George Archibald, Barry Hartup, and Liz Smith - Annual Whooping Crane Festival in Port Aransas, Texas

TOPIC: “All You Ever Wanted to Know About Whooping Cranes”

How does a “chance event” become a life focus that evolves into taking up the conservation challenges of saving cranes worldwide? Join George Archibald, co-founder of the International Crane Foundation, as he describes the time in a Nova Scotia one-room school where he first learned about Whooping Cranes from a radio broadcast.  Applying that resolve to change the course of the future for these birds has resulted in positive contributions for all the cranes species of the world. George and two of his colleagues, Barry Hartup and Liz Smith, will trace the history of this magnificent species, uncover migration mysteries and perils from Canada to Texas, and herald the triumphant arrival to the last remaining wild wintering grounds in and around the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.

Dr. George Archibald is one of the two co-founders of the International Crane Foundation (ICF), headquartered in Baraboo, Wisconsin. He received his undergraduate from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia in 1968, and completed his Ph.D in Ornithology from Cornell University in 1977.

With Dr. Ronald Sauey, a colleague from Cornell, they established ICF in 1973, as the world’s leader for the study and preservation of cranes. ICF’s mission is met through a creative combination of field research, public education, habitat protection, and captive propagation and reintroduction. Today ICF supports conservation projects in 45 countries.

Dr. Archibald served as the president of ICF until 2000. Today he works on programs in key areas for crane conservation, including Bhutan, China, North and South Korea, Pakistan, and Russia. He has received four honorary doctorates and many awards including the Gold Medal from the World Wildlife Fund, a Fellows Award from the MacArthur Foundation, The Wildlife Conservation Medal from the Zoological Society of San Diego, the Lilly Medal presented by the Indianapolis Zoo, and the Douglas H. Pimlott Award from Nature Canada. In 2013, Dr. Archibald was awarded the Order of Canada on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II, and received the inaugural Dan W. Lufkin Prize for Environmental Leadership from the National Audubon Society. Dr. Archibald is commonly regarded as the world’s foremost authority on cranes.

Dr. Barry Hartup joined ICF in 2000, but his experience with ICF started in 1986 as an aviculture intern prior to becoming ICF’s Director of Veterinarian Services. Working at ICF has helped to fulfill his professional interests in veterinary medicine, animal population health and epidemiology, and conservation of endangered species. Dr. Hartup is the ICF representative to the guidance team of the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership, the group of organizations reintroducing a migratory population of Whooping Cranes to the eastern U.S. Dr. Hartup has an M.S. degree in Conservation Biology and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Ph.D. in Wildlife Health from Cornell University.

Learn more  about Dr. Hartup’s health study focusing on the western Whooping Crane population. The ICF’s Veterinary Services Department is providing health assessments of Whooping Cranes on the population’s wintering area in coastal Texas, as well as chicks captured and banded on the population’s breeding grounds in western Canada.

Dr. Liz Smith is a native Texan, and the rich, coastal environment has been an intimate part of her life. Dr. Smith’s career and life path have focused on finding ways to balance increasing human population numbers and their need for land and water while maintaining a sustainable coastal ecosystem. Through her photography and art, she has also endeavored to convey the beauty of the coastal native diversity and increase awareness of the delicate web of life in the Texas Coastal Bend.

Liz received her M.S. from Corpus Christi State University and her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. For 17 years, she was employed as a Research Scientist at the Center for Coastal Studies, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. She joined ICF in 2011 as the Whooping Crane Conservation Biologist and directs the Texas Program. This fortuitous connection with ICF has provided her the opportunity to focus her efforts on finding viable alternatives that will maintain the integrity of Texas’ coastal environment for cranes, other wildlife and people.

SESSION: Friday, February 20th from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

LOCATION: The University of Texas Marine Science Institute Auditorium