Dr. Laurie Goodrich elected an American Ornithological Society Fellow

Posted on November 23, 2020 in Science

Laurie Goodrich

Hawk Mountain’s Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science Dr. Laurie J. Goodrich was elected a Fellow of the American Ornithological Society (AOS). 

Annually, AOS elects a class of individuals as Fellows, Honorary Fellows, and Elective Members in recognition of their significant contributions to ornithology. The 2020 class of Fellows were voted in at the 2020 North American Ornithological Conference. Fellows are nominated based on their exceptional and sustained contributions, and at the time of election, they must be Honorary Fellows or Elective Members who are in good standings and currently a resident of the Western Hemisphere. 

Goodrich has worked in virtually every aspect of raptor conservation at Hawk Mountain, from overseeing its long-term migration counts, to directing its education program and developing the first education plan, to conducting scientific research and publishing more than 50 peer-reviewed papers. 

Goodrich is considered exceptional in her ability to bring people together to foster successful long-term conservation. Locally, she launched the collaborative Pennsylvania Farmland Raptor and The Broad-winged Hawk research projects, and globally, she co-founded the now world-famous, million-raptor conservation site at the River of Raptors in Veracruz, Mexico. Working with colleagues at the Hawk Migration Association of North America, HawkWatch International, and Bird Studies Canada, she helped develop the award-winning Raptor Population Index Project, and contributed heavily to The State of North America’s Birds of Prey, the first comprehensive analysis of raptor populations across the continent. Combined, she has coordinated the work of dozens of volunteers, trainees, and graduate students, and interacted with countless citizen scientists.

In addition to her concerted raptor research efforts, Goodrich has also had a significant impact on the raptor education and land stewardship efforts at the Sanctuary—work that also bolsters raptor conservation. 

Goodrich joined the Sanctuary in 1984 as the first full-time research biologist and over the next decade launched long-term research on the effects of forest fragmentation on songbirds and co-published Hawk Mountain’s first scientific paper on raptor migration trends. In 1996, she planned and supervised the Sanctuary’s baseline biological inventory and in 2000 co-wrote the first Hawk Mountain Land Management Plan, a document that continues to guide land use and protection work. Goodrich worked with staff to obtain big wins for land conservation, including securing 77 acres of prime farmland in the shadow of Hawk Mountain and successfully protecting the majority of the Sanctuary’s landholdings through conservation easement. From 2010 through 2014, she served as interim director of education, overseeing Hawk Mountain Raptor Challenge initiative to successful completion, organizing the first meeting of raptor educators, and co-writing the first-ever Hawk Mountain Education Plan. Before becoming the current Director of Conservation Science, she was Director of Long-term Monitoring, leading the acclaimed Hawk Mountain migration counts and working closely with the annual classes of conservation trainees. 

“The American Ornithological Society is unarguably the most prestigious professional society in the discipline,” says Hawk Mountain President Sean Grace.

“Hawk Mountain is fortunate to have an exceptional leader like Laurie and the staff and board are proud to see her recognized by her peers. This is another accolade in her distinguished career,” he adds.