The following is a list of the staff, instructors, directors, and guest speakers for the upcoming 2019 summer (unless otherwise noted). More instructors will be added in the coming months. You can also view our full instructor pool from recent years.
Karen Acton - Family Camp Session One and Family Camp Session Two Instructor
Karen Acton is a native Jersey Girl who considers herself blessed to have grown up in the Pine Barrens. She treasures her memories of running on sandy paths lined with pine trees and laurel bushes, collecting every possible rock, cone or berry she could fit in her worn-out pockets, even salamanders, later to be found by her mother when she did the laundry. Karen has been teaching high school art for twenty-three years. She makes it a priority for her students to study natural forms and encourages them to be aware of nature when they step into the outdoors. Karen is looking forward to being a part of Hog Island Audubon Camp.
Margaret Barker - Creating Bird-friendly Habitats
Margaret A. Barker, a Maryland-based writer and educator, grew up watching feeder birds at home in East Tennessee. She covered environmental stories during a broadcast journalism career in the southeast, including WGST, Atlanta. Free time was spent birding. A session at Hog Island Audubon Camp in the mid-1980s spurred a career change, leading to an M.S. environmental education degree via the Audubon Expedition Institute and an internship with Audubon's Washington, D.C. office. She managed the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s Project FeederWatch and later the Kids Growing Food school garden program for Cornell’s Department of Education. She writes for newspapers and magazines, and is co-author of The FeederWatcher’s Guide to Bird Feeding (HarperCollins, 2000), the Audubon Birdhouse Book (Voyageur Press, 2013) and Feeding Wild Birds in America (Texas A&M University Press, 2015).
Cleo Bell - Head Chef
Cleo was born and raised in Washington, DC. She attended McGill University in Montreal and has a BA in Cultural Anthropology. After graduating, she moved back to DC and began working at local restaurants, such as Againn, a British Isles-inspired gastro-pub and Komi, a high-end Mediterranean restaurant. She has spent 3 summers as the Head Chef for the Hog Island National Audubon Society summer camp in Maine from 2015-2017, working with local farms to bring fresh food to the Island and to happy campers. Recently Cleo has had the opportunity to cook and teach at Boston Public Market, with the whole Market to source from and the whole of Boston to serve.
At first glance, it might seem a strange road from cultural anthropology to cooking, but food and cooking are integral to the expression and transference of culture. As they say: culture begins at the table. By concentrating on serving local, sustainable foods, Cleo hopes to elevate the experience of the diner and to make a positive impact on the local food community.
Seth Benz - Living on the Wind: Migration & Monhegan Session One
Seth Benz has served as Assistant to the Curator at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, director of Hog Island Audubon Camp, and is the current director of Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park’s Bird Ecology Program. In his current role, Seth coordinates citizen scientists’ efforts to monitor bird migrations, pelagic seabird concentrations, and biodiversity and phenology observations in the Acadia Region. Benz was recently elected to a three-year term on the Maine Bird Records Committee. Seth and wife Sue reside in Belfast, Maine with their Australian Shepherd rescue pooch Beazie.
Rob Bierregaard - Raptor Migration & Monhegan Island; Raptor Rapture Online Speaker
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.
Andy Brand - Creating Bird-Friendly Habitats
Andy Brand is the Plant Curator at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Prior to joining the staff in 2018, he was the nursery manager at Broken Arrow Nursery for over 20 years, where he and his colleagues specialized in growing rare and unusual plants. Andy is an avid naturalist and has focused on the interaction of the insects and native plants of New England. He is a cofounder and past President of the Connecticut Butterfly Association and is also past President of the Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association. He speaks to groups throughout the Northeast on a range of topics including native plants, new and unusual ornamentals, butterfly gardening, and butterflies of Connecticut and their life histories.
