Instructors and guest speakers

This list of instructors includes only those who have been confirmed as attending in 2015.  More will be added as they are announced.  You can also view our full instructor pool from recent years.

Seth Benz - Director, Migration and Monhegan Island II

Seth Benz
Seth Benz
Seth has amassed nearly 30 years of experience in conservation science and environmental education leadership. He has guided Road Scholar birding trips in Maine, directed Hog Island Audubon Camp (1999-2008), worked as an island supervisor for Project Puffin, served as Education Director of the Audubon Expedition Institute and as Assistant Curator of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania. He is now the director of the Schoodic Bird Ecology Lab, a collaborative field station focused on bird migration, phenology studies, and public participation in scientific research at Acadia National Park. His hands-on work includes raptor and songbird migration research, hawk watching, tern restoration efforts, bird flight altitude and wind energy studies, telemetry of wintering bald eagles, catching migratory peregrine falcons at Assateague Island National Seashore, next box monitoring projects with American kestrel, eastern screech owl, and eastern bluebird, and, ecotourism scouting trips to Peru and Mexico. Seth has held appointments as a board member of the Mid-coast Maine Audubon Chapter, and is currently the Christmas Bird Count Compiler for North Penobscot Bay, Maine. 

Rob Bierregaard - Raptor Rapture

Rob Bierregaard
Rob Bierregaard
Rob's passion in the natural world has always been birds of prey. He was an avid falconer when he was in graduate school. His Ph.D. research addressed the importance of competition in the ecological structure of raptor communities and got him out to the high plains of Montana for two springs.  From 1995 to 2011, Rob taught Ornithology and Ecology in the Biology Department of UNC-Charlotte. Previously (1978-1988), Rob was the original field director of the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project in Manaus, Brazil. While running the project for 8 years, he and his students collected data from over 50,000 mist-net captures of understory birds in continuous and fragmented rainforest habitat.  Rob and his graduate students carried out a 10-year study of the flourishing Barred Owl populations around Charlotte, NC. He now focuses his research on the ecology and migration of Ospreys in eastern North America. He has deployed satellite or cell-tower transmitters on 45 juvenile and 34 adult Ospreys and spends most of his time watching his flock of Ospreys (24 birds started south in the fall of 2013) move back and forth between North and South America.  In 2011 he moved from Charlotte to Wynnewood, PA, where he is now a research associate of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. 

Pete Dunne - Joy of Birding

Pete Dunne
Pete Dunne
Pete Dunne is Director of the Cape May Bird Observatory, Vice President of the New Jersey Audubon Society Natural History Information and founder of the World Series of Birding. Pete is a well known author and co-author of numerous books about birds and birding including Hawks in Flight , Pete Dunne on Birding , Pete Dunne's Essential Field Guide Companion  and The Art of Pishing . He is a regular columnist in a number of birding publications such as American Birds, Birding , Living Bird, Birder's World  and WildBird . Best known for his skills as a hawk watcher, he is equally fascinated by shorebirds and songbirds. Pete has been leading workshops and tours for nearly 30 years and he delights in sharing with others his knowledge and passion for birds.

Ted Gilman - Educator's Week

Ted Gilman
Ted Gilman
Ted Gilman is a naturalist and environmental educator at Audubon Greenwich, where he has inspired a love of nature in generations of children and helped train educators from across the country. Ted received his bachelors degree in Biology from Earlham College and did graduate work in Science and Environmental Education at Cornell University. He has led Audubon trips to Trinidad & Tobago and Kenya, as well as served as an education volunteer for the International Crane Foundation in northern China. Ted began teaching on Hog Island in 1974 and has returned over the past four decades to serve as an instructor for ornithology and family camp programs. 

