This recovery effort is a collaboration between various organizations ranging from local, state, and federal levels. None of this would be possible without each one as well as the numerous people working on the recovery effort.
*The partners included below are in no particular order.
Name: Vince Cavalieri
Hometown: DeWitt, Michigan
Partner Organization: US Fish & Wildlife Service, East Lansing Field Office
Role in GLPIPL: Great Lakes Piping Plover Recovery Lead/Coordinator. I coordinate all program recovery actions with our excellent and diverse partner group! I organize and lead partner meetings; conduct plover monitor training for each season’s crew of plover monitors, work with our research team and other agencies to make decisions on management of the plovers during the plover season and also while planning for the future and work on all formal aspects of Endangered Species Act compliance for the plover program.
# Years with GLPIPL: 5
Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a big birder, I have a life list closing in on 1,000 species. I have a Top 25 Bird Species to See before I Die list; so far I have only seen 3 of those, so hopefully I can hang around awhile longer to complete it!
What are you doing (when you are not doing GLPIPL work? Professionally – working with other Endangered Species programs in Michigan (Red Knot, Pitcher’s Thistle, Houghton’s Goldenrod, Northern Long-eared Bat, Kirtland’s Warbler), volunteering to help with other rare bird species monitoring programs like the Rusty Blackbird blitz, helping with breeding bird surveys, etc.
Socially – Spending time with my wife and cat, playing mandolin, reading, hanging out with my many siblings (I have four brothers and a sister).
If you could tell people one thing about GLPIPL what would it be: Great Lakes Piping Plovers breed on beautiful wide beaches of the Great Lakes, some of the most spectacular landscapes on the entire continent. By protecting the habitat for these charismatic little birds, not only are we saving them, but we are ensuring that the Great Lakes beach/Dune system remains for generations to come.
Name: Sue Jennings
Hometown: East Lansing, Michigan
Partner Organization: National Park Service-Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Role in GLPIPL: I am the wildlife program manager for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (SBLE), a unit of the National Park System. I thus manage the GLPIPL program at the park from pre-season planning to end of the year reporting. I provide project oversight, guidance, training and field assistance for all GLPIPL activities occurring within SLBE. This includes recruiting staff and volunteers, developing monitoring programs and procedures on the mainland and islands. coordinating activities with our project partners, coordinating education and outreach activities, and seeking funding support for future years.
# Years with GLPIPL: 5
Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m a fiddler-I started playing the fiddle (Old Time music) in my 40’s and am often in search of jam opportunities.
What are you doing when you are not doing GLPIPL work? I manage a variety of wildlife programs in the park. I am also on the NPS Wild and Scenic Rivers Steering Committee and am a NPS peer supporter for NPS Critical Incident Team, a program that I am passionate about as it provides support to NPS staff and/or families during emergency situations. This season, when I’m not working on GLPIPL, I’ll be backpacking in Denali National Park or otherwise biking, hiking, or kayaking the roads/trails/rivers in Michigan.
If you could tell people one thing about GLPIPL what would it be: The monitoring staff that are out on the beaches performing the daily tasks of protecting the piping plovers are one of the most dedicated, passionate, skilled, and fun-loving groups of people I’ve had the pleasure to work with. They work in all kinds of weather conditions– from rain, sleet and cold to 90 degree temps with sand blowing into everything– and do so without complaint. They trudge along the sandy shorelines carrying heavy gear, are constantly on the look out for threats, take the time to answer a variety of questions from visitors, and go that extra mile to do what is necessary to help protect our piping plovers.
Name: Jason Garvon
Hometown: Brimley, Michigan
Partner Organization: Lake Superior State University
Role in GLPIPL: We monitor the nesting sites in the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. There are sites located on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. We work with students from Lake Superior State University and Algoma University to monitor current sites and survey shoreline for potential new nesting sites. For the past three years we have been working with LSSU and AU students on various research projects involving the plovers.
# Years with GLPIPL: 8
Fun Fact About Yourself: For the last 3 years I have been taping maple trees and producing syrup from our neighborhood. Last year I built a wood fired evaporator to speed up the syrup process and look forward to improving on the operation each spring.
What are you doing when you are not doing GLPIPL work? I am a Biology Professor at LSSU and when not there I am enjoying time with my family.
If you could tell people one thing about GLPIPL what would it be: As a plover biologist I love to see people enjoying the beach as people are more likely to see value in conserving the things they can use. The plovers do not seem to mind people and will simply walk around a person, but dogs will stress them out. So please visit and enjoy the beach, but keep your pet on a leash in plover designated areas.
Name: Shannon Rowell-Garvon
Hometown: Brimley, Michigan
Partner Organization: Algoma University and Lake Superior State University
Role in GLPIPL: Monitoring the nesting sites in the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. There are sites located on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. We work with students from Lake Superior State University and Algoma University to monitor current sites and survey shoreline for potential nesting sites. For the past three years we have been working with LSSU and AU students on various research projects involving the plovers.
# Years with GLPIPL: 10
Fun Fact About Yourself: In the last 8 months I have driven with my husband and our 3 girls over 12,000miles and visited ~10 national parks/monuments. We can’t wait to add more to our list.
What are you doing when you are not doing GLPIPL work? I work as the Biology Lab Coordinator and a Sessional Instructor at Algoma University. Most of my free time is spent with my family enjoying all the great outdoor activities in Northern Michigan.
If you could tell people one thing about GLPIPL what would it be: One of the most amazing things about working with the plovers is sharing them with other beach users. The monitors on the beaches serve an important role. Allowing someone to look through the spotting scope or your binoculars opens their eyes to the world of this shorebird. Often times this brief interaction will lead to support and understanding of why protection of nesting areas is needed.
