ATHENS – The Oconee Rivers Audubon Society will launch its 2016-17 season with a silent auction, reception, and a special presentation titled “A Safe Place to Land: Conservation of the Swallow-tailed Kite” by research scientist Dr. Maria Whitehead on Thursday, September 1, at UGA’s Odum School of Ecology.
Dr. Maria Whitehead, Project Director for The Nature Conservancy, will build off of a recent article that was published in The Nature Conservancy magazine that focuses on her work with Swallow-tailed Kites. Whitehead will discuss Kite conservation challenges such as climate change induced habitat degradation and discuss how the life history of this species makes it particularly vulnerable to habitat alteration and loss. Whitehead will also discuss current and future strategies The Nature Conservancy and other organizations are implementing to better monitor and manage this species in the face of climate change and other pressing threats.
Project Director for The Nature Conservancy, Whitehead holds degrees from The University of Georgia and Clemson University. Her work at The Nature Conservancy focuses on landscape-conservation projects within the Winyah Bay and Pee Dee River Basin, an important breeding area for Swallow-tailed Kites.
The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a reception featuring a silent auction, hors d’oeuvres, and other refreshments provided by members of Oconee Rivers Audubon Society. Whitehead’s presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in the Odum School of Ecology’s auditorium.
On-campus parking is free and open after 5 p.m. in the S-07 lot off West Green Street. To reach the Ecology building from the Loop 10 bypass, get off on Exit 7 (College Station Road) and turn west toward campus. Turn right onto East Campus Road and continue north to the second traffic signal. Turn left onto West Green Street, go over the hill, and turn right into the S-07 parking lot. The Ecology building is on the north side of the parking lot behind trees (a sidewalk is nearby).