Category: history


Work Worth Doing: Reflecting on 44 years in the Field

The Cooper Island Black Guillemot study was recently mentioned in an Associated Press story by Seth Borenstein about researchers who “accidentally” began studying climate change. A number of scientists measuring a biological phenomenon have encountered unanticipated effects from climate change and understood those effects were more important, both biologically and politically, than what originally motivated them to...


Special delivery for the birds

During the salad days of the Cooper Island Black Guillemot colony, in the late 1980s, there were 200 wooden nest sites, which I had created in the late 1970s with wood left on the island by the Navy two decades earlier. All 200 nests were occupied by breeding pairs and the colony enjoyed high breeding...


In the beginning

COOPER ISLAND, ALASKA — While it seems like I have been at the Cooper Island black guillemot colony forever, there was actually a time when I did not spend the summer in Arctic Alaska wearing long underwear and worrying about polar bears for three months. George E. Watson, who was then a curator of birds at...