On The Map
HMANA — P.O. Box 182316, Shelby Township, Michigan 48318
Rich Conroy is originally from North Jersey and a proud graduate of Cook College-Rutgers University. Birdwatching has been a lifelong hobby, which started as a family activity when he was in grade school. His earliest memories of hawk watching were trips to the Montclair Hawkwatch, where even as a skeptical youngster, he wanted to know how to ID hawks at a distance. Upon moving to the Philadelphia area in 1998, he passed by the Militia Hill Hawkwatch while on a bike ride and has been going there ever since. He started as a compiler and then as the co-coordinator after the retirement of their site founder. During this period, he discovered HMANA and, realizing a unique network of sites, joined the board of directors. Continuing to learn about hawk migration has been a fantastic journey that he looks forward to continuing. Along the way, he met his wife Marlene at Militia Hill— so things keep getting better and better. When he’s not at Militia Hill or chairing the HMANA board, Rich and his wife run a Wild Birds Unlimited retail store in Dresher, PA, which keeps them busy between migration seasons.
Josh Haas first developed a love for raptors working with the birds of prey at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. Then, a hawk-watching trip to Lake Erie Metropark opened his eyes to raptors in migration. Perplexed by seeing specks at a distance with an overwhelming itch to know what they were, he started learning from veteran hawk watchers and was hooked. He would end up spending seven Fall seasons working with the Detroit River Hawk Watch as a relief counter. He honed his skills and developed a love for teaching visitors unique ways of telling the shadowy specs apart. This, combined with his experience in bird photography and videography, took his teaching to a new level. His goal of making raptors accessible to everyone spawned his movie “Hawks on the Wing,” which teaches viewers about raptors in flight using video and audio commentary. Josh’s work can be seen online at Hawks On The Wing, in birding apps, along in publications all over Michigan and beyond.
Amy Wright is a licensed and practicing CPA in the State of Michigan. In addition to HMANA, Amy volunteers with the Detroit Zoo Adopt-a-garden and the March of Dimes. Amy is new to the hawk-watching community but is jumping in with both feet and enjoying the leap! She has two daughters and three cats and is an avid gardener, camper, and crafter.
Maryse’s love for hawks developed when she was hired as the Official Hawk Counter at Holiday Beach Migration Observatory (HBMO) in Amherstburg, Ontario, for the 2019 fall season. Since the moment she spotted her first Sharp-shinned Hawk blasting over the tower, she was hooked! She has since returned to the hawk tower for the 2020 season. Maryse has earned her bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Manitoba and has had the opportunity to do various fieldwork in Canada on different projects/species, including Purple Martins, Tree Swallows, Eastern Whip-poor-wills. When not birding or talking everyone’s ears off about birds, she can be found playing saxophone in a jazz band, improvising on stage, or learning to photograph— you guessed it, birds.
Bill developed a passion for wildlife and conservation on Plum Island and in the Great Marsh of New England, and has worked in conservation throughout North and Central America for 25+ years. He holds a BS in wildlife management, MS in biology, and PhD in wildlife science. Bill is a Certified Wildlife Biologist, Master Bird Bander, and a Florida Natural Resources Leadership Institute graduate. He led wildlife teaching, research, outreach, and management programs, including ornithology and avian conservation, as a professor and extension specialist for 24 years, before moving to the real world, where he served as a conservation director for conservancies in the western U.S., and is now HMANA’s Executive Director. Bill will be migrating twice each year between northcentral, Florida and Plum Island, Massachusetts, directing HMANA programs and visiting monitoring sites and partners. He looks forward to continuing and growing HMANA’s great work Advancing Conservation through Study, Enjoyment and Appreciation of Raptors. When not enjoying the outdoors and sports, Bill spends most of his time trying to understand his teenage daughters.
Julie Brown has been with HMANA since 2009 and is the Raptor Migration and Programs Director. She studied Wildlife Ecology at the University of Maine and received her master’s degree in Conservation Biology from Antioch New England Graduate School in NH. Before working with HMANA, Julie migrated around the country and tropics, working as a field biologist mainly focused on behavioral studies and contamination research with raptors, non-raptors, and mammals. Julie’s first hawk-watching job was counting hawks along the Mississippi River at the Eagle Valley Nature Preserve in WI in 2000, and she’s been in love with migration ever since. Since then, her passion for raptor migration has led her to work at the hawk watch in Cape May, NJ, various New England sites, Kekoldi, Costa Rica, and her now local site, Pack Monadnock. Julie lives in Hancock, NH, with her husband Phil (whom she met hawk watching) and her two bird-loving children, a flock of chickens, and lots of fruit trees. She enjoys all things outdoors and spending time with her kids in nature. She is also a storyteller, synchronized swimmer, and obsessive knitter.
