College Scholar

Nature enthusiasts in general and bird watchers in specific are invited to hear David Seibel, an author and professor of science from Johnson County Community College, discuss the birds he has seen and captured via digital photography. 

Seibel will present “A Passion for Birds” as part of the College Scholar program at JCCC. He will speak from 7-8 p.m.  Wednesday, Oct. 24, in Hudson Auditorium at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art on campus. A reception at 6:30 p.m. in Regnier Center 270 will precede the event. 

The presentation is free, and the public is invited to attend. 

His first scientific publication was at age 11, in the Kansas Ornithological Society Bulletin. He wrote about two Mississippi Kites (a type of hawk) nesting just a block from his home in Arkansas City, Kan. 

Since then, he’s combined a life inside the classroom with time in the field – literally – studying birds not only in Kansas but also all over the world. A JCCC science teacher since 1991, Seibel has been a six-time winner of the Distinguished Service Award for JCCC faculty. 

His most recent book, Birds of Kansas, is a 528-page authoritative reference written by Seibel and four other ornithological experts. Seibel also co-edited and contributed many of the photos. 

His latest passion has been in photographing birds. Unlike many photographers, who have the photo-taking skill but little bird knowledge, Seibel said his path of learning about birds first and photography second has produced images other photographers often can’t get. 

“I understand the birds, I know where they’re likely to be, and once I learned the necessary photo skills, I was able to capture images not easily attained,” he said. 

His presentations will rely heavily on the images he’s taken. Some of his 300,000 wildlife photos are at www.davidseibel.com and at www.birdsinfocus.com

The latter is a partnership with photographers Bob Gress and Judd Patterson. “That was probably the single best decision I have ever made in my life. I have learned so much about photography from Bob and Judd,” Seibel said. 

Seibel will only have an hour for the presentation. “That’s the joy and the frustration, because I could talk about birds for 20 days and 20 nights without stopping.”