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  1. Provide emergency funds to help restore birds and habitats in the Bahama Islands The northern Bahama Islands have been utterly devastated by Hurricane Dorian. This Category 5 storm battered the Abacos and Grand Bahama for more than two days with 185 to 220 mph winds and a storm surge in excess of 23 feet. The damage to communities, lives, and habitats is unprecedented and heartbreaking. I am asking for your assistance to help birds and nature recover. Our long-time partner, the Bahamas National Trust, needs all the help we can give them to help birds survive, and clean up and restore vital habitats. They need funds to carry out bird surveys, provide supplemental feeding, repair and replace damaged equipment and infrastructure, and restore their national parks on these islands. I ask you to read about the threatened and endemic birds that we are most worried about and find out how you can immediately help to save them and restore their habitats. Please be as generous as you can and give today. With heartfelt thanks for your support, Lisa Sorenson, Ph.D. Executive Director, BirdsCaribbean p.s. Please share this email with your friends and networks that might be able to help. Thank you! Four threatened endemic species on Grand Bahama and Abaco (clockwise from upper left): Bahama Parrot, Bahama Swallow, Bahama Warbler, Bahama Nuthatch. (photos by Lynn Gape, Melanie Rose Wells, Erika Gates, Bruce Hallett)
  2. From the University of Nebraska - Lincoln Brown leaves behind an inspirational legacy of conservation by Shawna Richter-Ryerson | Natural Resources Nebraska's Mary Bomberger Brown (right) smiles as a crew prepares for an interview. Bomberger Brown, a Nebraska graduate and faculty member, dedicated her career to conservation, especially with endangered bird populations. Mary Bomberger Brown, 62, associate professor of practice at the School of Natural Resources and coordinator of the Tern and Plover Conservation Partnership, died due to complications from cancer on Aug. 24, in her home in Lincoln. Her contributions to conservation, especially with endangered bird populations, and to the science of avian biology will have a lasting impact on the state and region. Bomberger Brown, a Nebraska native, started at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln as an undergraduate student in biological sciences ― at a time when few women pursued scientific degrees ― and graduated in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree with distinction. She went on to earn a master’s degree in biological sciences from Nebraska in 1982, before taking research associate positions at Princeton University, Yale University and then University of Tulsa. As a researcher, she was integral to the success of the Cliff Swallow Project conducted at Cedar Point Biological Station in western Nebraska for more than 35 years, helping coordinate the student workers, capturing birds, recording their details and banding their legs. Data collected from the long-term study, still ongoing today, is considered to be the largest in the world. In 1996, Bomberger Brown co-wrote “Coloniality in the Cliff Shallow: The Effect of Group Size on Social Behavior,” which has been cited in innumerable research papers since its publication. Her work in cliff swallows also earned her a shared Elliot Coues lifetime achievement award from the American Ornithologists’ Union in 2009 for extraordinary contributions to ornithological research. In 2011, Bomberger Brown earned her doctorate in applied ecology from the School of Natural Resources, and promptly became a research assistant professor. She was promoted to associate professor of practice in 2017. As the tern and plover program coordinator, her work was dedicated to bridging the gap between sand and gravel miners and state and federal regulatory agencies to create dedicated habitat and support conservation efforts for the endangered least terns and plovers. Video of Mary: “She continued to band plovers and terns, and was delighted when she received reports and photos of plovers from Nebraska on their wintering beaches to the south,” said Larkin Powell, professor of natural sciences, colleague and close friend to Bomberger Brown. “Mary also contributed to work on secretive marsh birds and investigations of wind energy effects on greater prairie-chickens.” Over the course of her career, Bomberger Brown earned no fewer than six notable national awards. She also authored more than 160 scientific papers; had her research featured in more than 200 articles, news releases, television stories or nature documentaries; mentored more than 100 student field researchers; and personally advised 24 undergraduate and graduates students in their pursuit of higher-ed degrees. “When I think of Mary, I think of how much she selflessly cares,” said Amy Oden, who Bomberger Brown advised from 2011 to 2013. “When I was a graduate student, she strived to make my work, and by extension my skills as a researcher and writer, better. Her teaching method was always positive; I never once saw any disappointment from her. Instead, my research gained more aspects and my scientific writing became proficient enough to be publishable with her help. “Long after I graduated and was no longer her student, she still kept in contact with me over coffee or tea,” she added. “Years beyond being my graduate advisor, she continues to advise me on life, work, and people.” Bomberger Brown avidly worked to engage the public on conservation issues, working with the Platte River Time Lapse project, providing resources to teachers across the state, giving educational tours during the annual Sandhill Crane migration, and even supporting the after-school program at Irving Middle School in Lincoln. Until March of this year, she attended every meeting of the Chimney Swift Club, a collection of Irving students who advocated for ― and won — saving the school’s chimney from remodeling efforts in 2015 so it could remain a roosting spot for the swifts that live there. The club continues to thrive, fostering partnerships with those who care about birds and nature. “She is the reason that the Chimney Swift Club was such a great success,” said Deanna Hughes, a recently retired Irving Middle School science teacher and friend. “Mary inspired and touched so many young lives — and some not so young, including mine.” Some of those lives include those of scientists across the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. In 2015, Bomberger Brown advised the launch the Association of Women in Science chapter in the School of Natural Resources. This led the university to become an institutional member of the national Association of Women in Science in 2017, furthering its commitment to advancing women’s equity and inclusion on campus. “Throughout her career, she quietly demonstrated the value of female scientists,” Powell said. “Mary is among those cited by professional societies as influential women in ornithology and ecology.” Mary Bomberger Brown poses with students from Irving Middle School. She supported an after-school program at Irving and worked with students who successfully saved a swift roosting spot within a chimney at the school. In 2013, she was named a fellow in the American Ornithologists' Union, a prestigious award given only to those who have given exceptional and sustained contributions to ornithology or to the organization. John Carroll, director of SNR, said Bomberger Brown will remain among the elite in her contributions to science in her field. “Mary loved her work in conservation and avian biology, but that was just part of her,” he said. “She loved SNR, UNL, Lincoln, and Nebraska.” She is the model, he said, of how to live a life worth living. Powell adds that his research career and his life would not have been the same without the influence of Bomberger Brown’s mentorship and friendship. “What an impact she provided for conservation, for biology, for ecology, and for her community of friends and colleagues,” he said. “We will all miss her terribly, but I imagine the birds will miss her most of all.” Bomberger Brown was born on April 11, 1957. She is survived by her brother, David Bomberger, of Denver, Colorado; one niece; and numerous relatives, colleagues and friends. A memorial service for her is being planned for Oct. 8; additional details are pending and will be announced.
