KU Council of Trustees approves honorary doctorate for local naturalist
The Kutztown University Council of Trustees approved on March 2 the awarding of an honorary doctorate degree to Scott Weidensaul, which will be presented at the institution’s 2017 Spring Commencement on May 13.
A long-time board member at nearby Hawk Mountain in Kempton, Weidensaul is a Pennsylvania-based naturalist and author. He was a finalist for the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction for his book “Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds.”
Weidensaul, who attended KU, began his writing career in 1978 with a weekly natural history column in the Pottsville Republican. He became a full-time reporter for the newspaper, a position he held until 1988 when he left to become a freelance writer.
Weidensaul has written more than two dozen books. His latest book is the “Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean,” which was published in 2015.
Weidensaul’s writing has appeared in dozens of publications, including Audubon (for which he is contributing editor), Bird Watcher’s Digest and National Wildlife, among many others. He lectures widely on conservation and nature, and directs the ornithological programs for National Audubon’s famed Hog Island Center on the coast of Maine.
Weidensaul is also an active field researcher whose work focuses on bird migration. He is a co-director of Project Owlnet, a collaborative effort among nearly 125 banding and research stations across North America studying owl migration. He has directed a major effort to study the movements of northern saw-whet owls, one of the smallest and least-understood raptors in North America.
Weidensaul co-founded Project SNOWstorm, which uses cutting-edge tracking technology to study snowy owls, and is a founder of the Critical Connections project, which is tracking the migration of birds that breed on National Park lands in Alaska. He is also part of a continental effort to understand the rapid evolution, by several species of western hummingbirds, of a new migratory route and wintering range in the East.
In other business from the public session, the KU Council of Trustees approved agreements of academic cooperation between the university and Ming Chuan University of Taiwan, Tapwan; and the university and Rodale Institute of Kutztown. Signing agreements were held with the two organizations over the past two weeks.
Council approved new internship agreements for KU students with the Borough of Emmaus, Emmaus, (Geography), BucksMont Party Rental, New Britain, Pa. (Sport Management), Child and Family Support Service Pa., Reading, (Social Work), Christ Church Children’s Center, Fleetwood, (Special Education), Edison Court, Inc., Doylestown, (Social Work), Exeter Township Police Department, Reading, (Criminal Justice), Hurricane Junior Golf Tour, Jacksonville, Fla. (Sport Management), JK Environmental Services, LLC, Conshohocken, (Geography), Macungie Police Department, Macungie, (Criminal Justice), Miracle League of the Lehigh Valley, Schnecksville, (Sport Management), The Salvation Army of Pottstown, Pottstown, (Social Work), Security Guards, Inc., Reading, (Computer Science), United Sports, Downingtown, (Sport Management).
Council approved consent agenda items consisting of select purchases and contracts (under $100,000 and $100,000 and over).
They also approved the capital budget, which includes projects slated for 2019 through 2022.
The KU Council of Trustees next public board meeting is scheduled for April 13, at 3 p.m.