Puffin Offices Closed on President's Day
The Puffin Foundation and Cultural Forum are closed for Presidents... more
Measured Hate Opening Event Postponed.
The show originally scheduled for February 16 has been rescheduled... more
2019 Foundation Grants Deadline 12/30
Completed applications must be postmarked by December 30. Please note... more
Don't miss out on this great Puffin-sponsored event at the Museum of the City of New York
Posted in Blog

When: Thursday, November 8, 6:30pm
Price: $15 General Admission | $10 for Museum Members | Free for Students

March For Our Lives NYC, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons by mathiaswasik, wasikphoto.com

Join journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and leading youth activists Brea Baker, Ramon Contreras, and Hebh Jamal to discuss the key mobilizations of our moment—from gun control to immigrant rights—and how they draw on a long history of protest. This event celebrates the Museum’s publication of Activist New York: A History of People, Protest, and Politics (NYU Press, 2018) and a new case study on the movement against the Vietnam War in the Activist New York exhibition. Museum curator and author of the Activist New York book, Steven Jaffe, will introduce the program.


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Puffin Educational Forum begins 10/16
Posted in Blog

Why Your Vote Matters in 2018
Posted in Blog

Puffin is a proud supporter of the Campus Election Engagement Project, seeking to enfranchise college students nationwide. You can check out their most recent video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uf9PAW9yq64

About Campus Election Engagement Project

Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP), is a national nonpartisan project that helps administrators, faculty, staff, and student leaders at America’s colleges and universities engage students in federal, state, and local elections. Drawing in stakeholders throughout our partner campuses, we combine our powerful resources with personalized coaching, guiding schools on how to use our resources and navigate students through ever-changing barriers to voting. Working with us, schools help their students to register, volunteer in campaigns, educate themselves on candidates and issues, navigate confusing voting laws, and turn out at the polls. We worked with over 300 campuses in 2016, with a combined enrollment of 3.5 million students, while partner organizations distributed our resources to another 1,000 schools. We spent 2017 helping our campuses develop ongoing engagement strategies while getting students involved directly in Virginia’s statewide races and Alabama’s US Senate race. And we’re now engaging students in the 2018 elections. Because individuals who vote when they’re young tend to continue, and because we help schools deepen their electoral engagement each cycle, we generate both immediate and long-term impact.

Did you know that Puffin supported student journalists write for The Nation Magazine? Check out this article on youth activists in the South.
Posted in Blog

The Next Generation of Southern Organizing

By providing a playbook for young organizers, Southerners on New Ground encourages college students not simply to stay involved, but to see themselves as leaders in the fight for a more just South.

By Robin Happel

Members of Southerners on New Ground and Black Youth Project 100 during a Black Mamas Bail Out Action in Durham, North Carolina, May 10, 2018. (Photo by Kelly Creedon)

Just over the mountains from Morristown, Tennessee, activists last April crashed a police picnic in Hendersonville to protest their city’s complicity with ICE. Bringing a brass band, organizers chanted, “¡El pueblo, unido, jamás será vencido!” Singing together, dozens of protesters disrupted the picnic until police disbanded the protest.

Renewed resistance in the South and Appalachia has taken many outside the region by surprise. Far from simply a fringe movement, calls to end ICE’s abuses are gaining momentum, even within such perceived conservative strongholds. This sea change is driven in large part by community organizers like Southerners on New Ground (SONG), an Atlanta-based organization defending the rights of LGBTQ+ people of color in the rural South. To SONG and its sister groups across the South, silence is complicity. Letting ICE picnic in peace is not an option, so long as so many others are forced to live in fear. Read Full article here.

Endangered Puffins? Humans and man-made climate change are clearly playing a role.
Posted in Blog

Overfishing, hunting and pollution are putting pressure on the birds, but climate change may prove to be the biggest challenge.

Hedinn Jonasson, a hunter, with his catch of puffins on Lundley Island.

Photographs and video by JOSH HANER
AUG. 29, 2018

GRIMSEY ISLAND, Iceland — Puffins are in trouble.

The birds have been in precipitous decline, especially since the 2000s, both in Iceland and across many of their Atlantic habitats. The potential culprits are many: fickle prey, overfishing, pollution. Scientists say that climate change is another underlying factor that is diminishing food supplies and is likely to become more important over time. And the fact that puffins are tasty, and thus hunted as game here, hardly helps.

