New Jersey Audubon (NJA), a non-profit conservation leader in habitat stewardship, bird and wildlife research, environmental education, and recreational birding activities announced that David La Puma, Ph. D., has joined the team as director of the Cape May Bird Observatory (CMBO).
David brings more than a decade of experience in ecological research to the CMBO; research that has focused on conservation of endangered species and identification of important stopover habitats for migrating birds.
“We are very excited to have David join CMBO. His experience in bird conservation and research, educational skills, and leadership in the birding community will allow us to grow and promote CMBO; maintain its excellent reputation; and establish it as a top bird observatory in North America,” said Eric Stiles, President and CEO of NJA.
David is responsible for leadership and direction of the Bird Observatory including two sites in Cape May County (Northwood Center in Cape May Point and the Center for Research and Education in Goshen). He will be fully engaged in all program platforms, fund raising and special events.
Jeffrey Gordon, president of the American Birding Association, said, “Cape May has long been known as one of the most diverse and exciting places on the planet for birding and for birders. David will bring a formidable suite of talents and experience to this pivotal leadership role. This announcement is great news for the entire birding and conservation community!”
Throughout his career, David has worked across a variety of disciplines including conservation, education, research and policy; and has helped organizations including the National Park Service to develop strategic plans for species and habitat conservation. Most recently David held the position of Product Specialist at Leica Sport Optics where he honed his business skills with one of the world’s top optics manufacturers.
A talented teacher and natural leader, David has developed and delivered educational and instructional material to thousands of students, from ages five to 95. One of his greatest strengths is using his personal experience and social networking skills to bring diverse individuals together to work toward common goals.
“I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to become the new Director of the Cape May Bird Observatory,” David explained. “Because CMBO comes with a strong support system of NJ Audubon staff in Research, Stewardship, Education and Public Policy, we are capable of taking on big conservation issues, answering big questions and serving large numbers of people. I look forward to working with NJ Audubon staff, CMBO staff and volunteers, and the greater Cape May and Mid-Atlantic communities to lead CMBO into the future by meeting the needs of our constituents in a strong and sustainable manner.”
NJA’s mission is to connect people with nature and steward the nature of today for the people of tomorrow. CMBO furthers this mission by seeking to understand and instill appreciation of the needs of resident and migrating birds so that human ambitions do not undermine them.
There are few places in North America which have been birded longer or have more birding advocates than Cape May, NJ, one of the planet’s most celebrated migratory junctions. An array of habitat types and a wealth of protected natural areas make Cape May and the entire Delaware Bayshore a bird spot for all seasons. Wind and geography conspire to direct millions of migrating hawks, seabirds, shorebirds, songbirds, butterflies and dragonflies here every autumn.
Cape May Bird Observatory (CMBO) has two locations in Cape May County: Northwood Center, 701 East Lake Drive, Cape May Point, NJ; and Center for Research and Education, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Courthouse, NJ. For more information about the Cape May Bird Observatory, visit www.capemaybirding.org or call 609-861-0700.