Sidney A. Gauthreaux, Director

Sid Gauthreaux     Gauthreaux grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. At the age of 10 he became interested in birds. During his high school years he started looking at bird migration on the newly commissioned Weather Surveillance Radar (WSR-57) in New Orleans. He thought that if this new radar could detect rain, it could surely detect birds which in essence were large drops of rain. This interest continued through his college years at the University of New Orleans (1959-1963). In 1963 he began his graduate studies in radar ornithology at Louisiana State University under the direction of Dr. George Lowery and received his MS in 1965. He continued using WSR-57 weather radar to quantify trans-Gulf migration for his dissertation research and received his PhD in 1968. After LSU he did post-doctoral work with Dr. Eugene Odum at the Institute of Ecology at the University of Georgia. In 1970, he accepted a faculty position at Clemson University. He has continued his radar studies of migration, and established the Clemson University Radar Ornithology Laboratory (CUROL) in 1990. In the spring of 1992, he first visited the WSR-88D (NEXRAD) station in Dickinson, TX and found that this new doppler weather surveillance radar was more powerful, more sensitive and much more technologically sophisticated than the old WSR-57. Moreover it not only provided information on the density of bird migration but also provided information on the direction and speed of migratory movements. With support from the Department of Defense, in 1995 CUROL began archiving bird movements displayed on NEXRADs in the national network. This database has aided in the development of national and regional maps of bird migration and maps of important migration stopover areas within 60 miles of the radar station. In addition forecast models of migration density are being developed, and calibration of NEXRAD displays of different types of bird movements continues.