Read the full story in the Southern Illinoisan.
When I came to Southern Illinois in 2000, Vicki Lang-Mendenhall had already been here 20 years and was an established birdwatcher and conservation advocate. And although I had probably met her briefly before, at a local bird club meeting or something, the first time I really remember seeing her was in Washington, D.C.
I was at the capital in my capacity with The Nature Conservancy and Vicki was there advocating for the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge’s Friends Group. We literally bumped into each other in the hallway between visits to local representatives.
Vicki is a great example of someone who, without a “professional background” or agency affiliation, is still making important contributions to science and conservation.