Midwest Region


Paula Ogden-Muse, 608-779-2392
Tina Shaw, 612-713-5331

Diversity in America's Great Outdoors - Changing the Face of American Birding

Searching to spot the first bird of the day. Photo by Meghan Kearney/USFWS.
Searching to spot the first bird of the day. Photo by Meghan Kearney/USFWS.

There is a growing national concern about our population’s disconnectedness with nature, particularly among the younger generations and diverse audiences. As the gap between people and their understanding of the natural world widens, the interest in conserving natural and cultural resources declines. This disconnection threatens people's physical and mental well-being as well as the natural integrity of the planet.

Conservationists, educators and rangers bridge the gap between people and the outdoors through nature walks, talks and informal programs. Most professionals in these fields have faced challenges and experienced successes in using bird watching to draw people outside to experience and learn through the natural world. This October, the National Wildlife Refuge System and Fledging Birders Institute are sharing a unique opportunity for practitioners to come together and discuss this topic in Minnesota's Twin Cities. The conference, now in it's second year, was created by Dave Magpiong, Chair of the New Jersey-based Fledging Birders Institute.

On October 13, 2012, join in as fellow participants, well-known educators and conservationists share tools for growing our birding community. During Focus on Diversity: Changing the Face of American Birding, conference presenters, including Kenn Kaufman, Dudley Edmundson, Roy Rodriguez, and others, will work with participants to identify challenges and discuss how to overcome obstacles for sharing the natural world with diverse audiences through bird watching.

Focus on Diversity: Changing the Face of American Birding will be held at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, October 13, from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., with registration beginning at 8:00 a.m.

For more information, contact Paula Ogden-Muse, Visitor Services Manager at the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge 608-779-2392. To register online, visit

If you are unable to make the workshop in person, join us online! Sessions will be streamed live through


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

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Last updated: June 15, 2016