Behind-the-Scenes: Executive Director, John Cornely

Trumpeter Swan Society Exec. Director, John Cornely

Trumpeter Swan Society Exec. Director, John Cornely

The past few weeks have been busy for John Cornely, our executive director. On behalf of TTSS, he has attended the Atlantic Pacific Flyway Technical Section meetings and will attend parts of all four Flyway Council Meetings and the National Flyway Council next week. These meetings run in conjunction with the Annual North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. They provide excellent opportunities for TTSS to network with management officials and to share our science-based expertise. John recently retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with 34 years of federal service. Twenty-eight of these years gave him direct experience with wetland and migratory bird management and administration.

Spectacular Malheur National Wildlife Refuge  in eastern Oregon was John’s assignment for several years and the place in which he got to know Trumpeters, starting in 1978. John was Refuge Biologist there and has been involved with Trumpeter Swan ecology and management ever since. From his career, and through his wide network of professional connections, John brings TTSS a continent-wide perspective and a deep knowledge of programs, places and issues. He plays a key role in helping us develop partnerships with diverse groups, such as Partners in Flight, Ducks Unlimited and numerous state, provincial and tribal agencies.

John has published more than 40 journal and symposia articles and serves as reviewer for several scientific publications. A personal project he enjoys is an effort to record oral histories of influential people in the history of waterfowl management. He enjoys conducting interviews and comparing notes with lifelong biologists responsible for the content and tone of the North American Waterfowl Plan, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with emphasis on the Migratory Bird Program and National Wildlife Refuges.

John served on Board of Directors for TTSS prior to taking the helm as Executive Director. He currently also serves on the 14-member board of the National Wildlife Refuge Association in addition to work with TTSS.


2 Responses to “Behind-the-Scenes: Executive Director, John Cornely”

  1. Mary Says:

    Just wanted to thank Peg for stopping by my blog and commenting on my swan photos. I will be posting more later this evening and hope you will stop by. We’ve been to Lasalle Park in Burlington, ON three times this week. We were told by a volunteer that 100 swans left on Monday night and today a different volunteer said that about 60 left last night. Mainly, juveniles are all we saw today.

    I love these beautiful, majestic birds and want to thank you for your efforts.


  2. Ruth Shea Says:


    I’m on the board of The Trumpeter Swan Society and have been working with swans in the Greater Yellowstone region of Idaho, Montana,Wyoming since the 1970s. I sure could use some help this summer. I need to find a couple of volunteers who might like to camp in their trailer in eastern Idaho bordering Yellowstone NP and observe swans this summer. Even a few days work per week would be very helpful. If you are looking for an interesting summer vacation observing wildlife, send a note to me at


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