Tom Johnson - Field Ornithology, Arts & Birding, Fall Migration I, Teen I & II

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a recent graduate of Cornell University who spends almost all of his time pursuing birds, occasionally forgoing food and sleep. Birding from a young age, Tom has participated in programs at Hog Island as both a student and an instructor. Since graduating college, he has been exploring various methods of tricking others into paying for his birding adventures. Recently, Tom has enjoyed surveying birds on National Park Service lands in Arizona, counting seabirds and mammals for NOAA in the Gulf Stream, and monitoring fall songbird migration at Cape May, NJ. In addition to serving on two state bird records committees, Tom writes for several birding and ornithological publications. He loves to learn something new whenever he steps outside, and is particularly thrilled to return to Maine and Hog Island.

Stephen Kress - Director of Seabird Bio & Conservation, appears in most sessions

Stephen Kress
Stephen Kress
Stephen Kress is Director of the Seabird Restoration Program and Vice President for Bird Conservation of the National Audubon Society. He received his B.S. in Zoology, M.S. in Wildlife Management from Ohio State University and his Ph.D. in Environmental Education from Cornell University. Steve began Project Puffin in 1973 and has remained its director since the beginning. Steve is also the manager of National Audubon's Maine Coastal Island Sanctuaries. He was an Ornithology Instructor at the Audubon Camp in Maine on Hog Island from 1969 through 1981, and Director of the camp from 1982 through 1986. Steve is also author of many popular books on birding and backyard conservation, including The Audubon Society's Guide to Attracting Birds: Creating Natural Habitats for Properties Large and SmallAudubon Pocket Backyard Birdwatch  and the Birder's Handbook.

John Kricher - Field Ornithology

John Kriker
John Kricher
John is a Professor of Biology at Wheaton College, Norton, Massachusetts. A graduate of Temple (B.A.) and Rutgers Universities (Ph.D.), John has conducted Earthwatch-sponsored research onmigrant birds on their wintering grounds in Belize and is the author of over 100 papers and articles in scientific journals, magazines, and newspapers. His recent book, The Balance of Nature: Ecology's Enduring Myth, was published by Princeton University Press in spring of 2009. He has also authored Galapagos: A Natural History, three Peterson field guides (Eastern Forests, Pacific Northwest, and Rocky Mountain & Southwestern Forests) and the very popular, A Neotropical Companion. The recently completed textbook, Tropical Ecology, was published by Princeton University Press in 2011. John is a Fellow in the American Ornithologists Union and has served as president of the Association of Field Ornithologists, president of the Wilson Ornithological Society, and president of the Nuttall Ornithological Club, and is currently on the Council of the Massachusetts Audubon Society. John has led trips throughout the western hemisphere. He and his wife Martha Vaughan divide their time between Pocasset, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod and Sunbury, Georgia.

Yossi Leshem - Raptor Rapture

Yossi Leshem
Yossi Leshem
Professor Yossi Leshem is Israel's best known ornithologist with an international following among both scientists and the bird-watching community in Europe and North America. He is currently a professor in the Dept. of Zoology at Tel Aviv University. He is also the founder and director of the International Center for the Study of Bird Migration at Latrun, Israel. He is best known for his research concerning migration routes of raptors and other migrants between Europe, Asia and Africa- many of which fly over Israel. As part of this research, Yossi spent two hundred and seventy-two days using a motorized glider, flying wingtip to wingtip, with million of high flying birds. These efforts, conducted in cooperation with the Israeli Air Force, have resulted in a dramatic decrease in mid-air collisions. Yossi is also a pioneer in environmental education--first, as the director of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, the country's largest non-profit organization. More recently, his migration research has become the basis for numerous educational activities in Israeli schools--also working closely with Palestinian and Jordanian educators and their students.

Chris Lewey - Director, Joy of Birding

Chris Lewey
Chris Lewey
Chris Lewey is Executive Director and Founder of RAVEN Interpretive Programs, a provider of international tours and programs focusing on wildlife and ecology. He leads natural history tours for  the Maine Audubon Society, Smithsonian Study Tours and the National Wildlife Federation. Chris is also a naturalist for the Appalachian Mountain Club. A native New Englander and licensed Maine Guide, Chris is very much at home on the coast or in the mountains where his fascination with wildlife is always enthusiastically shared. Chris holds a masters degree in Environmental Studies from Antioch University and  has taught biology, ecology and ornithology in both New Hampshire and Maine. As a nature photographer and master bird-bander, he continues wildlife research in his region.

