Many volunteer bird banders have passed through the ranks at RRBO, over a hundred last time I counted. They have been staff, faculty, and students from U of M-Dearborn and other colleges as well as community members, friends, and relatives. A number of couples have met while volunteering for RRBO (it even led one couple to marriage: I met my husband Darrin in 1995 when he volunteered for me!).
Here are just a few current and past RRBO banders that have careers in wildlife or environmental fields. I like to think that their experiences here have proved valuable in their current work. Only a few of them band birds as part of their jobs, but banding can help hone organizational skills and attention to detail, as well as teach patience, how to appreciate good shade-grown coffee, the finer points of political debate, and tolerance of mosquitoes and bird poop.
Bold indicates the volunteer was a U of M-Dearborn student (undergrad) during their RRBO tenure, italics indicates a U of M-Ann Arbor student (mostly graduate students).
Dea Armstong -- City Ornithologist, Ann Arbor Natural Areas Preservation Dept.
Mary Bohling -- Extension Educator, Michigan Sea Grant.
Tom Dietsch -- Assistant Researcher, Center for Tropical Research, University of California, Los Angeles. Tom is also a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.
Kim Hall -- Climate Change Ecologist, The Nature Conservancy, Great Lakes Region (see a profile and interview here), Assistant Professor, Michigan State University.
Matt Kleitch -- Northern Lower Peninsula Project Director, The Nature Conservancy Michigan
Andrea Kreljevic -- Program Associate, Audubon International Alliances Program.
Greg Norwood -- Biological Technician, USFWS, Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.
Sally Petrella -- Volunteer Monitoring Program Manager, Friends of the Rouge.
Beth Johnson -- Commissary Supervisor, Detroit Zoo (here's a great article on her!)
Julian Wood -- San Franciso Bay Program Manager, PRBO Conservation Science (formerly Point Reyes Bird Observatory), California.
Mark Dettling -- Terrestrial Ecologist, PRBO Conservation Science (formerly Point Reyes Bird Observatory), California.
Don Yee --Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi
Mike Clipper -- Program Analyst, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Nancy Parachini -- Forest Legacy Program, U.S. Forest Service
If you're an RRBO banding alum that I have lost track of, feel free to drop me a line and catch up!