Project Passenger Pigeon

Lessons from the Past for a Sustainable Future


BagnallKyle Bagnall

Laug  Cindy Laug

Pamela Rasmussen



Get Involved

Speakers Bureau: Michigan

Contacting P3 Project Speakers

The assembled group of experienced presenters are experts in various aspects of Project Passenger Pigeon and species sustainablity subjects. The links provide their background and contact information. They should be contacted directly with further questions and to make the necessary arrangements, including those involving expenses and honoraria.


Kyle Bagnall, Manager of Historical Programs
Chippewa Nature Center, Midland, MI

Cindy Laug, Administrative Assistant
for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,
Grand Valley State University

Pamela C. Rasmussen
, Assistant Professor and Assistant Curator, Dept. of Zoology and Michigan State University Museum,
Michigan State University

Kyle Bagnall, Manager of Historical Programs
Chippewa Nature Center,
400 South Badour Rd
Midland, MI 48640-8661

Kyle has a strong interest in the intersection of natural and cultural history. For many years he has collected information on the passenger pigeon in MI, one of the most important states in the history of the bird: this is where the last large nesting took place, the first book length history of the bird was written in and emphasized MI, and MI was the only state that banned all hunting of the species. Kyle is also the MI coordinator of P3.

Passenger Pigeon in Michigan
This presentation will examine the history of Passenger Pigeons in Michigan, with emphasis on sightings, roosting and nesting areas and hunting practices. The effects of the Michigan lumbering industry on Passenger Pigeons will be investigated and modern examples of Michigan’s endangered species will also be highlighted. The extinction of the Passenger Pigeon is a tragic tale of the human relationship to nature. Through examining this story, we can not only learn about an amazing bird species of the past, but use the lessons it has to teach us in order to live a sustainable relationship with our resources today. This multimedia presentation features a number of historic lithographs and paintings and an immaculate, life-size woodcarving which was donated to Chippewa Nature Center in 2011 by master carver Mike Ford.

Distance willing to travel: This presentation is available to any organization throughout the State of Michigan.

Contact Kyle at the Chippewa Nature Center at 989-631-0830; or ;or

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Cindy Laug, Administrative Assistant
for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,
Grand Valley State University
1 Campus Dr
Allendale, MI 49401-9403

Cindy has a passion for local history, particularly, women’s history in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. She has been actively involved in celebrating women’s historical events; researching and sharing through photo essays and presentations. Through her research about “Etta Smith Wilson” the first full time paid female newspaper reporter in Grand Rapids, she has become involved in the Project Passenger Pigeon.
After a sudden life threatening illness prevented her from continuing work as a newspaper reporter, Etta Smith Wilson turned her focus to her hobby of song birds. This self- made ornithologist takes us back to a time in her young life during the 1870’s when the Passenger Pigeons filled the skies of Northport, Michigan. Cindy will share some of Etta’s insights, historical data on the life and demise of the passenger pigeons, and reflect on what we now know.
Distance willing to travel: 60 miles (coming from Grand Haven, Lakeshore area)
Contact Cindy at

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Pamela C. Rasmussen, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Zoology, Michigan State University, and Assistant Curator,
Michigan State University Museum

20 Natural Science
288 Farm Lane
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48864

Pam’s work has focused primarily on birds of tropical Asia, and she co-authored Birds of South Asia: the Ripley Guide (of which the second, revised edition is forthcoming). She has been involved in the rediscovery of a species thought extinct (the Forest Owlet of India), as well as the discovery and description of several bird species new to science. The MSU Museum will be preparing an exhibit for 2014 on the Passenger Pigeon and extinction, a project she will be heading.

Pam’s speaking engagements reflect her broad international experiences and emphasize avian biodiversity chance including extinctions, threatened species, and new species.

Distance willing to travel: 150 miles.

Contact Pam at or 517-353-5428

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