On October 14, 2023*, Friends of Patuxent will dedicate the Dr. Chandler S. Robbins Outdoor Education Center and the new Wisdom Trail at Patuxent Research Refuge in honor of “Chan,” as he was known by friends and colleagues. Chan passed away March 20, 2017 at the age of 98.
Chan was an internationally known and respected ornithologist, senior author of the Golden Field Guide Birds of North America, and well-loved in the Patuxent community. He spent his entire professional career at Patuxent. Friends of Patuxent Research Refuge, in consultation with Chan’s family, established an endowment to honor his legacy, and to further the appreciation of birds and their habitats through research, conservation, and education.
The Outdoor Education Center and Wisdom Trail represent the first project with endowment funds. The project is designed to carry on Chan’s legacy of introducing people to the enjoyment of recreational birding and to the science of bird conservation. The Center supports environmental activities for all ages. The Trail features a series of hands-on interactive stations designed to engage visitors and encourage them to explore and interact with their surroundings. The name “Wisdom” is inspired by a female Laysan Albatross now known by that name that was banded by Chan in 1956 on Midway Atoll. Wisdom is still alive and reproducing; she is widely considered to be the oldest living bird in the world. And of course, the Wisdom Trail commemorates all the wisdom passed down to us by Chan through his many scientific studies and community science projects.
Dedication of the Robbins Outdoor Education Center and Wisdom Trail will be held at the National Wildlife Visitor Center, 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel, MD 20708, beginning at 9 am on Saturday, October 14, 2023 (rain or shine). Please join us for brief remarks followed by a walk on the trail and refreshments. Please come and share your memories of Chan. Registration is not necessary.
*Dedication will be postponed if the federal government shuts down.
Friends of Patuxent Research Refuge, Inc.
Office: (301) 497-5789
Fax: (301) 497-5765
10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop
Laurel, Maryland 20708-4011