PGS Lecture Series 2021-10: Jonathan Villasper on mapping birds

In the book Arctic Dreams (1986), written by nature writer Barry Lopez, he observed: “Birds tug at the mind and heart with a strange intensity.” This intense emotional pull of the avian species has, through the years, captivated poets and ornithologists, birdwatchers and cartographers. In ethno-ornithology literature, stories are told and narrated by local inhabitants of bird sightings and what they mean to environment, climate, community, and folklore. A new wave of interest in birds and birdwatching, spurred by availability of robust data and access to map technologies led to a renewed vigor to locate their habitats, migratory patterns and behavior and how these relate to the constantly changing environmental and geocultural landscapes.

For the 10th Philippine Geographical Society Lecture Series (PGS LS) for 2021, geographer and longtime birder Jonathan Villasper will talk and share various mapping geovisualizations of birds in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia. The lecture – Mapping Bird Ecology and Conservation – uses cartographic visualizations that tell various bird stories. With a special focus on bird conservation efforts and initiatives, Jon Villasper’s lecture also touches on the identification and delineation of protected areas. Key to mapping efficacy is robust data.

Jon Villasper is a birdwatcher, founder and permanent Executive Committee member of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines. He is also a geographer and a former instructor of Digital Cartography at the UP Dept of Geography where he taught GIS and cartography for several years in both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has used his skills and knowledge on geography, data, and cartography in a variety of fields including urban planning, transportation, reproductive health, conflict and development, education, history, and for the longest time, in biodiversity conservation where he had the opportunity to work on, among other things, the book Threatened Birds of the Philippines – an exhaustive resource listing and discussing Philippine birds that are in danger of disappearing from the country, their distribution, ecology, and threats. He also served as member, president and adviser of the UP Haring Ibon. 

The lecture happens on 7 August (Saturday) at 2:00PM. To register, please click this link

The lecture is co-sponsored by the UP Department of GeographyThe UP Wild, Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, and UP Haring Ibon

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