Junior Instructor Alumni

Past and present Junior Instructors

Junior Instructor Applications

If you would like to one day be a fully fledged instructor on this page, or are considering a job in conservation, ornithology, bird guiding, or environmental education, then this position could be a perfect fit for you to gain valuable work experience and network with some of the premiere folks in ornithology and conservation.  This paid, one-week experience includes all room & board while at Hog Island.  Junior Instructor must be 18 years old, high school graduates, be up-to-date with their COVID vaccines, and have the ability to travel to Maine in order to be considered for the positions.  Contact us at hogisland@audubon.org for more information.

Junior Instructor Alumni

The following is a list of the Junior Instructors that are past and present.

Jonah Eckles - 2024 Fall Migration and Monhegan Island (SESSION ONE)

Jonah Eckels, a Hoosier, graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin with a B.A. degree in Secondary Education and History. As a kid, he grew up digging for dinosaur bones, watching Zoboomafoo and the Crocodile Hunter, and playing in the mud. His fourth birthday party was in fact “mud” themed. He is currently the Education Coordinator at the Audubon Center at Riverlands, just outside of St. Louis, Missouri. His favorite part about his job is connecting students of all ages with the outdoors. He also loves leading camp songs during the summer at Little Creek Nature Area. His spark bird is the Purple Martin, but he is unable to pick a favorite. In his free time, he loves to go birding, explore new places with his wife, Sarah, and play with his dog, Louie.

Carver Hauptman - 2024 Joy of Birding and Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens (SESSION ONE)

Growing up, Carver loved being outdoors from an early age, always wanting to be in the lead on a hiking trail and the first to try something new. His love for birds developed early and he loved reading through bird books over…and over…and over in the back of the car on road trips to learn every species. After his camp experience in summer of 2022, Carver knew he wanted to be back. This experience grew his love for ornithology and the outdoors even more and he greatly values the relationships he made. He is a rising sophomore studying Environment and Sustainability at Cornell University taking every ornithology related class he can. His involvement in clubs at Cornell has helped him form a more sustainable life and he hopes to be able to spread what he has learned into the rest of his life and into the lives of people around him.

Kristen Johnson - 2023 Spring Monhegan

Kristen Johnson began birding from a stroller and was able to distinguish a Fish Crow from an American Crow by ear before the age of two.  In elementary school she was helping release birds from banding operations; by middle school she was extracting birds from mist nets. She has banded passerines, saw-whet owls, and shorebirds and is an avid birder and photographer.  In summer 2021, Kristen worked at Rachel Carson NWR in Wells, ME, monitoring Piping Plovers and Least Terns, in addition to monitoring and banding Saltmarsh and Nelson's Sparrows.  Last summer, Kristen worked with Virginia Tech Shorebirds on Fire Island, NY, monitoring and banding Piping Plovers.  While birding, Kristen enjoys resighting banded birds and learning where they were banded and how old they are.  When not watching and photographing birds or other nature subjects, Kristen sings, plays violin, and rides horses.  Kristen will be graduating from Mount Holyoke College as a biology and music double major this May.  In 2017, Kristen attended Hog Island's Coastal Maine Bird Studies For Teens and loved the experience.  She is looking forward to returning to Hog Island and sharing the joy of the outdoors with others

Trysten Loefke - 2024 Fall Migration and Monhegan Island (SESSION TWO)

Trysten has been birding since the age of ten and has been fascinated by wildlife for as long as he can remember. He grew up in rural San Diego County, California, surrounded by rare and endangered wildlife and his passion for wildlife and conservation has only grown since then. Trysten holds a B.S. in Zoology and currently works for the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance as an educator and guide. He also serves as the Conservation Committee Chair and member of the Board of Directors for the Palomar Audubon Society. Trysten has worked with many falconers and wildlife rehabilitators in their efforts to save local wildlife and release them back into the wild. Trysten’s work has allowed him to be a frequent lecturer on birding, wildlife, and conservation topics for many organizations throughout Southern California. Trysten is also an award-winning photographer and writer, and his work has been published by the American Birding Association. His love for wildlife extends beyond birds to mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and other invertebrates. He is an advocate of “ecologically holistic” conservation, which takes the whole ecosystem into consideration and not just the charismatic species that we humans naturally have an affinity for. One of Trysten’s greatest passions is teaching people about the lesser-known and lesser-loved creatures that play important roles in our world.