Annette Fayet is trying to solve the mystery of the dwindling Atlantic puffins, and that is why she was reaching shoulder deep into a burrow here last month. She gently drew a puffin out, having snagged its leg with a thick wire she had curved into a shepherd’s crook. As she brought the croaking seabird into the light, it defecated copiously on her pants, which were, thanks to her long experience with birds, waterproof.

“Wow, science!” she said, and smiled. Ideally, this bird, with its tuxedo-like black-and-white plumage and clownish orange beak, would have voided its bowels into a stainless steel bowl she calls the “puffin toilet.” She took a flat wooden spoon out of its wrapper, scraped the mess up and placed it in a vial for analysis; she wants to know what these birds have been eating.

Though some puffin colonies are prospering, in Iceland, where the largest population of Atlantic puffins is found, their numbers have dropped from roughly seven million individuals to about 5.4 million. Since 2015, the birds have been listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, meaning they face a high risk of extinction in the wild.

The birds are cherished by Icelanders as part of their history, culture and tourist trade — and, for some, their cuisine. “The puffin is the most common bird in Iceland,” said Erpur Snaer Hansen, acting director of the South Iceland Nature Research Center. “It’s also the most hunted one.”

[Read more: In Iceland, Vikings razed the forests long ago. Can the country regrow them?]

Hunters with long nets can be seen tooling around Grimsey Island in the summer, leaving behind piles of bird carcasses, the breast meat stripped away. Iceland has restricted the annual harvest, but hunting “is accelerating the decline,” Dr. Hansen said.

Dr. Hansen is working with Dr. Fayet on her project, which involves monitoring the activities of four puffin colonies, two in Iceland and others in Wales and Norway. Since 2010, he also has conducted a census, a twice-yearly “puffin rally” in which he travels more than 3,100 miles around Iceland, visiting some 700 marked burrows in 12 colonies, counting eggs and chicks.

During a recent stop at Lundey Island, Iceland, Dr. Hansen encountered jovial hunters who had killed hundreds of the birds and were carrying them toward their boats to be sold to restaurants that mainly serve the meat to curious tourists.

Dr. Hansen maintains an amicable relationship with hunters and uses data from 138 years of hunting club records in his research. He convinced these hunters to let his assistant photograph the head of every puffin; the bands on their beaks can be counted to determine the birds’ age.

On Grimsey, a northern island that pokes above the Arctic Circle, gulls and arctic terns swirled in the cloudy sky and the wind at the cliffs blew at 40 miles per hour or more as Dr. Fayet and Dr. Hansen did their work. Dr. Fayet wears contact lenses, and the grit was a torment. There were ticks, so many ticks. Wow, science.

There were also counterbalancing pleasures; Dr. Hansen, a gifted cook, roasted a leg of lamb for dinner with garlic and thyme, and he brought along a couple of bottles of excellent single-malt whiskey, one of his non-avian fascinations.

After dinner, the two scientists worked into the bright Arctic night, ultimately catching, examining and releasing a dozen birds in their two-day stay on this island. Between captures, Dr. Fayet leaned on a rock, staring intently at a cliff face. Suddenly she leapt up and ran at startling speed across the uneven soil some 150 feet to the cliff, crouching in front of the one hole among many that she saw a bird jet into.

Dr. Hansen moved from burrow to burrow, looking a little like a spaceman with his white visor clamped over his eyes. He snaked a camera on a flexible stalk inside for a look around. “Oh, yeah,” he said, having spotted a live, downy chick.

After extracting a bird, they slid it into a plastic tube that oddly enough kept it calm, and weighed it. Dr. Hansen attached a steel identifying band to the bird’s leg. Then they removed it from the tube and attached a tiny GPS tracker to its back, between the wings, with marine tape.

In the week until the lightweight devices drop off, they show how far the birds fly for their food and how deep they dive for it. Each tracker costs more than $800, which means the case containing them was worth more than the battered truck the researchers were driving.

Dr. Fayet plucked five feathers for later DNA analysis to determine the bird’s sex. For identification from afar, she used a marker to put a stroke of blue on its breast and white correction fluid to put a dot atop the black feathers on its head. “Sorry, baby,” she said softly, and returned the puffin to its burrow, where it will no doubt retell the story for years to come about its abduction by aliens during the summer of the tags and tape.

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