  3. Register now! https://waterbirds.org/annual-meeting/
  4. Anyone who wants to share a room at the hotel can leave a message here. If you leave a message, be sure to check back to see if anyone has responded (unless they've sent you a private message, in which case you will see a little red bell up in the top right-hand corner of the home page, near your name). To contact someone who has posted about room sharing, click on that person's name to send a private message.
  5. UPDATE 6 AUGUST 2019: THE LAWSUIT HAS SURVIVED THE GOVERNMENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS, AT LEAST IN PART. In essence, the Court ruled that the States (the two cases were consolidated; the plaintiffs are now both state governments and several NGOs) have standing to pursue the case in court because the DOI M-Opinion excluding liability for incidental take creates a "substantial risk that migratory birds owned by the States will be killed by private actors." Since the state owns all wildlife except privately owned wildlife, the state would suffer a loss. In other words, there is a potential of harm to a protectable interest, and that is a legal basis for standing. "That substantial risk of injury to a State’s proprietary interest constitutes injury in fact." The Court also ruled that the National Audubon Society's claim could continue, as it “has standing to bring suit on behalf of its members when its members would otherwise have standing to sue in their own right, the interests at stake are germane to the organization’s purpose, and neither the claim asserted nor the relief requested requires the participation of individual members in the lawsuit.” However, one legal aspect of the case was rejected by the Court. National Audubon had asserted that the M-Opinion was invalid because the DOI had not complied with the notice-and-comment requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). The Court noted that the applies only to actual rulemakings and not to interpretive decisions and that the M-Opinion is an interpretive decision. The Court did rule that the M-Opinion is subject to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and presumably, will, as the case proceeds, enjoin implementation of the M-Opinion until the DOI complies with NEPA. Which, in essence, could be game over in that NEPA compliance can be a lengthy process, often resulting in additional litigation. The clock could run out on this Administration if....2020. N.B. That the actual M-Opinion may not go into force is not necessarily going to change the ultimate outcome. The fact is that the government has prosecutorial discretion, meaning it can determine which cases, if any, it wants to prosecute. It is nearly impossible to force the government to prosecute. In fact, there was never really a need for this M-Opinion to have been issued in the first place, except as a sop to industry, because DOI and DOJ could merely have decided not to prosecute...and they still can do just that. RulingMotionDismissJuly31.pdf
  6. This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 11 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including OrnithologyExchange and the Ornithological Council. Among the many "actings" and "special appoinments" running the government these days is one Dan Jorjani, who was nominated to officially take over as solicitor for the department. Since being named "principal deputy solicitor" at the beginning of this Administration, Jorjani has been functioning as the de facto solicitor as the Administration chose not to nominate anyone for this Senate-confirmed position until April 2019, when Jorjani was formally nominated. Jorjani has been a busy boy, doing the Administration's dirty work. For ornithologists, the most despicable of his acts was the nearly immediate revocation of an M-Opinion issued at the 11th hour of the Obama administration by former solicitor Hillary Tompkins. Her M-Opinion stated unequivocally that the MBTA does cover incidental take. A few weeks after revoking that M-Opinion, Jorjani issued a new M-Opinion stating that the MBTA does NOT cover incidental take. That M-Opinion is now the subject of litigation in the federal district court for the Southern District of New York. The nomination, which has been widely and strongly opposed by numerous conservation organizations, has now been placed on hold by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). Wyden is seeking to block the nomination and calling for an investigation after the nominee appeared to lie to lawmakers during during his confirmation hearing about the department's public records policy. The stated objection concerns a claim by Jorjani that although he is officially responsible for implementation of the Freedom of Information Act and responsible for a new policy that limits FOIA requests, he is not responsible for oversight or implementation of the Department's FOIA decisions. Some of Jorjani's other destructive policies are outlined by the National Parks and Conservation Association. Of course, even if Jorjani's nomination fails, these policies - including the MBTA policy - are unlikely to change unless the Courts act or unless .... 2020. The reality is that he can remain as principal deputy secretary, a position that does not require Senate confirmation, or the Administration can nominate someone else who will, of course, simply continue to work in opposition to DOI's mission and purpose.