Jean Mackay - Arts and Birding

Jean Mackay
Jean Mackay
As an artist and educator, Jean has been exploring nature and sharing its beauty and diversity with others for more than 20 years. Her watercolor paintings follow the traditional illustrative style of 18th and 19th century naturalist-explorers who documented the rich variety of plants and animals they found in newly discovered lands. Instead of revealing new species, Jean's artist journals and paintings aim to help people see anew and appreciate both the remarkable species and ordinary things we encounter every day. Jean has been an instructor at Hog Island since 2003, exploring birds, marine life, and coastal Maine ecology with children and adults. She has an M.S. in Environmental Education from Lesley College and, when not exploring or pining for the Maine coast, she works in partnership with the National Park Service at the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor in New York.

Laurie McLaughlin - Teen I Leader

Laurie McLaughlin
Laurie McLaughlin
Laurie McLaughlin is a faculty member at Penn State University and a Program Coordinator at Shaver's Creek Environmental Center, Penn State's Nature Center in central Pennsylvania.  Laurie teaches  facilitation and teambuilding skills, environmental education, and is the director of the Maple Harvest Festival.  Laurie earned her B.S. in Environmental Interpretation from Penn State and an M.A. in Experiential Education from the University of Colorado. In addition to helping young people learn about and enjoy the natural world, her interests include birds, the ocean, traveling, canoeing, cooking, reading, and, most of all, spending time with her husband, Mark, and their two sons, Brian and Sean.

Steve Morello - Family Camp

Steve Morello
Steve Morello
Steve Morello is the Director of Mondo Verde Expeditions, a wildlife tour company that specializes in wildlife expeditions and endeavors to make a positive difference in the places where they travel. His enthusiasm for sustainable tourism is matched only by his passion for conservation of wildlife through photography. Well known as a professional wildlife photographer, Steve's work has appeared in National Geographic Magazine, National Geographic Books, National Geographic World Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, International Wildlife, The New York Times, Martha Stuart's Living, Popular Photography, and Outdoor Photographer as well as numerous other magazines, books and calendars. Steve is a major contributor to the photo collection of the World Wildlife Fund and to-date has contributed more images to their photo library than any other photographer. Steve is the author of the acclaimed book, The Traveling Nature Photographer.

Sara Morris Field Orn., Teen I

Sara Morris
Sara Morris
Sara R. Morris is a professor of Biology and the Director of the Environmental Science Program at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY. She earned her MS and PhD in zoology at Cornell University.  Her research focus is bird migration, specifically in how birds use sites in-between where they breed and winter to successfully complete their migrations. At Canisius, Morris teaches classes in ornithology, vertebrate zoology, ecology and evolution.  She regularly takes her undergraduate research students to ornithological conferences to present their research projects and class students on extended field trips to areas like Fort Myers, FL, and the Galapagos Islands to study wildlife.   Morris is a Fellow of the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU), the Secretary of the AOU, a council member of the Wilson Ornithological Society, and a research associate at the Buffalo Museum of Science.

Kristin Mosher Arts & Birding, Teen II

Kristin Mosher
Kristin Mosher

Born and raised in New York, Kristin Mosher developed a passion for wildlife and photography after working for three years as director of operations for the Jane Goodall Institute in Connecticut.  Her early work centered on documenting life histories of wild chimpanzees in Gombe National Park, Tanzania.  Mosher continues to promote chimp conservation, working with her husband, cinematographer Bill Wallauer.  In 2012 she recorded audio for the Disneynature film, Chimpanzee, which won Best Sound at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival in 2013.  See kristinjmosherimages.photoshelter.com for more information.  

