We are thrilled to announce the inaugural cohort of participants in the new Wilson Ornithological Society Mentoring Program! These three students will receive a year of free WOS membership and financial support to join us in Santa Fe this July for the 2022 WOS meeting, and they’ll participate in personalized professional development opportunities and meet with mentors virtually before and after the conference. Welcome to the WOS, Kelley, Dan, and James!
Kelley Boland grew up in San Diego, California, and earned her B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Field & Wildlife Biology from California Polytechnic State University in 2016. In August 2021, she began her M.S. at New Mexico State University in Dr. Martha Desmond’s lab, studying avian mortality on the White Sands Missile Range.
Dan Vargo is a master’s degree student in the Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology department at New Mexico State University. He earned his B.S. at Cleveland State University and has since worked with an array of federal agencies and NGOs on avian threatened and endangered species projects. Dan’s research is focused on the reintroduction and persistence of White-tailed Ptarmigan in New Mexico, a state where it is considered functionally extinct. He will be researching the factors influencing survival and nest-site selection on a recently reintroduced population.
James Lee graduated with a B.S. in Conservation Biology from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 2019 and is currently a graduate research assistant at New Mexico State University, where he is studying the reintroduction ecology of White-tailed Ptarmigan in northern New Mexico. He hopes to apply the skills he gains for the preservation of unique biodiversity in a variety of settings, and as a Black person in conservation biology, he hopes to make the field more accessible and welcoming to other BIPOCs and others from underrepresented groups hoping to pursue a career in the field.