Western Bird Banding Association
Annual Meeting 2018
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September 6 - 9, 2018

“Banding: A tool for studying climate change"



Hosted by The Alaska Songbird Institute

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The Western Bird Banding Association (WBBA) and the Alaska Songbird Institute (ASI) are pleased to invite you to scenic Fairbanks, Alaska, for WBBA’s annual meeting. This year, the Alaska Songbird Institute turns five, and they are very excited to share this special year with banders from all over western North America by hosting this meeting and showing off some fabulous boreal birds. The meeting coincides with peak bird migration and peak foliage coloration for the Fairbanks area.

ASI’s mission is the conservation of boreal birds through ecological education and research. ASI was founded in January 2013 to adopt and revitalize two long-term research and education projects, the Creamer’s Field Migration Station (CFMS) and the Swallow Ecology program. These two projects typify ASI’s approach to science and education: they conduct research on conservation and management of boreal birds, and they involve people of all ages in data collection, ultimately creating stewards of the environment and the birds within it.

Creamer’s Field Migration Station is the longest running migration station in Alaska, initiated in 1992. The focus is on changes in migratory ecology of birds in the rapidly changing sub-arctic boreal forest. CFMS data informs conservation and management plans, and the station provides unique and accessible educational opportunities to students, community members and visitors from all over the world to learn about migratory birds and conservation. The Swallow Ecology project, founded in 1994, investigates the breeding ecology of Tree Swallows at their northernmost range. It also lead to the Alaska Swallow Monitoring Network, which involves students, teachers and scientists from Alaskan communities in investigations of the phenology and breeding ecology of Tree Swallows, while educating participating community members about songbird conservation in a changing climate.

The sub-arctic environment is currently undergoing rapid climate change, and these changes appear to be impacting the long-term monitoring projects headed by ASI. The theme selected for this meeting, "Banding: a tool for studying climate change," is intended to promote wider reflection of the importance of climate change to bird banding and field ornithology within the migratory range of arctic, subarctic, and western birds. Submissions on this topic to scientific sessions or workshops are encouraged.

Fairbanks, the second most populous town in Alaska, is located in the middle Tanana River Valley nestled between the Brooks Range to the North and the Alaska Range to the south. Fairbanks has a sub-arctic climate that contains boreal forest, a multitude of wetlands and small patches of shrub-tundra. The town is a wonderful place to see wildlife and birds, including moose, beaver and migratory birds. Denali National Park and Preserve is two hours south, a short train ride away, where you can see foxes, lynx, wolves, caribou, moose, brown and black bears, and possibly Gyrfalcons, Long-tailed Jaegers and Golden Eagles. Expect crisp nights (possibly low 30’s), mild daytime temperatures (mid-high 50’s), and great fall colors. Creamer’s Field Migration Station captures a variety of boreal songbirds, including Rusty Blackbirds, Blackpoll Warblers, Black-backed Woodpeckers, Varied Thrushes, Hoary and Common Redpolls, Boreal Chickadees, Gray Jays, and Gray-cheeked Thrushes.

Birds in the hand and scenery

The meeting will be held at the Wedgewood Resort (Group Code WBBA918 to stay here), located about one mile from Creamer’s Field Migration Station where the banding demonstrations will be held. The resort borders the Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, a 2000-acre state managed wildlife refuge with multiple opportunities for birding and walking on nature trails. The resort also has its own 75-acre nature reserve with walking trails and birding, and is located in the center of Fairbanks.

Online registration is now available here. Submission of abstracts for papers, posters and demonstrations is now open and may be accessed here. Scientific submissions are due by August 24. You may also register by filling this PDF form and mailing or emailing it to the addresses within. Online payment is available here.

What is included in registration?  Dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings. Thursday evening, there will be a food truck available. Breakfast and lunch will be on your own, with breakfast available at the Resort and lunch suggested at the farmer's market Saturday.

» Professional/current WBBA member - USD $75.00
» Professional /non-member - USD $100.00; includes a year-long membership to WBBA
» Student or intern/current WBBA member - USD $50.00
» Student or intern/non-member - USD $65.00; includes a year-long membership to WBBA)
> Partial waivers of costs may be available for students or others who volunteer to assist at the conference. Contact: wbbameeting2018@gmail.com

PRELIMINARY SCHEDULE (Updates will be posted here)

Thursday, September 6, 2018
    Meet and Greet social at Hoodoo Brewery
Friday, September 7, 2018
    All day -- Banding Demonstrations and Workshops
    BBQ/barbeque and social in the evening
Saturday, September 8, 2018
    All day -- Scientific Sessions starting with a Plenary Speaker
    Poster session and social
    Closing banquet at the Alaska Salmon Bake restaurant
Sunday, September 9, 2018
    Field Trips
    Banding demonstrations  