  7. As most of you know, The University of Alaska Museum of the North has world-class collections in many disciplines, documenting and safeguarding Alaska’s natural and cultural history and making it available to students and researchers from Alaska and worldwide. The museum would not be able to function without the state appropriation, which is spent on curation and collections management to fulfill its legal obligations as a collections repository. The UA Museum also does a lot of student training and, yes, some research, too. It is a very lean, highly functional unit with partnerships in collections, education, research, and exhibits throughout Alaska and the world. PLEASE WRITE ASAP. A SAMPLE LETTER IS ATTACHED. SEND TO THE UA BOARD OF REGENTS [ua-bor@alaska.edu] AND COPY TO: ua.president@alaska.edu, ua-bor@alaska.edu, jndavies@alaska.edu, sburetta@alaska.edu, dganderson@alaska.edu, lmparker2@alaska.edu, jbania@alaska.edu, regent.garrett@gmail.com, drhargraves@alaska.edu, mkhughes@alaska.edu, goneill@citci.org, krperdue@alaska.edu, andy.teuber@gmail.com PLEASE ALSO E-MAIL COPIES TO THE STATE LEGISLATORS WHO ARE WORKING TO PASS A SUPPPLEMENTAL BUDGET THAT REVERSES MANY OF THE CUTS. HOUSE: leg.gov,Representative.Matt.Claman@akleg.gov,Representative.Harriet.Drummond@akleg.gov,Representative.David.Eastman@akleg.gov, Representative.Bryce.Edgmon@akleg.gov,Representative.Zack.Fields@akleg.gov,Representative.Neal.Foster@akleg.gov, Representative.Sara.Hannan@akleg.gov,Representative.Grier.Hopkins@akleg.gov,Representative.Sharon.Jackson@akleg.gov, Representative.Delena.Johnson@akleg.gov,Representative.Jennifer.Johnston@akleg.gov,Representative.Andy.Josephson@akleg.gov, Representative.Gary.Knopp@akleg.gov,Representative.Chuck.Kopp@akleg.gov,Representative.Jonathan.KreissTomkins@akleg.gov, Representative.Bart.LeBon@akleg.gov,Representative.Gabrielle.Ledoux@akleg.gov,Representative.John.Lincoln@akleg.gov, Representative.Kelly.Merrick@akleg.gov,Representative.Mark.Neuman@akleg.gov,Representative.Daniel.Ortiz@akleg.gov, Representative.Lance.Pruitt@akleg.gov,Representative.Sara.Rasmussen@akleg.gov,Representative.George.Rauscher@akleg.gov, Representative.Josh.Revak@akleg.gov,Representative.Laddie.Shaw@akleg.gov,Representative.Ivy.Spohnholz@akleg.gov, Representative.Andi.Story@akleg.gov,Representative.Louise.Stutes@akleg.gov,Representative.Colleen.SullivanLeonard@akleg.gov, Representative.David.Talerico@akleg.gov,Representative.Geran.Tarr@akleg.gov,Representative.Steve.Thompson@akleg.gov, Representative.Cathy.Tilton@akleg.gov,Representative.Chris.Tuck@akleg.gov,Representative.Sarah.Vance@akleg.gov, Representative.Tammie.Wilson@akleg.gov,Representative.Adam.Wool@akleg.gov,Representative.Tiffany.Zulkosky@akleg.gov SENATE Senator.Tom.Begich@akleg.gov,Senator.Chris.Birch@akleg.gov,Senator.Click.Bishop@akleg.gov,Senator.John.Coghill@akleg.gov,Senator.Mia.Costello@akleg.gov,Senator.Cathy.Giessel@akleg.gov,Senator.Elvi.GrayJackson@akleg.gov,Senator.Lyman.Hoffman@akleg.gov,Senator.Shelley.Hughes@akleg.gov,Senator.Scott.Kawasaki@akleg.gov,Senator.Jesse.Kiehl@akleg.gov,Senator.Peter.Micciche@akleg.gov,Senator.Donald.Olson@akleg.gov,Senator.Lora.Reinbold@akleg.gov,Senator.Mike.Shower@akleg.gov,Senator.Bert.Stedman@akleg.gov,Senator.Gary.Stevens@akleg.gov,Senator.Natasha.vonImhof@akleg.gov, Senator.Bill.Wielechowski@akleg.gov,Senator.David.Wilson@akleg.gov
  8. This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 11 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including OrnithologyExchange and the Ornithological Council. https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/454805-interior-whistleblowers-say-agency-has-sidelined-scientists-under EXCERPTS: Former Interior Department employees who say they experienced retaliation at the agency for their work on scientific endeavors appeared before lawmakers on 25 July 2019. Among those testifying were Joel Clement, a whistleblower who said he was removed from his work on climate change and reassigned to an accounting role. Also testifying was Maria Caffrey, who said she had to fight with the Interior Department to keep references to the human contributions to climate change in a report on how sea level rise would impact national parks. Clement said under the Trump administration, the Interior Department “has sidelined scientists and experts, flattened the morale of the career staff, and by all accounts, is bent on hollowing out the Agency.” Clement, now a senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, said he was removed from his work with 30 Alaska Native communities that were “one big storm away from being wiped right off the map” and needed to be immediately relocated. Caffrey, whose research was funded by the Interior Department, said she found herself repeatedly