Adrian Bregy - Facilities Assistant
Adrian has worked at Hog Island for the past three summers. In the winter Adrian works in the Audubon Decoy workshop on the mainland. As the facilities assistant Adrian is the man behind-the-scenes that keeps the camp running. He hauls recycling and trash across the Narrows, keeps our camp vans in clean condition and is a quintessential handy-man fixing our historic buildings and keeping everything in top notch order. Adrian lives in Bremen, Maine and enjoys hiking in his free time.
David Brinker - Raptor Migration & Monhegan Island
Dave Brinker works on biodiversity conservation for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, where he is now a regional ecologist with the Natural Heritage Program. His hands-on involvement with raptors goes back to his undergraduate years at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where, in 1977, he obtained his B.S in ecosystems analysis. He now specializes in monitoring and conservation efforts for Maryland’s colonial nesting waterbirds, marsh birds and raptors, as well as additional interests in freshwater mussels, tiger beetles and dragonflies. Dave co-leads a seminar on bird banding at the Eagle Hill Institute during late summer, and has authored and coauthored a variety of peer-reviewed papers on topics including red-tailed kawk and northern saw-whet owl migration, goshawk population change, and colonial nesting waterbird trends.
Dave’s interest in saw-whet owls led to him founding the collaborative banding effort Project Owlnet in 1994 (www.projectowlnet.org) that now spans the continent. During spring his passion for raptors turns to studying northern goshawks in the central Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Dave has used traditional radio telemetry, GSM and satellite telemetry to study the movements of black skimmers, northern goshawks, northern saw-whet and snowy owls. He co-founded and is a principal in Project SNOWstorm (www.projectsnowstorm.org). Dave is a principal in the Northeast Motus Collaboration, which is working to expand the inland footprint of the Motus array that tracks small migrating organisms using RF telemetry.
Richard Crossley - Spring Migration & Monhegan; Raptor Rapture Online Speaker
Richard Crossley is an internationally acclaimed birder, photographer and award-winning author of ‘The Crossley ID Guide’ series. Crazy, wildly passionate, and driven are just a few of the words used to describe his love of birding and nature. Born in Yorkshire, Richard first visited the USA as a 21 year old. He quickly fell in love with Cape May and its incredible bird migrations, and moved there for good shortly afterwards. After 20 years of hiding in the business world and raising his family (with wife Debra, Sophie, Sam, and a dog – all blondes,) Richard co-authored The Shorebird Guide. He quickly became obsessed with the newfound opportunities provided by digital technology and book design: The Crossley ID Guide series was created. These are books for anyone who loves nature. The recent self-published The Crossley ID Guide: Waterfowl pushes the boundaries further by using different marketing concepts and attempts to get all outdoor conservation groups to see each other as one.
Richard also co-founded of the global birding initiative Pledge to Fledge (www.pledgetofledge.org,) Race4Birds (www.race4birds.org,) and The Cape May Young Birders Club. He has contributed to most major birding publications, is frequently heard on radio, and is a highly sought-after public speaker. He served on the board of directors at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. He firmly believes that the time is right to popularize birding in the USA and other parts of the world.
Khavin Debbs - Educator's Week
Khavin Debbs was born in Sacramento, California. After teaching preschool and elementary school for homeless children he relocated to Washington in 2013. There he finished his bachelors degree in Environmental Education from the Evergreen State College. He then later received his Urban Environmental Education Masters from Antioch University, where his thesis focused on decolonizing the outdoors for families of color. He is currently working as the operations and partnerships manager for Tiny Trees Preschool, a non profit outdoor preschool.In his spare time Khavin enjoys watching and playing soccer, mycology, rock climbing, cooking, and art. Khavin goes by the pronouns He, Him, His. This is Khavin's second year on the Educator's Week staff at Hog Island.
