CANDIDATES FOR THE 2019 RRF ELECTION
In 2019, the following positions on the Raptor Research Foundation Board of Directors will be filled:
- North American Director #1
- At large Director #1
- At large Director #4
- Southern Hemisphere Director
Only current members with paid dues for 2019 are eligible to vote. All other ballots will be discarded. Voting ends 15 September.
North American Director (1 position):
- Jessi Brown
- Tricia Miller
- Rich Van Buskirk
Director-at-Large (2 positions):
- Kenneth Johansen
- Bernd-Ulrich Meyburg
- Joel Pagel
- Marco Restani
- Scott Rush
- Brian Washburn
Southern Hemisphere Director (1 position):
- Andre Botha
- Juan Manuel Grande
- José Hernán Sarasola
North American #1 Director (3 candidates)
Jessi Brown is your current RRF Treasurer and a past member of the Membership and ECRR committees. She will hand off the Treasurer position after completing her second term, and hopes to continue to serve the RRF as a Director. As a Director, she will bring her experience working with a wide range of colleagues and counterparts, from federal and state agency partners, to academics, non-profits, and citizen scientists, to help steer our organization through challenging times. Jessi is a research professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, USA. Currently, her work focuses on research and implementation of conservation actions to benefit the stability of golden eagle populations throughout western North America. She studied the breeding ecology of reintroduced Aplomado Falcons for her M.S., and the state of Florida endangered subspecies of American Kestrel for her Ph.D. Before heading back to school, she served in the Peace Corps in Tanzania as a community-based natural resources specialist, and volunteered in Kenya for the short-lived Lammergeier reintroduction project. Other stints abroad include a post-doc in Italy, focusing on sea turtle navigation, and a semester abroad in Scotland. Her primary interests continue to focus on population dynamics, landscape ecology, and movement ecology of raptors as well as other wildlife of all kinds. She is also a licensed general class falconer and avid outdoors enthusiast who hikes, bikes, and hunts throughout the nearby deserts and mountains, now with two children often in tow (sometimes quite literally).
Tricia (Trish) Miller received her B.S. in biology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and her M.S. and Ph.D. in ecology from Penn State. She co-founded and is now the executive director of the non-profit Conservation Science Global, Inc. She studies movement ecology and conservation of raptors. For more than a 13 years, she has studied the small population Golden Eagles of eastern North American. More recently, she began studying Bald Eagle populations in the Chesapeake Bay region of Virginia and the Midwest. Her research integrates telemetry and spatial modeling to address conflicts with human development. She is an active member of the Eastern Golden Eagle Working Group and ProjectSNOWstorm. She is actively engaged in all aspects of research, including grant writing, field work, data analysis and publication, as well as reviewing manuscripts. In her short career, Trish has published more than 30 scholarly works including peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and has presented over two dozen scientific presentations. Trish believes that engaging the public in research strongly promotes conservation and understanding of conservation issues. She strives to engage the public when in the field and via public presentations. Trish has been a member of the Raptor Research Foundation since 2011 when she won the Best Student Presentation Award. Trish became actively involved with in RRF 2015, when she volunteered to assist the Scientific Committee. As an RRF Director, Trish would like to promote and advocate for increasing involvement of under-represented groups in RRF and continue to promote conservation of the world’s raptors.
Rich Van Buskirk
I received my Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of California, Davis with dissertation work on the conservation genetics and landscape ecology of a threatened Oregon butterfly. As a postdoc, I worked on the evolution of olfactory foraging in Procellariform seabirds in the southern oceans. As an Associate Professor in Environmental Science at Pacific University, my research since 2009 has been focused on raptors, with work on the conservation and population biology of American Kestrels that examines habitat preferences, territory size and breeding success. This work has expanded to include interactions and competition with Red-tailed Hawks. Working with these regionally abundant species not only provides insight into favorable local conditions for species such as the kestrel that are in decline elsewhere, but also serves as a powerful introduction to raptor ecology for undergraduates new to wildlife research. In addition to my research, I volunteer for several regional organizations and am currently serving as President of the nonprofit raptor research and conservation organization Coastal Raptors and section chair for the Pacific Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). I recently completed four years as Chair for the Tualatin River Watershed Council, a watershed-focused conservation organization, and last year served as chair for the University Faculty Senate. I have been a member of RRF since 2010 and have enjoyed giving papers and collaborating with my fellow raptor ecologists as a result of connections established through the organization.
