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Special Guest Lecture: Harvard Ornithologist Dr. Scott Edwards

April 13 , 7:00 pm 8:30 pm

Bicycling, birding and #BLM Across America in a Summer of Chaos

UAB Hill Student Center, Alumni Theater
1400 University Boulevard

This lecture is free and open to the public.
Registration is required by April 10 at 12am.

Presented in partnership with the Biology Department of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Alabama Audubon is thrilled to welcome Harvard Ornithologist, Dr. Scott Edwards, as its first special guest speaker of 2023.

Through vivid photographs and videos, Dr. Edwards will bring you along on his 76-day, 3800-mile bicycle trek across the United States in the summer of 2020, when the world was leveled by a pandemic and outraged by the murders of George Floyd and others. As he rides through varied landscapes and communities, with “Black Lives Matter” signs affixed to his bicycle, Scott will reflect upon the people, landscapes, and birds that he encountered, and convey the challenges, generosity, and hope that inspired and surprised him throughout his journey. His two-wheeled story is a clarion call to people of all stripes to enjoy the open road, make connections across divides, and—with binoculars in hand—help break down stereotypes often attached to people of color in the United States. 

Street parking any public lot is available. Please only use student parking only if absolutely necessary as they may be associated with student residences. For questions or concerns about accessibility, please contact Allison Abney at allison@alaudubon.org.


Dr. Edwards’ interest in ornithology and natural history began as a child growing up in Riverdale, Bronx, NYC, where he undertook his first job in environmental science working for an environmental institute called Wave Hill. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard in 1986. As an undergraduate, Scott took a year off from his studies to learn what it is biologists do—6 months spent volunteering at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, and field experience assisting with research on the natural history and conservation of native birds in Hawaii and northern California. Edwards then returned to Harvard to finish his degree before enrolling in the PhD program in Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley. After 9 years teaching at the University of Washington, he returned to Harvard as a professor in 2003.

Edwards served on the Councils and as President of several scientific societies and spent two years of national service at the National Science Foundation in Washington DC. He has served on the advisory boards of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and the National Museum of Natural History. His research on the evolution of birds has taken him around the world, and he has devoted his career to increasing the number of BIPOC in the environmental sciences, having won numerous awards both for his research and for his efforts to increase diversity in the biological sciences. In 2020, he rode his bicycle across the United States, traversing 15 states and passing through numerous communities and landscapes. Edwards lives in Concord, MA and teaches undergraduates and graduate students in ecology and evolutionary biology.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Through more than seventy-five years of conservation work in one of our nation’s most ecologically rich states, Alabama Audubon has seen firsthand how diversity strengthens natural communities. This same principle applies to human communities, which is why our organization is committed to providing equitable and inclusive opportunities for all Alabamians to learn about and enjoy wild birds, their habitats, and the natural world. One of the best ways to support that belief is by valuing and actively seeking to strengthen diversity among our staff, our board, and our membership. To that end, Alabama Audubon welcomes everyone to participate in our work, and strives to make our programs, classes, and events welcome, inclusive, and accessible to all.