Maggie Dewane - Co-Director Road Scholar: Saving Seabirds
Maggie first visited Hog Island in 2002 as a camper for youth ecology camp and has since returned over the years as both camper and instructor, always drawn to this magical place. Now Maggie joins us as camp director for the Road Scholar - Saving Seabirds session, sharing insight from traveling to all seven continents researching climate change and its effects on wildlife and people. She co-hosts a wildlife podcast, The Watering Hole, and provides lectures on climate change through the Climate Reality Project.
Maggie has previously worked for global nonprofits the Marine Stewardship Council and Environmental Investigation Agency, as well as the White House Council on Environmental Quality and United States Senate. She has a B.S. in diplomacy and international relations from Seton Hall University and an MPA in environmental science and policy from Columbia University. In her free time, Maggie is hiking with her dog Argos, playing soccer, or eating the delicious food found on Hog Island.
Adam DiNouvo - Road Scholar: Saving Seabirds
Adam DiNuovo has been working with shorebirds and seabirds on the East and West Coasts and Gulf of Mexico for fifteen years. He is currently a biologist for Audubon Florida and is the Collier Shorebird Monitoring and Stewardship Program Manager. Prior to his work in Florida he was a Research Coordinator for the Institute for Conservation Research at the San Diego Zoo and served as Assistant Sanctuary Manager for Project Puffin for three years. This will be Adam’s fourth fall as an instructor on Hog Island.
Charles Duncan - Building Better Birding Skills
Charles Duncan was Director of the Shorebird Recovery Project at the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences from 2003 to 2013, also serving as Director of the Executive Office of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, a coalition now of 90 sites in thirteen nations committed to the conservation of shorebird species and their habitats across the Americas. Charles's professional training was in organic chemistry (B.A. Rice University; Ph.D. Yale University; postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia), and he had a long career in academia at the University of Maine at Machias (UMM). Along the way, his passion for bird-watching in the Americas grew in more rigorous directions. In fact, he describes his conservation work simple as "a hobby that got wildly out of control." He founded and ran the Institute for Field Ornithology at UMM for many years, and served as president of the Association of Field Ornithologists from 1998-2000. In 1999, he made a career shift and joined The Nature Conservancy's Migratory Bird Program as conservation ornithologist. In 2002, the American Birding Association honored him with their "Chandler Robbins Award for Education and Conservation." In 2013, the Argentine non-profit Asociacion Ambiente Sur (Association Environment South) named him their "honorary ambassador." Since leaving his position at Manomet, Charles has served, pro-bono, as a participant and informal advisor to several bird conservation groups across the Americas.
Pete Dunne - Building Better Birding Skills; Raptor Rapture Online Speaker
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.
Tony Ferrara - FOHI Volunteer Coordinator
Tony Ferrara has worked for many years as a web and database professional, and is retiring from his career in order to pursue his passion for the mission of Hog Island. He and his wife Cheryl will be moving to Maine from Florida after his retirement. He was a camper on the island in 2016 and 2017, attending Raptor Rapture and Field Ornithology sessions. Tony has been a volunteer beach steward on Marco Island, Florida, for many years, and has served as the volunteer coordinator for that program. The beach stewards keep the beach clean, protect birds and other wildlife, and engage with tourists and residents to make the beach a safe and enjoyable place for everyone. Tony has also served on the Beach Advisory Committee for the City of Marco Island, where he has lived for 23 years. Tony is an avid birder and also enjoys photography, making music, hiking, cycling and skiing. He is looking forward to contributing to the FOHI operation supporting the great work that is done at the Audubon camp and Project Puffin.
Deeohn Ferris - National Audubon Equity, Diversity and Incusion VP
Deeohn Ferris, JD, is Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the National Audubon Society. Deeohn is an environmental lawyer whose career connects many fields of study and spans government, industry, the public interest and the civil rights sectors. She has extraordinary experience leading expert teams working on community regeneration and land revitalization with federal agencies, as well as governments, foundations, community coalitions, tribal organizations and indigenous peoples in the US and countries on five continents.
