Raptor Research Foundation

2022 Elections

Welcome to the 2022 Raptor Research Foundation election.

In 2022, we are electing

• A President-elect, who will serve through 2023 and assume duties as President after the 2023 annual conference

• A Vice-President, who will serve through 2023 and 2024

• 4 Director positions: (three-year terms)

− North American Director #1

− Southern Hemisphere Director

− 2 Directors-at-Large, #1 and #4.

Only current RRF members with paid dues for 2022 are eligible to vote.

Voting ends 15 September, 2022. Questions can be directed to the RRF membership office membership@raptorresearchfoundation.org.


These people have chosen to run in the 2022 RRF elections. Please review these bios then vote! Help RRF plan for the future!


Cindy Kemper

Bird on a Wire Environmental Services, Inc., 12082 25 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB T6J 4L3 Canada

I am lucky to currently wear two hats in my career, and both give me the opportunity to further raptor conservation in Canada. Through my role as a Species at Risk Biologist with the Alberta government, I work on the recovery program for ferruginous hawks (Buteo regalis), listed as a Threatened species provincially. More recently, I became the jnterim lead for the provincial peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) recovery program, which includes, among many other things, managing several urban nests, and coordinating the provincial 5-year census. Through this role I am also coordinating the Pembina river peregrine falcon hack project, one that, since 2011, has successfully hacked approximately 275 young peregrines from a historical nest site in west Central Alberta, and helped re-establish the first wild nesting pair on those cliffs in 50 years.

Wearing the other hat, I own Bird on a Wire Environmental Services, Inc., providing client support to electric utilities and other power line operators to reduce raptor-caused power outages and associated mortality on power lines. While wearing these two hats, I have also accumulated 14 years’ experience working part time as a raptor rehabilitator. I first became a member of the Raptor Research Foundation in 2005 during my graduate studies; I have always enjoyed the collaboration, comradery and professional development opportunities that RRF offers! I first joined the RRF board in 2018 and appreciated the opportunity to be a part of such a devoted group of raptor researchers who bring a broad range of experiences and perspectives, and come together to lead this organization with not only the well-being of raptors in the forefront of their minds, but the well-being of their members too. I enjoy the continued challenge of chairing the Code of Conduct Committee, and I have also recently joined the Mentorship committee. I aim to increase diversity and inclusivity of all RRF members, current and potential, in both of these roles, and would bring a Canadian perspective to the board. Thank you for your consideration!

Paul Watts

Daluhay—Daloy ng Buhay, Incorporated, and Dumagat Tribe of San Luis, Daluhay Building, Barangay Sabang, Baler, Province of Aurora, 3200 Philippines

My professional work is primarily focused on creating collaborative conservation and livelihood development agendas engaging geographic communities, particularly Indigenous Peoples and artisanal small-scale fisherfolk through innovative partnerships with scientists, career conservationists and government agencies. Membership in the Raptor Research Foundation (RRF) provides a unique link to top predators in many environments, scientists and other paraprofessional experts that are involved in related conservation work. This supports my efforts to build communities of conscience regarding the protection of complete, self-replicating ecosystems. RRF also provides one specific line of geographic community sustainable development associated with specific interests of raptor experts and bird enthusiasts that travel internationally to observe and study avian ecological settings. I would like to serve on the RRF board to further assist in linking raptor science with community-based agendas and development plans, perhaps working to establish an ongoing or onetime line of financial support for CB programs on threatened raptors in less-developed settings. I have long-term and international experience on the development of collaborative agendas in ecology and social development. In my opinion, the challenges regarding raptor conservation in less-developed settings, stem from the fact that they are often poorly considered as part of local development efforts, albeit regularly recognized by residents as iconic and highly valued in specific environments. I would be interested in working on the establishment of a CB program for raptor conservation that is connected directly to interested communities, perhaps facilitated by national science experts. Potentially, this could involve a series of journal or newsletter reports on how local communities are working on raptor conservation with the intent of building stronger localized raptor conservation chapters. Many of the RRF members are dedicated to raptor research and conservation and the establishment of a system of (geographic) community-based raptor awareness chapters could enhance research and conservation project potentials.