Angelika Nelson - Joy of Birding,  Field Ornithology, Teen I

Angelika Nelson
Angelika Nelson
Angelika Nelson is curator of the Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics and the Tetrapod collection in the Museum of Biological Diversity at The Ohio State University. She earned her MS at the University of Vienna in her home country of Austria and her PhD at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. As a behavioral ecologist her research is focused on acoustic communication in birds, recently in the white-crowned sparrow along the Pacific Northwest coast. She teaches "Introduction to Ornithology" and advises the student Ornithology club at The Ohio State University. She enjoys traveling with her husband Doug, spending time in nature, bird-watching, horseback riding and taking her dog Inga for walks.

Craig Newberger - Family Camp Director, Educator's Week

craig newBerger
Craig Newberger
Craig Newberger  has served as the Lower School Science Coordinator at Germantown Academy for over 25 years. During the summers he directs their Wildlife Discovery Camp, which he started in 2003. Craig has also designed and directed Germantown Academy's Summer Science Institute for Girls. He is a recipient of the "Exemplary Teacher of Elementary Science Award" from the Montgomery County Science Teachers Association. Craig directed the Audubon Youth Ecology Camp on Hog Island for seventeen summers and co-directed Audubon's Family Camp on Hog Island for four summers. Craig has worked as a naturalist at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History and he served as director for the National Environmental Education Development (N.E.E.D) residential program at the Cape Cod National Seashore. Craig is the author of over a hundred nature columns, which have appeared in many newspapers and magazine. He is also a contributor to the book, A Guide to Nature on Cape Cod and the Islands. Craig's expertise on the hammered dulcimer, banjo, and guitar has played an important role in engaging his students.

Wayne Petersen - Joy of Birding

wayne petersen
Wayne Petersen
Wayne is a Massachusetts native and director of the Massachusetts Important Bird Area (IBA) Program for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Throughout his illustrious career, Wayne has lectured extensively, conducted birding workshops across North America, and led tours for Mass Audubon and Field Guides, Inc. that have taken him from arctic Canada to South America, Iceland, Svalbard, Africa, Madagascar, Antarctica, Australia, and New Zealand. A founding member of the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee (MARC), Wayne is also a New England Regional Editor for North American Birds magazine and editor for the New England Christmas Bird Counts. In addition to writing a bird identification column for thirty-five years for Bird Observer magazine, his writing projects have included writing or co-authoring the National Audubon Society Pocket Guide to Songbirds and Familiar Backyard Birds (East), Birds of Massachusetts, Birds of New England, and the Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas. He also contributed accounts to The Audubon Society Master Guide to Birding, The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior, and Arctic Wings. Wayne is currently a member of the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program Advisory Committee, and in 2005 he received the American Birding Association's Ludlow Griscom Award for outstanding contributions in regional ornithology. Wayne is especially interested in seabirds and shorebirds and he derives great satisfaction from sharing his knowledge of the natural world with others.

Trudy Phillips - Family Camp Director, Educator's Week

Trudy Phillips
Trudy Phillips
Trudy Phillips is the Director for Environmental Education at the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy.  Holding an M.S. in Environmental Education, Trudy has been an elementary school teacher, an Expedition Guide for the National Audubon Society's (NAS) Expedition Institute, Assistant Director for the NAS Youth Ecology Camp and Family Camp in Maine, and the Assistant Director for Education at the Schuylkill Environmental Education Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Awards for teaching excellence include the Early Childhood Professional Award from Scholastic, Inc., the Outstanding Environmental Educator from the Pennsylvania Alliance for Environmental Education, and the Dr. Ruth Patrick Award from the Water Resources Association (WRA) of the Delaware River Basin for outstanding early childhood, youth and adult environmental education programs.

