foster collaboration between scientists/naturalists in different island groups of the Caribbean, such as joint projects to test conservation techniques for similar species, will be favored.
    Application Guidelines:

    1. Proposals may be submitted in English, French, or Spanish. All should have an English version of the abstract
    2. Applications should be emailed as a Microsoft Word document.
    3. The application should include a cover page, proposal (see guidelines below), and a curriculum vitae for the applicant.
    4. Separately, by email, three individuals who can attest to your effectiveness in previous work should submit letters of recommendation. For students, this would include your academic advisor.


    1. A committee appointed by BirdsCaribbean will review the proposals and award the grants.
    2. The awardee will be required to submit a report one year from the day of the award explaining how the award money was spent and the results of the project to that point.
    3. Awardees are encouraged to present the results of their work at the biennial International Meeting of BirdsCaribbean and publish in The Journal of Caribbean Ornithology.

    Eligible applicants can download the application form here.
    But wait! What if you are not eligible to apply for funds, you ask? You can still support this worthy cause by being a sponsor!Couple-in-love.-Reddish-egret-by-Tania-Thomson-on-shutterstock_21801784-copy-3-450x300.jpgReddish Egrets (dark morph). (photo by Tania Thomson, Shutterstock)
    This fund will be for the conservation of any bird in the Caribbean as a reflection of Dave’s diverse interests. He was an important part of many projects, ranging from those of the Black-capped Petrel and Seabird Working Groups to the scholarly debate leading to the elevation of the Bahama Yellow-throated Warbler to a full species.
    At the moment the fund contains $12,000. Our initial goal is to raise $25,000 so that we can award $1,000 every year to a worthy student or early career ornithologist, conservationist or wildlife professional. Not only will this fund encourage creative field work for projects that make a difference, but it will also help build the knowledge and skills of young conservationists that are urgently needed to make sure that the Caribbean birds and habitats that Dave treasured are still around for future generations to enjoy.Cuban-Parrot-Amazona-leucocephala-by-Elliotte-Rusty-Harold-on-shutterstock_102545654-copy-2-450x300.jpgCuban Parrot surveying his domain. (photo by Elliotte Rusty-Harold, Shutterstock)
    At the 2015 BirdsCaribbean meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, a round of beers was purchased in Dave’s honor, since he always seemed to have a cooler full when people wanted one (and even when they didn’t). Think of this fund like a cooler full of refreshing beverages that Dave would have around if he were here. We owe it to Dave to stock that cooler—to vitalize naturalists and empower them in their work to help wildlife.
    Please give a tax deductible donation to the David S. Lee Fund. Give generously. The more we put into the fund, the more we can give out each year. Thanks to all those that have contributed to the fund! Click here to make an online contribution.
    If you prefer to donate with a check, please make the check out to “BirdsCaribbean” and in the memo section, note that it is for the David S. Lee Fund. If you have questions or to make other arrangements for donating, please feel free to contact Jennifer Wheeler, BirdsCaribbean Treasurer (jennifer.wheeler@birdscaribbean.org)
    Checks can be mailed to: BirdsCaribbean, 4201 Wilson Blvd. Suite 110-174, Arlington VA 22203-1589
    Thank you for your participation and support!

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