Thursday, July 26, 2007

Director of Bird Conservation

Please join Audubon South Carolina in welcoming our new Director of Bird Conservation, Jeff Mollenhauer. Jeff has a diverse background with birds, ranging from behavioral research to mist-netting and bird banding to coastal bird management to leading education programs. Before coming to work with Audubon, Jeff spent two years working as the Outreach Coordinator at SCDNR’s Marine Resource Division in Charleston.

Although he grew up in New Jersey, Jeff has been a southern Yankee for the past seven years. As far back as he can remember, which is sometime around his first backpacking trip at the age of five, he has always had an intense interest in nature and the outdoors. Jeff received his B.S. in Wildlife Biology at Penn State University in 2000. In 2003, he received his M.S. in Biology from the University of Southern Mississippi. His M.S. research lead him all the way to northern Sweden, where he studied the migration of Bluethroats, a small type of thrush! Jeff has been an avid birder for nearly 10 years and has traveled all over the United States and world in search of birds. He has seen more than 500 bird species in the U.S. and nearly 1,000 in the world. Last October, he was selected by Falcon Guides to author “Birding South Carolina”, a book that will provide detailed descriptions of the 40 best birding locations in South Carolina. “Birding South Carolina” will help birders of all levels know when to visit each site and what type of birds to expect. The book is expected to be released around November 2008. Besides bird-watching, Jeff’s hobbies include learning foreign languages (German, Spanish, and Swedish), hiking, canoeing, and playing tennis. His most favorite southern food would definitely be the boiled peanut.

Jeff’s duties as Director of Bird Conservation will include directing and implementing Audubon South Carolina’s coastal bird protection activities within the Coastal Habitat Conservation Area (HCA), creating strategies to enhance the conservation of Swallow-tailed Kites within Four Holes Swamp/Edisto HCA and Pee Dee River/Winyah Bay HCA, working with partner agencies to develop a plan for the protection of bird resources within Mead-Westvaco’s East Edisto project area, assisting with Four Holes Swamp habitat protection activities, assisting in the writing of all bird and wildlife-related funding proposals, and developing a project to protect our neotropical migrant birds on their wintering grounds in Latin America.

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