The RRF community has been a tremendous resource for me as I developed my kestrel research program in Oregon. I would like to give back to RRF by working with the Board and membership of RRF to expand the reach of the organization. People have a natural affinity for birds of prey. RRF is well positioned to promote our understanding of these species to the public and encourage raptor conservation through education. I would also like to find ways to promote the benefits of membership in RRF to early-career scientists through mentorship and training opportunities. Undergraduates are in a key stage of their professional development where positive exposure to membership in a scientific organization such as RRF can have life-long impact. My experience building the capacity of the watershed council that I chair and working with AAAS at the regional and national level has helped me to understand the challenges that nonprofit boards face in keeping their organizations strong and well supported. I believe that I can draw from this experience to help RRF promote its work to the general public, seek new donors, and increase the appeal of membership to a wider audience.
Directors At-Large #1 and #4 (6 candidates)
Kenneth Johansen was educated as a medical doctor, but since he was a teenager his primary interest has been birds of prey. His main focus has been the breeding ecology and management of gyrfalcons in northern Norway, where he lives. His team’s work with Arctic raptors spans more than three decades, and they will continue to conduct research and applied management on gyrfalcons in particular, with emphasis on the effects of a rapidly changing climate in the Arctic. Collaboration with other groups and researchers across the range is mandatory in order to detect climate-driven changes as early as possible.
Kenneth has been a member of RRF for two decades, and he regularly attends the annual conferences. He has also been part of different multi-national collaboration efforts and projects on large falcons in the circumpolar area, for the last decade. He has a wide network of raptor biologists, researchers and falconers from all continents. He believes collaboration will be even more important for research and management of birds of prey in the years to come. RRF should continue to play a central role in supporting collaboration and networking in the future, and as such should strive to increase the involvement and impact of the organization outside North America.
Kenneth’s other interests include hiking in the nearby woods and heathlands, as well as mountain biking during summer, and fat-biking in the outback throughout the winter. Currently Kenneth serves as a board member for three different non-profit organizations in sport and ornithology. Kenneth currently lives and works in Alta, Norway.
Bernd Meyburg has been researching birds of prey and other bird species since 1962. He has intensively studied raptor species for over four decades and organized a large translocation project that served to support a dwindling population and as an orientation experiment (published in J. Exp. Biol.). Since 1989, he has organized several raptor world conferences (e.g., in Israel, South Africa, Berlin, and Hungary), and published the proceedings (http://www.raptors-international.org). He has also organized symposia on satellite telemetry, e.g., the first symposium on satellite tracking at the 22nd International Ornithology Congress in Durban, South Africa.
Bernd Meyburg is chairman of the Raptor Working Group of BirdLife Germany (NABU) and of the World Working Group on Birds of Prey (WWGBP). He was previously Director At-Large and has been a member of the Raptor Research Foundation since its inception. For the last 20 years, he has organized and mediated several Yahoo e-mail discussion groups (mailing lists, e.g., raptor-conservation) with several thousand members. These email discussion groups could also be useful for the Raptor Research Foundation. The information and discussions generated in these groups could contribute to the research of RRF members, and the several thousand mailing list members are also potential RRF members.
Since 1992, he has carried out research on 16 raptor species using satellite telemetry, and performed the first satellite tracking study on the intercontinental Indian Ocean-crossing migration of the Amur Falcon from their wintering grounds in South Africa to breeding areas in NE China and back. He has published over 100 papers on raptors, many of which are listed on ResearchGate.
