Susan Schubel Of Audubon's Project Puffin Named Disney Conservation Hero
Known locally to thousands of Maine children as "Seabird Sue," Schubel has been bringing hands-on activities to children in mid-coast Maine schools since 1998. A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, she brings both extensive experience as a field biologist and her skills as an artist to Maine classrooms. An innovative educator, she has introduced more than 10,000 students to Maine's rich ecology and Audubon's Seabird Restoration Program through a wide variety of activities, most of which she has created. Schubel also serves as co-manager of Audubon's Hog Island Camp, which has been educating adults, children, and families about coastal wildlife in Maine and beyond for over 70 years. www.maineaudubon.org/explore/camp/hi_overview.shtml
Audubon launched Project Puffin 35 years ago after puffins were nearly wiped out in Maine after three centuries of intense hunting for their eggs, meat and feathers. Led by Dr. Stephen Kress, the Audubon project has restored colonies of the colorful seabirds to Eastern Egg Rock and Seal Island. Techniques used by Project Puffin have since been used around the world, helping more than 40 other seabird species. A "Puffin Camera" is now beaming live streaming video and sounds from Maine. For highlights see clips from last season at www.projectpuffin.org/puffin-cam-best.html
The DWCF Conservation Heroes program rewards the dedication of individuals who, often at the risk of personal safety, work tirelessly to save animals, protect habitat and educate the people in surrounding communities. According to DWCF Director Kim Sams, the award was created "to bring attention to the fact that conservation programs are successful because of the people involved with the initiative." DWCF presented a cash award of $1,000 to National Audubon Society, which will be shared with Susan to be used at her discretion.
With the help of Walt Disney World, Disney Vacation Club and Disney Cruise Line Guests, the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and The Walt Disney Company have supported more than 750 conservation projects in 110 countries, totaling more than $12 million. www.disneyconservation.com.