2024 Annual Meeting & Student Presentation

by May 28, 2024News0 comments

Annual Meeting for Members

Wednesday, May 29 @ 6:30pm (refreshments @ 6pm)

Katonah Village Library

The Annual Meeting for members begins at 6:30pm (refreshments at 6:00pm). After a brief year-end review presented by Board president Susan Fisher, our Board elections will take place. One candidate is running for an open board position and two current board members are up for reelection. Bedford Audubon members in good standing are eligible to vote in the election. If you are a current member and can’t attend the Annual Meeting virtually, you can vote by proxy. Please email Bill Cavers  to request a proxy (or if you have questions about your membership status).

Meet the Candidates:

John Hannan joined our board mid-term and currently serves as our treasurer. He chairs the Finance Committee, is a member of the 2024 Strategic Planning Committee and leads field trips, both domestically and internationally starting with our 2025 trip to Panama. John also spearheaded Bird-A-Thon, our spring fundraiser. He is a 40-year veteran of the non-profit world, serving as development director, chief financial officer, executive director, and director of strategic planning. For more than two decades, he has been involved in the Audubon family at all levels. On staff, at National Audubon, working in the CT State Office, volunteering as Chair of the Audubon NY State Chapters’ Council and as a past President of the Bedford Audubon Board of Directors.

Dr. Linda Burke is currently on our board and serves as secretary. She sits on the Program Committee, offers program content, and is a member of the 2024 Strategic Planning Committee. Linda is an environmental educator, retired from full-time teaching at John Jay High School, but remains active in helping out in their Science Department. Linda She is on the board of Friends of Trailside Museum and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation where she also serves as secretary.  Previously she have worked for The New York Botanical Garden and the State University of New York.

Phil Settembrino is currently on our board and sits on our Property Committee. He heads our deer management program. Phil is President and Owner of Northern Westchester Financial Services. He is responsible for directing the daily operations of the company as well as consulting with clients pertaining to financial, estate, insurance, and retirement income planning.

Public Lecture

Wednesday, May 29 @ 7:00pm

(Directly following the Annual Meeting)

Regeneron WESEF Award-winning Students

Reese Caparelli & Juliana Chauca

Reese and Juliana, winners of the Bedford Audubon Award at the Westchester Science and Engineering Fair (WESEF), will present their science research projects at this very special event. Bedford Audubon’s awards go to scholars whose research projects best exemplify our mission and purpose “to promote conservation and protection of wildlife through education, advocacy, nature study, and/or ornithology.”

Reese Caparelli

Investigating the Effects of Traffic Noise on Redundancy and Drift in Birdsong
For her project, Ms. Caparelli examined the detrimental effects of traffic noise on bird communication. Noise pollution has been documented to cause a reduction in reproductive success and delayed territorial defense behaviors in birds. Ms. Caparelli’s study documented compensatory changes in the length of bird songs, increases in repetition, as well as increases in song drift in bird populations exposed to noise pollution. Her findings shed light on the impact of traffic noise on bird communication and give us a better understanding of how birds respond and adapt to this kind of human-created interference. Additionally, her evidence highlights how imperative it is that we mitigate and manage anthropogenic noise to protect birds and their ecosystems.

Juliana Chauca

The Hudson Valley Firefly Project: Anthropogenic Disturbances Reduce Abundance, a Community Science Approach
Ms. Chauca documented the effects of habitat loss, artificial light at night (ALAN), and pesticides on the firefly population in the Hudson Valley.  Using a community science approach and Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis, her study collected data and documented the impact of anthropogenic disturbances on firefly abundance and behavior. Her results revealed that firefly abundance was significantly reduced by irrigation practices, fungicide use, and outdoor lighting. Her study also documented increases in populations in areas with leaf litter. Ms. Chauca’s study contributes valuable information regarding firefly abundance in New York, increases awareness about firefly conservation, and highlights the need for more efforts to be employed to protect these important insects.


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