Project Wild America


It was sixty years ago that Roger Tory Peterson and friend James Fisher wrote Wild America, a travelogue of the duo’s epic adventure discovering the wilds of the North RTPJeep
American continent. In celebration of their exciting tale of exploration, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute launched Project Wild America Youth Ambassadors to investigate the wild places still left within the Chadakoin River corridor in Jamestown NY.

In the 2015 summer, six local high school students and two Jamestown Community


2015 Project Wild America Youth Ambassadors Crew: Back row (left to right): Kurt Moeller, Jeremy Hatfield, Hailey Dutton, Alex Shipherd, Adolf Zollinger and Tina Nelson. Front row (left to right): Matt Elia, Griffin Noon, Erros Quinones and Elyse Henshaw.

College students joined the Institute surveying for all forms of life within the Chadakoin River and surrounding corridor. As biological work is carried out, educational outreach complements the work in order to increase environmental literacy, stewardship and pride within the local community and beyond.


In the summer of 2016 the project continued with six new local high school students, 3 returning students from last year, two whom have just graduated and will bring previous experience, one who will use last years experience to be a crew leader this year, and a new crew leader coming from JCC. We continued our plans from 2015, but focused on adding more structure and organization to our research. We intend on collecting more data this year and presenting our findings to the local community and using it to help ongoing conservation efforts.


2016 Crew. Top Row: Griffin Noon, Adolf Zollinger Middle Row: Emma Wade, Drew Sims, Tony Clavell, Heather Zimba, Erros Quinones Bottom Row: Morgan Motherwell, Tiffany Donaldson, Elyse Henshaw

In the 2017 summer, we have one returning member with eight members in total. They will be joined with two crew leaders, Morgan Motherwell and Rebecca Rew. We are very excited to continue our research for the third year.

PWA 2017 Crew

2017 Crew.  Top row: Morgan Motherwell, Rebecca Rew. Bottom row: Elliot Safford, Shania Nuse, Emma Wade, Anna Sena, Makenna Graham, Lauren Garvey, Jonah Rizzuto, Hanny Qadri


While this is the third year of the PWA Youth Ambassadors, RTPI intends to continue the program in years to come!

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