Phil is a biologist with more than 20 years experience studying a variety of North American bird taxa, with a primary focus on seabirds. He began his career studying songbirds in California, Washington, and Idaho, and as a long-term volunteer at the Farallon Islands. In 1996, as a technician in the first year of a seabird restoration project in central California, he learned aerial photographic survey methods for monitoring breeding colonies of surface-nesting seabirds, and he has been in the plane every year since. Phil has guided these methods into the digital era and remains one of the lead researchers responsible for annual aerial photographic surveys throughout coastal California. Since 2007, he also has been part of a team conducting low-level, at-sea aerial surveys of birds and mammals in California, including in response to oil spills. With Colibri, he has applied his aerial survey expertise to waterbird studies in the Gulf of Mexico. Phil also has radio-tracked seabirds, shorebirds, and raptors, and continues to volunteer annually with the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. He became interested in natural history while completing a B.S. in Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley, finding classes in vertebrate zoology and botany more inspiring than pre-med coursework. Born, raised, and still residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of Phil’s favorite activities is celebrating Giants World Series Championships.
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