demoted at the agency after pushing to keep references to the human impacts of climate change in her report. “It removes the meaning from my study. I prepared four different climate scenarios for those three different time periods, so those scenarios hang on how much greenhouse gases we produce in the future,” she said, including how much humans contribute to the atmosphere. “I had become at outcast for standing up,” she added, noting the department told her they didn’t want her help even on a volunteer basis. She is now looking for work in the Denver area. The hearing was to discuss the Scientific Integrity Act, a bill sponsored by Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) that would add protections for government scientists, including allowing them to publish research outside of government channels and establish a Scientific Integrity Officer. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, said that "it’s no secret that the Trump administration is not a fan of science.” “There are the stories that career scientists at Interior are too afraid to share. And with good reason. They have seen their colleagues, like our witnesses, get threatened, harassed, reassigned, and retaliated against,” he added. Scientists have been vocal about what they view as mistreatment under the Trump administration. They have cited examples, ranging from limiting government-funded scientists from sitting on an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) board to a proposal to limit what kind of studies can be considered by the EPA, to recent plans to relocate U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers and Bureau of Land Management policymakers. “To purge the language of climate change from the agency entirely is a direct assault on the science we know is very prominent and very clear on the risk to the mission of the agency that we act now to protect real people in harm’s way,” Clement said. Interior was invited to attend the hearing but did not send a representative.
  9. This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 11 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including OrnithologyExchange and the Ornithological Council. Aurelia Skipwith, currently the the deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks at the Department of the Interior, has been re-nominated to head the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The position has not had a permanent director since the end of the Obama administration. Until August 2018, Greg Sheehan held the post in an acting capacity. Ms. Skipwith was first nominated in 2018 but the 115th Congress did not act on her nomination. In the interim, Meg Everson has been the acting director. Ms. Skipwith is a biologist and lawyer who spent more than six years at the agriculture giant Monsanto. She joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2013. However, she seems not to meet the statutory requirement for this position, which, under 16 U.S.C. 742(b) mandates that: No individual may be appointed as the Director unless he is, by reason of scientific education and experience, knowledgeable in the principles of fisheries and wildlife management.Although Ms. Skipwith has a master's degree, it is in animal science (Purdue University, 2005). The areas of specialization offered in that program are: Animal Behavior and Welfare, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Management, Meat Science and Food Safety, Neuroscience, Nutrition, and Physiology. In addition, Ph.D. programs are offered in the area of Interdisciplinary Genetics (IGNT). After earning a law degree, she spent four months as an intern in a USDA foreign agriculture program focusing on crops, then seven months as an intellectual property consultant for USAID, focusing on food security. She next spent slightly over a year as assistant general counsel and regulatory affairs coordinator for a company that makes animal food. She began her career at Monsanto and worked her way up from a lab technician to sustainable agriculture partnership manager.
  10. UPDATE JULY 15: The court asked the parties to consider having the three cases consolidated and "The parties in all three actions have conferred, and all parties consent to the consolidation of the three cases, with two caveats. First, the Audubon Plaintiffs consent to consolidation with the understanding that it would not prejudice their ability to litigate the NEPA and notice and comment claims asserted in their complaint but not in the NRDC Action or the States’ Action. Second, plaintiffs in each of the three cases request that they be permitted to continue to file separate briefs if there is further motion practice in the consolidated proceeding. Defendants do not object to the plaintiffs’ requests."
