WFO 2017 Conference, Pueblo, Colorado

16–20 August, 2017

Youth Scholarship Recipients


Age: 14 • Grade: 8   
About Me:  Avifauna in their natural habitat awaken an innate feeling of curiosity and admiration, and I hope to pursue a career in wildlife biology.
Essay Excerpt:  Last year, I attended my first WFO conference. The abundance of likeminded energy was astonishing and refreshing, and the people there were incredibly supportive and involved. I have a deep admiration for the organization, the seasoned ornithologists who attended the conference, and the wealth of expertise, passion and wisdom that flows through the community.


Age: 15 • Grade: 10
About Me:  I started bird-watching in the summer of 2015 and have more recently become interested in ornithology and learning the science behind birds.
Essay Excerpt:  I try to teach others about birds as much as I can. Last year I started a middle school club where I taught about bird identification, and we discussed concepts such as why birds migrate and the flyways that they use. Whenever I am with a group, I try to point out the birds I see, so in the future, they can learn to recognize them.



Age: 14 • Grade: 8
About Me:  I got into birding through photography and through many inspirational people, and I always enjoy learning more about birds.
Essay Excerpt:  I have two favorite birding habitats: the rainforest, and the desert. Both include numerous amounts of birds, but I like rainforests because the most colorful birds live there, and the desert because no one goes there (it is very peaceful) and many birds don't mind as much when I'm taking pictures of them.



Age: 16 • Grade: 11   
From:  Altadena, California
About Me:  I am greatly interested in ornithology and the evolutionary history of birds through the fossil record and am passionate about scientific illustration and birding as well.
Essay Excerpt:  One of my most memorable birding experiences was the Central Sierra trip I took with WFO in the summer of 2016. The avifaunal communities of the central Sierra Nevada were not ones that I was familiar with before, and the WFO trip provided an opportunity for me to learn from experts and experience for myself in the field these communities.


Age: 18 • Grade: 12   
About Me:  I have loved nature for as long as I can remember, and a few years ago I became wonderfully obsessed with birds. Recently I led my first bird walk for teens, and enjoyed sharing my enthusiasm and knowledge with other young people.
Essay Excerpt:  Birds and my observations of them provide a wonderful time to get outside and a way in which to understand the world in a completely new light. Their ability to fly, migrate long distances, and communicate are constant sources of fascination. There is always something new to learn and discover about birds, and the beauty is in the quest.


Age: 20 • Grade: Sophomore, Oregon State University     
About Me:  I am committed to studying birds for the rest of my career. My other hobbies include playing music, rock climbing, training for triathlons, and traveling.
Essay Excerpt:  Every step I take outside, my eyes and ear are open to birds and all its surroundings. From this experience, it came to my realization that to prevent populations from declining, it is important to understand a bird's relations to other organisms. It is for this reason I am interested in landscape ecology, in that I hope to shape the land to be ecological productive, while being suitable for human living.


Age: 18 • Grade: 12
About Me:  I love to explore nature and have a passion for birds. Last summer I had an amazing time attending a teen bird camp, meeting young people, and seeing Atlantic puffins and common tern chicks
Essay Excerpt:  Last weekend my marine biology class took a four-day trip to Santa Cruz Island, off the California Coast.  As we hiked on the island, I shared my enthusiasm and knowledge with my fellow students and they shared their knowledge about botany, geology, and marine life. I have never talked about birds so much and in such detail with non-birders. During the trip, I realized the incredible amount of knowledge I have gained, and at the same time how much more there is to learn and explore.


Age: 19 • Grade: College Sophomore, Front Range Community College   
About Me:  I am a citizen scientist and wildlife biology major. The management and conservation of forest birds intrigues me.
Essay Excerpt:  As a birder and wildlife volunteer, I established a connection with the natural world which has inspired me to pursue a career in wildlife management. I aspire to serve my state, Colorado, as a catalyst that both preserves and improve the state of her wildlife.