Teodelina Martelli - 2023 Field Ornithology/CMBS Two

Teodelina Martelli is a passionately interdisciplinary ornithologist who has loved birds since the age of three years old and is now studying them at Pomona College in California. Growing up homeschooled allowed her to devote time to the intersections of ornithology, music composition, illustration, and languages, and she is the 2018 ABA Young Birder of the Year. With research on the conservation of the California Condor, she has published in Aves Argentinas (belonging to the Argentine subdivision of BirdLife International) and presented for organizations including Western Field Ornithologists. Teaching is one of her major callings, with extensive experience lecturing and trip-leading for courses/camps, often self-organized or by invitation. She is particularly interested in researching the mechanics of migration, sexual selection, and the evolution of learning in birds. A CMBS alumnus of 2018, she is excited to return to this wonderful program and the island that first introduced her and so many others to Maine’s natural beauty.

Patrick Maurice - 2023 Raptor Migration & Monhegan

Patrick Maurice is a birder and nature photographer from Atlanta, Georgia. Patrick graduated from the University of Georgia in the spring of 2021 with a bachelors degree in Wildlife Science. Patrick has been birding for as long as he can remember and carrying a camera with him for over a decade. While he is primarily a bird photographer, he also enjoys photographing nature and landscapes. Patrick also loves to travel and has a goal of visiting every continent—he's already been to four of them!

Patrick is currently pursuing his dream of being a bird guide with NatureScape Tours and also guides for birding festivals such as the Biggest Week, Georgia Birdfest, and the Georgia Ornithological Society. In his spare time, he enjoys playing and watching soccer.

Tyler McClain - 2022 Family Camp

Tyler McClain is from the small town of Sycamore, Ohio. Ever since he was 7 years old he has assisted with bird banding projects that have taken him all over the state of Ohio. After finishing high school he attended the University of Toledo where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies. After graduation, he moved into the city of Cleveland where he now works as a part time Naturalist with Cleveland Metroparks. There he provides educational nature based programming to schools and the public. Tyler also works as a part-time substitute teacher for his local school district. In his spare time Tyler enjoys hunting, fishing, herpetology and wildlife photography. Birds have been a touchstone for his life and he cannot wait to share his passion this summer.

Johnny Owens - 2024 Spring Migration and Monhegan

Johnny Owens is an avid birder and nature advocate from Essex, Massachusetts. He is a freshman attending Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida and is majoring in Environmental Studies. Johnny is especially interested in the fields of ecotourism, environmental research, education, and endangered species recovery programs. Through these areas, he hopes to raise greater public awareness of the incredible biodiversity that exists in the world and the threats it faces from anthropogenic issues such as climate change. To date, he has volunteered for over one thousand hours in various roles at the Mass Audubon Society's Joppa Flats Education Center, assisted with several avian research projects, and served on the Brookline Bird Club's Conservation and Education committee. Johnny attended the Hog Island Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens camp in 2022, and he is thrilled to return this summer as a Jr. Instructor.

Jack Parlapiano - Junior Instructor

From a young age, Jack had always had a general appreciation for birds but never became addicted to birding until he joined his school’s bird club in 6th grade. Eight years later, he can be found wandering the underbirded counties of his home state of New Mexico looking for rarities, finding new birding hotspots, and trying to learn everything there is about migration. Alongside his birding, Jack absorbs himself into the world of photography. He believes that when birding, the camera is just as important as the binoculars. It timelessly captures a moment that can be applied to learning, sharing, and recollection. A byproduct from this mindset has allowed Jack’s photography to be published in multiple journals, magazines, and websites, including AOS, US Army Corps of Engineers, and eBird. When not in the field, Jack attends the University of New Mexico where he pursues a degree in Biology with an emphasis in chemistry and environmental science and volunteers in the Museum of Southwestern Biology. He hopes to utilize his knowledge of southwestern species, habitats, and distributions to conserve important areas for all wildlife. Jack attended Camp Costa Rica 2019 and is extremely eager to join the crew up north. You can follow him on Instagram @nm_birder and see where he’s been birding lately at https://ebird.org/profile/Njk3MTA0

Isabel Rasmussen - 2023 Fall Migration & Monhegan

Isabel Rasmussen is a recently graduated college student from Massachusetts with a degree in environmental science and biology. Her entire life, she has always loved being outdoors, be it hiking, kayaking, birding, or helping salamanders cross the road. She has a particular interest in birds and plants, always eager to learn from and teach those around her, and is passionate about native plant gardening. Isabel works over the summer as a tech in environmental consulting, assisting with bird, bat, and plant surveys all over the country. She visited Hog Island once in 2018 as a camper, and is very excited for the chance to return and contribute to such an amazing place.