  11. Undergraduate Internship in the Kirtlandia Research Internship Program The Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CMNH), founded in 1920, is located in the heart of University Circle, five miles east of downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Considered one of the finest institutions of its kind in North America, the Museum offers an incredible visitor experience, attracting roughly 275,000 visitors a year. There are more than 140 public education programs and over 80,000 students served annually. The Museum employs about 160 people. Building on its strong foundation of excellence in education and research, the Museum is poised to transform itself. The Museum will invite and engage a broader audience in the exploration of science and the natural world by revolutionizing the way it presents natural history. The Museum has launched a capital campaign to support a dramatic renovation and expansion of its facilities and exhibits. This ambitious plan will position the Museum to play a leading role in regional and national efforts to improve science education and increase scientific literacy. The Museum is seeking a dynamic, creative, organized and energetic individual who is passionate about research in ornithology. The Museum is one of several organizations carrying out the Lights Out Cleveland program, monitoring bird-building collisions during spring and fall migration. Bird casualties come to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History where they are made into research specimens. The ultimate goal of Lights Out Cleveland is to make Cleveland a bird safe city. A sixteen week internship is available for September to December 2019, thanks to funding from the Kirtlandia Society's Research Internship Program and a Conservation Grant from Columbus Audubon Society. Summary Under the general supervision of the Curator and the Collections Manager of the Ornithology Department, the Kirtlandia Research Intern will prepare specimens salvaged during the Lights Out Cleveland migration surveys, and will carry out research using these specimens. Essential Duties and Responsibilities Preparing Specimens Responsible for preparing specimens, primarily as skeletons with spread wings and tissue samples. Initial training will be provided, and the intern will be expected to work fairly independently after the first few weeks. Responsible for generating new labels for the specimens. Conducting Research Responsible for working with the Curator and the Collection Manager to generate scientific questions that can be answered using Lights Out Cleveland specimens. The intern will collect data and analyze it, and collaborate with Ornithology to staff to write a scientific report on the outcome of their research. Education and/or Experience Applicants must either be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program or recently graduated with a BS or BA degree (graduation date must be in 2019). Other Qualifications Ability to multi-task and efficiently prioritize assignments while working independently. Data quality is of the utmost importance, and the intern is expected to have strong attention to detail, to be thorough in data collection, and to write labels with legible handwriting. Professional demeanor, tact, diplomacy, discretion, good judgment, strong insight and instinct, maturity and sophistication. Intermediate knowledge and ability working with computers and computer systems. Familiarity with bird identification in North America is preferred but not required. Previous experience with museum specimen preparation and conducting original research is preferred but not required. Click here to apply The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is an EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, ADA EMPLOYER and a SUBSTANCE-FREE WORKPLACE
  12. This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 11 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including OrnithologyExchange and the Ornithological Council. After being introduced in several successive Congresses without success, legislation introduced by Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) in the 116th (current) Congress to protect albatrosses and petrels has gained traction. The House Committee Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife held a hearing on H.R. 1305 in March and the full House Natural Resources Committee approved the bill on 19 June 2019. It now moves to the full House for a vote. If enacted, this legislation would allow the Secretary of Commerce to undertake a range of activities to protect these species throughout the U.S. territorial waters (12 nautical miles from shore) and the U.S. exclusive economic zone (200 nautical miles from the territorial waters). The legislation also gives the Secretary of Commerce authority under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the other statutes; it also addresses fisheries bycatch and protection of marine habitat under the Magnuson-Stevens Act. It would also prohibit deliberate take unless a permit is obtained. Unfortunately, there is no analogous bill in the Senate and it is unlikely that the Republican-led Senate would consider such legislation.
  13. The House Natural Resources Committee subcommittee on Waters, Oceans, and Wildlife will hold a hearing on this discussion draft on Thursday, 13 June 2019. The witnesses will be: Mr. Paul Schmidt Consulting for Conservation Retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Palmyra, VA Dr. Amanda D. Rodewald Garvin Professor; Senior Director of Conservation Science Cornell Lab of Ornithology Ithaca, NY Mr. Stan Senner Vice President for Bird Conservation National Audubon Society Washington, DC Mr. Alexander K. Obrecht Energy & Regulatory Attorney BakerHostetler Denver, CO
  14. This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 11 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including OrnithologyExchange and the Ornithological Council. Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) has circulated a discussion draft of legislation that would "amend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to affirm that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act’s prohibition on the unauthorized take or killing of migratory birds includes incidental take by covered commercial activities, and to direct the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to make a rule establishing a permitting program authorizing and regulating such incidental take, and for other purposes." The discussion draft provides that ‘covered commercial activity’ and ‘covered commercial activities’ mean an industry or type of commercial activity that the Secretary determines cause significant harm to migratory birds including: oil, gas, and wastewater disposal pits; methane or other gas burner pipes; ‘communication towers; electric transmission and distribution lines; and wind and solar power generation facilities. It would authorize a permitting program that would limit the amount of authorized take and require the use of best practices or technologies that are deemed practical and effective. It would also require mitigation measures, including mitigation fees. Even if this bill is eventually introduced and even if it is passed by the House, it has little chance of getting through the Senate, given that the Senate majority leader is blocking virtually all legislation coming from the House or Senate legislation proposed by Democrats. LowenthalDiscussionDraft2019.pdf
