Chris and I returned a couple weeks ago from the Pacific Seabird Group 43rd annual meeting in Oahu, Hawaii. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Seabirds: Responses and Resilience”, and the talks certainly reflected a variety of important research topics within the seabird realm. The North Shore of Oahu proved to be a breathtaking backdrop to this year’s gathering of some of the most brilliant seabird biologists, mostly from the west coast, from Canada down to Baja California, but also from far away places such as Japan. The hardest part about the week was being inside for talks, while the sun and sea were constantly calling my name. Our very own, Dr. Christine Fiorello, presented a talk entitled, “Post-Release Monitoring of Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) Following Oiling and Rehabilitation after the Refugio Oil Spill”, within the Conservation session. It is extremely valuable to present research within this seabird community that can help strengthen the argument for rehabilitation of seabirds affected by oiling. As part of the newly elected Executive Council, I attended meetings to learn what my new responsibilities will be for the coming three years.
Our week ended with a visit to a Laysan Albatross colony at Kaena Point Reserve, where we were lucky enough to see several adult albatross, and one very fuzzy chick. After a quick hike to this colony – in flip-flops, which I don’t recommend as hiking shoes – it was time to rush off to the airport to catch our flight back to California.
The Pacific Seabird Group is a group “dedicated to the study and conservation of Pacific seabirds and their environment”, and having been a part of this group since 1992, the annual conferences are always a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends, many of whom I consider my mentors and a continuing source of inspiration for me.