Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory

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Observatory Director William Mueller Announces Retirement Date

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William Mueller, director of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, is retiring after nearly a decade of service.

Present at every moment of the Observatory's young life and the author of many of its proudest accomplishments, Mueller plans to retire on Oct. 15, 2019.

Mueller has served as Director since 2010. He succeeded the Observatory founder, the late Dr. Noel Cutright, one of the state's leading ornithologists, who died in 2013.

Under Mueller's leadership, the Observatory has sponsored scientific meetings, a hawk watch, annual celebrations of World Migratory Bird Day, and butterfly workshops at its home at the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust's Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, and grown into a respected independent non-profit research, education, and conservation advocacy organization.

Mueller has coordinated the Observatory's Waterbird Watch at Harrington Beach State Park since 2012 and overseen the growth of the Southeastern Wisconsin Conservation Summit, a popular two-day scientific conference held each year in early November.

He has served on the steering committees of both the Midwest Migration Network, founded in 2014, and the second Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas, where since 2015 he has led statewide training efforts that helped recruit more than 1,900 volunteers for five years of field work.

Mueller also has been the driving force behind the creation of a network of Motus migration-monitoring towers in Wisconsin. A Motus station is now up and running at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, and by summer’s end, additional stations will be in place in Manitowoc, Waukesha, and Grant counties and at the Milwaukee Zoo. Two additional stations will be constructed in Columbia and Iowa counties, and many more are in the planning stage.

All of these important and successful projects and others will continue after Mueller's retirement, said Board Chair Charles Hagner. "Just as Bill so ably fulfilled Noel's wishes," Hagner said, "we will find a new science director who will be able to pick up right where Bill lets off."

The Observatory will start searching for a new science director immediately. Details about the position are available on the Observatory website. 

Read a description of the Science Director position.

For more information, please write to the Observatory at .