Hello! I’m James Fenner and am a junior at Knox College, where I recently took a class which peaked my interest in many environmental economic ideas. Essentially, I became very interested in valuing assets which traditionally are not valued. Controversially, these assets are assigned a monetary value in analyses like cost-benefit and then used to make major policy decisions.
In addition to those interests, I have a strong passion for birds. Thus, the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) in South Texas is a birding hot spot, which many people visit this time of year. While in the Rio Grande Valley it is my goal to meet with as many people related to birding as possible. I plan to ask questions including but not limited to the culture of birding, problems facing the future of birding in the area, and trends in Rio Grande Valley bird watching. Additionally, I will live the life of avid birder touring the area to identify as many species as possible. Along the way I will surely run into other birders who I can talk to and get a further in-depth view of birding in the Rio Grande Valley.
Ultimately, this trip will allow me to gain personal understanding of the value of birds in South Texas. I will also understand the birding culture and outside influences which could affect this value positively or negatively over time. It will undoubtedly consist of long and hot days, but it will also be incredibly enjoyable and informative as I broaden my knowledge about two of my personal interests. Also, my father will be joining me on this trip, ensuring plenty of great memories and lots of fun.