Kevin Arnold is the Southern District Interpretive Supervisor with the Huron-Clinton Metroparks and is a Certified Interpretive Trainer and Certified Interpretive Guide. His proximity to HMANA’s anticipated new offices and his 22 years of experience in education bring essential opportunities to HMANA’s new education initiatives, especially those aimed at young people. Kevin has worked at Lake Erie Metropark for the past seven years, home of the Detroit River Hawk Watch and the not-to-be-missed Hawkfest. When he is not enjoying the outdoors, Kevin can play music or run his daughters to theater, piano and voice lessons, or cross-country practice. Kevin is excited to serve on the HMANA Board.
Vic Berardi is the founder of the all-volunteer Illinois Beach State Park Hawk Watch, which has conducted eighteen seasons of full-time hawk migration monitoring since 2000. In 2013 he co-founded a new site at the Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve, also on the shore of Lake Michigan, in Highland Park, IL. This site contributes data to the study of raptors migrating along the western coast of Lake Michigan and through urban areas. Vic served as the Central Flyway Editor for Hawk Migration Studies for several years. In 2014 he was the recipient of HMANA’s Appreciation Award for his outstanding service furthering hawk migration studies and conservation. In 2009 he was awarded the Service to Chicago Area Birders by the Chicago Audubon Society. In 2007 he was awarded the Grassroots Conservation Leadership Award for raptor education and research. Vic is also an accomplished photographer and regularly donates his photos in raptor conservation efforts. Many of his photographs have been on the covers of Hawk Migration Studies. He has also contributed to books by well-known raptor experts, including Brian Wheeler, Jerry Liguori, and Brian Sullivan. Vic is a retired small business owner and sales manager for a leading manufacturing company and has considerable experience in marketing and web design.
Rosemary Brady is a native of the Finger Lakes region of central New York State. She holds degrees in Chemistry from Wells College, Aurora, NY, and Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY. In the late 1970s, she moved to the Detroit area with her late partner James Lichorat where both were employed in the chemical industry. Though she had long been a casual birder, she and Jim only discovered the spectacle of raptor migration along the Detroit River in the early 1990s at a Lake Erie MetroPark Hawk Fest. They were instantly hooked and became active with SE MI Raptor Research. Jim was instrumental in securing the first corporate sponsorship for the professional counter at the Detroit River Hawk Watch. Before retiring, Rosemary worked for 34 years as a chemist and laboratory manager at AkzoNobel Coatings, Troy, MI. One of the great pleasures of being retired is spending more time at the Hawk Count. She also serves on the DRHW advisory group. In 2018 HMANA presented her with an Appreciation Award for her long-term dedication and commitment to raptor monitoring at the Detroit River Hawk Watch. In addition, she was recently appointed to the HMANA Board of Directors.
Laurie J. Goodrich, Ph.D. is Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science at the Acopian Center for Conservation Learning, Hawk Mountain, PA. She supervises Hawk Mountain’s conservation science program, assists with long-term monitoring programs, and implements scientific research such as Hawk Mountain’s Broad-winged Hawk migration studies. Laurie received her Ph.D. in Ecology from Penn State University in 2010 on the stopover behavior and ecology of autumn-migrating raptors and an M.S. in Ecology from Rutgers University in 1982 on Least Tern nesting biology. In 2018 Laurie received the inaugural Jerry Ligouri Conservation and Education Award for significant contributions to the hawk watching and raptor research community.
Carolyn Hoffman is an author, editor, and outdoor writer who lives in Roundtop Mountain in Pennsylvania. She has been chairman of HMANA for five years and editor of Hawk Migration Studies journal for many years. Carolyn learned to hawk watch at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary but now calls Waggoner’s Gap her home hawk watch. Carolyn started hawk-watching in the years shortly after DDT was banned, and because she wanted to see an eagle, she had to go hawk-watching many times before seeing her first bald eagle. By the time that first eagle passed North Lookout while she was there, she was hooked. Carolyn is also an avid hiker and was the first person to backpack the route of what was then the proposed route of the North Country Trail in 1978.
Vic Laubach grew up in central Pennsylvania and had been birding and hawk watching as long as he can remember. He moved to Virginia in 1996 and currently lives in Waynesboro, VA, in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. He went to Penn State University and then earned a Ph.D. in genetics from George Washington University. He is currently a Professor of Surgery at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He runs an NIH-funded research laboratory that studies mechanisms of and therapies for acute lung injury after transplantation. Vic is an active member of the Augusta County Bird Club and is the Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch coordinator on Afton Mountain (his home hawk watch), where he has been hawk watching for the past 17 years. Rockfish Gap, which began in 1976, is operated by a small group of volunteers who conduct their count each fall from Aug 15 to Nov 30. He enjoys being a member of HMANA and serving as a director to contribute to the big picture of hawk watching, raptor population monitoring, and raptor conservation in North America.
