Friday, May 11, 2012

It's the Volunteer Shout-out! 

Monthly glimpses at some of our wonderful volunteers!

by Kara Kaczmarzyk

Jim Gessaman, a retired professor, has been leading morning bird walks nearly every weekend at our Mason Center for the past two years. These walks bring in visitors from all over the country, people who “have been living in Tucson for 30 years and decided it's time to learn more about the birds in [their] neighborhood,” families, and those just interested in seeing our Mason Center. To this broad mix of people, Jim provides an informative, enthusiastic, and peaceful introduction to Tucson Audubon’s 25-acre Ironwood-Saguaro nature preserve in the northwest side of Tucson. We will miss his presence while the Mason walks are on hiatus during the heat of the summer, but know he will still be involved through IBA surveys, youth birding, tabling events, or more of the multitude of programs for which this dedicated man lends his support.

Patricia Orosz-Coghlan contacted me a few months ago in response to a volunteer opportunity listed in the weekly Tucson Audubon email. She was busy, working full time and serving as a wildlife rehabilitator focused on hummingbirds and Gambel’s quail (which she has done for over 20 years, currently volunteering at the Tucson Wildlife Center), but wanted to become more involved with Tucson Audubon. We found a perfect fit, posting our events to online calendars. Thanks to Patricia’s getting the word out about our events, we have seen increased attendance at many of our public events. Thanks for getting the word out! Patricia also wants to say that the Tucson Wildlife Center needs more dedicated volunteers to raise baby birds (it’s a real commitment, altrical baby birds need to be fed every 20 minutes from dusk to dawn!): info here.

Bobbie Lambert and Barbara Schneidau have both volunteered in our Nature Shop for years. And both, this summer, have given their time at the shop a close. Sara Pike, our Operations Manager, worked closely with Barbara and said: “Barbara was such an asset to our team, we were so sad to see her go!  She brought a bright smile and a helpful attitude every Monday afternoon to our shop.  She offered a wealth of advice to both our customers and our staff on all issues from information on general birding to advice on life situations. To Barbara, if you’re reading this, you will be welcomed back with joy should you decide to return!  We will keep the Monday “Barbara Report” in your honor.“ Bobbie too was a wealth of knowledge and always had a cheery attitude. We are elated to say that Bobbie will still be around on occasion (though in the summers she’s staying cool up in Washington). If you are lucky, you will catch her filling in at our nature shop some days, we know she just can’t pull away fully!

Thanks to all the volunteers, in all the program areas, who help make Tucson Audubon great. We couldn't do it without you!

Bird images credit to Doris Evans

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