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Cornell Lab of Ornithology


Geoff LeBaron

Christmas Bird Count Director for the National Audubon Society

Present position is Christmas Bird Count Director for the National Audubon Society, a position held since 1987.  Also involved in various other Audubon Science programs including Great Backyard Bird Count, eBird, and the Important Bird Areas program (on the Massachusetts IBA Technical Committee).  Other tasks at Audubon have included consultant for natural history accuracy for Audubon Productions and Audubon magazine, leader for both leadership and staff birdathon fund-raisers, international tour leader for Audubon Odysseys, consultant for special events, occasional

lecturer, and Audubon media spokesperson on various subjects.  Past experience inlcudes five years on staff in the Ornithology Department at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia (including Collection Manager at VIREO); ornithological field work for the Audubon Society of New Hampshire; ornithological field work for the Audubon Society of Rhode Island; environmental education work for the State of Rhode Island; over 3000 hours aerial observation time of marine mammals, turtles, and birds encompassing the entire east coast of the United States; and three seasons leading whale and seabird watching trips on Stellwagen Bank off Cape Cod. 

Citizen Science at Audubon Poster

Citizen Science programs are an integral part of the mission of the National Audubon Society, and these programs provide a wealth of information for the Audubon Science team and researchers world-wide. Two poster panels will be presented, one highlighting the overall commitment of Audubon to citizen science programs, and the second illustrating the phenomenal value of the efforts of tens of thousands of volunteers on Christmas Bird Counts over the past 107 years. The CBC program has evolved from a “holiday tradition” to become a key resource for researchers in the fields ornithology and conservation science.

The Challenges of Managing the Needs of a Diverse Community of Participants and Users  tiny PDF icon

With a dedicated and passionate long-term cadre of volunteer observers and compilers, at age 107 the Christmas Bird Count program faces different challenges than most newer citizen science projects. On one hand, the continued involvement and enthusiasm of the current crop of participants and organizers is critical; without their long-held passion and tradition with the Count, the program would not continue to be successful. However, the cumulative CBC database has become a key resource for researchers across the Americas, and in fact it has in many ways set the standard for the utilization and analysis of citizen science data sets for scientific research. Balancing the needs, desires, and expectations of an existing pool of participants with the commitment to improve the value of the data set for researchers presents a unique set of challenges for Audubon Science staff.

Citizen science, volunteer monitoring, participatory action research... this site supports organizers of all initiatives where public participants are involved in scientific research.

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