  15. The Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture at Mississippi State University (MSU), is seeking applications for a full time, 9-month tenure-track faculty position at the Assistant/Associate Professor rank. This person will be involved in research, teaching, and service. LOCATION: This position is on the MSU campus, located in Starkville, Mississippi. A description of the College of Forest Resources (CFR), the Forest and Wildlife Research Center (FWRC), Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station (MAFES) and the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture can be found at http://www.cfr.msstate.edu/wildlife. STARTING: Fall 2019 or as negotiated RESPONSIBILITIES: The Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture (WFA) seeks a dynamic scholar specializing in wildlife-habitat relationships that yield management applications for public and private stakeholders. Some potential fields of interest include, but are not limited to, species-habitat associations, habitat management and restoration, fire ecology, disturbance ecology, forest ecology, and management of working landscapes. In addition to these areas of interest, we encourage applicants to identify opportunities to build on existing departmental expertise and/or expand the department in new directions. The applicant should be a broadly trained wildlife ecologist that can contribute to a diverse faculty group and demonstrate how their research and teaching program will complement and enrich the department. The primary responsibilities of this position will be the development of a productive, externally-funded, and nationally/internationally recognized research program, effective mentoring of graduate and undergraduate students, and teaching within the WFA program. Teaching responsibilities may include 2-3 undergraduate/graduate courses per year consistent with the candidate expertise and departmental need. The position will be a 50% teaching and 50% research appointment. Mississippi State University is ranked as one of the top research institutions in the United States. The Carnegie Institute has designated MSU as a "higher research activity" doctoral granting institution. We are also ranked among the nation's top 100 research institutions based on the most recent National Science Foundation survey. The 35-member faculty within the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture leads one of the most productive research programs in the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University. The department is well-known for its highly collegial and interdisciplinary faculty, post-doctoral fellows, research and extension associates that help make the department one of the premier institutions for applied wildlife and fisheries science in the nation. As one of the fastest growing undergraduate programs in the region, our 300 undergraduate students concentrate in wildlife agriculture science, human-wildlife interactions, conservation biology, wildlife veterinary medicine, conservation law enforcement, and wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture science. The department also houses 60 graduate students across a variety of programs, with nearly 100% job placement rate following receipt of a graduate degree. Located in Starkville, MS, Mississippi State is the centerpiece of a growing college town with a vibrant and diverse community and economy, a low cost-of-living, main street family atmosphere and connections to over a hundred thousand acres of national forests, national wildlife refuges, and state recreational lands. For more information on the Starkville community visit: https://www.starkville.org/ QUALIFICATIONS: Ph.D. with expertise in wildlife ecology and/or related discipline. Excellence in communication and organizational skills, peer-reviewed publications, and a commitment to service are expected. The candidate should show the ability to collaborate with diverse scientific disciplines, various stakeholder groups, and federal and state natural resource agencies to support long-term partnerships. PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: Preferred characteristics include postdoctoral or agency research experience, procurement of extramural funds to accomplish research, mentoring of graduate students, strong quantitative skills and teaching experience. Preference will be given to candidates whose research focuses on wildlife habitat management and naturally crosses disciplinary lines. APPLY: Applications must be submitted online http://explore.msujobs.msstate.edu/cw/en-us/job/498650/assistant-or-associate-professor and should include: 1) cover letter, 2) curriculum vitae, 3) statement of research philosophy, 4) statement of teaching philosophy, 5) official transcripts, and 6) programmatic vision statement how your research program will build on existing departmental expertise or expand the department in new directions. Letters of recommendation will be requested internally. Please send contact information for three references to: Angela Hill Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture Mississippi State University angela.c.hill@msstate.edu For additional information on the position announcement, contact search chair Dr. Kristine Evans (662-325-3167) or email at kristine.evans@msstate.edu Mississippi State University is an AA/EEO employer MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, disability status, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.
  16. This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 11 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including OrnithologyExchange and the Ornithological Council. In order to better serve the trade community, the USFWS Office of Law Enforcement has created a new CITES permit issuing office in the Southwest Region (Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas). For shipments that require a CITES permit (3-200-26, 3-200-28, 3-200-52, 3-200-66, 3-200-73) and are being exported from ports located within the Southwest Region, you may send the permit applications to: Houston - Designated 19241 David Memorial Drive, Suite 175 Shenandoah, Texas 77385 Phone: (281) 230-7225 Fax: (281) 230-7227
  17. Registration has opened! Early registration ends August 31. Abstract submission has opened!
  18. The two complaints are attached to the original post. The M-Opinion to which they are objecting is linked in that same post. What other literature are you looking for?
  19. Melinda - no, I checked just yesterday. Still no hearing scheduled or decision issued.
  20. http://www.cvent.com/events/2019-afo-wos-joint-meeting/location-fc644f2542184eba9fe3b1d37928e0fd.aspx And the plenary speakers have been announced: Robert Curry Dr. Curry is a native of Massachusetts with additional family roots in Nova Scotia. He completed his undergraduate education at Dartmouth College (1979) under the mentorship of Dick Holmes, followed by doctoral study at the University of Michigan (1987) focusing on social and conservation ecology of Galápagos mockingbirds supervised by Peter Grant. He conducted postdoctoral work on Florida Scrub-Jays with Glen Woolfenden and John Fitzpatrick before joining the faculty at Villanova University (1991). Dr. Curry has mentored research by more than 70 Villanova Masters students and undergraduates; their work has involved mimids and other Neotropical birds; Florida Scrub-Jays; the world's one herbivorous spider; and, especially, Carolina and Black-capped chickadees and their hybrids. He served as President of the Wilson Ornithological Society in 2014-2016 after completing multiple terms as an Officer and member of Council. Dr. Curry and his wife Susie have two children, and they eagerly await the arrival of two granddaughters in 2019. As the Margaret Morse Nice Keynote, Dr. Curry will speak on “Transformation of familiar birds into model organisms: what chickadees can teach us” Much like the Song Sparrows that captivated Margaret Morse Nice, chickadees are charismatic backyard birds that we easily take for granted. Research concerning several North American chickadee species has, burgeoned in recent decades, yielding insights about fundamental problems in ornithology-approaching what we have learned from their European relatives. The role of vocal behavior in chickadee mating systems has been examined thoroughly. "Our" chickadees are currently central among studies of social networks using technological tools that allow us to track movements and associations in space and time. Chickadees have contributed important insights concerning cognitive ecology and neuroethology. Long-term research within the northward-moving hybrid zone between Black-capped and Carolina Chickadees combines many of these elements, while also employing genomic approaches and Citizen Science data; this work has revealed influences of ongoing climate change and behavioral mechanisms on the dynamics of songbird hybridization. There is still much to learn from these familiar birds. Christina Riehl Christie has always been fascinated by a) animal social behaviors, and b) anything having to do with birds. Her main research project is a long-term study of the breeding behavior of the greater ani (a bizarre communally breeding cuckoo) in Panama, but she is interested in many questions involving the evolution and ecology of sociality and reproductive biology.
