CHANDLER ROBBINS AWARDED ALLEN MEDAL....Fall Issue of Newsletter of Cornell L. of 0.
The thtrteenth annual Arthur A. Allen award dinner honored Chandler Robbins. The
in+roduc+ory remarks by Dr. Lancas+er concluded thusly: "Ar+hur A. Allen was strongly committed to the Idea that scientists should talk about their science to the public; that professionals should convey their findings to ama+eurs. Arthur Allen's
enthusiasm kindled an Interest in nature, birds, and conservation for many students.
Chandler Robbins also ignited the excitement and curiosity of watching and studying
birds among thousands of persons of all ages. His profession remains his hobby.
His professional objective, as he states It, is "To share with others a hobby that
for four decades has given me a great deal of pleasure, relaxation, and satisfaction
for by creating an interest in birds, one fosters an awareness for natural communities that are fast disappearing...." For contributions that have expanded our knowledge of the movements and distributions of birds; for highly successful efforts In
broadening the general interest in birds through an innovative field guide; for
stimulating amateur efforts through the establishment of cooperative research programs; for standardizing the bird-banding program and expanding Its use as a research tool; the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology bestows upon Chandler S. Robbins
the Ar+hur A. Allen Award". In accepting the Arthur A. Allen Medal, Chandler Robbins presented the following remarks on the future of bird populations and the study
"This occasion is really a tribute to Arthur Augustus Allen, a man of tremendous Insight, decades ahead of his time; a stimulating educator, who directly Influenced
the lives of over ten thousand sfudents and who, through his writings and public
lectures, enlightened literally millions of Americans. Doc Allen realized the Importance of getting across his message to the man in the street as well as to his students. Much of the conservation movement today owes its origin to seeds he planted
decades ago. Public apathy regarding the environment Is difficult to overcome, and
It has taken a couple of generations of people such as Arthur Allen, Roger Peterson,
SewalI Pettinglll, James Fisher, Peter Scott, Allan Cruickshank, Joseph Hickey, and
Karl MaslowskI to condition the public to the point that there Is some support of
such Important actions as international migratory bird treaties, pesticide control,
and nongame legislation.
"We are all grateful that Doc Allen's Influence Is still very much with us In the
many research and educational programs of the Laboratory of Ornithology. These programs will take on Increasing Importance In the years to come.
"Let us take a quick look into the future of bird populations on our continent, and
the future of the hobby of bird watching and the science of ornithology. We are
going to see severe impacts on our environment as we move into the 21st Century. If
present populations trends continue, we can expect a 50? Increase In the human population of the United States within the lifetime of today's college students. We
tend to believe that our land Is already being used to the u+most. What will happen
+o our wildlife when we have 50? more human mou+hs to feed and bodies to clothe and
shelter? And will the impact in Latin America, where so many of our birds winter,
be any less than In our own country? ,£»■ ,.
"We have learned to produce more corn per acre, but what will become of birds whose
marshes are drained or whose woods are destroyed? They simply could not continue
to raise young even if they were to attempt to squeeze Into smaller nesting territories In the remaining habitat. Several government agencies are beginning to talk
of managing habitat for non-game birds. Research personnel of the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, for example, are using computers to analyze numerical descriptions
of habitats to determine specific features that are required by various species of
"Basically, however, future management will provide for retaining examples of natural
habitats in their various stages of succession so that the needs of all the typical
species are satisfied. This is where we are soon to feel the pinch.
"We need more land for agriculture. This means a subs+an+ial loss of forests and a
continuing loss of wetlands, together with an Increasing demand for irrigation water.
Human needs in time of crisis are bound to take precedence over the needs of wildlife. There will be tremendous pressure for major changes in forest management:
more extensive use of herbicides, insecticides, and monoculture, and shorter rotation periods. This means that many of the forest birds that we now take for granted
will be lacking from a large proportion of the forests of the future. And as fields
become larger to accommodate large mechanical equipment, hedgerows and small wood-
lots will go, and farms will lose much of the diversity of their bird life.
"Consequently, we need to start planning now for where we want to find birds In the
future. Can we afford to protect and manage a few large natural areas In perpetuity