Senior Avian Ecologist
Dr. Caleb Gordon is a senior avian ecologist at Pandion with 19 years of experience conducting research in migrant avian ecology. Caleb holds a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (1999) from the University of Arizona and a BA in Biology (1991) from Williams College. He is a federally licensed master bird bander certified by the North American Bird Banding Council.
As a core member of Pandion’s wind-wildlife team, Caleb is designing and managing projects for wind energy developers, regulators, and conservation groups interested in understanding and mitigating the impacts of wind energy development on wildlife.
Caleb's current wind energy work includes:
Migrant Bird Ecology
Caleb has extensive experience observing, identifying, and surveying birds in the field throughout North, Central, and South America. He is broadly experienced with transect, point count, and other field survey techniques for birds. Much of his research has centered upon mist-netting and banding songbirds, and his doctoral research focused on the wintering ecology of rare and declining grassland songbirds. As a member of the Bushnell-Smithsonian Institution team, Caleb competed for eight years in the World Series of Birding and was a member of record-setting birding “big day” teams in Australia and Arizona.
As a professor of biology at Lake Forest College, Caleb created the Shaw Woods Avian Monitoring Project (SWAMP), a mist-netting field research project on the stopover ecology of migrant songbirds. After obtaining his doctorate, Caleb was awarded an international postdoctoral fellowship from the National Science Foundation, for which he spent one year at the Instituto de Ecología, A.C., in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, investigating the abundance and diversity of tropical forest birds and beetles in Mexican coffee plantations.
Communications, Outreach, and Teaching
Caleb is highly skilled in written and oral communication of scientific material for both technical and nontechnical publications. He has served as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation and a variety of professional scientific journals and has authored many reports and articles synthesizing and summarizing technical information for nonspecialists.
He also brings to Pandion his leadership experience with public outreach and education projects related to birds. His research programs in Arizona and Illinois entailed building, coordinating, and supervising volunteer networks. Over 500 volunteers assisted with field work after receiving training from Caleb in bird identification and handling techniques.
In 2006, Caleb established and has since served as compiler for a Christmas Bird Count Circle based at the Yanayacu Center for Creative Studies in Napo Province, Ecuador. This CBC Circle is helping build a community of bird appreciation in Ecuador, while contributing data from the richest avifauna on earth to the National Audubon Society’s 100-year-old hemisphere-wide citizen science database.
During his time as a professor of biology at Lake Forest College, he taught a variety of courses in the general areas of ecology and environmental studies, including ornithology, tropical ecology, nature in Chicago, agroecology, ecology and evolution, and conservation biology.
When Not at Work
Caleb’s other interests include collecting beetles and other insects, maintaining a live collection of frogs and other reptiles and amphibians, and the Boston Red Sox. He shares these interests to varying degrees with his wife and daughters.