Marie-Sophie Garcia-Heras, PhD

Wildlife Research Coordinator – Postdoctoral Researcher on Pueo (Hawaiian Short-eared Owl)

Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Management, College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA.

I am both from southern France and central Spain. Growing up between two rural areas of different worlds has undeniably allowed me, from a very young age, to spur my curiosity for discovering new cultures, new countries, new languages, and to develop my interest for nature and wildlife. My passion for birds of prey ecology and conservation have led me to study threatened and endangered raptors from around the world: Egyptian Vultures in the Canary Islands for my masters, Black Harriers in South Africa for my PhD and more recently Pueo (Hawaiian Short-eared Owl) in Hawaii for my last postdoc. In the rapidly changing world we live in, raptors face multiple threats and I am a strong believer that interdisciplinary research and international collaborations are key elements for a broader understanding of their ecology and sustainable conservation. I attended my first RRF conference in 2015 and have since been a member of the Foundation. Being part of the RRF family has provided me with incredible opportunities to increase my knowledge of raptor ecology and to meet wonderful people along the road. This has allowed me to open many new doors in my career. It would be a great privilege to serve as a board member and give back to the fondation that has provided me with so much! As a woman and young professional who left my home countries more than a decade ago to pursue my passion of working in raptor research and conservation, I aspire to encourage, guide and inspire the new generations of raptor ecologists from around the world. I believe my multicultural and international experiences, dynamism, professional background, and focused work ethic would be a great asset to help enrich and broaden the RRF’s vision and mission. I look forward to this opportunity!


André Botha

Programme Manager: Vultures for Africa, Endangered Wildlife Trust

Project Officer: Endangered Wildlife Trust/Hawk Conservancy Trust Partnership

Co-chair: IUCN SSC Vulture Specialist Group

Overarching Coordinator: CMS Multi-species Action Plan for African Vultures

Postnet Suite # 027, Postnet Suite 002, Private Bag X08, Wierda Park 0149, Gauteng, South Africa

I joined the RRF when invited as a plenary speaker to the Salt Lake City conference (2017). This resulted in the first RRF Conference to be held in Africa in the Kruger National Park in October 2018. In 2019, I was elected to serve on the RRF Board in the capacity of Southern Hemisphere director. Being a member of the RRF has created various relationships and networks with a range of raptor researchers and conservationists. My election as RRF Board member happened a few months before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that severely curtailed direct contact and engagement with RRF members and others due to the restrictions imposed globally. This also limited the opportunities to constructively contribute to the RRF apart from virtual Board meetings and other such engagements. With many of these restrictions now being lifted, the opportunity exists for more better engagement, contributing more meaningfully to develop the RRF’s approach to constructive advocacy and building its membership outside of North America. I have more than 30 years of conservation experience in a range of disciplines. Bird conservation, monitoring and research has been a specific focus of my career since 1999, first working with the BirdLife International partnership and within the Endangered Wildlife Trust. I have been co-founder and -chair of the IUCN SSC Vulture Specialist Group since 2012 and was also involved in the establishment of the International Vulture Awareness Day in 2009. Raptors are faced with a range of challenges and many species globally are known to be in decline due to many threats. The RRF has mostly focused on supporting monitoring and research of raptors, but there is a far greater need for focused conservation action to benefit raptors beyond these activities requiring more meaningful applied conservation intervention, at a global scale.


