Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory

Observatory Praises Retiring Directors

Directors Terrence Knudsen and Glen Fredlund End Long, Productive Tenures

The Board of Directors of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory in Port Washington, WI, has unanimously passed resolutions expressing appreciation for the lengthy volunteer service of directors Terrence K. Knudsen and Dr. Glen Fredlund, who are retiring.

In addition to serving on the Board, both Knudsen and Fredlund were original members of the Steering Committee that preceded it. Formed in 2013, the Steering Committee guided the Observatory as it became an independent non-profit research, education, and advocacy organization, drafted the charters of its subcommittees, and crafted its foundational documents— the mission statement, vision statement, and strategic plan.

“We can’t thank Terry and Glen enough for their many contributions to the Board of Directors, to the Observatory, and to the conservation of birds generally,” said Board Chair Charles Hagner. “That the Observatory is effective today is largely thanks to them.” 

Fredlund taught for twenty-nine years at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee before retiring in August 2019. He was an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and the Director of the university’s Conservation and Environmental Science Program.

In addition to identifying excellent student interns to work on the Observatory’s waterbird, American Kestrel, and other projects, Fredlund organized volunteers to track and report bird-window collisions on the UWM campus and then worked with students to design a patterned window film that was fabricated and installed on the School of Architecture and Urban Planning in November 2016, thus mitigating one of the most lethal threats to birds on campus. Perhaps Fredlund’s greatest contribution to bird conservation was inspiring countless students and advising many master’s and PhD students who went on to positions of leadership in academia, government, and the non-profit sector. One of them was Director Emeritus William Mueller, who received his master’s degree in May 2002 and served as Director of the Observatory from 2013 to 2019.

Knudsen, a retired partner with the law firm of Godfrey & Kahn, SC, was instrumental to the development of the young Observatory. Not only did he craft the plan that the Observatory followed to achieve independence and tax-exempt status by January 1, 2018, but he also drafted many of its most important documents, including its Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, and he spearheaded its successful applications for federal and state recognition as a tax-exempt organization. He helped shape the Observatory’s Advocacy Policy, Board Member Expectation Document, Statement of Nondiscrimination, and Conflict of Interest Policy, and he drafted two memorandums of understanding between the Observatory and the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust describing shared responsibility for the operation and maintenance of Forest Beach Migratory Preserve and its structures. Moreover, as a longtime thought leader on the Observatory’s Governance and Development subcommittees, as well as the Board of Directors, Knudsen performed additional valuable services, including advising on employment letters, leases, liability waivers, and other documents, serving on the search committee formed to fill the position of Development Specialist, and helping jump-start the Observatory’s autumn Hawk Watch. Knudsen was also integral to the success of countless Observatory events, helping with set-up and take down, staffing food and registration tables, and serving as parking attendant even when the weather was inclement.