  21. UPDATE 14 May 2019 (excerpts from the Washington Post 10 May 2019): The Agriculture Department has dropped its demand that staff scientists label peer-reviewed research as “preliminary,” after angry protests followed a Washington Post story disclosing the policy. But the latest guidelines, released on Wednesday, for internally reviewing science within the department raise additional questions about scientific integrity, said non-USDA researchers who inspected the guide....This week, acting USDA chief scientist Chavonda Jacobs-Young released a memo that replaced the July policy. It requires the following language when disclaimers are necessary: “The findings and conclusions in this [publication/presentation/blog/report] are those of the author(s) and should not be construed to represent any official USDA or U.S. Government determination or policy.” ...even this language may not be needed: “Many journals have this statement on their mastheads. This expectation, that an article represents the views of the authors only, is indeed the standard.” ...Rebecca Boehm, an economist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a D.C.-based organization that advocates for scientists, said that “removing ‘preliminary’ from the disclaimer is a step in the right direction, but there still may be unnecessary obstacles preventing agency researchers from publishing their work in peer-reviewed journals.” ...Not every study published by a USDA scientist is required to have this disclaimer. Some research agencies at USDA, including the Agricultural Research Service, the Economic Research Service, the National Agricultural Statistics Service and the Forest Service have “agency-specific policies” that determine when a disclaimer is appropriate, said William Trenkle, the USDA scientific integrity officer. ...the department’s internal review process before scientists can publish results in journals. It lists several “flags” that may trigger additional scrutiny. Some flags, under the umbrella of “prominent issues,” include “significant” scientific advancements, the potential to attract media attention, and results that could influence trade or change USDA policy. ... Susan Offutt, who was the administrator of the Economic Research Service under presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, said the guide twists internal review “into a process by which policy officials get the final say on content.” Because researchers at the Economic Research Service publish statistics to aid policymakers, “just about any output” from that agency could be flagged, she said. USDA’s “interests apparently concern consistency with prevailing policy,” Offutt said, “not the public’s access to the best, unbiased science and analysis.” From the Washington Post, 19 April 2019: Researchers at the Agriculture Department laughed in disbelief last summer when they received a memo about a new requirement: Their finalized, peer-reviewed scientific publications must be labeled “preliminary.” The July 2018 memo from Chavonda Jacobs-Young, the acting USDA chief scientist, told researchers their reports published in scientific journals must include a statement that reads: “The findings and conclusions in this preliminary publication have not been formally disseminated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy.” A copy of the memo was obtained by The Washington Post and the USDA confirmed its authenticity. https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2019/04/19/usda-orders-scientists-say-published-research-is-preliminary/?utm_term=.e08bf8db6cf8 The policy may reflect an attempt to end-run the Information Quality Act, which pertains only to information disseminated by the federal government. That law, created at the behest of corporate anti-regulatory interests, has been a double-edged sword which has also been used by health and environmental groups to challenge the basis of federal agency policies and statements. This newest effort to strangle scientific information produced by scientists employed by federal agencies follows the requirement imposed by the Bush administration that requires scientists (in numerous agencies) to submit their work - including publications and presentations - to agency communications or other leadership offices prior to publication. In addition, the policy bans scientists from including “personal view” statements, language that federal employees have often used to distinguish research articles they author from policy documents issued by the agency. Such a statement might read, in part: “opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own,” as suggested by the National Institutes of Health.
  22. EXPERIENCED BIRD BANDERS IN CHARGE (6), MIST NET ASSISTANTS (6), and AVIAN SURVEYORS (6) needed from 18 August to 6 November (start and end dates mildly flexible) to study the stopover ecology of small passerines along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico (Alabama and Louisiana). BANDERS (minimum experience: 500 eastern songbirds banded and processed) need to have experience with banding large volumes of birds, be familiar with the aging and sexing of eastern species, be able to train and assist assistants in mist net extraction, and independently lead a small team. Also must be able to effectively communicate with project leader\site coordinator in completing tasks associated with the banding operation as well as oversee banding operation including other technicians. MIST NET ASSISTANT (minimum experience: 100 songbirds extracted from mist nets) duties include extracting birds from mist-nets. AVIAN SURVEYOR (minimum experience: ability to identify eastern songbirds by sight and sound) duties include identifying eastern species by sight and sound along a transect, conducting resource surveys, and mist net extraction. Additionally, opportunities may exist for all positions to assist with active research during the field season. All individuals are required to work 7 days a week, carry up to 10 pounds regularly, navigate difficult terrain, assist with data entry, arthropod sampling, fruit/flower counts, and fecal sample analysis, have the ability to work and live well with others in close quarters, have a good sense of humor, and be able to tolerate heat, venomous snakes, biting insects, and wet conditions. In addition to abundant experience, each bander will be compensated a total of $5,000 and each other position will receive $4,000 over the course of the season. Pretty nice housing is provided. In ONE Word document/PDF named in the following format: Lastname-Firstname (e.g. Zenzal-TJ.pdf) please send letter of interest, resume, and names, phone numbers, and email addresses of 3 references to Dr. T.J. Zenzal, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801 or by email (preferred): MBRGhiring(AT)gmail.com Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled. The University of Southern Mississippi conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin. EOE/F/M/VETS/DISABILITY.