Joshua Potter - Teen II Leader

Joshua Polter
Joshua Potter
Joshua Potter is the Marketing Coordinator and a naturalist at Shaver's Creek Environmental Center in Central PA. He received his BA degree from Penn State in Integrative Arts, blending multimedia and environmental education. He has recently moved back to Pennsylvania with his wife Sarah, son Ellory, and daughter Lucy. Previously Joshua worked as a naturalist and Outreach Coordinator for Tin Mountain Conservation Center in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Joshua spent his summers at Tin Mountain as director of their backpacking and canoeing camps for teens, where he strived to inject natural history into each day on the trail or water.

John Pumilio

John Pumilio
John Pumilio
John first stepped on Hog Island in the early 1990's as a student assistant.  By 1993, he had become one of the youngest camp instructors in Hog Island's history at age 21.  During this time, John conducted several annual breeding bird surveys of the island carrying on the historic work of Allan D. Cruickshank.  Since his early days at Hog Island, John gained extensive national and international guiding experience including environmental sustainability work in Alaska, the Florida Everglades, Canadian Rockies, Tanzania, Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu, and Patagonia, Chile among other places.  While in the Everglades, John was a field biologist on the Red-cockaded woodpecker and Florida panther recovery projects.  He also spent time in the West Indies researching avian biodiversity and persistence in different habitats.  Currently, John is the Director of Sustainability at Colgate University in Central New York.  He received his bachelor's degree in environmental and forest biology from ESF at Syracuse University and graduate degree from The Evergreen State College in Washington State.  John is thrilled to return to Hog Island and looks forward to sharing his knowledge and passion of coastal Maine's birds with others.

Heather Richard - Teen I & II Leader

Heather Richard
Heather Richard
Heather is an educator and graduate student in Marine Science at San Francisco State University's Romberg Tiburon Center. As a native Mainer, she has always had a strong connection to the outdoors, and as a Student Assistant on Hog Island in 2003 she developed a passion for sharing her connection to the outdoors with others. She graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Clark University and served as an education intern for Project Puffin in 2005. With nearly 10 years of experience in outdoor education, her experiences include backpacking with students in West Virginia, snorkeling with school groups on Catalina Island in California, and leading public trips out to the Farallon Islands in search of whales and seabirds. By far, she feels most at home living by the tides on islands such as Hog Island where she has specialized in teaching marine science since her time as a Student Assistant. She feels fortunate to have made her passion her career, and is also an avid biker, explorer, artist and musician.

Pete Salmansohn - Educator's Week Director, appears in most sessions

Pete Salmansohn
Pete Salmansohn
Pete Salmansohn received his M.S. in Teaching from the Environmental Studies Department at Antioch/New England and his M.S. in Social Ecology from Goddard College. He has been an instructor at Hog Island during adult, family, and youth camps since 1980, and is the Program Director for this year's Sharing Nature program for educators. Pete is the Education Coordinator for the Seabird Restoration Program and created our school outreach program in Maine about seabird conservation, which is now in its 14th year. Pete coordinates the Audubon seabird tours aboard commercial boats each summer.   He  co-authored, with Steve Kress, Project Puffin: How We Brought the Puffins Back to Eastern Egg Rock, Giving Back To The Earth and Saving Birds: Heroes Around the World.

Susan Schubel - appears in most sessions

Susan Schubel
Sue Schubel
"Seabird Sue" Schubel is Project Puffin's own Disney Hero , and has been the Outreach Educator for Project Puffin since 2000. She loves to engage her students in exciting learning activities and share real data from the seabird islands with them. Her acquaintance with Project Puffin began in high school, when she saw Marlin Perkins rowing ashore with Steve on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom episode Return of the Puffin. She started working with Project Puffin as a volunteer on Matinicus Rock in 1984, and since then has spent many summers on islands in Maine,California and the Galapagos. Sue loves islands and beasts, and recently acquired a dog with very familiar little black triangles over its eyes.

