Barbara and Dan Gleason
A third-generation Eugenean, Dan Gleason studied at Harris, Spencer Butte, South Eugene, and at the UO, where he got a degree in biology and took a particular interest in birds. After a couple of years as a substitute teacher, he returned to the UO in 1972 for a job, preparing student labs for a variety of biology courses. Every summer since then, even after his retirement in 2004, he has taught a four-week field ornithology course for seniors and grad students. "We're in the field four days a week," he notes, "starting at six am." He travels the state to give bird-watching workshops and public lectures. Barbara Gleason grew up in South Jersey and got into birding after graduating from Franconia College in New Hampshire. She moved to Eugene in 1978 and worked in graphic design and illustration. She first met Dan Gleason when she joined the Lane County Audubon Society in the mid-1980s. "We got together in '94," she says, "and got married in '95." In May of 2013, the Gleasons filled a vacant market niche when they opened their birding store, Wild Birds Unlimited of Eugene, at 2510 Willamette Street. "The franchise is flexible and supportive," Barbara says. "They have a biologist on staff to keep us up to date on research. We have access to vendors who are vetted. We order two tons of seed every week." The store also features binoculars, feeders, books, and staff of five experienced birders for reliable advice. Learn about free monthly seminars at eugene.wbu.com.