Christopher J.W. McClure

Executive Vice President of Science and Conservation

The Peregrine Fund

5668 West Flying Hawk Lane, Boise, ID 83709, USA

Raptor conservationists face formidable challenges. The Raptor Research Foundation must therefore provide the infrastructure, opportunity, and leadership needed to conserve raptors into the future. I joined the Raptor Research Foundation in 2014 to network with fellow scientists and to learn from experienced researchers. Since then, I have enjoyed every conference, established fruitful collaborations, and published several papers in the Journal of Raptor Research. The Raptor Research Foundation has thus been integral to my efforts to study and conserve raptors. I try to give back to the organization when I can—e.g. as Associate Editor for the Journal of Raptor Research. I am therefore excited by the potential to join the board of directors of the Raptor Research Foundation. Most of the membership of the Raptor Research Foundation resides within the US, yet raptor diversity is greatest in the tropics. The Raptor Research Foundation must expand membership outside of the US to close important knowledge gaps and conserve raptors where they are most threatened. As a member of the board of directors, I would specifically work to expand membership from outside of the US and to ensure that the Raptor Research Foundation caters to the needs of international researchers. The future of raptor conservation rests largely upon the membership of the Raptor Research Foundation. We must ensure that such membership is as diverse, inclusive, and global as possible.

Jessi L. Brown

Assistant Research Professor

University of Nevada

3874 Zoe Lane, Reno, Nevada 89519, USA

I would like to present myself for consideration as a one of the North American representatives on our Board of Directors. I have been a member of the RRF since around 2003, and I believe strongly in our group’s continually evolving mission to support the scientific study of birds of prey across the globe. Increasingly, this means balancing scientific objectivity with the realities of conservation needs, as well as recognizing and embracing the diversity of human experiences and perceptions within our discipline and communities. My history with the RRF includes two terms as Treasurer in which I helped shift our society from Excel sheet-based bookkeeping towards a more proactive and deliberate financial planning framework, so my knowledge of the RRF’s financial foundation is particularly strong. I have been serving as the North American Director #1 since 2020, having helped in pivoting RRF events from physical to virtual platforms and serving on our newly minted DEI committee. Finally, although my current paid work doesn’t directly involve raptors (though one could argue that continental-level studies of the resilience of dryland ecosystems that support continental-scale management actions do quite strongly influence the conservation of raptors using those landscapes), I remain active in raptor biology. I continue to collaborate with colleagues in writing manuscripts (especially on American Kestrels and Golden Eagles), maintain a program banding kestrels and western goldfinches (Spinussp.), and serve as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Raptor Research. I hope to continue serving the RRF as a Director to further help guide our activities. We as a group can contribute even more to the long-term persistence of raptors if we continue to work together in response to the rapidly shifting political and social changes in our global societies.



Richard (Rob) Bierregaard

Research Associate

Academy of Natural Sciences

Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

I began my life with raptors as a young falconer back in the late 1960s, did my Ph.D. thesis on the ecological structure of raptor communities, carried out nesting studies of Kestrels, Northern Harriers, and Barred Owls, and finally wrapped up my raptor research career with an 18-year satellite-telemetry study of Osprey migration. I have been a member of RRF since the early 70s. I served as an at-large member of the RRF board from 2012 to 2019, chairing the finance committee beginning in 2013. At the time I assumed that role, our finances were very poorly managed. I am proud that my work has been instrumental in developing the responsible financial policy we have now established. Working with Travis Booms, we have geared up our charitable giving program. Last year our income from grants and donations was just over $60,000. We have momentum here and can expect contributions to allow us to expand our efforts to support research into and conservation of the birds we are all so devoted to. I was deeply honored when the RRF membership elected me to take over the presidency after Libby Mojica’s remarkable four-year run as our president. Six months in, I can report that it has been quite a whirlwind. Former presidents assure me it will get easier. Trusting them, and confident in the great group of directors now on the board, I’ve decided to volunteer for a second term as your president. Through the remainder of my current term, I will work with the communications committee to streamline our outreach efforts and explore new opportunities to share our knowledge with the public. I am also leading the discussion on ways that we can use what has become a comfortable financial surplus to best serve our members and the birds to which we are all so devoted. I expect those programs will still be developing when my current term ends, and I’d like the opportunity to keep pushing them forward.

