This year was a big year for recognition of KFBRP staff and partners and the work we do to protect Kauaʻi’s forest birds.
In June Cali, Justin, and their state, federal, and San Diego Zoo Global partners on the “Saving ‘Akikiki from Extinction Team” received the 2018 US Fish and Wildlife Service “Recovery Champions” Award. This award recognized the accomplishment of establishing a robust conservation breeding flock of ‘Akikiki. According to the official award website, “the team has accomplished monumental milestones for conservation breeding efforts for this species and set the precedent for many more”.
Building on this honor, Dr. David Duffy of the Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit nominated Justin for “Employee of the Year” at the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaiʻi (RCUH; our employer). In October, during a luncheon honoring all the nominees (and some tense nail-biting moments, because all of these nominees are extraordinary), Justin walked away with the second-place prize. Again, this award was largely based on the instrumental role Justin played in securing the future of ‘Akikiki by establishing the conservation breeding flock, and his contributions to making all of our projects safer, more productive, and more efficient.