Alabama Audubon hires BSC professor and author as next executive director

Alabama Audubon
Alabama Audubon’s incoming Executive Director Dr. R. Scot Duncan. (Ginger Duncan)

Longtime Birmingham-Southern College professor and acclaimed author Dr. R. Scot Duncan will become Alabama Audubon’s Executive Director on August 15th. 

Alabama Audubon = Dream Job

“This is a dream job for me. It weaves together the things I am most passionate about in my career: science, conservation, education, advocacy, and—especially—birds,” said  Duncan in a news release.

Alabama Audubon is one of the state’s oldest and most prominent conservation organizations. Incorporated in 1946 as the Birmingham Audubon Society, the non-profit changed its name to Alabama Audubon in 2019. 

Presently, the group has offices in Birmingham and on the Gulf Coast and they work year-round to monitor bird species, protect habitat, and connect people with nature.

“We are thrilled to have someone with Scot’s experience and passion join Alabama Audubon. With his leadership and knowledge, we look forward to a thriving and impactful future for our birds and their habitats,” says Alabama Audubon Board President Melanie Seibold.

WOW! Observed 2020 Different Birds Worldwide

Alabama Audubon
Members from Alabama Audubon on a field trip around 3 of Birmingham’s parks. Photo from Alabama Audubon’s Facebook page

Duncan is a recognized expert on bird identification and ecology, having observed 617 species in the United States and 2020 species worldwide. He has taught Biology at Birmingham-Southern College since 2002 and will retire there after two decades this summer.

Along with his work as an educator, Duncan penned the award-winning book Southern Wonder: Alabama’s Surprising Biodiversity, a monumental study that interweaves the disciplines of ecology, evolution, and geology to explain why Alabama is home to more species than any state east of the Mississippi River. In 2023 he expects to publish Creeks to Coast, which explores the environmental history and future of the rivers of the Southeast.

He also serves on the board of trustees for The Nature Conservancy in Alabama and the Cahaba River Society.

Not Just Birds – but the Environment and People

“I am supremely excited about this opportunity. Alabama Audubon is not just about birds, it’s about the environment and, therefore, about Alabama’s people,” Duncan told Bham Now.  “Alabama is in a critical place right now. It’s on the frontlines of both the biodiversity and the climate crises. We need strong leadership from the environmental community to help guide this state into a future where all people–and the ecosystems that sustain them–enjoy a secure and prosperous future. Alabama Audubon is a strong organization, and I’m delighted to join their team and help bring this future into reality.”

Want to learn about Duncan and biodiversity in the state. Check out the Bham Now story — Who Knew? Alabama ranks first in biodiversity. How did that happen?

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Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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