Great Lakes Piping Plover Recovery Effort

A partnership to study and conserve this migratory shorebird's endangered population between UMN, USFWS, USGS, NPS, DNR, more & You!

Monitors

We rely heavily on monitors in the field to keep track and help protect piping plovers during the breeding season. These monitors range from volunteers to paid employees, new to experienced, chicks to adults.

*The monitors listed below are in no particular order.


 

Beth Rassmussen about to release a recently banded GLPIPL chick at one of the beaches she monitored in 2015.

Beth Rasmussen about to release a recently banded GLPIPL chick at one of the beaches she monitored in 2015.

Name: Elizabeth (Beth) Rasmussen

Hometown: Bloomington, MN

Beach Monitored: Buttersville/Silver Lake/Manistee/Muskegon

# Years with GLPIPL: 2

Fun Fact About Yourself: This is my second year with the project. I am eager to get back to Michigan, see all the wonderful people I met last year, and most importantly, start monitoring the birds again!

What are you doing when you are not doing GLPIPL work? I am a biology college lab assistant at Hennepin Technical College during the school year, and I do GLPIPL work during the summer. It works out nicely! If I’m not at work I’m probably birding, camping, or kayaking.

If you could tell people one thing about GLPIPL what would it be: So many different groups contribute to the success of the GLPIPL project. The University of Minnesota, USFWS, USFS, local, state, and national parks, local volunteers, and more all contribute to the great work we do!

Treana Mayer

Treana Mayer

Name: Treana Mayer

Hometown: Minneapolis, MN

Beach Monitored: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

# Years with GLPIPL: 1

Fun Fact About Yourself: There are hand drawn pictures of 113 bird species hanging on my walls, as well as some pictures of heroes of mine, such as Wangari Maathai, Lucy Lawless, Rachel Carson, and Beyoncé.

What are you doing (socially and/or professionally) when you are not doing GLPIPL work? Gearing up for veterinary school at the University of Minnesota, pursuing conservation medicine and one health fields. In my rare moments of free time, I especially enjoy camping, hiking, and canoeing around the St. Croix River valley.

If you could tell people one thing about GLPIPL (bird and/or project) what would it be: It’s astonishing how many people I know from around the Great Lakes have never heard of this amazing bird before. Being an advocate for the Great Lakes piping plover and building awareness is an important part of these recovery efforts, and a great way for anyone to get involved!

Maddie Grunklee

Maddie Grunklee

Name: Madeline Grunklee

Hometown: Eagan, Minnesota

Beach Monitored: Buttersville/Silver Lake/Manistee/Muskegon

# Years with GLPIPL: 1

Fun Fact About Yourself: I just spent the last 9 months on an exchange at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado! I have absolutely discovered myself in the West.

What are you doing (socially and/or professionally) when you are not doing GLPIPL work? I love to adventure and travel. On my free time you can find me exploring our national forests and state parks in my hiking shoes, with a pack on my back, or strapped into my snowboard. I also really enjoy getting out on the water, whether that be rafting, canoeing or paddleboarding. This past winter field season, I’ve been snow tracking red fox in order to study the usage of their winter home ranges.

If you could tell people one thing about GLPIPL (bird and/or project) what would it be: Unless you are an avid birder, chances are the Great Lakes piping plovers aren’t exactly on your radar. I would like people to know that there are easy ways to share the beaches where plovers nest and still have a great time by just keeping your eyes and ears open!

Madison DePlonty ready to go out plovering at Ludington State Park

Madison DePlonty ready to go out plovering at Ludington State Park

Name: Madison DePlonty

Hometown: Ludington, MI

Beach Monitored:  Ludington State Park

# Years with GLPIPL: 2

Fun Fact About Yourself: I used to work at the beach concession stands for 2 years, I loved the area so much I had to come back to do more!

What are you doing when you are not doing GLPIPL work? During the school year, I go to Michigan State University. I major in Animal Science and minor in Fisheries and Wildlife. I enjoy walking my dogs and going to the beach with my friends.

If you could tell people one thing about GLPIPL what would it be: How amazing the birds are to watch when they don’t realize you’re there, they have such an interesting and unique personality.

Julie in front of the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore Park boat that takes plover monitors to North and South Manitou Island

Julie Markiewicz, in front of the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore Park boat that takes plover monitors to North and South Manitou Island

Name: Julie Markiewicz

Hometown: Rochester Hills, MI

Beach Monitored: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

# Years with GLPIPL: 2

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m a huge Michigan State and Detroit Tigers fan!

What are you doing when you are not doing GLPIPL work? Watching Survivor, going on adventures with friends, playing/watching sports, or cooking.

If you could tell people one thing about GLPIPL what would it be: They’re adorable! And I’m really proud of all the hard work that people put in throughout the Great Lakes region in order to help these little guys. It’s amazing what a collaborative effort can do for their population.

Michael Oertel

Michael Oertel

 

 

Name: Michael Oertel

Hometown: Clarkston MI

Beach Monitored: Vermilion

# Years with GLPIPL: 1

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a huge Detroit Sports fan, and I love the outdoors.

What are you doing (socially and/or professionally) when you are not doing GLPIPL work? I am hanging out with friends, playing golf, or in the woods.

If you could tell people one thing about GLPIPL (bird and/or project) what would it be: That this is actually a very fascinating bird there is so much that we are still learning about it. As well as the birds are very smart.

Rob Stamats with his dog, Barlo

Rob Stamats with his dog, Barlo

Name: Rob Stamats

Hometown: Clinton, MI

Beach Monitored: Gulliver

# Years with GLPIPL: 2

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am an avid outdoors-man.

What are you doing when you are not doing GLPIPL work? Shoot archery and work on my senior thesis project

If you could tell people one thing about GLPIPL what would it be: The pipping plover has been endangered for quite awhile but the population is on the rise.

Sara Harrington, in Costa Rica on a study abroad trip with Northern Michigan University

Sara Harrington, in Costa Rica on a study abroad trip with Northern Michigan University

Name: Sara Harrington

Hometown: Cooks, MI

Beach Monitored: Whitefish Point

# Years with GLPIPL: 1

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have a life goal to visit all of the U.S. National Parks. Six down, fifty-two to go!

What are you doing (socially and/or professionally) when you are not doing GLPIPL work? I love hiking, running, kayaking, cross-country skiing, golfing, horseback riding, and basically anything outdoors!

If you could tell people one thing about GLPIPL (bird and/or project) what would it be: One thing that amazes me about these birds is how far they travel from their wintering to their breeding grounds and that they usually return to the same beaches every year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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