Wayne J. Arendt (Dominican Republic) honored for his dedication to Ornithology

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Wayne Arendt (Dominican Republic 1976-78)

PressRelease — Wayne J. Arendt, PhD, has been selected for inclusion in Marquis Who’s Who. As in all Marquis Who’s Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

For nearly half a century, Dr. Arendt has been a prominent figure in ornithology. His field research commenced in California, following a three-year tenure in the US Army (1966-1969), which included two years in Alaska as a 4.2 mortarman and Battalion mail clerk, and one year as a military policeman at Ft. Carson’s maximum-security stockade.

In 1975, he investigated the life-history of the California Thrasher and its adaption to mesquite cover in the Anza Borrego Desert.

Subsequently, he joined the Peace Corps (1976-78) serving in the Dominican Republic under the Smithsonian-Peace Corps Environmental Program, operating from the Santo Domingo Natural History Museum. His assignment involved extensive exploration of the main island and two satellite islands, often on foot, horseback, or mule, dedicating up to 15 hours daily to study the endangered White-crowned Pigeon, among other birds.

Since November 1978, Dr. Arendt has worked at the USDA Forest Service’s International Institute of Tropical Forestry in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His roles have been diverse, beginning with volunteering for the Puerto Rican Parrot restoration initiative, then researching other at-risk species, particularly endemic birds across the major islands of the Caribbean. His studies have included migratory birds and their annual cycle, heavy metal contamination, and avian morphometrics. As a supervisory research wildlife biologist, he persists in leading avian biodiversity and population dynamics studies, along with conservation education and community outreach, in diverse environments and across extensive geo-temporal scales. His versatility and inclination to pose novel questions about both natural and human-modified landscapes have positioned him at the forefront of numerous enduring research endeavors in Mesoamerica and beyond.

Prior to embarking on his illustrious career, Dr. Arendt honed his expertise and leadership skills in the  Peace Corps. His two-year tenure in this role not only exemplified his commitment to service but also provided him with invaluable experience in diverse environments, further fueling his passion for ornithology, conservation and understanding cultural diversity and goals.

Dr. Arendt’s academic background laid a solid foundation for his professional achievements. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California Los Angeles and completed a Master of Science honors degree in Biology at the University of Missouri Columbia. He went on to earn a doctorate in wildlife Ecology and Forestry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. These academic milestones have been instrumental in equipping him with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in his field.

Apart from his professional pursuits, Dr. Arendt has been engaged with various community-focused organizations since his youth. In 1963, as a Boy Scouts of America (BSA) member, he attained the Eagle Scout rank and was slated to meet the late astronaut and fellow Eagle Scout, Roger B. Chaffee, at his Eagle Scout induction ceremony. However, that year, Chaffee joined NASA Astronaut Group 3 and had to cancel his appearance.

Subsequently, Dr. Arendt received admission into the BSA’s Order of the Arrow Honor Society and earned accolades such as the bronze, gold, and silver palm awards, 40 merit badges, and numerous camping, long-distance swimming, hiking, cycling, and canoeing awards. Additionally, as a high school freshman, he won a national essay contest with a piece on the Prothonotary Warbler, a Nearctic­ Neotropical migratory bird.

In the 1990s, Dr. Arendt began mentoring youths through the Awana Club and currently mentors university students in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. His dedication to nurturing education and development in young scholars underscores his commitment to community service. Moreover, he has made substantial contributions to scientific literature, authoring and co-authoring studies in over 200 peer-reviewed professional and technical journals.

His comprehensive research on the Caribbean’s leading passerine predator and nesting site competitor, published as the 404-page US Forest Service General Technical Report IITF-GTR-27, is a significant work that has garnered citations from researchers worldwide, from Alaska and Norway to Argentina, and even the commonwealth of Oceana.




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  • […] Wayne Arendt (1976–78) has been selected for inclusion in “Marquis Who’s Who” for his extensive contributions to ornithology. “Marquis Who’s Who” is a biographical reference publication which celebrates individuals profoundly impacting society across a diverse range of fields. Since November 1978, Dr. Arendt has worked at the USDA Forest Service’s International Institute of Tropical Forestry in San Juan, Puerto Rico. During his tenure, he led several research initiatives, including the Puerto Rican Parrot restoration, studies on at-risk endemic birds across the Caribbean, and investigations into avian biodiversity. His comprehensive research on the Caribbean’s leading passerine predator and nesting site competitor was published as a U.S. Forest Service General Technical Report, earning citations from numerous researchers worldwide. Read more. […]

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