By Ashley Peele
We’re starting a new series to highlight and thank the many awesome Atlas volunteers participating all around Virginia. These folks have and are making significant contributions to the VABBA2 project, either through data collection, recruiting new volunteers, tutoring others, or all of the above! The response of Virginia’s birding community to our call to action has been admirable, so this is one small way we can thank you all. And with that…
Meet Janet Paisley, a psychotherapist from Charlottesville and a fantastic Atlas volunteer. Janet has been leading the Atlas charge in the Charlottesville area from the start of the VABBA2. Part of the Monticello Bird Club, she recruits new volunteers, tutors folks on how to use eBird, works with the state coordinator to organize local Atlas trips, and generally is a tremendous advocate for this project in her region.
Here’s what she had to say about herself and WHY she has chosen to participate on this project: “I try to get out and hike and bird somewhere in gorgeous Albermarle County every morning before I go to my office, to get my day started right. Several years ago, a friend encouraged me to use eBird regularly and citizen science is not a big leap from there. Atlasing is a slower, more mindful kind of birding, requiring one to really watch what’s going on with the birds and their interactions with each other. It’s a really endlessly fascinating activity. Hoping that the data produced will contribute to conservation of declining species is a motivation, as well. Join us. It’s fun!”
We agree completely! Environmental conservation cannot be successful if only the folks who work in natural resources are on board and taking part. The interest and help of people from any and every background is critical. After all, the health and continuity of the natural world affects us all. Our greatest thanks to Janet for all that she is doing for this project and bird conservation generally.
Stay tuned for more tales of our awesome Virginia Atlasers!