PiPl Friends, I thought you may be interested in what looks to be an interesting celebratory event, tonight a 6pm. If you are interested and can’t attend, register anyway, and they will send a link to a recording of the event.
In 2019, on a small island in coastal South Carolina, biologists discovered a phenomenon that was difficult to believe.
Nearly 20,000 whimbrel were stopping at Deveaux Bank along their migration north — half the estimated eastern population of the declining shorebird.
Hear from the people who were there. Join us on June 22, 2021 for a free virtual screening and panel discussion featuring members of the dedicated team who made the discovery.
Join us on June 22 at 6 p.m. EST as we celebrate the newly announced discovery with a virtual screening, panel discussion and audience Q&A with the dedicated team who made it happen.
Registrants will receive an email with a link to the webinar on the evenings of June 21 and 22.
A pair of Whimbrels at Brace Cove in 2015
Maina Handmaker (Panelist), Whimbrel Researcher & Graduate Student, University of South Carolina
As a graduate student in the Senner Lab at the University of South Carolina, Maina studies the role nocturnal roost sites play in the stopover ecology and migratory performance of Atlantic flyway Whimbrel. Prior to joining the Senner Lab, Maina worked as the Communications Specialist for the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN). Her current research uses GPS transmitters to track the daily movements of Whimbrel that roost on Deveaux Bank during their migratory stopovers on the coast of South Carolina, seeking to better understand how individuals select foraging and roosting sites and how those choices influence their entire annual cycle.
Andrew Johnson (Panelist), Conservation Media Center filmmaker, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Andy Johnson is a film producer at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Center for Conservation Media. Andrew studied biology at Cornell University, where his research focused on tracking Whimbrel migrations. Now, with a career in natural history filmmaking, the work on Deveaux Bank has been a convergence of his longtime interests in shorebird migration, conservation, and visual storytelling.
Dr. J. Drew Lanham (Panelist), Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Master Teacher, and Certified Wildlife Biologist at at Clemson University
A native of Edgefield, South Carolina, Dr. J Lanham is an author, poet, ecologist, and an extraordinary birder. His focus is on the ecology of songbirds and the intersections of race, place, and conservation with wild birds as the conduit for understanding. Dr Lanham is the author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature, which received the Reed Award from the Southern Environmental Law Center, the Southern Book Prize, and was a finalist for the John Burroughs Medal. He is a birder, naturalist, and hunter-conservationist who has published essays and poetry in publications including Orion, Audubon, Flycatcher, and Wilderness, as well as anthologies including The Colors of Nature, State of the Heart, Bartram’s Living Legacy, and Carolina Writers at Home.
Dr. Erica Nol (Panelist), Professor, Department of Biology, Trent University
Dr. Nol is an internationally renowned biologist who has dedicated much of her career to the biology and conservation of shorebirds. From their base in Ontario, Canada, Dr. Nol and her students have worked on plovers and other shorebirds in Cuba, Brazil, Venezuela, and the United States — including South Carolina. Currently, her research focus centers on the impacts of climate change on arctic and subarctic breeding shorebirds. In 2020, the American Ornithological Society awarded her the Miller Award for lifetime achievement in ornithological research.
Felicia Sanders (Panelist), Coastal Bird Conservation Project Supervisor at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Recently named the Biologist of the Year by the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Felicia has spent over 30 years working on conservation efforts for a diversity of bird species and has coauthored numerous scientific publications. She has worked extensively with seabirds, shorebirds, and wading birds, as well as red-cockaded woodpeckers, grassland birds, and neotropical migrants. Her many conservation accomplishments include the designation of five coastal island Seabird Sanctuaries and the designation of the Cape Romain-Santee Delta Region as a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network Site of International Importance.
Dr. Abby Sterling (Moderator), Director, Manomet Georgia Bight Shorebird Conservation Initiative
Abby Sterling is the director of Manomet’s Georgia Bight Shorebird Initiative, which launched in 2018. The Georgia Bight is a region with incredible habitat for shorebirds throughout the year, ranging from expansive marshes, mudflats, and sand bars, to undeveloped barrier island beaches which provide sites for nesting, feeding, and roosting. In 2016, Abby earned her doctorate from the University of Georgia, where she studied how habitat and landscape features influence beach nesting shorebirds and chick survival. Before migrating south, she grew up in Western New York and attended SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry for her B.S. in environmental biology.
Justin Stokes (Welcome Address), Interim Deputy Chief Conservation Officer for the National Audubon Society
Justin Stokes currently serves as the Interim Deputy Chief Conservation Officer for the National Audubon Society, helping oversee the organization’s conservation, policy, international, and science divisions. Justin has served as the Executive Director of Audubon South Carolina since 2019, managing the statewide office of the National Audubon Society that represents more than 26,000 members and supporters, two nature centers, and 30,000 acres of land that Audubon owns and manages in the state. Justin previously served as Audubon’s Vice President of Political Affairs, the founding Executive Director of the Audubon Action Fund, and as a Chief of Staff in the United States House of Representatives. A native of Camden, South Carolina, Justin is a graduate of Clemson University.
This event will be held in partnership with Audubon South Carolina, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Manomet, the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, and the University of South Carolina.