LOS 2015 AWARDS
 

2015 Dr. George H. Lowery Awards:

The Louisiana Ornithological Society recognizes and honors ROBERT ‘BOB’ LOVE on this 25th day of April 2015 for his lifetime commitment to Louisiana’s wildlife resources. Bob has spent over 34 years in the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries managing and protecting Louisiana’s wildlife resources. Over those years Bob has risen from being the nuisance animal coordinator to the Division Administrator of the Coastal & Non-Game Resources Division. During his career Bob has been instrumental in many successes including reestablishing Wild Turkey populations, dramatic improvement in American Alligator populations and acquiring over 80,000 acres of wildlife habitat lands. Recently Bob excited the Louisiana birding community and public when he led the effort to reintroduce Whooping Cranes to their original Louisiana habitat. Through his hands-on approach and outstanding leadership skills, Bob has brought Whooping Cranes back to Louisiana and is establishing programs to ensure their success as an enduring species in the Louisiana landscape. We applaud Bob for his lifetime of work enhancing and protecting the birding and wildlife resources of Louisiana and in demonstrating to Louisiana’s people the value that our wildlife resources have in their quality of life.

Bob Love receiving the 2015 George H. Lowery Award.

The Louisiana Ornithological Society recognizes and honors THOMAS J. HESS JR. on this 25th day of April 2015 for his long-term commitment to restoring populations of endangered bird species to Louisiana’s avifauna. During his long career at Rockefeller Refuge with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Tom developed and implemented programs that brought back the Brown Pelican and Bald Eagle to Louisiana in sustainable populations. Because of his proven successes, Tom was selected to lead the effort to reintroduce the Whooping Crane to Louisiana’s chenier coastal plain and upland prairies. Tom put together a team of Louisiana and national experts and then led the team in developing a comprehensive program for the reintroduction. This included educating and gaining the consent of local landowners, agricultural interests, oil industry and the public to gain broad-based support. He and his team then devised a successful funding strategy involving both public and private dollars. After his scientists conducted research studies on the food and habitat resources available in the release area and after developing a release plan, Tom watched in early 2011 as the first cohort of Whooping Cranes to experience Louisiana’s marsh in 51 years were released. Tom’s dedication and hard work was crucial to bringing the Whooping Crane back home to Louisiana. Although Tom passed away on March 11, 2014, the team he personally selected and led has developed a strategy to ensure the continued presence of the Whooping Crane on Louisiana’s chenier coastal plain and upland prairies. Louisiana’s birding community can once again enjoy this magnificent bird in our own backyard.

Mrs. Tom Hess receiving the 2015 George H. Lowery Award.

 

2015 LOS President’s Awards:

The Louisiana Ornithological Society recognizes and honors KEVIN AND SHIRLEY BERKEN on this 25th day of April 2015 for their critical role in developing and supporting the Yellow Rails and Rice Festival. As the rice industry partners, the Berkens have been instrumental in planning and hosting the Festival since its inception in 2009. Over the years they have worked tirelessly to ensure that several local rice fields are “cut” during the Festival, that area farmers welcome birders on their “combines” for upclose views of rails and that local organizations host Festival social events. Recognizing that rice farms provide significant habitat to migratory and resident birds, the Berkens lead the non-profit Avian Events Support Team which organizes and funds the Yellow Rails and Rice Festival and similar festivals. By activating the Jefferson Davis Parish agricultural community to adopt the Festival, they have provided enjoyment and lifetime memories to the 150 birders from throughout North America that attend the Festival annually.

Kevin and Shirley Berken receiving the 2015 President's Award.

 

The Louisiana Ornithological Society recognizes and honors DELAINA LEBLANC on this 25th day of April 2015 for her strong contributions to Louisiana shorebird research and habitat restoration. For several years Delaina has worked with the National Audubon Coastal Bird Conservation Program and the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program studying nesting Wilson’s Plovers and Least Terns along Louisiana’s Caminada coastal region. She also routinely participates in coastal surveys of nesting and migratory shorebirds. As the current BTNEP Migratory Bird Coordinator, Delaina leads the effort to assess endangered Piping Plover populations along the Caminada Headland and the impacts of ongoing restoration projects to these populations. Additionally, she actively supports several Louisiana birding festivals and was a leader in establishing the bird banding station at the Woodlands Trail and Park south of New Orleans. Delaina’s dedicated work to further our knowledge of Louisiana birds and her efforts to educate the public about our birds is a true reflection of her passion for birds.

Delaina LeBlanc receiving the 2015 President's Award.

 

The Louisiana Ornithological Society recognizes and honors CARRIE STANSBURY on this 25th day of April 2015 for her vision and leadership in establishing in February 2006 the Eagle Expo in Morgan City. As Executive Director of the Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau, Carrie became aware of the growing numbers of nesting Bald Eagles in the Morgan City area and she had the expertise and resources needed to develop an unique opportunity for Louisiana’s birding public during a period of the year when no major birding events occur. Carrie has brought together boat operators, wildlife professionals, outstanding photographers and others to host a truly exemplary birding festival that includes boat tours in Louisiana’s renowned swamps, raptor shows, birding, flora, wildlife and cultural presentations and photographic exhibits. Her effective national promotional program has attracted birding enthusiasts and the general public from throughout North America who experience Louisiana’s outstanding winter birding opportunities as well as the flora and fauna of our swamps. Carrie’s dedication to the Eagle Expo over the years has resulted in a superb, nationally-recognized birding festival and has improved public awareness of Louisiana’s Bald Eagle population.

Carrie Stansbury receiving the 2015 LOS President's Award.

 

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