Jamestown, N.Y. – Audubon Community Nature Center awarded its 2019 Ryan Exline Memorial Scholarship to Diego Rey of Fredonia, N.Y.

Diego, the son of Alberto and Janeil Rey, is a senior at Fredonia High School. He will begin his pursuit of a degree in Environmental Studies in the fall at Middlebury College in Vermont. Among the top of his class academically, he is also a dedicated athlete, competing in cross country, indoor/outdoor track, and swimming. In his free time Diego enjoys skiing, fly fishing, hiking, biking, and hanging out with friends.

Every spring since 2003 Audubon’s Education Staff has raised scholarship funds through their Birdathon. Participants look for as many species as possible over a 24-hour period, and generous supporters pledge an amount, either per species or in total. The end result is a $500 scholarship. 

This scholarship is named in memory of one of its very first recipients. Ryan Exline was an integral part of the Audubon family for many years, where he assisted with gardening, eagle care, live animal care, and educational programs. A resident of Russell, Pa., he was pursuing a master’s degree at Duke University when he died in a car accident. His love of nature and of nurturing future generations of “nature nerds” lives on through this scholarship.

Scholarship applicants must be local residents pursuing a degree in the natural sciences. Recipients must be passionate about the natural world.

Previous scholarship winners are Christina McMillan, Heather Zimba, Taylor West, Brandon Allen, Connor Clendenen, Allison Cramer, Alex Kulakowski, Elyse Johnson, Brenton Maille, Alyssa D’Alessandro, Alexa Vazquez, Tricia Bergstue, Karen Eckstrom, Bill Langworthy, Rex Everett, Ryan Exline, and Eve Gaus.

Audubon Community Nature Center builds and nurtures connections between people and nature by providing positive outdoor experiences, opportunities to learn about and understand the natural world, and knowledge to act in environmentally responsible ways. Visit at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania, or online at auduboncnc.org.