Jerry Skinner - Spring Seabird Biology and Conservation

Jery Skinner
Jerry Skinner
Jerry is a professor of biology at Keystone College, an educator for the Keystone College Environmental Education Institute, and the resident naturalist and volunteer steward at the Nature Conservancy's Woodbourne Forest and Wildlife Sanctuary in Susquehanna County, PA. Jerry  began as an instructor at Hog Island in 1981 and finds every excuse he can to get back.  He spent several years with Project Puffin working in the Galapagos and closer to home on Stratton Island, Maine. At home in Pennsylvania, he was a regional coordinator and species account author for the 2nd Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas.

Peter Vickery - The Arts of Birding, Raptor Rapture, Migration and Monhegan I & II

Vickery Peter
Peter Vickery
Peter Vickery is President of the Center for Ecological Research, a non-profit company focused on conservation research. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  Peter's research interests include habitat selection and breeding ecology of grassland birds, conservation planning on landscape and regional scales, and international conservation. He has a special interest in developing conservation strategies for species and ecosystems before they become endangered. He is writing a book on Maine Birds with Bill Sheehan and is collaborating on grassland bird research in Argentina.  Recent projects have included regional grassland bird conservation strategies in New England and the reproductive biology of the Northern Blazing Star, a rare grassland forb. Peter is co-author of A Birder's Guide to Maine with Elizabeth Pierson and Jan Pierson.  He has also consulted on wind power and hydro-kinetics projects in Maine.  He loves being outdoors in Maine.

Bill Wallauer - Arts & Birding, Teen II
For 15 years, Bill spent just about every day following the chimpanzees of Gombe National Park in Tanzania, capturing the intimate details of their daily life.  He has served as a camera operator and scientific advisor for more than 30 productions, including BBC/Animal Planet's "Chimp Week" and BBC/Discovery's 10-part series, "Planet Earth."  Most recently he worked as principal photography for Disneynature's "Chimpanzee."  

Scott Weidensaul - Director of Field Orn., Arts and Birding, Raptor Rapture, Teen I & II, Fall Migration I

Scott Weidensaul
Scott Weidensaul
Author and naturalist Scott Weidensaul has written more than two dozen books on natural history, including Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds  (a Pulitzer Prize finalist), The Ghost with Trembling Wings and Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding. His next book, The First Frontier: The Forgotten History of Struggle, Savagery, and Endurance in Early America, is due out in the spring of 2012. Scott's writing has appeared in publications including Smithsonian, the New York Times , Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife and Audubon . He lectures widely on wildlife and environmental topics and is an active field researcher, specializing in birds of prey and hummingbirds. Scott lives in the Appalachians of eastern Pennsylvania.



Doug Wentzel - Teen I Leader

Doug Wentzel
Doug Wentzel
Doug Wentzel is a program director, instructor and naturalist at Shaver1s Creek Environmental Centerin central PA. For nearly 20 years he has directed educational internships, summer camps and birding programs. As a Penn State instructor, Doug teaches natural history interpretation and is a certified trainer through the National Association for Interpretation. Since 2005, Doug has co-led with Laurie McLaughlin the Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens week. He has a BS degree in Wildlife Biology from Penn State, and has served four years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. He and his wife Susan are raising their two sons, Dylan and Duncan, in Ennisville, PA. Doug's ongoing passion is to foster the awareness of the diversity of life in our own backyards.

Sherrie York - Educator's Week

Sherrie York
Sherrie York
Sherrie York is an accomplished artist with an international reputation for lyrical and expressive works on paper. Her fine art exhibitions primarily feature relief linocuts and she is currently expanding to include artist books based on her long practice of keeping illustrated journals and field sketchbooks. For the past ten years Sherrie has been the lead illustrator for Audubon Adventures, as well as writer and designer of the program's Natural Journaling for Everyone packet. She provides illustrations and teaches workshops for a wide variety of conservation organizations and has been an invited artist on international expeditions of the Artists for Nature Foundation. Her original relief prints, watercolor paintings, and more can be seen on her website.

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