Douglas A. Boyce Jr. (Sandy)

National Wildlife Ecologist at the U.S. Forest Service (retired)

Currently I volunteer as the RRF conference coordinator. I have a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in natural resources, and a Ph.D. in zoology (under Dr. Clayton White). My master’s research focused on factors affecting Prairie Falcon productivity in the Mojave Desert, CA while my dissertation investigated the biochemical systematics of falconidae. I studied raptors from Alaska, thru the western United States, Central America, to South America. My first publication in ‘The Journal of Raptor Research’ appeared in 1980. My professional career began as a zoologist/data manager for The Nature Conservancy, but the vast majority of my time was with the U.S. Forest Service (30 years). I worked at all levels of the agency both in management (District, Forest, Region, and National) and research (overseeing 3 research labs and 6 teams of scientists in Oregon, Washington, and Alaska). My final position was the National Wildlife Ecologist for the agency. I dealt extensively with the management and conservation of the Northern Goshawk. As a retiree, I have no need to pad my resume. My interest is in helping support RRF and giving back to an organization whose members develop knowledge needed to conserve raptors. Climate change is altering the world’s ecosystems faster than species will be able to adapt. Raptors may be some of the first affected by changes to their prey base or habitats. I am very interested in RRF understanding these environmental changes and their affects to birds of prey in order to conserve them.


Joel E. (jeep) Pagel

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Since 1983, I have specialized on the breeding ecology and management of Peregrine Falcons and other raptors in the western United States. I earned a B.S. in Wildlife Management from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis, where I wrote about endangered species policy. The first half of my career was working mostly as the US Forest Service’s Peregrine Falcon specialist, serving as the principle investigator and coordinator of a multi-state research and management project. I currently work as a Raptor Ecologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Raptor Program, conducting research and applied management on Peregrine Falcons, Golden Eagles, and other raptors. I have served on the Raptor Research Foundation’s (RRF) Board of Directors (BOD) for the past six years, and now seek to serve in the capacity of Vice President. I have attended RRF meetings since 1985, published my first paper in the Journal of Raptor Research (JRR) in 1989, and serve JRR as a peer reviewer, In Memoriam Editor, and Book Review Editor. In addition to research contributions at annual meetings, I also taught the raptor nest entry course several times, and co-taught the Raptor Telemetry course for the RRF’s Early Career Raptor Researcher (ECRR) courses. During my terms on the BOD, I drafted and brought forward successful motions to lower membership costs and annual meeting fees for ECRR and Late Career Raptor Researchers (LCRR). I have worked with fellow BOD members to include low-cost lodging for ECRR and LCRR’s at annual meetings, increase inclusion of members at all economic levels, and reduce overall meeting costs. If selected as Vice President, I will work to re-define the role of the office, collaborate with members and the BOD to further reduce fees at annual meetings, and engage a broader suite of our members. We love raptors and wild habitat, and I believe we all might serve RRF and the public as scientific emissaries for our study species and conservation efforts.

Dr. Brian E. Washburn

USDA/APHIS/Wildlife Services

Brian has been a researcher with the USDA, Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center since 2003. Brian is considered to be the raptor specialist for his agency and works with a variety of partners to understand and reduce raptor-human conflicts. Currently, he has research projects involving Bald Eagles, Burrowing Owls, Great Horned Owls, Osprey, Red-tailed Hawks, and American Kestrels. Brian has been involved in RRF through a wide range of activities since 2009. He has served as the Editor of Wingspan (RRF’s newsletter) since early 2014, working hard to revamp and expand this critical publication. Brian has served two terms on RRF Board of Directors. In addition, he is currently serving on the RRF By-laws Committee, RRF Communication Committee, RRF Conservation Committee, and the RRF Finance Committee. During his tenure, he has been involved in a variety of issues and topics, including items related to RRF membership, communications, and the USGS Bird Banding Lab. Brian has greatly enjoyed serving in his past and current roles within RRF and he feels it is time to take on new challenges. He would like to serve in the role of RRF Vice President and believes we should expand upon the many successes of past RRF Vice Presidents. Brian believes RRF is the premier professional society that leads our profession in the advancement of raptor conservation and that RRF is at a critical crossroads in its evolution; this a great opportunity to intermix “older, seasoned” technologies and raptor professionals and “newer” technologies (e.g,. social media) and young, energetic students, especially on a world-wide scale. This is reflected in many of the issues the current RRF leadership has addressed during the past few years. He is excited about the possibilities and would like to see RRF capitalize on our vast resources and talents to increase the impact and value of the organization.