John Kricher

John Kricher (moderator), Wayne Petersen, Bob Stymeist, Jim Berry, Peter Alden, Shawn Carey, David Larson – Birding: Past, Present, and Future

John Kricher is A. Howard Meneely Professor of Biology at Wheaton College, a Fellow in the American Ornithologists Union, and member of the Science Advisory Committee of the Council of the Massachusetts Audubon Society. He has previously served as president of the Association of Field Ornithologists, the Wilson Ornithological Society and the Nuttall Ornithological Club, and as a member of the board of directors for the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, the New Jersey Audubon Society and the American Birding Association.

Dr. Kricher has conducted Earthwatch-sponsored research on migrant birds on their wintering grounds in Belize, and led numerous trips to places including Cape May, Block Island, coastal New England, Arizona, the Pacific Northwest, Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, Panama and Trinidad.

He has authored over 100 papers and articles in scientific journals as well as magazines and newspapers. Besides The Balance of Nature, Kricher’s books include Galapagos: A Natural History (Smithsonian Institution 2002; paperback Princeton 2006), four titles in the Peterson series, of which A Neotropical Companion has been translated into Spanish through the American Birding Association.

John and his wife, Martha Vaughan, divide their time between Pocasset, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod and Sunbury, Georgia.

Wayne Petersen is Mass Audubon’s Director of the Massachusetts Important Bird Areas (IBA) program. He has led trips and tours, lectured, and conducted birding workshops across North America for over thirty-five years. His tour-leading experiences have taken him from the Arctic to South America, as well as Iceland, Svalbard, Africa, Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctica.

Wayne was a founding member of the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee, is a New England Regional Editor for North American Birds, and serves on the advisory committee for the Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program.

His writing projects include authoring the National Audubon Society’s Pocket Guide to Songbirds and Familiar Backyard Birds (East), coauthoring Birds of Massachusetts and Birds of New England, co-editing the Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas, and contributing to The Audubon Society Master Guide to Birding, The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior and Arctic Wings.

In 2005, Wayne was the recipient of the American Birding Association’s Ludlow Griscom Award for outstanding contributions in regional ornithology. He is especially interested in seabirds and shorebirds, and he derives great satisfaction from sharing his knowledge of the natural world with his fellow colleagues and traveling companions.

Bob Stymeist is among the best-known of Boston and Massachusetts birders. He founded Bird Observer magazine, has been compiler of the Greater Boston Christmas Bird Count and is Treasurer for Nuttall Ornithological Club. He is currently curator of birds at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology.

Jim Berry, long time North Shore resident and well-known ornithologist, has been an avid nesting-records keeper for decades. He has contributed numerous articles on nesting birds of Essex County, Massachusetts, to ornithological publications including Bird Observer.

Peter Alden is a world renowned naturalist, lecturer, ecotourism guide and author of 15 books on North American and African wildlife, including the National Audubon Society’s Regional Field Guide series. He is considered to be an authority on birds and larger mammals of the world and is often consulted by the media and the ecotourism industry for his expertise. Peter is also a highly entertaining and widely sought after lecturer on topics that include world wildlife, the Polar regions, invasive plants and biodiversity of the northeast.Born and raised in Concord, Massachusetts where he “walked with the ghost of Thoreau” among the same trees, rivers and wetlands, Peter developed a love of nature early on. Even as a youngster he loved bird watching and worked summers as a camp counselor for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Peter studied geography and Latin American studies at the “Harvard of the Sonoran Desert,” the University of Arizona. For five weeks each semester, he led birding and cultural tours through the remote jungles, mountains, and beaches of Mexico. During these college years, Peter also served as Vice President of the Tucson Audubon Society, during which time he initiated new Christmas Bird Counts in Arizona and western Mexico, and later in South America.

After college, Peter helped create the world’s first non-profit, seven continent eco-tourism travel department for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Later, he became the Vice President of Lindblad Travel. Peter was a pioneer in the scouting and first departures of birders and naturalists to many Third World countries. His unique, self-designed safaris and nature tours have spanned every continent, both Polar regions and all of the oceans, including numerous Galapagos, African, and Antarctic cruises on the Lindblad Explorer, Polaris and other ships.

In 1998, along with Harvard’s Dr. Edward O. Wilson, “the father of biodiversity,” Peter created the world’s first true “Biodiversity Day” event at Walden Pond. He then ran similar events in 300 towns for the state of Massechusetts over the next four years. Modeled after the original event, Biodiversity Days now take place in fifteen other countries. In Concord, Peter also carried out the first ever town-wide inventory of all populations of invasive alien trees, shrubs, vines and herbs. This resulted in the town’s public works agency removing many of the infestations that were threatening public safety.

Peter’s interests have widened from his original field of ornithology to include all visible biodiversity, conservation issues, historical changes in the landscape, climate change, and the invasive alien plant and animal crisis affecting us today. He currently divides his time writing books and articles, lecturing and leading expedition cruises and safaris throughout the world.

Shawn Carey, originally from Pennsylvania, moved to Boston in 1986 and has been photographing birds and other wildlife for about 20 years. He has taught wildlife photography for Mass Audubon for over 12 years. He is on the Board of Directors for Eastern Mass Hawk Watch where he serves as Vice President. He is also on the advisory board for Mass Audubon Visual Arts Center and Nuttall Ornithological Club. Until this past August he served on the Board of Directors for the Brookline Bird Club. If it walks, crawls, flies, swims or slithers…Shawn will photograph it!

David Larson is the Director of Mass Audubon’s Birder’s Certificate Program, a college-level ornithology course, and is teaching a bird ecology course for naturalist guides in Belize. He is the Education Coordinator for Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center in Newburyport, where he designs and leads educational programs and field trips for participants of all ages.

He holds a PhD in zoology from the University of Minnesota and has served on the faculty of Boston University. He is a member of the Nuttall Ornithological Club and is the Production Editor of Bird Observer. He has birded and led expeditions throughout North America, and in the Caribbean, Trinidad, Belize, Panama, Brazil, Botswana and Japan.

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