Oh man, did I totally stink at finding nests… I found most of them at 4 eggs, and one of them I didn’t find at all, I just discovered a brood of chicks running around on the beach one day. I referenced that binder constantly throughout that first field season, trying to decipher different calls and behaviors, trying to figure out what might be eating nests and what might be taking chicks… I was out there alone and I had no idea what I was doing, but I had that binder to guide me.
Before I knew him, “Scott Melvin” became the voice in my head telling me what to do, where to look, and what the birds were doing. If you read the manual carefully, you will find hints of Scott’s sense of humor. There’s a section where he tells the bird monitor all of the equipment that they will need to take out into the field with them and buried inside that advice he offers that you might want to take along a Sherpa to carry everything. These little tidbits always made me chuckle at my situation.
That fall, I had the chance to meet Scott, and I was tremendously humbled by how dedicated he was to the conservation of this species, and I was immediately inspired to dedicate myself to a species in the same manner. At the time, however, I had no idea that it would be piping plovers too. Eventually, Scott became a member of my Master’s committee, providing direct guidance towards my research of piping plovers. Today, he continues to be a voice in my head as my Ph.D. work focuses on piping plover conservation.
Scott Melvin has touched the lives of many wildlife managers and wildlife biologists in a similar way, and he will continue to do so through the establishment of the Melvin Memorial Fund. The Melvin Memorial Fund will honor Scott’s memory and continue his legacy of the conservation of piping plovers. Please consider making a donation in honor of this conservation hero.
Send a check payable to: Mass. Outdoor Heritage Foundation, P.O. Box 47, Westborough, MA and be sure to write “Melvin Fund” on the memo line.
- Michelle Stantial