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Panel Discussions 11.16 & 11.18 at 8AM Alaska/Noon EST
Journey to the Arctic: A conversation about migratory birds
The annual Arctic Refuge Virtual Bird Festival is a weeklong digital event that connects people all over the world to the extraordinary phenomenon of bird migration. Tune into 'Journey to the Arctic: A conversation about migratory birds' for a panel discussion with Arctic migratory bird experts from around the world and learn more about what our feathered friends tell us.
Casey Burns is the Wildlife and Threatened & Endangered Species Program Lead for the US Department of the Interior-Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Alaska. He serves as a US representative on the Arctic Council-Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Terrestrial Steering Group and the CAFF Mainstreaming Biodiversity into Arctic Mining initiative, and on the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership Technical Committee and CEPA Committee. Casey is involved in national pollinator, migratory bird, reptile, and amphibian coordination efforts. Previously, Casey worked for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Utah and California, and began his career working for BLM in the Mojave Desert. He has a MS in Conservation Biology from University of Missouri-Saint Louis and BAs in Biology and Environmental Studies from Drury University. Casey has extensive experience collaborating to monitor, manage, and restore wildlife habitat on multiple use landscapes.
Marcela Castellino is native to Córdoba, Argentina. She joined the Manomet Inc. team in 2019 as Flyways Specialist, focused on the conservation of saline lakes. Marcela is working to strengthen the connections between communities and conservation efforts at inland salt lakes, with a primary focus on existing WHSRN sites. She also works supporting monitoring and research on shorebird species at different sites in South America, with a main focus on Wilson’s Phalarope. Marcela has a degree in Biology from the National University of Córdoba (UNC), and in recent years she has been involved in many education and outreach activities in central Argentina, with the goal of involving her community in conservation activities and raising awareness of the importance of WHSRN sites for biodiversity preservation.
Rob Clay has been active in migratory bird conservation in the Western Hemisphere for more than 20 years. A native of the United Kingdom, his interest in Neotropical birds and conservation began during an undergraduate expedition to Paraguay in 1992, which led to Ph.D. studies of manakins in Costa Rica and Panama.Prior to joining the WHSRN Executive Office (and Manomet) in May 2014, Rob worked for BirdLife International as Senior Conservation Manager in the Americas Secretariat. Through his role at BirdLife, Rob worked closely with WHSRN staff and site partners over the years. He also served on the WHSRN Hemispheric Council, and is a past Chair of the Waterbird Conservation Council, and former Vice President of the Heron Specialist Group (HeronConservation). He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Initiative, the Steering Committees of the Pacific and Midcontinent Shorebird Conservation Initiatives, the Americas Steering Committee of the Arctic Migratory Bird Initiative, and a Conference of the Parties Appointed Scientific Councilor for Birds to the Convention on Migratory Species.
Robb received his MSc degree at Kansas State University in 2007 where he studied the population demography of reintroduced island ptarmigan at Agattu Island, western Aleutian Islands, Alaska. After several more summers studying breeding Kittlitz's murrelets at Agattu, he joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2010 and works as a seabird specialist in the Division of Migratory Bird Management in Anchorage.
Dr. Rick Lanctot
Dr. Richard (Rick) Lanctot is the Shorebird Coordinator for the Alaska Region of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. His interest in shorebirds began in 1982 when he first volunteered to work on a behavioral ecology study of Spotted Sandpipers in northern Minnesota. Rick investigated the breeding ecology of Buff-breasted Sandpipers for his PhD, and has continued to study this species throughout the Western Hemisphere. He began his current position in 2002, where he coordinates shorebird research and conservation within Alaska and along the five flyways that emanate from it. He has led a long-term breeding ecology study of shorebirds at Utqiaġvik, Alaska since 2003. Rick serves as the U.S. representative on the Steering group that coordinates the Arctic Migratory Bird Initiative, is the Chair of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership’s Shorebird Working Group, is a lead organizer for the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Group, and is the long-term staff member for the Alaska Shorebird Group.
Dr. Rebecca McGuire
Dr. Rebecca McGuire, is the lead avian ecologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society Arctic Beringia Program. Rebecca began her work on Arctic birds studying the reproductive biology of King Eiders breeding in northern Alaska for her PhD. She began working for the Wildlife Conservation Society in 2013, and in this role has focused on conservation of Arctic-breeding birds both on their breeding grounds and during the non-breeding season. She is very interested science education and mentoring students who have an interest in wildlife biology, and is affiliate faculty with the University of Alaska.
Lili Naves is an oceanographer with a background in avian ecology. Since 2007, she has worked for the Division of Subsistence of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Anchorage; she leads harvest research and coordinates the Harvest Assessment Program on behalf of the Alaska Migratory Bird Co-Management Council. Her work integrates biological and social sciences to support sustainable bird populations, harvest opportunities, and subsistence ways of life in Alaska.
Dr. Martin Robards
Dr. Martin Robards is Regional Director for the Wildlife Conservation Society's Arctic Beringia Program – spanning the Russian Far East, northern Alaska, and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region in Canada. He is an accomplished ecologist and policy analyst who has worked extensively with Indigenous communities and their representatives in the Arctic. While Martin’s experience reflects 3-decades living and working in Alaska, he also worked at the Marine Mammal Commission for two years in Washington D.C. His goal is to encourage the development and implementation of conservation policies that are more responsive to new scientific understandings, transboundary and cross-cultural needs, and the rapid changes in ecological, social, and economic conditions of the Arctic. He has published numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles, Op-eds in outlets such as the NY Times, and is affiliate faculty with the University of Alaska.
Producer and Cinematographer, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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