  23. HawkWatch International is hiring an Executive Director to lead the organization. The next leader of this growing organization must have: Enthusiasm for conservation, birds of prey, and the HWI mission Experience with business management for non-profit or NGO with staff of +/- 25 Science Foundation in raptor related biology and conservation, field sciences or academia Proven fund-raising capabilities Appreciation for the HWI mission is essential, as is inspiring others and bringing a high level of energy to the work of development, education and field operations. The successful individual will lead staff and volunteers to grow HWI’s capacity scientifically, educationally, and financially into a nationally and globally recognized conservation organization. The next leader must execute the strategic vision while building upon a team culture of trust and shared core values. Key for the successful candidate is experience leading and growing a similarly sized and focused organization. HWI Staff and Board are keen to continue recent growth and build upon the strong foundation of this 30+ year old organization. Staff and Board desire a leader that understands how to manage an organization, and has the energy to be involved in working towards a shared vision while creating independence by building trust. This individual will ideally have a science background, preferably in raptor biology or closely linked experience in conservation, education, ecology, or ornithology. This role will lead an organization with a focus on raptor-oriented research and education. Experience in these areas is necessary in order to direct the work and successfully network with partners, stakeholders, the greater raptor community and the general public. Long term growth is highly dependent on a leader with proven fund-raising capabilities, strong networking skills and a willingness to reach out to donors. The Executive Director is the spokesperson for the collective team and must be comfortable building relationships at multiple geographic scales. A key success factor will be experience with development strategies and an action-oriented focus to deliver. Opportunities to grow both nationally and internationally are substantial and necessitate a well-cultivated pipeline of major donors. HawkWatch International is poised to dramatically increase its impact, creative approaches, partnerships, and overall reach. We are looking for an Executive Director who can envision the HWI of the future and is able to lead the charge to successfully realizing that vision. Requirements Advanced degree in science, business administration, communications, or relevant field. Knowledge and experience in environmental conservation, ecology, ornithology, and birding. Proven experience as Executive Director or in a similar managerial position. Significant experience in developing successful strategies and plans. Proven success in fundraising and networking. In-depth knowledge of nonprofit management, governance principles, and managerial best practices. Familiarity and comfort with monthly financials and annual audits. Aptitude for analytical thinking, capable of creative solutions to solve problems thoroughly and rapidly. Impeccable organizational skills, leadership abilities and the skill of collaboration. Exceptional oral and written communication abilities and public speaking skills. Ability to work from Salt Lake City, Utah Hours and Compensation Full-time (exempt), salaried staff position. Starting salary of $65,000–$ 75,000 (depending on experience and education), with excellent benefits package, including medical, dental and matching retirement plan. To apply: Send cover letter, CV/resume and contact information (phone #) for 3 references to Paul Parker, Executive Director, by April 19, 2019. Preferred start date: July 1, 2019. We encourage applicants of diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, etc. as we value a diverse and inclusive HawkWatch community. For more information on HawkWatch and our programs, visit www.hawkwatch.org.
  24. Common Loon Project in northern Wisconsin requires 3 outdoor-loving, physically fit volunteers to assist in a 26-year investigation of territory acquisition and defense. Applicants should be available for all or most of period 15 May – 10 August 2019. Interns will visit study lakes via solo canoe to identify loons from colored leg bands, observe and record territorial and breeding behavior, and locate and GPS nests. Late in the season, they will assist in nocturnal capture, marking, and taking of blood and feather samples in adults and chicks. Successful applicants must have a car that gets 30 mpg or better, be able to swim well, have good hearing and vision, have a strong work ethic, be meticulous about taking notes, be able to work with others or alone, and have a love of outdoor conditions. Experience with bird identification, canoes, and motorboats helpful but not essential. Housing and gasoline reimbursement provided. Send resume and list of 3+ references ASAP (but not later than 15 May) via e-mail to: Dr. Walter Piper, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Chapman University, Orange, CA, 92866 (e-mail: wpiper@chapman.edu). For more info, see web page at: http://www.chapman.edu/~wpiper/
  25. UPDATE 1 APR 2019 The government has now filed its reply brief responding to the plaintiffs' (several states, in one case, and several conservation organizations in the other case) brief opposing the government's motion to dismiss the case. No hearing date has been set; it is possible that the court (the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York) will decide the motions without oral arguments. If the cases survive the government's motion to dismiss, the case will go forward in the U.S. District Court. If not, it would be up to the plaintiffs to file an appeal in the U.S. Circuit Court.
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