January 21, 2022

Middletown Resident Dr. Charles Clarkson Appointed as Audubon Director of Avian Research

Audubon Society of Rhode Island


Smithfield, RI (September 20, 2021) – Middletown resident Dr. Charles Clarkson has been appointed Director of Avian Research for the Audubon Society of Rhode Island. In this new position, he will lead efforts in developing research programs to protect birds, other wildlife, and their habitats on Audubon protected properties and other natural spaces in Rhode Island.
This work will include assessing the current abundance of birds utilizing Audubon properties, as well as developing a research plan for understanding long-term population trends. Dr. Clarkson will work closely with Audubon staff on management plans to enhance biodiversity on Audubon wildlife refuges and minimize the impacts of climate change on birds utilizing these conservation properties.

Dr. Clarkson recently served as the coordinator for the Rhode Island Bird Atlas, assessing long-term changes to the state’s avian populations. He has been responsible for the experimental design and implementation of field protocols, the recruitment, training, and management of over 200 volunteers, the collection, compilation, and analysis of the atlas data.

“Dr. Clarkson has a wealth of knowledge regarding the avian population and their habitats in Rhode Island,” said Audubon Executive Director Larry Taft. “He is well respected by environmental organizations and scientists throughout the state through his research and work with the RI Bird Atlas. We are thrilled to have him join the Audubon staff as Director of Avian Research.”

Dr. Clarkson earned an undergraduate degree in Environmental Sciences at Mary Washington College, a master’s degree in biology from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Doctorate degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia. He has received numerous awards for his research in the field of ornithology and resides in Middletown, RI.

Audubon Society of Rhode Island is an independent not-for-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting birds, wildlife, and their habitats through environmental education, advocacy, and land conservation. The state’s first environmental organization, the Society now protects nearly 10,000 acres in a network of refuges, pristine properties and wildlife habitats. One of the largest private environmental educators in the state, in 2019 Audubon staff taught approximately 20,000 people across the region. Audubon Society of Rhode Island is not affiliated with National Audubon.


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