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HMANA Appreciation awards were created to recognize individuals who have made substantial contributions of time or energy to HMANA, keeping the organization productive. Each of the 2018 recipients received a framed certificate and a bag of organic, bird-friendly coffee. The recipients listed below received an appreciation award at the recent HMANA Conference in Detroit, MI.

Nick Bolgiano, has been recognized for his long-term contributions to raptor research and monitoring, including studies with Sharp-shinned Hawk populations and the spruce budworm, as well as current studies on Red-tailed Hawk migration and how their patterns have changed over the last few decades. 

Rosemary Brady serves on the Detroit River Hawk Watch Advisory Committee and is at the hawk count most days of the week acting as a backup spotter for Kevin Georg. She has been a loyal and passionate volunteer at DRHW and has provided key recommendations for the site’s hawk watch protocol as well as site logistics.

Randy Ford and his wife Daena oversee the operations of Braddock Bay Raptor Research in New York.  Randy is a hands-on tech and a teacher, making sense of the senseless (to us non-IT folks), and working ceaselessly to improve HMANA’s website and database.  Randy is readily available and always amenable to a discussion and to the resulting revisions to HMANA’s systems. He couldn’t be more generous with his time or more gregarious in his demeanor.

Jerry Jourdan epitomizes dedication to conservation and enjoyment of raptor migration through his work with the Detroit River Hawk Watch and with HMANA. Jerry is an active member of the Detroit River Hawk Watch Advisory Committee, where he focuses on communications and technical aspects (web design, social media, data profiles, etc.).  Jerry has contributed his beautiful raptor photos to HMANA for the 2017 calendar and other publications, and has assisted in staffing a HMANA table at the annual Hawkfest event.  Jerry goes above and beyond to support hawkawtching and HMANA.

The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, in particular. Greg Norwood, John Hartig and Steve Dushane.

Greg Norwood now Invasive Species Coordinator for MI DNR was a wildlife biologist with the refuge system from 2006 to 2017. When the refuge accepted the responsibility for managing DRHW, Greg was instrumental in making sure the data became more scientifically defensible. 

John Hartig spent the past fourteen years as Refuge Manager for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and in that time, worked tirelessly to protect the refuge’s 5000+ acres of federally protected wetlands and river banks and assisting with countless restoration projects and was instrumental in the development of the refuge’s new visitors’ center.

Steve Dushane is the Deputy Refuge manager at the Refuge and has spent his entire career working in the Refuge system in the Midwest and the past 13 at the Detroit River Refuge. Steve is a passionate biologist and the “go-to-guy” for the hawkwatch.

These three individuals never wavered in the need to build the HMANA relationship and help foster appreciation of the Detroit River Hawk Watch. The future of conservation is about taking ourselves out of our silos and building bridges with lots of different people that shape broad environmental outcomes. A Refuge can no longer be the land itself and only the fish and wildlife within its boundaries – that’s the 20th century model. The Detroit Refuge and HMANA partnership shows that a Refuge can be about bridges connecting a broad range of people and groups to achieve a wider range of environmental benefits and relevancy to stakeholders. This partnership will result in more life-long conservationists and sustainability entrepreneurs, which is the most durable conservation strategy.

HMANA is grateful to be partnering with the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and grateful for their commitment to conservation.