Combining local impact and countrywide reach, Deeohn is a nationally recognized provider of specialized know-how that tackles equity, sustainability, resiliency, and engagement of under-represented, often, racially stratified populations. She has managed projects involving hundreds of community activists, faith-based leaders and elected officials, organizing working relationships, evaluating science and technical debates, and overcoming obstacles to collaboration and public participation.
Deeohn is also an environmental justice pioneer. Her environmental and civil rights knowledge and policy expertise were instrumental to introducing and establishing the field of environmental justice, nationally and globally, to convening the first-ever Congressional hearings, and providing expert legal representation for communities before Congress, federal agencies, the United Nations, the media and the public. Coordinating with the White House, the Domestic Policy Council, OMB, government agencies, businesses, think tanks, and well-known stakeholder groups, she led the groundbreaking national policy campaign that resulted in the federal environmental justice call-to-action Presidential Executive Order 12898.
Her mission is building the capacity of cross-disciplinary stakeholders to understand and implement equity best practices and strategies, shaping approaches and partnerships that ensure the inclusion of diverse and informed community perspectives, and securing the benefits of nature for every neighborhood. Deeohn is a popular speaker, she is the recipient of many professional achievement awards, and her public service involves numerous federal committees and boards.
Drew Fulton - Arts & Birding
Drew Fulton is a photographer and filmmaker with a passion for exploring the natural world and documenting biodiversity. For his self-designed major at Bowdoin College, he combined environmental science, photography, and ecology with a five-month photographic residency in Everglades National Park to tell the story of the complex ecology and natural history of the Everglades. As a Thomas J. Watson Fellow, he spent a year traveling Australia and photographing endemic birds. His project, Canopy in the Clouds, funded by a National Geographic Young Explorer’s Grant, created a bilingual environmental education program centered on the canopy of the cloud forests of Monteverde, Costa Rica. Drew has returned to Australia to work with National Geographic photographer Tim Laman on multiple projects focused on the remote Cape York peninsula. His skills as a tree climber, photographer, and educator has taken him to Borneo with a group of college students, to Papua New Guinea on a biodiversity survey in Papua New Guinea, and off the coast of Turkey documenting the excavation of a 2,000-year old Roman shipwreck. For the last few years, Drew has been working on a major media project highlighting the natural history of his home state, Florida, and encouraging people to explore and preserve the natural landscape.
Tim Gallagher - Raptor Rapture Online Speaker
Tim Gallagher is an award-winning author, wildlife photographer, and magazine editor. For 25 years, he was editor-in-chief of Living Bird, the flagship publication of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Tim got his first field guide at the age of eight and has been watching birds ever since. He is especially interested in birds of prey. In the late 1970s he worked with the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group, an affiliate of the Peregrine Fund, helping their efforts to save the Peregrine Falcon and other threatened species. His lifelong interest in wilderness exploration has taken him twice to Greenland, where he made an open-boat voyage up the coast to study nesting seabirds and falcons, and to the hinterlands of Iceland, where he climbed lofty cliffs to learn more about the Gyrfalcon, the world's largest falcon. He is the author of several books, including Parts Unknown, Wild Bird Photography, The Grail Bird, Falcon Fever, and Imperial Dreams. He lives in Freeville, New York.
Frank Gallo - Family Camp One
Frank Gallo is a leading expert on where to find birds in Connecticut and has led birding expeditions all over the world. Frank is a tour leader for Sunrise Birding, LLC, an international birding tour company, is a member of the Connecticut Avian Rare Records Committee, and a federally licensed master bird bander. Frank is also the author of two children’s nature books, Bird Calls and Night Sounds, and is a published freelance photographer. Frank’s new book, Birding in Connecticut, a guide to where, when, and how to find birds in the state, came out May 1, 2018. Prior to working for Sunrise Birding, Frank was the Director of the Connecticut Audubon Society's Coastal Center at Milford Point.
