Danielle Smaha

Director, Marketing and Communications

The holiday season is an important time of the year to stop and appreciate the people around us and the experiences that we’ve shared. Our staff at Manomet has so much to be thankful for as we look ahead to 2019 and our 50th anniversary. We are especially appreciative of all the supporters, partners, and volunteers who make our work possible. Read on to hear from Manomet’s amazing staff about what they are thankful for this year.

“I’m thankful for the idea of Manomet. It’s the idea that our children and grandchildren will see birds migrate, will harvest wild fish from the sea, and will look up at night and ponder their relation to the stars in the sky. I’m thankful that, every day, I work with 35 people who believe in doing the right thing, regardless of the outcome.”

John Hagan, President

“I am thankful to work for an organization that is committed to making our world a better place alongside volunteers like our Board and Councilors, staff that goes above and beyond, all supported by hundreds of donors who give graciously because they believe a better world is possible.”

Cheryl Botieri, Vice President, Mission Advancement

Volunteer Meghan Wren rescues stranded horseshoe crabs.

“I am thankful for volunteers who give their time, energy, and enthusiasm to conservation action. Volunteers sustain conservation at many WHSRN sites. On the Delaware Bay, hundreds of volunteers rescue stranded horseshoe crabs through reTURN the Favor, with 364,376 crabs rescued in the six years of the program.”

Laura Chamberlin, Assistant Director for North America, WHSRN

“The Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network currently includes 106 sites in 17 countries, with over 400 partners working to conserve and manage almost 40 million acres of shorebird habitat from the Arctic to Patagonia. It takes a special kind of organization to coordinate, guide, and oversee such a complex network of organizations and individuals working across languages, cultures, and social and political divisions. Manomet is such an organization—willing to listen and learn from partners, to share experiences and opportunities, and to make a long-lasting commitment to support partners (with or without targeted resources). The Manomet approach (through the WHSRN Executive Office) recognizes that there is a lot of strength individually at WHSRN sites, and focuses on making connections and providing tools that help strengthen the ‘fabric’ of the overall network.

In doing so it creates opportunities to tackle the most significant challenge to both the future of WHSRN and that of shorebirds in general: the lack of connection between local and global action. Without tackling the powerful global drivers of threats to shorebird populations, we will only continue to firefight the ever more frequent threats at sites. And if the changes at global and political levels are not inspired by, and delivering at local levels, conservation efforts will remain intention and not impact. The WHSRN Executive Office and its network of partners have the opportunity to help bridge this divide.”

Rob Clay, Director, WHSRN

Grocery store training

“I am thankful that the path to growth and understanding has no short cuts.”

Peter Cooke, Program Manager,
Grocery Stewardship Certification Program

“I’m thankful for the birds that we study at Manomet. It’s their stories that make our work so compelling!”

Evan Dalton, Lead Instructor, Landbird Conservation

“I’m thankful for the companies and partners we work with to allow us to listen to what they need help with. I’m grateful to be part of an organization that values listening, and then providing help, over the other way around. We have an enormous amount of expertise and diverse array of skills at Manomet, and I’m grateful for being part of the team.”

Catrina Damrell, Field Manager, Grocery Stewardship Certification

“I am deeply thankful for the many foundation partners who invest in Manomet’s work, both with project grants and general operating support. We simply could not do our work without them. They not only provide critical financial support, but they also encourage and challenge us to be the best we can be as we seek to create a more sustainable world.”

Amy Doering Smith, Director of Foundation Relations

“I am thankful to our benefactor, Ruth Ernst, who so generously donated her summer estate, Widewater, to become a bird observatory in 1969. I think she would be so pleased to see the impact that her gift has made, and to know of the many ways in which Manomet is contributing to a better world now and for future generations—i.e. the thousands of students who have benefitted through nature education and internships, the birds whose habitats have been protected, and the fisheries and forests that will benefit through Manomet’s work. It is truly amazing to me how one person’s act of kindness and forethought could leave such a lasting legacy of goodwill. Ruth wrote a poem about Widewater which begins with the words, ‘Dear House, All Hail!’ And so I say at this time of being grateful, ‘All Hail Ruth Ernst!’”
Ruth and Roger Ernst
Kim Goggin, Administrative Coordinator and Master Gardener

“I am thankful for the stories that remind us how connected we are by migratory shorebirds. A Semipalmated Sandpiper banded in Peru spotted in the middle of Kansas; an American Oystercatcher seen nesting in Connecticut later seen at a shrimp farm in Nicaragua; the Whimbrel that travels between Hudson Bay, South Carolina, Brazil, and coastal Georgia every year. These are the stories that remind us we all share these birds, and inspire and motivate us to work together to protect them.”

