Updates from the 2023 Jerry Liguori Scholarship Awardees

Last August, we awarded three scholarships supporting raptor education and migration research, all topics Jerry Liguori was passionate about. Since then, Sara, Jasmine, and Alfredo have been sharing their love of raptors with others and contributing to important research projects. We are thrilled to see how our awardees have carried on Jerry’s legacy and all they’ve accomplished this year!

Sara Camnasio – Sonoma County Feminist Bird Club, CA

Support from the scholarship was used to fund raptor-related outings for the bird club and an in-person training session with Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. The club formed a “Fall Raptor Group,” a cohort of 14 participants with a wide variety of birding experiences (from none to expert) to learn about raptor ID and conservation. The group participated in two virtual training sessions with our team and four formal outings in different locations in Sonoma County, California, focusing on raptor ID. The outings and training provided increasingly advanced knowledge on raptor ID, counting protocols, raptor ecology and behavior, and raptor conservation work. Throughout these learning opportunities, local raptor species were the focus, giving participants a better understanding of the birds in their backyard. Applicant Sara Camnasio shared that participants had overwhelmingly positive feedback about the program. “I learned SO MUCH! Wow! I can’t stop noticing (and counting) all of the raptors around me now,” one participant shared.

Jordan Jarman – Murray School District, UT

Jordan has been working hard to develop a new curriculum for her high school science classes, using raptors as the main study example. Like most things in life, Jordan had to adjust and adapt the curriculum a bit from her original intentions, but overall has seen her students have a great time learning! The class has studied local raptor species as well as a natural selection unit, focused on raptor adaptations and the genetics behind them. Our education team and Raptor Ambassadors will be visiting Jordan and her students in the classroom soon, and now that it is nesting season, the class will also be checking their very own nest box for birds like American Kestrels and Western screech- owls.

Alfredo Beltrán Santos, Mexico

With his scholarship, Alfredo was successfully able to scout a spring migration count site in Mexico. As of March 1st, they have started their count at Playa Salinas, Alvarado, Veracruz, Mexico. Leading the count at the site are two biologists, Gustavo Ramón Lara and Perla Damara Vázquez Torres, who bring with them lots of counting experience from their time at the Veracruz River of Raptors. While coordinating the effort, Alfredo continues to stay busy coordinating the “Tolima Raptor Count” raptor migration project in Ibagué, Colombia!

Want to support opportunities for everyone to participate in raptor conservation—from novice to professional? Support this year’s awardees with a tax-deductible gift: https://hawkwatch.org/jerry/

We’re gearing up for our next round of funding for the Jerry Liguori Raptor Conservation and Education Scholarship! We’re looking to award funding to projects identifying, counting, or educating others on raptors. If you’re interested in applying, you can learn more here: https://hawkwatch.org/investing-in-others/jerryscholarship/

This blog was written by Sammy Riccio, our Communications Manager, as well as the 2023 scholarship awardees. You can learn more about Sammy here.

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