Mark Garland - Spring Monhegan & Hog Island
Mark Garland is an old hand at Hog Island, having served as an instructor for several sessions each summer from 2003-08. He is a naturalist based in Cape May, New Jersey, who spent six years with the National Park Service, 17 years with the Audubon Naturalist Society, and four years with the Cape May Bird Observatory. Since 2005 he's been his own boss, mostly planning and conducting nature-oriented tours, courses, field trips and presentations. Birds are a special interest of Marks. He has led more than 200 nature tours to various parts of the world, including more than 30 trips to Costa Rica. Mark is the author of "Watching Nature: A Mid-Atlantic Natural History," and he writes the “Birders Question Mark” column in Bird Watcher’s Digest. He is director of the Cape May Monarch Monitoring Project, and teaches week-long birding programs in Cape May for the Road Scholar program. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in conservation and environmental education from the University of Maryland.
Laura Guerard - Building Better Birding Skills
Laura Guerard is an avid naturalist and birder who has worked and explored the east coast extensively while working for the National Audubon Society, and feels fortunate to have worked in some of North America’s prime birding locations including the Cape May Bird Observatory. Laura currently resides in NW Ohio, in an area known as “The Warbler Capital of the World”, where she serves as Black Swamp Bird Observatory’s Education Director and the Statewide Coordinator for the Ohio Young Birders Club. She is a Maryland native with a degree in Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Education from the University of Vermont and is certified in K-6 Elementary Education. Laura was introduced to Hog Island when awarded a scholarship from Green Mountain Audubon Society to attend Field Ornithology in the 90s and returned the following summer as the Bird Life instructor for the youth and family camp sessions. Laura founded the Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens camp on Hog Island during her tenure as the Audubon Camp in Maine Assistant Director/Youth and Teen Camp Director. One of the greatest joys in her current position with Black Swamp Bird Observatory is facilitating scholarship opportunities for Ohio’s young birders to attend youth birding camps each summer, including Hog Island. Laura and her husband, Jason, are raising two nature-loving children of their own both of whom are in elementary school.
Ted Gilman - Educator's Week
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 bachelor'ss 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.
Christian Hagenlocher - Mountains to Sea Birding for Teens
From a young age, Christian has been driven by his love of the outdoors, and exploring and sharing nature with others. Growing up attending summer camp in the mountains of Colorado led to him to pursue a life of in outdoor experiences and adventure. He attended Principia College, where he graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. For the next four years, he taught High School Biology and Marine Biology, and led student abroads to Belize, Costa Rica, and Israel, bringing his love for birds and learning into the classroom. He completed a apprenticeship in falconry, becoming a General-class falconer and which led to sharing wild hawks and falcons with his classes, integrating birds into his Biology curriculum whenever appropriate. Outside of teaching, he has enjoyed traveling abroad to Kenya, Ecuador, and Alaska in pursuit of birds and wild places.
In 2016 he spent an entire year traveling across North America identifying birds and interviewing birders while writing a book and blogging about his travels. Incidentally, he broke the old record of 749 species and became the youngest birder to see over 700 species in a single year. To serve others, he started “The Birding Project” which integrates Education, Conservation, and Inspiration – many subjects he is passionate about in addition to teaching and learning. He recently completed his Master’s Degree, earning a M.A. in Education and Education with an emphasis on Education for Global Sustainability. When not chasing birds, he enjoys exploring new places, traveling, fly fishing, and sharing my love for nature with others.
Rosalie Haizlett - Mountains to Sea Birding for Teens
Rosalie Haizlett is a conservation-focused illustrator who currently lives in the mountains of West Virginia. Using watercolor, ink, and digital techniques, Rosalie creates captivating visuals that celebrate the complexities of the natural world. Her work helps to break down educational and scientific information in a way that is engaging to a broader audience. In the past two years, she received several artist residency positions that allowed her to create on-site in new landscapes, including Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Hog Island, Maine. Rosalie often teaches field sketching, watercolor illustration, and nature observation workshops in various schools and for the National Park Service.
