J. Alan Clark, Ph.D.
Bylane Farm by Bob Rohr
Why I’m passionate about Bedford Audubon:
As a child, I wandered the woods near home and developed a passion for birds and butterflies. I created my own local bird identification guide when I was a 10-year old, using tempera paints to illustrate the birds and plagiarizing species descriptions from the Golden Guide to Birds. My passion for birds grew into a commitment to study and conserve wildlife. I’ve dedicated my career to educating the general public about conservation, mostly through the eyes of birds.
Bedford Audubon personifies my personal and professional goals of community, conservation, and compassion. Bedford Audubon has usual and exceptional assets, including ecologically important properties, a passion for birds, an exceedingly talented staff, and a strong commitment to conservation science and education.
More about me:
Growing up, my family was poor. I escaped from this world through music and education. Ok, maybe too much education: I have undergraduate degrees in Religion and Music Education, a master’s degree in Natural Resource Policy, a law degree, and a Ph.D. in Biology. To earn my keep, I’ve milked cows, delivered pizzas, taught public school music, acted and sung professionally, and practiced land conservation law. Currently, I’m an Associate Professor of Biology and Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University where I coordinate the Conservation Biology program.
My favorite bird is the:
I simply can’t pick a favorite bird, so I’ll highlight three. I spent several summers studying Eastern Wood-peewee songs, and their calls bring me great joy. I am completely smitten by Turacos, especially by the breathtaking blue of Ross’ Turacos. But my true passion is for penguins. As a lawyer studying endangered species law and policy in New Zealand, I met a biologist studying endangered Yellow-eyed Penguins. He showed me my first penguin; I was smitten. I said out loud to him: “If this lawyer thing doesn’t work out, I want to be a penguin biologist. Lo and behold: 10 years later, I was a penguin biologist. I still am, and my passion for penguins has only grown.
Ask me about:
Making maple syrup, choral singing, black cats