Maina Handmaker, Program Associate, Shorebird Recovery


“I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Bailey Bowden, a fisherman from Penobscot, Maine. Bailey has volunteered countless hours in a successful effort to restore fishways on the Bagaduce River. He carried thousands of river herring upstream in buckets to jump start a new run while planning the fishway and overseeing construction. And he’s working with Manomet and others to promote fish passage restoration all along the coast. And river herring are only one of his interests! He’s also working to improve management of both wild and farmed shellfish and to engage others in this important work. I benefit from Bailey’s in-depth knowledge of coastal ecosystems and fisheries, his passion for making things right, and his ‘tell it like it is’ style. Thank you, Bailey!”

Anne Hayden, Senior Fisheries Program Manager

“I am thankful for the opportunity to work with so many of the incredible and passionate people committed to shorebird conservation. From Saskatchewan, Canada, to Rio Grande, Argentina—we are working with individuals and organizations to protect and improve the ecosystems that shorebirds and people rely on. I am grateful to be a part of that effort.”

Monica Iglecia, Assistant Director of Shorebird Management

“I am thankful for the volunteers who give time to the International Shorebird Survey (ISS) in Latin America and the Caribbean, helping to improve understanding of migratory shorebird populations, trends, and stopover habitats. When I started recruiting in 2016, there were only seven active volunteers at five sites in just two countries. Now in 2018, nearly 50 volunteers implement ISS at 56 sites in 11 countries!”

Arne J. Lesterhuis, Conservation Specialist

“I’m so thankful of our partners across the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network for the possibility to facilitate in the last years, 18 good governance workshops helping build capacity for 375 participants in 10 countries, and conservations agreements covering 15 WHSRN sites. At the end of the day, without good governance, shorebird conservation would not be possible.”

Diego Luna Quevedo, Conservation Specialist, WHSRN

“I am thankful for the long list of seasonal staff and volunteers who have helped make the banding lab as amazing as it is. From working 12 hour days to facing some of the most random, stressful situations to leading engaging and entertaining demonstrations for people of all ages, they are truly the team that make the lab a magical place. I will be forever grateful for the short time I got to spend as an intern, too. Thank you, banders!”

Emily Renaud, Communcations Coordinator

“I’m thankful for the important work that Manomet is doing, but I’m most thankful to work with the great people we have on staff—no matter how near or far they are.”

Jennie Robbins, Accounting Associate

“I am thankful for our forests and the many ways they sustain us, as well as the numerous partners and colleagues in the forestry community who work diligently to protect, conserve, and manage them sustainability.”

Jennifer Hushaw Shakun, Applied Forest Scientist

“This year I’m thankful for my dream job as a shorebird biologist which has allowed me to work with all the wonderful, smart, inspired, and dedicated people at Manomet! I’ve known about the organization for a long time, and had already gotten to know some of the shorebird folks as our paths crossed on the beaches of Georgia, or at conferences. But I feel truly grateful that I get to see the big picture of what Manomet hopes to achieve as a member of this team. I’m so thankful that I can learn from this incredible and international network about how to connect people to their environment in so many different ways, whether through shorebirds, community outreach, fisheries, forests—even through grocery stores and businesses! I believe Manomet really is making a difference through building partnerships that can lead to conservation action in many diverse communities, and I’m so thankful to be a part of that.”

Abby Sterling, Shorebird Biologist

“I am thankful for great set of corporate partners that we have in the Climate Smart Land Network. We are just finishing up a series of check-in calls with our members and the conversations are always full of interesting ideas and observations, leading to new insights on how climate change is impacting forests and how managers are responding. These partnerships improve the focus our research and the quality of the science synthesis in our bulletins. ”

Eric Walberg, Senior Program Leader, Climate Services

“I am thankful that there are still viable populations of shorebirds gracing the remote corners of the world that we can dedicate ourselves to restoring and protecting.”

Brad Winn, Director of Shorebird Habitat Management

“I’m really thankful for my U360 students. I know that’s probably a rather predictable response given the program I manage at Manomet, but it’s true. Their courage to do the things that scare them, passion for creating a more sustainable world (and eagerness to learn how), and sense of strong civic action at such a young age are all so inspiring. Every day they give me a healthy dose of hope, optimism, and youthful energy…all of which are much-needed and appreciated antidotes to the many challenges all around us today.”

Lora Winslow, Program Manager, U360


“I am thankful for the opportunity to work with amazing farmers and farm managers and experience the amazing diversity of agriculture in the US: from small farms to industrial ag; from New England dairy farms to California Central Valley almond ranches; from apple orchards in Yakima Valley, WA, to south rice and soy bean operations in the Delta in Mississippi; and help make it all more sustainable.”

Andy Whitman, Director, Sustainable Economies