Catherine Hamilton - Field Ornithology
Catherine Hamilton grew up exploring the mountains and deserts of Southern California, and was pretty much born with a pencil in hand. She began birding at an early age with her father, developing a keen interest in both natural history and art, and started her first ornithological notebook at seven. Somewhat mysteriously her parents encouraged her to continue this behavior, and is still doing about the same things today.
Catherine holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Bennington College. She taught painting and drawing at RISD from 1997-2003, and has taught at other institutions and programs (Bennington College, Mass College of Art, Mass Audubon) throughout the 25 years she has been a professional artist. For the last five years she has been traveling and birding full time, keeping her studio on the road while maintaining her exhibiting and project schedules. Working out of wildlife refuges, urban environments, research stations, and museum collections, Catherine has been following birds around the world, making drawings and paintings. Her fine art can be found in private, corporate, and small museum collections in the US and abroad. Her bird illustrations can be found in publications like the recent Princeton University Press book “The Warbler Guide,” and in journals and magazines such as “Nature,” “Bird Observer,” and “Orion Magazine.” Catherine was also featured in the 2012 HBO documentary Birders: the Central Park Effect.”
Catherine loves sharing her passion for both the avian world and the world of drawing with birders and artists of all levels, and believes that anyone can gain insight and greater understanding of the world around them through field sketching and observation.
Anthony Hill - Puffin Islands, Field Ornithology, Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens I and II
Anthony Hill came to Hog Island in 1995 as a Field Ornithology camper. At that session, he saw a banding demonstration by Sara Morris and heard a talk about Project Puffin by Steve Kress. As a result, he became fascinated with both songbird banding and the Seabird Restoration Project (Project Puffin) and immersed himself in both activities. Anthony is now the oldest and longest-serving Project Puffin volunteer and has spent time on Eastern Egg Rock, Stratton Island, Matinicus Rock and Seal Island (his favorite). Since 1995, Anthony has also been a regular spring and fall volunteer at Sara Morris' migration banding station on Appledore Island, Maine. He now holds a master bander permit (including hummingbirds) and is certified as a trainer for passerines and hummingbirds by the North American Banding Council (NABC), for which he also serves as chair of the certification committee. His personal research is focused on wintering hummingbirds in New England, migrating northern saw-whet owls and breeding American kestrels in the Connecticut Valley of Massachusetts where he lives. He has begun training to help as a collaborating bander with Project SNOWstorm. Anthony retired from a career in medical microbiology in 2010 and served as a Navy hospital corpsman with the Marines in Vietnam from 1968-1970.
Doug Hitchcox - Mountains to Sea Birding for Teens
Doug Hitchcox, a Maine native, grew up in Hollis and graduated from the University of Maine in 2011. Throughout college Doug worked at Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center and was hired as Maine Audubon’s staff naturalist in the summer of 2013 -- a long-time "dream job." In his free time, Doug volunteers as one of Maine's eBird reviewers, is the owner and moderator of the "Maine-birds" listserv, and serves as a York County Audubon board member and member of the Maine Bird Records Committee.
Russell Juelg - Family Camp One and Two Instructor
A 1990 graduate of Texas Christian University, with a degree in Religion-Studies, Russell’s interests were turning to environmental issues. His education in botany began in 1994, when he started organizing and leading a growing number of public educational and recreational programs in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. After three years as Managing Director at Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, in Medford, NJ, he went to work for the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy organization. One of his first assignments there was to create a booklet on the threatened and endangered plants and animals of the Pinelands of New Jersey. The project opened his eyes to the vast, bewildering, diverse, fascinatingly complex world of botany. That fascination stayed with him through eleven years with Pinelands Preservation Alliance, and stays with him daily in his work today as a land steward and educator for New Jersey Conservation Foundation. He teaches annual classes on fundamentals of botany and advanced field botany studies. He is currently working on a publication featuring the vascular plants of south Jersey. But he still finds time to play banjo and sing with friends and anyone who likes folk music.