Minsoss Sapiel-Bobadilla - 2023 Puffin Islands/CMBS One

Minsoss Sapiel-Bobadilla is a young two spirit indigenous person of the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes in Maine. Minsoss grew up on and off the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot reservations located on the easternmost coast of the US. Growing up they spent every summer playing on the shore of the Passamaquoddy Bay. As an indigenous person they always had a strong connection to nature and decided to study outdoor recreation at Washington Community College in Calais Maine in 2019. From there they spent a year on Catalina Island in California as a ropes course facilitator. Now they spend most of their freetime as an artist, making traditional artwork such as regalia, basket weaving and beading. Minsoss does environmental activism as a speaker and an artist. They do their activism through art focusing on decolonization movements. 

Isaiah Scott - 2022 Puffin Islands/CMBS One

Isaiah Emmanuel Scott, born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, is an avid birder, natural history illustrator, outdoor brand ambassador, and social media influencer. He is a first year student attending Cornell university, majoring in Environment and Sustainability, with a focus on ornithology. He led bird watching hikes known as Ike’s Birding Hikes, an Avitourism brand with a goal of connecting people with nature and increasing diversity in birdwatching. He also received the Eckleberry Fellowship  for 2021, which endows nature artists with the goal of enhancing the impact of their work. His plan is to illustrate and create a book that depicts the relationship of birds and African cultures in continental Africa, as well as the diaspora. Isaiah was a camper of Hog Island Audubon Camp in the summer of 2019 and is excited to return as a Jr. Instructor. You can follow him on Instagram @ikesbirdinghikes and his Art account @theisaiahescott.

Katelyn Shelton - 2022 Field Ornithology and CMBS Two

Katelyn has been and continues to be a passionate birder ever since meeting her spark bird, the American Woodcock, in 2016. Soon after that magical moment, she spent her next 5 years participating in a club named the Ohio Young Birders Club, where she sharpened her ID skills, gave presentations, and wrote articles. Through the club and with some help from the Ohio Bluebird Society, she even set up her own Bluebird Trail in 2018, which she still monitors today.  Katelyn is currently a college freshman with a major in Zoo and Conservation Science at Otterbein University in Ohio, fueling her passion for birds, wildlife rehabilitation, and field ornithology. To share and spread her love for our feathered friends, she took it upon herself to create Otterbein’s first-ever birding club, Birderbein, which is the university’s leading force in bird focused education, research, and plain old enjoyment. And now, she is being called back to her home-away-from-home on Hog Island where she can strive to become the best person she can be; all thanks to the birds!

Anna Siegel - 2024 Family Camp (SESSION ONE)

Anna Siegel (she/her) is from Yarmouth, Maine. She is starting her undergraduate studies at Cornell University in fall 2024 to become a conservation ornithologist. She has been engaged in climate activism since middle school with Maine Youth for Climate Justice, Maine Youth Action, and Sierra Club Maine. She is the Co-founder and Advocacy Director of Maine Youth Action, an organization fighting for bold and equitable climate policy through lobbying, crafting legislation, and grassroots advocacy.

Outside of climate work, Anna is a member of the Maine Young Birders Club and can be found photographing, drawing, writing about, looking for, and doing research on birds. She was chosen by the Maine Space Grant Consortium to participate in the MERITS program, where a number of high school juniors are selected each year to receive paid research internships. Through this program she conducted nest surveys and banded chicks for a Herring Gull rooftop nesting project run by the Perlut Lab at the University of New England. She also was the Outreach Lead for the 30-Year Bird Project, a science communications job for an ecology study around forestry, climate, and birds. When not answering emails or chasing rare species, Anna is an avid rock-climber, poet, and hiker.

