Highlights: Jay Watch Ambassadors

Jay Watch is built on partnerships. Amy Compare and Analee Monrreal inspire students to be involved in Florida Scrub-Jay conservation.

Amy Compare first began her Jay Watch work as a volunteer program biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. In 2023, when she stepped into her new role at the Alachua Land Trust (ALT), she brought her enthusiasm for the jays to a whole new audience. This summer, Amy led a cohort of eight interns at ALT. As one of their enrichment activities the students attended a Jay Watch training at the Cross Florida Greenway Triangle (learn more on page 4). Amy explains: “This was their only opportunity to see Florida scrub habitat and hear about the importance of fire and other land management tools. They also interacted with resource professionals and saw possibilities for careers in the environmental field.” All the students went on to participate in the jay surveys. 

“They loved Jay Watch and one student has recently interviewed for a job working with Florida Scrub-Jays.” — Amy Compare, Jay Watch Ambassador 

Analee Monrreal recently graduated from Stetson University with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. She hopes to continue to study for her master’s degree and use GIS for scrub-jay conservation at Lyonia Preserve. Though she visited Lyonia before her first official Jay Watch survey, she reveled in how much she could see when approaching the visit through the data protocol. “I learned to identify the jays based on their age and sex. Watching them was an unforgettable experience,” she said. Analee uses her passion for the natural world to help birds and the places they need. In addition to her work for Jay Watch, she attended the Audubon Florida Assembly in October and travelled to Washington, D.C. to lobby for seabirds with National Audubon Society staff. She plans to join West Volusia Audubon to continue to share her passion for birds and conservation. 

“As a past Stetson Audubon ambassador, I had the pleasure of learning about Jay Watch from Stephen Kintner (learn more on page 5). His explanation of Jay Watch immediately caught my attention and inspired me to volunteer. I’m grateful for the opportunity to contribute to such a meaningful initiative and to make a positive impact.” — Analee Monrreal, Jay Watch Ambassador 

This article first appeared in the 2023 Jay Watch Report.

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