Joel (Jeep) Pagel
I have served on the Board of Directors for the past three years, and seek re-election. Since 1983, I have specialized on the breeding ecology and management of Peregrine Falcons and other raptors in the western United States. I earned a B.S. in Wildlife Management from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis, where I wrote about endangered species policy. The first two thirds of my career were with the US Forest Service working mostly as the agency’s first Peregrine Falcon specialist. There I worked as the principle investigator and coordinator on a multi-state Peregrine Falcon research and management project to determine the impacts of residual contaminants; enhance nest ledges to facilitate hatching of thin eggs, and monitored the population resurgence in the Pacific Northwest. I currently work as a Raptor Ecologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Raptor Program, where I continue to conduct research and applied management on Peregrine Falcons, Golden Eagles, and other raptors and avian species.
I have been attending Raptor Research Foundation (RRF) meetings since 1985. I published my first paper in the Journal of Raptor Research (JRR) in 1989, and currently serve as a regular peer reviewer, as well as the In Memoriam Editor, and Book Review Editor. In addition to my past research contributions at annual meetings, I have also taught at the Early Career Raptor Researcher (ECRR) courses, including Raptor Nest Entry, and have co-taught the Raptor Telemetry course. This year, I worked to help develop two new innovative courses for ECRR, Raptor Photography and Aerial Raptor Survey.
During my first term on the RRF Board of Directors (BOD) I drafted and brought forward successful motions to lower the cost of membership and annual meeting attendance for ECRR and Emeritus/Retiree Raptor Researchers. Working with other BOD members I put forth successful efforts to increase our inclusiveness by allowing ECRR’s and others who want to attend the annual meeting banquet but cannot afford the banquet meal to be present in the banquet hall during the meal and awards ceremony. I also brought forward a successful motion to discontinue the practice of participants of the RRF’s Nominating Committee concurrently running for Officer or Board positions. I created, and populated the RRF’s first Late Career Raptor Researcher (LCRR) Advisory Board, who work directly with RRF Officers and Board of Directors on issues regarding our older members. Finally, I have worked to develop successful motions before the Board to strongly encourage annual meeting organizing committees to work with local vendors to have low-cost lodging available to ECRR and LCRR’s, which I hope will increase the inclusion at annual meetings of all types of RRF members. During my next term, I hope to work to expand membership of our scientific society to include those who have an affinity for raptor conservation beyond research. While we may be biased because we love raptors and wild habitat, I believe all people, regardless of their academic credentials, can serve as scientific emissaries for our study species and conservation efforts.
Marco Restani has studied raptors for over 30 years and worked closely with natural resource agencies, industries, NGOs, and tribes to advance conservation. He received a BS from the University of Montana, MS from Montana State, and PhD from Utah State. Following a post-doc at the University of Washington, Marco was Professor of Wildlife Ecology at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. He left his tenured position after 15 years to return to Montana to pursue other conservation interests. He is currently Senior Raptor Scientist for Cell Tower Osprey Management. Marco has been a member of RRF since 1987 and has served as an Associate Editor of JRR (2000-2004) and member of the Hamerstrom Award Committee (2007-2011). His international experience includes seven summers in Greenland studying Peregrine Falcons and Common Ravens, two summers in Australia studying Tasmanian Devils, and four winters guiding ecotourists to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctica. Since 2012 he has studied Ospreys at the landscape-scale in cooperation with 40 volunteers from the Yellowstone Valley Audubon Society and five power companies. Marco is a member of interagency working groups and nonprofit Boards of Directors devoted to natural resource conservation. If elected he would bring academic, government, industry, and nonprofit expertise to the board as it advances RRF’s education and conservation efforts.
Scott Rush is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Aquaculture at Mississippi State University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia (2009) where his research focused on indicators of ecosystem properties within northern Gulf of Mexico tidal marshes. His post-doctoral training, completed at The University of Windsor’s (Windsor, Ontario) Great Lakes’ Institute for Environmental Research, addressed changes in energy mobility through Great Lakes ecosystems. Now an associate professor at Mississippi State University, Scott and his students continue to work within an expanding research framework incorporating novel technologies and chemical tracers to address features of landscape and trophic ecology relative to wildlife populations. Some current work strives to understand the effects of climate change on avian population regulation, and management of ecological communities supporting threatened and endangered species, especially within the context of human-wildlife conflicts.