Helena Souffrant - 2022 Family Camp

Helena first became interested in birds around the age of eleven. She began her Hog Island journey as a Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens camper. Since then, she has been an active member on the Ohio Young Birders Club, attended bird camps all across the country, been a speaker at the Biggest Week in American Birding, been a coordinating member of the Young Birders Network, and has participated in many conversation initiatives both in her home city of Cleveland and other parts of the country. Helena is currently a student at Bowdoin College (just an hour away from Hog Island!) where she plans to double major in Environmental Studies and Africana Studies. In addition to conversation, Helena is also passionate about environmental and social justice. There are many parallels between the environmental justice movement and the social justice movement that cannot be overlooked. She is a firm believer that environmental and social issues cannot be properly addressed without acknowledging the other. In addition to birding, Helena also enjoys music. She plays the mountain dulcimer and the hammered dulcimer, two instruments as random as they are unique. Helena looks forward to sharing her instruments, as well as her love for writing and other hobbies with the visitors of the island. Helena’s favorite birds are the great horned owl and the secretary bird. 

Santi Tabares Erices - 2023 Family Camp and 2024 Field Ornithology and Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens (SESSION TWO)

Santi first came to Hog Island as a teen camper on a scholarship from Boulder County Audubon Society.  Santi currently is a student at Cornell University and sits on the Birding Club leadership team.  He is a passionate birder and wonderful educator.  His enthusiasm and willingness to chip in shows immediately.  

Zelle Tenorio - 2024 Birds of Maine Islands: A Service Week

Roselle Zelle" Tenorio believes everyone is a birder simply through seeing, hearing, or sensing birds. Zelle embraces mindfulness, joy, and establishing a mutual connection with the natural world not for what it gives us but simply for its existence.

They were welcomed to Chicago by the BIPOC and Queer birding community when failing state infrastructure, rampant gentrification, and oppressive state legislation drove Zelle to move from Dallas in 2022. They enjoyed the group birding events so much and saw a need for more of them, so they began organizing bird outings with Chicago BIPOC Birders and Feminist Bird Club Chicago. Zelle has organized and guided birding events for the community in partnership with the Chicago Park District, Brown People Foundation, South Side Nature Play, Latino Outdoors, The Nature Conservancy, Friends of the Forest Preserves, Friends of the Parks, and more.

Zelle completed the Master Naturalist course with the University of Illinois Extension in 2023 and is now a trainee, completing their volunteer hours by guiding birding events and conducting bird surveys in the Cook County Forest Preserves. They have a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies from Grinnell College and currently work remotely as a grantmaker for a nonprofit. Zelle is a nonbinary Tejane, the gender-inclusive term for the descendants of modern-day Texas before it became part of the United States.

Zelle is excited to bring their skills and experience to Hog Island for the first time; it will also be their first visit to the state of Maine! You can join Zelle virtually on a bird walk in their local park at @washingtonbirdwalks.Spark bird: Caspian Tern.

Oscar Wilhelmy - 2023 Birds of Maine Islands

Oscar Wilhelmy discovered his love for birds when a Yellow-throated Warbler caught his eye at age 14. He found a home in the Ohio Young Birders Club — a bright light in a lonely childhood. He spent his late teens driving across the country in search of rare birds, and completed his goal of 700 species in the lower 48 at age 18. Ultimately, this journey taught him that birding is not about competition, but community and a shared passion. A passion that tethered him back to life in times of darkness. He moved to the mountains to find himself in 2020, and founded the University of Montana Birding Club.  Oscar also loves to ski, bike, and bake. 

Nadia Wilkins - 2024 Family Camp (SESSION TWO)

Nadia has been birding since around ten years old, when they were lucky enough to receive enthusiastic mentorship and a pair of binoculars from a family friend. They have since founded a club for ecology and citizen science at their high school, where they lead bird walks and discussions while always trying to convince new friends to check out eBird. A big part of Nadia’s life is music, as they have played violin for over a decade and enjoy singing in choir and competitive contexts; for this reason, they love to engage with nature by listening to bird calls and other sounds. Nadia is also a longtime hobby artist, especially enjoying oil pastels and printmaking. They are excited to sketch birds and be inspired at camp! Nadia has spent several weeks in the Madre de Dios region of Peru to learn about bird banding, but they mostly enjoy birding locally in their home state, Massachusetts. They will begin studying at Middlebury College in the fall of 2024, where they plan to pursue Environmental Studies and explore Vermont. Nadia is a former Hog Island teen camper and is honored to return as a junior instructor.

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