American Bird Conservancy Adds Four New Senior Staff



Contact: Robert Johns, 202-234-7181 ext.210,



(Washington, D.C., July 24, 2012) American Bird Conservancy, one of the nation’s leading bird conservation groups, has added four new senior staff members who will provide expertise on a variety of key programs for the organization.


They are:


Cynthia Palmer, Pesticides Program Manager
Cynthia will manage ABC’s efforts to address the major toxic impacts and pollution threats to birds ranging from rat poison effects on raptors to chemical disruptions of migratory bird navigation systems. Prior to joining ABC, Cynthia worked in the environmental arena in the U.S. and internationally -- in the executive and legislative branches of government, in nonprofit organizations, and in the news media. She co-authored a report on pest control for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, advocated for safer alternatives with the World Wildlife Fund, and helped place pesticide issues in the national spotlight as senior editor of the daily news service, Environmental Health News. Her other work has dealt with chemical contamination, agriculture and food safety issues, worker health and safety, air and water pollution, and climate and energy policy.  Cynthia received her Bachelor of Arts, Juris Doctor, and Master of Public Health degrees from Harvard, concentrating in environmental and occupational health sciences and law.


John H. Schulz, Non-lead Campaign
John will head up ABC’s effort to reduce the mortality threat to birds from lead contamination that occurs from a variety of sources. Prior to joining ABC, John worked for 27 years with the Missouri Department of Conservation as a research scientist on migratory shore and upland gamebird harvest management (e.g. Mourning Doves, Northern Bobwhite, Woodcock, Sandhill Cranes); impacts of radio-telemetry and development of surgically implanted transmitters; grassland/grazing evaluations; development of an urban watershed research program; and wildlife impacts of lead poisoning and the integration of science, policy, and politics.  He received a BS and MA in biology from Minnesota State University.


Holly Freifeld, Seabirds Program
Holly will assume responsibility for ABC’s work to conserve the hemisphere’s seabirds through a combination of domestic and international work that ranges from reducing bycatch of seabirds in fisheries to combating alien predators on islands to promoting sound policies for seabirds with governments. Holly joins ABC following eleven years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, nine of which she spent in the field office in Honolulu, working on the recovery of endangered birds and bats in Hawaii and the U.S. Pacific Islands.  Most recently, she worked on seabird management and conservation issues for the Migratory Birds Division in the FWS Regional Office in Portland, Oregon. Prior to joining FWS, Holly’s experience in the study and conservation of island birds includes monitoring, management, and research in American Samoa, Independent Samoa, Tonga, Palau, Hawaii, and California; and a turn as a naturalist guide in Galapagos. Holly received her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. Her master’s research examined the abundance and distribution of nesting seabirds in native and non-native vegetation at Midway Atoll, and her doctoral research focused on spatial and temporal variation in forest birds among habitat types in American Samoa.


John Nielsen, Senior
Before he came to ABC, John Nielsen spent 19 years reporting on environmental issues for National Public Radio, and one year working as the Journalist in Residence at the World Wildlife Fund-US. In 2005, he won the annual award for Best Radio Reporting from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2006, his book: “Condor/To the Brink and Back/The Life and Times of One Giant Bird” won the National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature.  He’s written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.  He’s lectured at Princeton, Stanford, Yale, and the University of Utah.


John earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from Stanford University.



American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. ABC acts by safeguarding the rarest species, conserving and restoring habitats, and reducing threats, while building capacity in the bird conservation movement.