Specific to the Raptor Research Foundation (RRF), I believe we need to embrace changing technologies and audiences. While great strides have been made in the last decades in terms of public perception and appreciation for raptors, RRF needs to remain at the forefront of the union of public education and conservation. We can best accomplish this role through the use of novel technologies and media platforms – while continuing to address changing physical landscapes and issues that exist for raptors throughout their full life cycles. The experience I can bring to RRF through work with raptors in aquatic and terrestrial systems, as well as tackling inherent challenges to human-wildlife conflicts and public perception position me well as a Director-at-Large to RRF’s mission and continuing success in the future.
Brian earned a Ph.D. in Animal Sciences from the University of Kentucky in 2000. He has been a researcher with the USDA, Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center since 2003. Brian is considered to be the raptor specialist for his agency and works with a variety of partners (e.g., US Fish and Wildlife Service, Audubon Society) on efforts to understand and reduce raptor-human conflicts. Brian is also an adjunct professor at Michigan State University. His research interests include wildlife stress and reproductive physiology, reducing human-wildlife conflicts, movement ecology, and habitat management. Currently, he has research projects involving Bald Eagles, Osprey, Red-tailed Hawks, American Kestrels, and Short-eared Owls.
Brian has been involved in RRF through a wide range of activities since 2009. He has served as the Editor of Wingspan (RRF’s newsletter) since early 2014, working hard to revamp and expand this critical publication. Brian has served as the North American #3 RRF Board of Directors member since 2015. During his tenure, he has been involved in a variety of issues and topics, including items related to RRF membership, communications, and the USGS Bird Banding Lab. He publishes in and reviews for the Journal of Raptor Research, including serving as a guest editor for a special issue on Ospreys. Brian has hosted and participated in several symposia at RRF conferences, and routinely presents at our meetings.
Brian believes RRF is the premier professional society that leads our profession in the advancement of raptor conservation. He believes the RRF organization is at a critical crossroads in its evolution; this a great opportunity to intermix “older, seasoned” technologies and raptor professionals and “newer” technologies (e.g,. social media) and young, energetic students, especially on a world-wide scale. This is reflected in many of the issues the current RRF leadership has addressed during the past few years. He is excited about the possibilities and would like to see RRF capitalize on our vast resources and talents to increase the impact and value of the organization.
Southern Hemisphere Director (3 candidates)
- Currently manager of the Vultures for Africa Programme of the Endangered Wildlife Trust working in east and southern Africa towards the implementation of the CMS Vulture MsAP with a specific focus on addressing the threat of poisoning to vultures and other wildlife. This work also focuses on filling gap-areas in terms of research and base-line monitoring of vultures and other raptors in southern Africa and further a-field.
- Currently involved in the planning and implementation of pan-African studies of Wahlberg’s and Tawny Eagles working with colleagues from The Peregrine Fund, Wageningen University and the Kenya Bird of Prey Trust.
- Coordinated and hosted the 2108 RRF Annual Conference at Skukuza in the Kruger National Park, South Africa during November 2018. The Conference was attended by more than 270 delegates from 41 countries representing 5 continents.
- Was appointed Overarching Coordinator for the drafting and adoption of the CMS Multi-species Action Plan for African-Eurasian Vultures (CMS Vulture MsAP) between August 2016-December 2017.
- Currently vice-chair of the Technical Advisory Group of the Raptors MoU of the Convention on Migratory Species. Serving on the TAG since 2014.
- Authored and co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications in a range of journals, etc. since 2007.
- Managed the Birds of Prey Programme of the Endangered Wildlife Trust, a position held between September 2004 – August 2016. This included managing 21 projects focused on raptors and other large birds across southern Africa and facilitating post-graduate and doctoral studies on species such as Martial Eagle, Verreaux’s Eagle African Grass Owl, Secretarybird, Southern Ground Hornbill, Saddle-billed Stork and several African vulture species.
- Co-chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Vulture Specialist Group since 2012; initiated the establishment of the Pan-African Vulture Conservation Strategy in 2012 and the International Vulture Awareness Day in 2009. Also an active member of 4 other IUCN Species Survival Commission Specialist Groups.