Paul M. Roberts of Medford, MA. has been an active hawk watcher longer than the life of the oldest known wild Bald Eagle. His fascination with hawks began when he encountered them with his wife Julie while mountain hiking in New England. Paul first heard about HMANA from someone counting hawks on Pack Monadnock Mountain in Fall 1974, who described the recent creation of an international organization of people who stood on mountaintops to count migrating hawks. Incredible! Attending a talk by Don Hopkins, one of the founders of the New England Hawk Watch (NEHW) and HMANA, put hawks’ awe, mystery, and significance into perspective. In 1976 Paul organized the Eastern Massachusetts Hawk Watch (EMHW), initially several dozen sites covered to determine where hawks might be seen migrating. Paul started coverage at Wachusett Mountain, Mt. Watatic, and Plum Island (Spring only), which have evolved into significant, long-term sites. In 1978 he saw and documented the most extensive flight of Broad-winged Hawks ever recorded in New England up until that time, changing his life forever. Attending an HMANA conference at Hawk Mountain in late 1978, he became Vice-Chair and then the Chair of HMANA, succeeding founder Michael Harwood. He later also succeeded Don Hopkins as President of the now NorthEast Hawk Watch. When he wasn’t hawk watching, Paul was in marketing and corporate communications for several international high-tech companies. In addition, he taught hawk migration and identification courses for Mass Audubon sanctuaries and bird clubs in his spare time. In 1995 he received HMANA’s Maurice Broun Award for “deep personal commitment and outstanding service to further hawk migration study and conservation.” Early in the 21st century, he returned to the HMANA Board as an Appointed Director, serving on the Communications, Fundraising, Conference, and Strategic Planning (Marketing) Committees, chairing the latter.
Rob Spaul has worked in avian conservation and ecology research for nearly 20 years. He studied Wildlife Biology at the University of Vermont and completed an M.Sc. in Raptor Biology at Boise State University. While at BSU, he researched the effects of recreation disturbance on Golden Eagle reproduction and behavior and investigated alternative management scenarios. Rob has conducted ornithological field research for many organizations across North America, studying the effect of human activities on avian distribution, reproduction, and winter habitat ecology of species of conservation concern. He has co-authored peer-reviewed journal articles and white papers and given conference presentations, contributing to collaborative academic, private, government, NGO, and community conservation planning for avian species at risk. Rob also has a passion for raptor migration monitoring, banding, and outreach, having worked with birds of prey in Utah, Wyoming, Washington, Idaho, Sweden, the Yukon Territory, and Ontario, where he served on the Executive Committee of the Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch, conducting seasonal reporting and statistics. In 2021 Rob founded the GREAT Great Lakes Hawkwatch, a collaborative community science hawk watch effort with seven non-profits. He established hawk watch sites to improve the knowledge of raptor migration routes and broaden the diversity of community scientists participating in raptor migration monitoring. Rob recently moved to Laramie, Wyoming, working as a Wildlife Biologist and Project Manager at HWA Wildlife. He is an avid birder, community scientist, and outdoor enthusiast in his spare time.
Brian M. Wargo fell into birding as a cathartic outlet while completing his Master’s degree in Physics at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Later, while working on his Ph.D. in Science Education at the University of Pittsburgh, he visited the Allegheny Front Hawk Watch and became a hawk watcher. Wargo counted at Cumberland Gap Hawk Watch in Maryland before transferring back to the Allegheny Front Hawk Watch, his home hawk watch, where he is the Saturday counter and serves as the president of the Allegheny Plateau Audubon Society. Upon discovering Hawkcount.org, the HMANA website that functions as a clearinghouse for hawk data, Wargo’s passions for hawk watching and data analysis collided. Wargo serves as a director of the board for HMANA, functioning as the co-chair of the Education and Conservation committee and the chair of the Data Committee. He is also the Eastern Flyway Editor for Hawk Migration Studies. In addition, he authored “Bird!”: An Exploration of Hawkwatching, which gives a bio-ethnographic overview of the hawk-watching community, including the culture of HMANA. Inspired by his kids, Meadow and Theo, Wargo also created the Junior Hawkwatcher Program, which is available to all hawk watches through HMANA.
Will Weber is chair of the HMANA Climate Committee and has been a member since 1976. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer, teacher, and trainer in Nepal from 1971-75 and received a Ph.D. in natural resources from the University of Michigan. He founded and directed JOURNEYS International— an adventure, nature, and eco-travel company— and has led more than 100 active tours to Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Pacific. He helped establish the Holiday Beach Migration Observatory and was instrumental in establishing Hawkcount and the Raptor Population Index. He is the founder and director of the Earth Preservation Fund and chair of his local township Land Preservation Commission. His current interests include ecological restoration and understanding how birds cope with climate change.
Advisor, RPI Data Manager, HawkCount & RPI Webmaster
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