Bird Conservation Staff
Matt Kamm Matthew Kamm was born in the Garden State of New Jersey, but he relocated to the Bay State to earn degrees in Biology and Environmental Studies at Brandeis University and has lived here ever since. He began working for Mass Audubon in 2009, and now works as a Bird Conservation Assistant. In this capacity, he has had the exceptional opportunity to contribute to Mass Audubon's landmark State of the Birds Report, as well as assisting with data collection, web development, and writing for the Breeding Bird Atlas II project. In addition to these projects, Matthew is the coordinator of Mass Audubonís fledgling (pun fully intended) American Kestrel nest box program. He has been an enthusiastic birder since the age of eight, and his nemesis bird is the Short-tailed Hawk.
Christopher Leahy currently holds the Gerard A. Bertrand Chair of Natural History and Field Ornithology at Mass Audubon. He has been a professional conservationist for more than thirty years and served as Director of Mass Audubonís Center for Biological Conservation. His interests in natural history are comprehensive, and he is a recognized authority on birds and insects. His published works include Birdwatcher's Companion to North American Birdlife, The First Guide to Insects, Introduction to New England Birds, An Introduction to Massachusetts Insects, and The Nature of Massachusetts. He is also the editor of a series of authoritative books on the flora and fauna of New England. Chris has designed and led natural history explorations to over 70 countries on all of the continents. He is especially fascinated with the world's great remaining wilderness areas and biodiversity hot spots such as Gabon, Madagascar, and Mongolia. He grew up in Marblehead and has lived in Gloucester with his family since the 1970s.
Kimberly A. Peters, PhD has over 18 years of experience working with terrestrial and coastal birds. As the Chief Scientist/Director of Bird Conservation at Mass Audubon, she is responsible for developing a Bird Conservation Strategy to address the needs of threatened and declining bird species through research programs, partnerships, responsible stewardship, and public outreach. Prior to joining Mass Audubon in October 2011, Kim worked for New Jersey Audubon Society as Senior Scientist/Director of Research and Monitoring from 2005-2011. At NJAS she was heavily involved with the organizationís well-known Delaware Bay and South America shorebird banding projects, which were aimed at documenting changes in shorebird stopover and overwintering ecology. She oversaw their airfield research program, which examined avian response to grassland management on commercial and military airports across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. She also advised and assisted with the Atlantic City Wind project, for which she was responsible for assessing avian mortality caused by wind turbines, and provided statistical and design support for a variety of other programs within the organization.
Wayne Petersen is Mass Audubonís Director of the Massachusetts Important Bird Areas (IBA) program. He has led trips and tours, lectured, and conducted birding workshops across North America for over thirty-five years. His tour-leading experiences have taken him from the Arctic to South America, as well as Iceland, Svalbard, Africa, Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctica. Wayne was a founding member of the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee, is a New England Regional Editor for North American Birds, and serves on the advisory committee for the Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program. His writing projects include authoring the National Audubon Societyís Pocket Guide to Songbirds and Familiar Backyard Birds (East), coauthoring Birds of Massachusetts and Birds of New England, co-editing the Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas, and contributing to The Audubon Society Master Guide to Birding, The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior, and Arctic Wings. In 2005, Wayne was the recipient of the American Birding Associationís Ludlow Griscom Award for outstanding contributions in regional ornithology. He is especially interested in seabirds and shorebirds, and he derives great satisfaction from sharing his knowledge of the natural world with his fellow colleagues and traveling companions.
Joan Walsh is the Coordinator of the Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas 2, and has been working with Mass Audubon since 2006. Her interests are in the interaction between landscapes and bird communities, and in bird breeding behavior. During the 1990s Joan was the Director of Research at New Jersey Audubon Society where she coordinated their first breeding bird atlas, directed hawk watch and sea watch projects, and developed a passionate interest in the shorebird and horseshoe crab conflict on the Delaware bayshore. Prior to life in the Garden State, Joan was a biologist on the Farallon Islands for Point Reyes Bird Observatory, completed graduate school at the University of Georgia, was an intern at Manomet, and was a 5 year veteran of the Great Gull Island Project for the American Museum of Natural History. She really likes Corgi dogs.
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