- African representative on the Executive of the International Rangers Federation (2009-2012)
- Chairman of the Game Rangers Association of Africa (2008-2012)
- Previously Conservation and Training Manager with BirdLife South Africa (1999-2004) and established their first site-based project at Wakkerstroom.
- Prior to that was the Warden of the QwaQwa National Park 1994-1999 in the Eastern Free State, South Africa.
My objectives as serving Board member:
- To continue serving the interests, goals and objectives of the RRF and to promote these in the Southern Hemisphere.
- To expand the membership base by recruiting individuals from the southern hemisphere, but also from areas in Europe and Asia where I am part of a significant network with potential new members that could contribute to the goals and objectives of the RRF as members.
- To promote the research, monitoring and conservation of sub-Sahara African, South American and Australasian raptors and owls by local and international students, researchers and conservationists.
- To promote skills-exchange between RRF members working in different parts of the world.
Juan Manuel Grande
Affiliations: Assistant Research Professor at the Instituto de Ciencias Ambientales y de La Tierra de La Pampa (INCITAP)-Consejo de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Centro para el Estudio y Conservación de las Aves Rapaces de Argentina (CECARA), Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales (FCEyN), Universidad Nacional de La Pampa (UNLPam), La Pampa, Argentina.
Manu started working with Bonelli’s Eagle while finishing his B. S. degree in Biology at the University of Barcelona in Spain. He earned his PhD at the University of Seville in 2006, working on demography and conservation of the Egyptian Vulture in northern Spain. As a post-doc (University of Saskatchewan) he worked on different aspects related to the maintenance of color polymorphism in another astonishing raptor, the Eleonora’s falcon, in a small islet in the Canary Islands, combining sunny autumns in the Islands with funny icy winters chasing owls in Saskatchewan landscapes. Since 2011 he’s researcher in the Center for the Study and Conservation of Raptors in Argentina (CECARA-UNLPam) and in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Institute (INCITAP-CONICET). He also teaches Biological Conservation in the School of Biology at the National University of La Pampa (FCEyN-UNLPam). Currently his main research lines try to analyze the impact of agricultural intensification in raptors’ health and demography, along with some basic life history and conservation biology of different raptors, from American kestrels and Southern caracaras in semi-arid forests of La Pampa to the Black-and-chestnut Eagle across its range (northeastern Argentina to Colombia).
Jose Hernan Sarasola
I am a researcher of the Argentinean Research Council (CONICET) and Director of the Center for the Conservation of Birds of Prey in Argentina (CECARA) at Universidad Nacional de La Pampa, Argentina. I have been studying raptors even before I received my undergraduate degree in Natural Resources from Universidad Nacional de La Pampa in 1997. In that dates I served as field assistant of researchers from Argentina and USA working in an international project to stop massive poisoning of Swainson hawks in Argentina.
I completed my Ph.D. degree in Biology at the Universidad de Sevilla, Spain, while granted with a doctoral fellowship at the Doñana Biological Station. My PhD project assessed several aspects of the ecology and conservation of the Swainson’s hawk in its non-breeding grounds in Argentina. Before moving to Seville, I and colleagues founded the CECARA and started directing this center once back in Argentina after obtaining my doctoral degree in 2006. While conducting my PhD thesis project, I also started a long-term monitoring and field study of the Chaco eagle, a little studied and one of the most endangered eagle species in the Neotropical region. I have conducted field research in South America and Europe emphasizing in raptor population ecology, migration and conservation. I have spent my life career studying several raptor species, including Spot-winged falconets, American kestrels, Southern and Chimango caracaras, Aplomado falcons, White-tailed kites, and Black and Turkey vultures.
During the last ten years I have supervised several undergraduate and graduate students working on raptor ecology and conservation. I am member since 1998 and as Director-at-large of the RRF I would like to encourage participation raptor enthusiastic and students on the RRF and to work toward increasing RRF´s focus on the conservation concerns of raptors worldwide but particularly in the Neotropics.