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Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s Brian Sullivan to Keynote 2015 Mountain Bird Festival

Mountain Bird Festival 2015 Keynote Presentation —

eBird: Innovating citizen-science, big data research, and bird conservation

Brian Sullivan

In our fast-paced world, birds serve as an unrivaled window for studying and assessing environmental change: literal canaries in coal mines. eBird is a network of human observers spread across the planet collecting millions of data points each month, combined with the power of remote sensors that collect real-time environmental data, spun together through innovative computer science and modeling efforts that ultimately achieve real-world conservation outcomes for birds. Today eBird is arguably the fastest-growing biodiversity network in existence. Find out how we’ve taken a novel approach to crowdsourcing, and turned the birding community’s global passion for birds into a vast data resource for science and conservation.

Brian Sullivan has conducted fieldwork on birds throughout North America for the past 20 years. Birding travels, photography, and field projects have taken him to Central and South America, to Antarctica, the Arctic and across North America. He has written and consulted on various books, popular, and scientific literature on North American birds, and is a co-author on The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors, and the forthcoming Princeton Guide to North American Birds. He is currently project leader for eBird ( and photographic editor for the Birds of North America Online at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. He also served as photographic editor for the American Birding Association’s journal North American Birds from 2005-2013.