Diversity and Ornithological Capacity Building
I co-founded and manage a small grants program that supports the development of Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) biologists learning bird banding techniques. Funded by the Association of Field Ornithologists and facilitated by the North American Banding Council (NABC), the program provides financial assistance to LAC biologists who either want to host training events in their home countries or attend internships in North America that provide an opportunity for professional certification under NABC guidelines. Since 2016 the program has produced over 20 certified LAC biologists (including the first from Venezuela and Ecuador) and catalyzed the first certification events to occur in South America.
During 5 years of fieldwork in Peru our field assistants came exclusively from Latin America – mainly Peru, as well as Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Argentina. They were mainly recent biology undergraduates seeking initial experiences in field ornithological research. Several went on to complete internships in the USA and Canada.