SCVAS Speaker Series: Jennifer Rycenga
Wednesday, June 02, 2021
07:00 PM - 08:30 PM
Queer Birds: Community Inclusion, Community Building, and Community Science
In the early 2000s, LBGT rights were under attack; there was no marriage equality, and LGBTQ people often felt unsafe in the field. To build a veritable, ongoing community, a group of LGBTQ birders banded together to start what is now called QBNA - Queer Birders of North America. Local Bay Area birder Jennifer Rycenga spearheaded the west coast organizing efforts for this group, which has now flourished for almost two decades, with biennial birding trips both nationally and abroad. The community built up through QBNA has always been open to all allies of the cause, and has been the occasion for genuine solidarity with many straight birders. This model of open, accepting community parallels the 21st century growth in Community Science projects like eBird, iNaturalist, and the BioBlitz movement. This talk will look at the history of LGBTQ birders and QBNA in particular, and the rapid growth of community science in the Bay Area, as examples of how birding can create and sustain diverse communities of people.
Jennifer serves as the Board President of our sister chapter, Sequoia Audubon. Jennifer teaches at San José State University in Humanities.
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