*** NEWS RELEASE — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ***
June 1, 2015
Contact: Marcella Rose Sciotto, admin@KlamathBird.org, 541-201-0866Klamath Bird Observatory is proud to announce that Sandy Jilton is the first recipient of our new Bullock’s Rose Oriole Volunteer Award.
This award has been established to recognize individuals who demonstrate outstanding service as volunteers helping Klamath Bird Observatory fulfill its mission to advance bird and habitat conservation through science, education, and partnerships. Sandy Jilton is being recognized as the recipient of the Bullock’s Rose Oriole for her efforts to help make the Klamath Bird Observatory’s 2nd annual Mountain Bird Festival a success.
The Mountain Bird Festival is a community education event designed to foster the stewardship ethic needed to ensure thriving landscapes for humans and wildlife. This Festival represents a significant volunteer effort with nearly 50 community members chipping in over 1,200 volunteer hours to help put the event on. These volunteers help Klamath Bird Observatory staff with field trips, registration, vendors, planning, and much more.
Klamath Bird Observatory recognizes Sandy Jilton with the first Bullock’s Rose Oriole Volunteer Award for her volunteer work that was essential to the success of this year’s Festival. Sandy worked tirelessly to coordinate our food and drink vendors. She spent hours to find the right vendors who best represented our region’s food and beverage culture. She then worked with them to ensure their participation benefitted their businesses while also helping us to meet the conservation oriented goals of the Festival. In addition to this core aspect of her volunteer role, Sandy was always eager to help out in any way that she could. Her endless enthusiasm, good cheer, and skillful execution made her a delight to work with.
Over the past two years bird enthusiasts from all over the U.S. have flocked to Ashland, Oregon for Klamath Bird Observatory’s award winning Mountain Bird Festival. The Festival is designed to raise funds for bird conservation while celebrating the role citizens play in conservation as well as the glory of the birds and wildlife of southern Oregon and northern California. The Festival offers more than 35 field trips that explore portions of the Cascade and Siskiyou Mountains, as well as the Klamath Basin, Shasta Valley, the Klamath River, the Rogue watershed, and birding hotspots in and around Ashland and Medford. Each year, more than 120 participants, many of which traveling from out of the area, come to see some of southern Oregon’s unique bird species, and to contribute to bird conservation. In addition to these contributions, participants spend an estimated $70,000 on lodging, meals, entertainment, and more, demonstrating that birding means business and that the Mountain Bird Festival offers significant economic benefits to our region.
By name, Klamath Bird Observatory’s new Bullock’s Rose Oriole Volunteer Award honors Stephanie Bullock, the Festival’s 1st Volunteer Coordinator, and Marcella Rose Sciotto, the Mountain Bird Festival Coordinator, who has made this Festival a successful volunteer-driven event.
Click here to read Talent’s News & Review profile and article on Sandy and her accomplishments.
- Click here for an account of the celebration, written by John Odell.
- Click here for information on Harry Fuller’s bird guide services and book, “Freeway Birding”.
- Click here for Harry Fuller’s blog on birding Oregon and California.
Over the past 19 years, Klamath Bird Observatory has hosted over 170 student volunteer interns from 16 countries and 23 of the US states. Our objective with each individual has been to create a safe and fun learning experience, with the hope that we impart some positive influence on their academic and professional careers. Certainly, we have enjoyed the company of some incredibly bright, energetic, and enthusiastic individuals.
Luis Morales of Mexico interned with KBO in 2012. At that time he was laying the foundation for a new bird observatory in his native San Pancho, Nayarit, located on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Luis mentored with KBO Executive Director John Alexander as part of his training. The San Pancho Bird Observatory is now a healthy and growing organization advancing bird conservation and education in western Mexico, where many of our nesting songbirds spend their winters.
Keith Larson of Washington interned with KBO in 2004 and 2005. He later completed a PhD at Lund University in Sweden studying songbird migration patterns. Keith is now a research ecologist with the Abisko Arctic Research Lab in northern Sweden, where he is examining the effects of climate change on Arctic ecosystems.
Viviana Cadeña Ruiz of Colombia interned with KBO in 2002 and 2003. She later completed her PhD at Brock University in Canada on the effects of high altitude acclimation on thermoregulation. Viviana is now an eco-physiologist. She recently commenced a three year postdoctoral research fellowship with the University of Melbourne in Australia, where she is researching the adaptive significance of color change in bearded dragon lizards.
These are just a few examples of KBO intern successes – former KBO interns making positive impacts in the world of science and conservation throughout the globe. Our hope, as always, is that their KBO experience has played some part in their accomplishments.
Klamath Bird Observatory has enjoyed and benefited from the efforts of a long string of volunteer student interns since our very beginnings in 1996. Over 170 individuals, representing 18 different countries, have participated as interns in various KBO projects. Very often, our interns are early in their careers, many just recently completing their undergraduate studies. They come to KBO for practical professional experience in preparation for graduate studies or for taking on leadership roles on various projects, mostly involving Conservation Biology.
A maxim we impart to interns from the outset is this: if they succeed, KBO succeeds. Thus, we are deeply invested in their achievements following their time with KBO. One way we measure our interns’ success is to watch as they seek higher academic degrees. More than 35 former Klamath Bird Observatory interns have earned or are now pursuing advanced degrees in the natural sciences. Specifically, 22 have earned Master of Science degrees, four hold doctorates, and nine are currently enrolled in graduate programs.
Another exciting way we measure success is to follow the accomplishments of our international interns, many of whom have gone on to make significant contributions to bird conservation outside of the United States. To date, we have hosted student interns from Argentina, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Holland, Hungary, Jamaica, Mexico, New Zealand, Perú, Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, and United Kingdom. Of the 36 international interns we have hosted, 18 are active banding trainers internationally and most are working with increased responsibility and impact for conservation organizations. Some have even established their own bird monitoring and research programs in their home countries.
We endeavor to impart a positive learning experience for every intern, and for their part, our interns oblige us through their considerable and wonderful contributions that help us advance bird and habitat conservation. As we follow the developing careers of these dynamic scientists and educators, their success is truly our success as well.
This article appears in KBO’s Summer 2013 Newsletter.