I’ve been lucky to be a part of the Rutgers Scarlet Knight-Herons World Series of BirdingÂ (WSB) team for the last two years. After last year’s event our team came to a consensus that we needed to try something different; something that was more in-line with our ideals as ecologists, conservationists, and more simply put: human beings. On that morning-after, when many a perfectly normal person questions their behavior through foggy recollection of a wild-night-gone-by, we decided that in 2011 we would do a carbon-neutral WSB big day. We hadn’t decided whether we would do the entire Cape May County, a different limited geographical area such as Forsythe NWR, or shoot for the coveted “south of the canal” Cape Island Cup. In the months that followed the 2010 event our team experienced tragedy with the sudden passing of Charlie Kontos, one of the four founding members. Early this year it became clearer that prior obligations would also strip our captain, Brian Clough, from the 2011 team roster. Even up until the final registration deadline it wasn’t certain whether we’d have a team… but then the stars aligned and old friends jumped on board to bring our team together again. Last week Ben Baiser (Rutgers alum and fellow lab-mate during my PhD) and Bill Lynch (also a founding member of the team) were able to clear their schedules to bring the Rutgers Scarlet Knight-Herons into contention for the 2011 Cape Island Cup. Together the three of us will spend 24-hours pedaling our way around Cape Island in an attempt to identify as many species of birds as we can. We will not only be competing against several other teams, but as far as I know, no other team is vying for the Cape Island Cup sans carbon emissions (others are doing the Carbon Footprint Cup, but are not limiting themselves to Cape Island, and therefore are competing against a different pool of contenders).
Because the World Series of Birding is a fund-raising event, I respectfully ask you to consider making a pledge to our team in the name of Graduate Student Research. We will donate all of our proceeds to the Rutgers Ecology and Evolution Graduate Student Association to explicitly support summer research grants. Whether you can pledge a quarter, dollar, or a crisp new ‘Benjamin’ for each species we see, every bit of your donation will go to supporting important research being conducted at our Alma mater.
You can make your pledge in a number of ways. First is the PayPal link here You’ll notice the email is billtacular@gmail- since the PayPal account is administered by Bill Lynch. Alternatively (and so you can maximize the amount of your donation which goes to our cause and not skimmed off by PayPal) you can send a personal check to me at my work address:
David La Puma * New Jersey Audubon Society * 600 Route 47 N * Cape May Courthouse * NJ * 08210
Whether your support is moral or financial, we appreciate every bit of it, so Thank You in Advance.
The 2011 Scarlet Knight-Herons