UAF Bird Collection Tour (Max. 10 participants)

Join Jack Withrow, Ph.D, the curator of the University of Alaska bird collection, on a tour. The collection holds over 27,000 birds, including almost all bird species (and subspecies) known in Alaska. Hear about current projects including the Genomic Resources Collection, the most complete collection of avian material from Alaska and other taxa endemic to Beringia and the circumpolar North.
Birding and Nature: Walk the Trails at the University of Fairbanks
Join local birders and naturalists on a scenic walk through the University trails to learn about local flora and fauna. Highlights include Golden-crowned Kinglets, Townsend Warblers, Boreal Chickadees, Spruce Grouse and the occasional moose!
Birding with Jeff Walters at Tanana Lakes/UAF – Smith Lake Trails
Join Jeff Walters for a morning of birding at one of Fairbanks’ local hotspots. Highlights often include Sandhill Cranes, American Three-toed Woodpeckers, Black-backed Woodpeckers, Boreal Chickadees and the occasional Sharp-tailed Grouse.
Creamer’s Field History and Nature Walk
Join Mark D. Ross on an exciting and informative tour of Creamer’s Field. You’ll learn the unique history of the refuge and see iconic wildlife. Highlights include Sandhill Cranes, American Three-toed Woodpeckers, Black-backed Woodpeckers, Boreal Chickadees and the occasional Sharp-tailed Grouse.
Lower Chena River Paddle (Minimum 6 participants)
Experience Interior Alaska wildlife while floating down the wild and scenic Chena River! Moose, waterfowl and many songbirds can be seen on your journey. Beginner paddlers are welcome. All gear and shuttles to and from the float will be provided.

Lodging suggestions in the Fairbanks area are provided below

Meals and food will be a mix of Fairbanks finest, from local food trucks, potluck style socials, local food from the Tanana Valley Farmer’s Market, and the Alaska Salmon Bake.

Banding demonstrations will be held at Creamer’s Field Migration Station, approximately a one mile walk from the Wedgewood Resort.

Scientific sessions and workshops will be held at the Wedgewood Resort.
Lodging in Fairbanks has many choices including campgrounds, hostels, and hotels, all located within 5 miles of the Wedgewood. Updated information will be posted on this page.

Transportation: The airport is located on the outskirts of Fairbanks, about a 10-15 minute drive from the Wedgewood. Shuttle buses to and from the airport are provided by the Wedgewood; please ask upon reserving your hotel room.

Auction: The auction helps keep the meeting affordable for students. Do you have something to contribute to a silent or live auction? If so, please bring it to the meeting. All sorts of nature and bird-related items (pictures, books, traps, t-shirts, feeders, equipment, etc.) are welcomed as auction items. Come and share your extras, and have fun!

Contact Information: for inquiries, please email wbbameeting2018@gmail.com, or check with C.J. Ralph 707-499-9707 (cjralph@humboldt1.com).

Inexpensive Lodging in the Fairbanks Area

RV Parks and Campgrounds:
River’s Edge Campground
4140 Boat Street
Fairbanks, AK 99709
Cost: $25 - $46

1316 Badger Road
North Pole, AK 99705
Cost: $30 - $49

Tanana Valley Campground
College Road at the Fairgrounds
Cost: $20 - $25

Chena River Campground
3530 Geraghty Ave
Fairbanks, Ak 99701
Cost: $12 - $20

Fairbanks International Hostel
4316 Birch Lane
Fairbanks, AK
$25: single bed; $60 - $75 for private rooms

Billie’s Backpackers
2895 Mack Blvd
Tent spaces: $20 Dormitory rooms: $35
Single rooms- Ask for rates

9th Avenue Hostel
Tent spaces and dormitory Rooms
Rates: $30 per night

Sven’s Basecamp Hostel
 3505 Davis Road    
Fairbanks, AK 99709
Tent spaces, shared wall tents, cabins, tipis and a tree house
Rates: $9 - $100

Alaska Wildlife Hostel and Cabins
In North Pole near the Chena Recreation Area
Rates: Minimum 2-night stay. $99 for 2 people plus 8% tax

North Pole Cabins
In North Pole 15 minutes from Fairbanks
Two cabins available
$139 - $209

Bed and Breakfasts
Ah, Rose Marie
302 Cowles St. Fairbanks, Alaska 99701
9 rooms
$65 - $120

AK Golden Umbrella B&B
458 Terrace Dr.
Fairbanks, AK 99712
$109 - $139

Alaska Heritage House
410 Cowles Street, Fairbanks, AK 99701
8 rooms $70 - $195