Sunday, September 21, 2014

Farewell and thank-you to outgoing board members

On behalf of the board of directors of Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, I want to thank all of you who participated in our fabulous Hawk Weekend! Especially, I want to thank the thousands of Broad-winged Hawks who made an appearance, right on cue. It's amazing how this year the weather and the migration coincided perfectly with our Hawk Weekend festival.

I also want to recognize our three outgoing board members, who dedicated 10 years of service on the board of our organization, and have all been instrumental in guiding our organization even before we incorporated as Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory.

Jerry Niemi is an ornithologist, a professor in the department of Biology at the University of Minnesota - Duluth since 1988, and a senior research associate at NRRI (Natural Resources Research Institute). He has been a mentor to many students over the years. Jerry is also on the board of the Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA) and the Raptor Research Foundation (RRF). Jerry has led our Research Committee for 10 years, and challenges us to continue to grow as an organization.

Jerry Niemi in Argentina for RRF meeting 2013, photo by Bonnie Niemi

Tim Bates is the Associate Director of the Recreational sports Outdoor Program, and Assistant Director of the Center fof Environmental Education at the University of Minnesota - Duluth.Tim chaired our Education committee for 10 years, and also served as Board Chair for 6 years. Additionally, Tim has enthusiastically supported our Birdathon by winning the non-motorized the division on multiple occasions! Tim's optimism and his perspective will be missed; he also challenges us to pursue our vision for the future.

Tim Bates at Hawk Ridge in the off season 2012, photo by Karen Stubenvoll

Jan Green is truly a Hawk Ridge original. She was a volunteer hawk counter when it was still called "Hawk Hill". Her fondest memories include documenting the broad-wing flight (~15,000) on September 15, 1961, and the flight of Northern Goshawks on October 30, 1962, when she counted 169 in 3 hours (94% adults). She was one of the original founders of Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve in 1972. Jan is the author of several books pertaining to conservation in Minnesota; has previously served on the board of the National Audubon Society; and continues to serve on the board of Minnesota Audubon. Jan also served as secretary of the Hawk Ridge board for many years. We honored Jan at Hawk Weekend 2014 with the Legacy Award -- a new award for a very special person. We really will be unable to fill Jan's shoes, however we wish her well in her "retirement"! 

Janet Green on the count platform at Hawk Ridge, September 21, 2014
Thank you, Jerry, Tim, and Jan, for your years of service to Hawk Ridge.

Blog post by Karen Stubenvoll, board chair, Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory

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