I am so happy to have had the opportunity to attend the 2016 North American Ornithological Conference. Birders from around the world migrated here to Washington, D.C. and presented posters, set up exhibits, listened to key speakers, and gave hundreds of presentations.
It was nice to be able to work with Sue at such a large event. I spent the majority of my time managing sales at the Environment for the Americas (EFTA) booth, where we had educational materials, children’s books, t-shirts, puzzles, and an assortment of gifts for all bird buddies. Jim Chu and Carol Beidleman frequently visited our booth, offering me the chance to reconnect with friends from the Celebrate Shorebirds Training in San Diego. I also networked with folks from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who Aileen and I had a chance to work with at the D.C. Urban Bird Treaty Ceremony in May. Suzanne Fellows, with whom I worked recently on the Junior Duck Stamp program, was also there and was surprised to see me with EFTA because she met me working at Earth Conservation Corps (ECC). At the Climate Change discussion hosted by the National Audubon Society, I finally met one ECC partner who I mainly communicated with by email, Zachary Slavin of DC Audubon Society. I can’t forget about Joni Ellis, Director of Optics for the Tropics! I first met Joni back in May at the Canadian Embassy for our IMBD Sponsor Recognition Ceremony, and had the pleasure of having her organization as our neighbor booth.
This whole experience reminded me that I have met many people in the great big bird world, and that they are all connected in one way or another. With this internship I have made connections that, if I can keep up with them, could guide me in my career and future endeavors.