"Seabird Sue" Schubel Named Disney Conservation Hero

Seabird Sue Schubel at the PPVC
Disney Hero Susan Schubel, Outreach Educator for Audubon's Project Puffin, has used her skills as an artist to educate more than 10,000 Maine students about marine and seabird life. Here she paints an under sea mural at the Project Puffin Visitor Center. Photo by Steve Kress

Seabird Sue Schubel Receiving Disney Conservation Hero Award
Susan Schubel receives a Disney Conservation Hero Award from Seabird Restoration Program Director, Dr. Stephen Kress (center). Her daughter, Ayla, and husband, Anthony, attended the presentation at Project Puffin Visitor Center. Photo by Richard Benz


New York - July 24, 2008 - The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) has selected Audubon educator Susan Schubel as one of eleven Disney Conservation Heroes from applications submitted by environmental organizations around the world. Susan was chosen for her work as Outreach Educator for Project Puffin.

Known locally to thousands of Maine children as "Seabird Sue," Schubel has been bringing hands-on activities to children in mid-coast Maine schools since 1998. A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, she brings both extensive experience as a field biologist and her skills as an artist to Maine classrooms. An innovative educator, she has introduced more than 10,000 students to Maine's rich ecology and Audubon's Seabird Restoration Program through a wide variety of activities, most of which she has created. Schubel also serves as co-manager of Audubon's Hog Island Camp, which has been educating adults, children, and families about coastal wildlife in Maine and beyond for over 70 years. 

Audubon launched Project Puffin 35 years ago after puffins were nearly wiped out in Maine after three centuries of intense hunting for their eggs, meat and feathers. Led by <http://audubon.org/news/pressroom/Leaders/Kress.html> Dr. Stephen Kress, the Audubon project has restored colonies of the colorful seabirds to Eastern Egg Rock and Seal Island. Techniques used by Project Puffin have since been used around the world, helping more than 40 other seabird species. A "Puffin Camera" is now beaming live streaming video and sounds from Maine. For highlights see clips from last season.

The DWCF Conservation Heroes program rewards the dedication of individuals who, often at the risk of personal safety, work tirelessly to save animals, protect habitat and educate the people in surrounding communities. According to DWCF Director Kim Sams, the award was created "to bring attention to the fact that conservation programs are successful because of the people involved with the initiative." DWCF presented a cash award of $1,000 to National Audubon Society, which will be shared with Susan to be used at her discretion.        

With the help of Walt Disney World, Disney Vacation Club and Disney Cruise Line Guests, the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and The Walt Disney Company have supported more than 750 conservation projects in 110 countries, totaling more than $12 million. For more information, visit: disneyconservation.com.

Now in its second century, Audubon connects people with birds, nature and the environment that supports us all. Our national network of community-based nature centers, chapters, scientific, education, and advocacy programs engages millions of people from all walks of life in conservation action to protect and restore the natural world. Visit Audubon online at: audubon.org


To interview Susan Schubel, Steve Kress, or obtain a photo, please contact:

Delta Willis
Senior Communications Manager, Audubon


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