Our most esteemed colleague and shorebird conservation leader, Charles Duncan, will be leaving Manomet, November 1, 2013.  This coming October will mark his 65th birthday, his 50th year in the workforce and the completion of ten extraordinarily successful years with Manomet.

Charles catapulted Manomet’s on-the-ground shorebird conservation to a hemispheric scale.  As Director of the Executive Office of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, he helped add 32 new sites—over 7.5 million acres—to what has become a global model of how to engage people on a voluntary basis to do big things.  This basic framework is now being replicated throughout all of Manomet’s programs.  He made countless new partnerships throughout the Americas that produced real results wherever he went and with whomever he worked.  It’s fair to say that no one is better known and more universally respected in shorebird conservation in the Western Hemisphere.  Still, Charles tells me that what he is most proud of is the team that he and Stephen Brown have built at Manomet and the impact of the colleagues they have encouraged and empowered across the Hemisphere.  It has been to Manomet’s great fortune that Charles spent the last ten years of his amazing career with us, creating and then leading our Shorebird Recovery Project, doing what he loves to do and does so well, meaningful conservation.  He set the standard for the rest of us for what dedication and passion in conservation really looks like.

Of course, this fall we will have a proper celebration of all that Charles has meant to Manomet and to shorebird conservation.  Until then, Charles is working closely with me, Stephen and the entire SRP team to make sure we are set up very well to finish the grand portrait he started for us, a portrait of a hemisphere filled with the sights and sounds of increasing numbers of shorebirds, with healthy wetlands and coastlines where human activities and shorebirds benefit one another.  Charles, we are forever in your debt.  Thank you for providing the vision and lighting the way.

John M. Hagan, Ph.D., President

Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences