Paul Schwalbe

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The Earl Poole Award for Outstanding Contributions to Ornithology in Pennsylvania was given to Dr. Paul Schwalbe following the PSO annual banquet on May 18, 1997. Paul has contributed to bird conservation and knowledge in many ways during his career. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and spent most of his career teaching ornithology, among other subjects, at Lock Haven University. More than 30 years ago, he laid out the Breeding Bird Survey routes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for the US Fish and Wildlife Service and continued as state coordinator until 1997. During those years he ran a number of routes himself, totaling more runs than almost any other person in the state.

Paul is an excellent example of ornithology’s tradition of blurred distinctions between professional and amateur. Although a professional, he has contributed in many ways that went beyond his immediate duties. He has compiled Christmas Bird Counts (and participated in more than 120 CBCs through the years), conducted Breeding and Wintering Bird Censuses, served as Regional Coordinator for the Breeding Bird Atlas and as Clinton County Compiler for Pennsylvania Birds, banded birds, co-founded the West Branch Bird Club. He has been involved in almost every significant ornithological activity in Pennsylvania. Paul has contributed significantly to many publications, including authoring 15 species accounts for the Atlas, co-authored (with his wife Glenna) the Annotated List of the Birds of Pennsylvania, and other regional publications.

A significant, although largely unseen contribution, is his influence on many students of various subjects who learned to appreciate birds under his tutelage. Ornithology in Pennsylvania would not be the same without Paul’s contribution, and the Society for Ornithology is privileged to give this honor to him.