By Jennie Jones Scherbinski
If you have been around Lahontan Audubon Society events, you have probably run into Alan Gubanich. Alan has been a steadfast volunteer in our community for over 40 years and has served as the Education Committee Chair, the Vice President, a field trip leader, an education leader, and more! His accomplishments within our organization have been numerous. As Lahontan Audubon Society’s (LAS) Education Committee Chair he presents and coordinates educational programs with schools and community groups, recruits and trains volunteers, and manages our educational supplies. Alan also spearheaded our taxidermy collection in 2011 and has grown it to over 200 specimens. The mounts are displayed at several nature centers in the area and are used in education programs, allowing students to see birds up close and understand their anatomy and identifying marks. Alan maintains the permits for the collection, recruits additional specimens, and coordinates with the taxidermist to ensure accurate mounts for education. Alan also oversees our mobile classroom where educational supplies and taxidermy mounts are transported and temporarily stored allowing LAS to bring our programs to the students at schools or local parks. Alan is always willing to take on new tasks to ensure the longevity of our education programs.
Alan’s tireless commitment to service in our community is truly an inspiration to all. He brings incredible knowledge, energy, and passion to every project that he engages in and is always encouraging others to get involved. Through our education programs, Alan has reached thousands of students and inspired them to become the next generation of environmental stewards. He actively supports new volunteers and has increased the capacity of our organization by giving volunteers the confidence to lead their own programs. Because of Alan, Lahontan Audubon Society (LAS) rarely turns down a request for educational programs. He ensures that these needs are fulfilled in our community by recruiting volunteers to present or, more commonly, offering the presentation himself.
Somehow, on top of all the incredible work he does at LAS, Alan finds time to support other local organizations through his volunteerism. He has served on the board for LAS, the Great Basin Institute, and Great Basin Bird Observatory. He has been an active member of the Rosewood Nature Study Area, helping to guide the restoration of a former golf course to a natural wetland and educational site. Alan’s impact in our community has been immeasurable and he does it all with a sense of humor and a smile. He handles an enormous amount of responsibility and stress with ease and his service deserves to be recognized.
His support of our programs has been a huge benefit to the organization and this year we wanted to recognize his service by nominating him for the Governor’s Points of Light Award for Volunteer Lifetime Achievement. We are happy to announce that of all the volunteers nominated throughout the state of Nevada, Alan was selected to receive top honors at the award ceremony last week. We are so excited that his efforts are receiving the recognition they deserve. Please join us in congratulating Alan!!