Congratulations to the 2016 Field Trip & Conference Youth Scholarship Recipients! 

The WFO Youth Scholarships are made possible by the generous contributions from the Pasadena Audubon Society honoring the memory of Mike San Miguel, the Sierra Foothills Audubon Society, the Buena Vista Audubon Society, and individual contributions from WFO members. The scholarship recipient for the Central Sierra Field Trip in June 2016:

Diego Blanco

Age:  16

Grade:  11

From: Altadena, California

About me:  Birding brings me great joy and fascination from the connection it gives me to the natural world.

Essay Excerpt:  In choosing a specific habitat to call my favorite for birding, I continually arrive at four that compete for the title; temperate rainforest, tropical rainforest, riparian zones, and chaparral. Most of my formative years in birding took place in chaparral and riparian zones, as I would (and still do) frequent the Angeles National Forest and Eaton Canyon.  It was there that I was able to practice my identification skills in the field and transfer my knowledge of ornithology to skill in birding.

This year's scholarship recipients to the September 2016 Conference in Humboldt County, California are:

Fanter James Lane

Age: 18           

Grade: College Freshman, Humboldt State University   

From:  Acme, Washington

About Me:  I have been interested in nature and birds since a very young age, and have had the opportunity to be an active member for the WOS and attend many youth birding camps.

Essay Excerpt:  I had the opportunity two years ago to do a three day bird banding and monitoring workshop with the Vancouver Avian Research Center, where I got my certificate of advanced course completion. I had gone to banding stations at youth birding camps, but this experience got me really excited to learn more about molt, age, and the sex of birds. This also got me hooked on banding, which I intend to pursue in my future.


Max Leibowitz

Age: 17           

Grade: 12

From:  San Diego, California

About Me:  I am an enthusiastic birder who loves the outdoors and nature.

Essay Excerpt:  I became even more interested in my birding because I got my first digital camera, and it gave me the ability to make life memories of what I saw. As I started to photograph all the birds I chased, I realized I loved the challenge of capturing them in their natural setting, whether it be an ocean, bay, marsh or grassland.


Parker Gerard

Age: 17           

Grade: 10

From:  Bend, Oregon

About Me:  I love studying and watching birds. My other interests include backpacking, trains and World War II history.

Essay Excerpt:  I helped my Mom start the Young Birders of Central Oregon, a club for teenagers. I have spent time with other kids doing activities like bird drawing, camping and birding, and going to bird festivals. Highlights of hanging out with other teens and birds include seeing thousands of Snow Geese at the Winter Wings festival in Klamath Falls.


Maia Nguyen

Age: 16           

Grade: 12

From:  Irvine, California

About Me:  I hope to one day become a field ornithologist or a wildlife rehabilitator/vet after college.

Essay Excerpt:  I have participated in the Western Snowy Plover Count Survey, Tree Swallow Nest Monitoring Program, beach cleanups, and habitat restoration. My definite favorites are the Tree Swallow and Snowy Plover programs. With the Tree Swallow Program I get a hands-on experience with the birds as well as training in bird banding and field study.


Morganna Rose Beliz

Age: 13           

Grade: 7

From:  Rohnert Park, California

About Me:  I discovered my love for birds in preschool, and my passion for raptors when I was eight.

Essay Excerpt:  Though I have taken various field sketching classes in the past, I have just recently begun attempting to sketch, though, frankly, I just can't draw fast enough. I will, however, continue work on my sketching ability.


Kai Dylan Frueh

Age: 13           

Grade: 8

From:  Corvallis, Oregon

About Me:  I am outside a lot and I love birds and Classical Music.

Essay Excerpt:  Last year in eastern Oregon I went out with White-headed Woodpecker researchers. We monitored a White-headed Woodpecker nest. They taught me their protocols and showed me how the call and response protocol works. After we monitored a nest, they showed me a Flammulated Owl nest. I was excited because Flammulated Owls are hard to find and I got to see one closeup.


Lucas Corneliussen

Age: 12           

Grade: 7

From:  Novato, California

About Me:  I have been birding for the past 10 years. It is my passion and what brings me the most happiness in life.

Essay Excerpt:  When I was three, I got a huge book from Costco for Christmas. It had all the birds and animals from around the world and it showed which birds and animals came from which continents and that is when I started classifying animals and birds.  I started memorizing African birds and animals, Australian birds and animals, etc.


Youth Scholarship Recipients for the WFO 2015 Conference

WFO occasionally provides competitive scholarships to help young people who are interested in field ornithology attend birding trips or conferences. The Pasadena Audubon/WFO Youth Scholarship Fund was created to honor the memory of Mike San Miguel, a key contributor to and beloved friend of Pasadena Audubon and WFO. Applicants must be members of Western Field Ornithologists and residents of western North America.

All students in Grades 6 through 12, who attend our conferences, automatically receive a scholarship waiver of the $95 conference registration fee.

The funds for our scholarships have been generously donated by:

  • Pasadena Audubon Society – Primary Sponsor
  • Sierra Foothills Audubon Society, CA (2015)
  • WFO Members

WFO Billings, Montana conference scholarship recipients (left to right, back row first):
Wyatt Egelhoff (NM), Tyler Hartlauer (WA), Elisa Yang (CA), Isaac Denzer (OR),
Austin Young (ID), Ryan Andrews (CA)