Name: Steve Sjogren
Hometown: Saint Ignace, Michigan
Partner Organization: USDA Forest Service, Hiawatha National Forest
Role in GLPIPL: Inventory, monitor and protect GLPIPL populations, and manage GLPIPL habitat on the Hiawatha NF, in the UP of Michigan. Member of inter-agency partnership (Recovery team) addressing GLPIPL issues across breeding range.
# Years with GLPIPL: 20
Fun Fact About Yourself: I like to sail on the Great Lakes
What are you doing when you are not doing GLPIPL work? I am a Wildlife Biologist responsible for the wildlife, fisheries, botany, soil and hydrology programs on the 400,000 ac East Zone of the Hiawatha National Forest. I am also a member of the Kirtland’s Warbler Recovery team.
If you could tell people one thing about GLPIPL what would it be: Once GLPIPL are gone, they are gone forever and there is no going back. Losing one species can impact the rest of the ecosystem, because of the inter-connectedness of life. GLPIPL are an indicator of the health of the Great Lakes shoreline ecosystem.
Name: Jim Gallie
Hometown: Ludington, MI
Partner Organization: Michigan DNR, Ludington State Park
Role in GLPIPL: Park Manager at Ludington State Park
# Years with GLPIPL: 4
Twitter Handle: @jimgallie
Organization’s Twitter Handle: @LudingtonStPark
Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m currently learning how to play the banjo.
What are you doing (socially and/or professionally) when you are not doing GLPIPL work? Working with the GLPIPL program is just one aspect of my job. A lot of my work hours are spent working on budgets, park projects, natural resource protection, staffing and working to make Ludington State Park an enjoyable place to visit for our customers. During my off hours, I try to spend as much time as possible outdoors. Canoeing, backpacking, cross country and telemark skiing, and birding are all hobbies that I enjoy.
If you could tell people one thing about GLPIPL what would it be: There really is nothing like holding one the small plover chicks during the banding procedure. Releasing the banded chicks is one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done during my career.
Name: Lisa Gamero
Hometown: Lansing, MI
Partner Organization: Michigan State Parks and Recreation Division
Role in GLPIPL: Coordinate piping plover monitoring in Michigan State Parks and Recreation Areas. If birds nest within Michigan State Parks then I am the contact person for park staff and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
# Years with GLPIPL: 13
Fun Fact About Yourself: Enjoy traveling and visiting other state parks, museums and historic sites.
What are you doing when you are not doing GLPIPL work? I am the cultural resource person for the Stewardship Unit of the Michigan State Parks and Recreation Division. I work to try and preserve above ground historic structures and archaeological sites within Michigan State Parks and Recreation Areas. I work as our division’s liaison person with the State Historic Preservation Office and the Office of the State Archaeologist.
If you could tell people one thing about GLPIPL what would it be: Share the beach, our public shorelines, weather on state lands, federal lands, county lands or township and city lands are open to all creatures to use. To be good stewards and conservationist, preserve the land and its natural resources so future generation can enjoy it as you do now.
Name: Jennifer Foote
Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
Partner Organization: Algoma University
Role in GLPIPL: collaborator with Lake Superior State University GLPIPL group in the UP of Michigan
# Years with GLPIPL: 1
Fun Fact About Yourself: I grew up in the Atlantic PIPL population’s home range in Nova Scotia, Canada.
What are you doing when you are not doing GLPIPL work? I am a faculty member in the Department of Biology and I love to knit.
If you could tell people one thing about GLPIPL what would it be: We need more of them!
Name: Phil Huber
Hometown: Lewiston, Michigan
Partner Organization: Huron-Manistee National Forests
Role in GLPIPL:Endangered, Threatened and Sensitive Species Program Manager
# Years with GLPIPL: 4
If you could tell people one thing about GLPIPL what would it be: The Huron-Manistee National Forests manage the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness. We hope to have breeding plovers there soon.
Name: Chuck Allen
Hometown: Roscommon, MI
Partner Organization: Michigan Department of Natural Resources – Parks & Recreation
Role in GLPIPL: Post signs, monitor, enforce rules and regulations, provide support to monitors, point of contact at Tawas Point State Park.
# Years with GLPIPL: 12
Organization’s Twitter Handle: @TawasPointSP
Fun Fact About Yourself: I have worked for the Department of Natural Resources for 22 years. Before that I worked for the US Dept. of Agriculture at the Smithsonian in Washington DC.
What are you doing when you are not doing GLPIPL work? I have a wonderful wife of 30 years and two terrific daughters that I try to spend as much time as possible with. We like to hike, kayak and visit historic sites.
If you could tell people one thing about GLPIPL what would it be: Since we humans have effected the breeding habitat of the Plover it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to assist in the survival of the species.
Name: Archie Kiogima
Hometown: Harbor Spring, MI
Partner Organization: Inland Fish & Wildlife Program, Natural Resource Department, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
Role in GLPIPL: Monitor critical habitat on High Island in the Beaver Island Archipelago within the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians 1855 Reservation for piping plover nesting. The tribal biologists have monitored the High Island spit and western dune/beach complex for nesting piping plovers for over 10 years.
# Years with GLPIPL: 10+
Fun Fact About Yourself: I’ve been a Tribal wildlife biologist for 18 years!
What are you doing when you are not doing GLPIPL work? Bald Eagle research. Baseline biological inventories of Garden and High Islands within the LTBB Reservation in the Beaver Island Archipelago.