Joe Liebezeit

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Oregon’s Black Oystercatchers: Unveiling its mysteries to help protect a species of conservation concern

Friday, September 20, 7:00 - 9:00 PM

The Black Oystercatcher is a charismatic and conspicuous shorebird of the west coast, and currently classified as a “species of high conservation concern.” Joe Liebezeit of the Portland Audubon Society presents on the monitoring project aiming to provide new information about this species’ biology to better inform methods of protection.

The Black Oystercatchers less-than-ideal classification is due to their relatively low global population size, low reproductive rate, and reliance on the rocky intertidal habitat. Their health and reproductive success are being closely monitored by the Oregon Black Oystercatcher Project, co-led by Joe Liebezeit.

Liebezeit has worked for the Audubon Society of Portland since 2013. He acts as the staff scientist and leads the Community Science and Coastal Conservation Programs, which include the Black Oystercatcher project, among others. Prior to his position with Portland Audubon, Joe worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society for 12 years leveraging on-the-ground science efforts to protect wildlife in Arctic Alaska. Joe received his Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire and a Master’s Degree in Wildlife Management from Humboldt State University. Joe has lived in the northwest for nearly 20 years and is currently a Portland resident.

Learn more about the Oregon Black Oystercatcher Project.


Janet Essley

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Red Knots: A Cultural Cartography of a Migratory Bird’s Annual Journey

Saturday, September 21, 7:00 - 9:00 PM

Janet Essley will present on one of the furthest migrating species in the world, the Red Knot. Essley takes us on a journey with the Red Knot subspecies of the Americas, roselaari and rufa, from their breeding grounds to non-breeding sites and back again, dipping into amazing sandpiper physiology related to their ability to migrate such long distances. Through the Cultural Cartography, Essley guides us with incredible works of art through the science and conservation of this impressive shorebird.

The Cultural Cartography of Red Knots developed from a query on ways art could be used to develop public awareness for the habitat conservation needs of shorebirds. Research for this project has immersed Essley in shorebird scientific studies and an astounding variety of human artistic expression from around the world.  If nothing else, studying migrating birds teaches us that the world is one shared home.

Essley is a painter, muralist, and teaching artist with over 20 years’ experience creating collaborative murals with youth and adults. Her personal work is often focused on environmental issues, with The Cultural Cartography of Red Knots being her most recent project. Before settling into a career in art, she worked in reforestation in the Pacific Northwest forests for 15 years. She has had the opportunity to volunteer on a variety of wildlife studies that included Brant Geese and California Gray Whales in Baja, California and Orcas in British Columbia. It was in the marine estuaries of Baja that her interest in birds began. She and her husband now live in White Salmon, WA.

Visit the project’s website to learn more. 

Two Images from Essley’s Cultural Cartography.

Two Images from Essley’s Cultural Cartography.

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Attend one or both of the Oregon Shorebird Festival’s Presentations held at the OIMB Boathouse Auditorium.

presentation fees are included in festival pass or can be purchased individually.
Visit the registration page to purchase tickets.