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 14 certified LAC biologists (including the first from Venezuela) and catalyzed the first certification events to occur in South America.
Bird Banding Training
I’ve been lucky to have helped lead training workshops for biologists using banding and mist netting protocols throughout the USA, Canada, and Latin America. I also certify professionally individuals on behalf of the North American Banding Council, an NGO dedicated to advancing ethical bird banding standards. Since 2010 I have represented the Association of Field Ornithologists on NABC’s board, where I work to improve certification materials and build the capacity of bird banding biologists in Latin America. Much of this work has been done in collaboration with John Alexander and Bob Frey at Klamath Bird Observatory.
My doctoral research depends on rich partnerships with the rural communities where we work. We try to give back in any way possible, but we find the most rewarding and effective approach is through education programs that communicate our science. We are currently developing a curriculum in avian ecology and conservation biology to share with schools and community organizations in our study region of Amazonas, Peru. This, combined with visual tools tools such as posters and visits to our banding stations, will hopefully instill a deeper awareness and appreciation for each community’s local avifauna and forested ecosystems. This work is done in collaboration with the Amazonas Network of Private Conservation Areas in Peru as part of the project Aves de Los Bosques Montanos Peruanos.