JUNE 20, 2018–Stinson Beach, CA – Audubon Canyon Ranch (ACR), a leader in conservation science, habitat preservation, and nature education, announced today the selection of Nils Warnock, PhD, to serve as director of conservation science during one of the most high-profile periods in the organization’s 56-year history.

Dr. Warnock will lead and implement ACR’s core science agenda, which addresses real problems in Bay Area landscapes, including challenges to dwindling biodiversity and habitat loss, threats to wetlands, effects of climate change, and the protection of the natural systems that surround North Bay communities. His tenure at ACR’s Cypress Grove Research Center on the east shore of Tomales Bay will commence on August 28, 2018.

“I’m very pleased to join efforts with Audubon Canyon Ranch’s talented staff, board members, volunteers and donors,” said Warnock. “For decades, ACR’s science has demonstrated a practical approach to prioritizing projects that help to resolve real problems in regional conservation, and I am eager to contribute to our shared goal.”

For the last eight years Nils has served as the executive director of Audubon Alaska and a vice president of the National Audubon Society. He has a PhD in Ecology from the University of California at Davis and San Diego State University. Nils started his career in West Marin at Point Blue, where he was the co-director of the Wetlands Division from 2000-2008. Nils is a Fellow of the American Ornithological Society and has over 30 years of experience pertaining to the ecology and conservation of Pacific Flyway birds, especially shorebirds. He has done extensive research in California (especially Marin County and San Francisco Bay) as well as throughout the Pacific and East Asian-Australasian flyways.

“Conservation Science at ACR includes considerable effort to interpret the implications of our work to government agencies, land managers, community organizations and the public,” said John Petersen, ACR’s executive director. “Over the course of his career, Nils has vigorously engaged local and national audiences on the threats facing wildlife populations and the significant role of scientific inquiry into the issues facing the natural systems upon which we all rely.”

Serving as only the second director of conservation science in the organization’s history, Dr. Warnock picks up the baton from ACR’s Dr. John Kelly, who has developed and led the program since 1988. “Nils is perfect for this position and a really exciting addition to ACR! He brings an amazing amount of scientific knowledge and experience, locally and globally, longstanding experience in Bay Area ecology, a powerful personal commitment to conservation, and a love of nature that clearly fits the heart of ACR,” said Kelly.

Audubon Canyon Ranch is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit environmental conservation and education organization. It was founded in 1962 to safeguard Bolinas Lagoon from irresponsible development, leading the way for the protection of Tomales Bay.

Today, ACR is a system of nature preserves spanning 26 properties in Marin, Sonoma and Lake counties. These 5,000 acres provide significant habitat to wildlife and have been placed in our care by generous donors to steward and protect in perpetuity. ACR works to improve global environmental health by conserving and stewarding valuable natural resources, managing for ecological resiliency, providing scientific solutions to ecosystem management, and teaching generations of conservationists in ways that strengthen natural and human communities.

Current conservation science projects, which also support conservation beyond ACR’s borders, include:
• Heron and Egret Telemetry - investigates movement patterns, habitat use and the potential effects of climate change of Great Egrets
• Living with Lions - examines mountain lion population size, habitat use and human-wildlife interactions as a means to guide the protection of wildlife corridors
• North Bay Heron and Egret Nest Monitoring - monitors the reproductive performance of herons and egrets at all known colony sites in the northern San Francisco Bay area
• Songbirds of the Central Mayacamas - measures the habitat relationships and status of songbirds in the central Mayacamas Mountains of northern Sonoma County
• Tomales Bay Wintering Shorebird and Waterbird Studies - tracks the long-term habitat use and population dynamics of wintering and migrating shorebirds and waterbirds on Tomales Bay over a span of decades.

Look for ACR on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more information, call 415-868-9244, email [email protected] or visit www.egret.org. ###