James King Jr. - Educator's Week Director
James E. King Jr has more than 10 years of experience coordinating environmental stewardship projects throughout the United States. Through his work, he has engaged and inspired well over 15,000 people to be active in outdoor recreation, sustainability, and environmental justice issues. James has worked with numerous national organizations such as Sierra Club Inspiring Connections Outdoors, Natural Leaders Network, National Wildlife Federation-Earth Tomorrow, Outdoor Afro, Greening Youth Foundation, Let’s Retrofit A Million, The Student Conservation Association, IslandWood, Diverse Environmental Leaders, Keeping It Wild and Americorps, all dealing with community engagement surrounding the outdoors, sustainability, and youth/young adult development. He has also worked alongside governmental agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service throughout the United States envisioning the next generation of stewards enjoying the public land systems. He has been credited with opening doors that connect diverse individuals and families to the land and encourage hands-on experiences through culture, hikes, outings, educational opportunities and community-building partnerships. Currently James serves on the Board of Directors for Keeping It Wild (Atlanta), Nurturing Roots (Seattle), Organizer for Environmental People of Color (Seattle). In 2018 confirmed on the Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO), No Child Left Inside Advisory Committee for the State of Washington. James graduated Antioch University Seattle with a B.A. majoring in Urban Ecology; Leadership and Sustainable Business; Global and Social Justice. Graduate with his MAEd in Urban Environmental Education (’18) held at IslandWood /Antioch University Seattle.
Deb Lanni - Arts & Birding
Deborah Lanni is a professor and media arts program coordinator at Jamestown Community College where she teaches photography, video and multimedia storytelling. She is the co-creator of an interdisciplinary course called Planet Earth: Examining Critical Topics that looks at environmental issues through the lenses of science, culture and communication/media. Her specializations are still photography, documentary video production and the rhetorical uses of image and sound. Deb’s master’s degree is in environmental communication and she is committed to making images and telling stories that increase awareness of both the wonder of the natural world and the problems that face it. She believes that through the various communication art forms we can reach hearts and inspire change. Her experiences as a Hurricane Island Outward Bound school alum and repeat Maine Media Workshops participant have given her a deep appreciation for the magic of the Maine coast.
Emily Lark - Educator's Week
Emily Lark grew up in Boulder, Colorado and attended undergraduate school at Mount Holyoke College in Massachussetts. Her passion for teaching led her to a career in Waldorf Education. She recieved her Master's in Education and Waldorf Certificate and currently teaches at Shining Mountain Waldorf School. In addition to teaching middle school, Emily also has taught art to both students and in teaching-training courses. Emily loves the outdoors and has spent time at Hog Island Audubon Camp for the past five years. In her free time, Emily enjoys painting, writing, traveling to tropical locations and spending time with her two rescue dogs and wife. Emily doesn't keep a bird list but she has been birding throughout Central America and the United States.
Don Lyons - Director Puffin Islands; Instructor for Road Scholar: Saving Seabirds
Don Lyons is Director of Conservation Science for Audubon's Seabird Restoration Program. He has participated in seabird science and conservation for 20 years as a graduate student, post-doc, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife of Oregon State University. His interests include restoring seabird colonies using social attraction and understanding the relationship between seabirds and forage fish. His background as an electrical engineer and seabird biologist help him further research on tracking seabird foraging, dispersal, and migration using both banding and electronic tagging and assessing the impacts of changes in ocean climate on seabird breeding success and population resiliency.
In recent years, he has provided leadership for research and conservation about the critically endangered Chinese Crested Tern in Asia, investigations of the steep decline of Aleutian Terns in Alaska, and reduction of conflicts between Caspian Terns and threatened salmon populations in the Pacific Northwest.
Jean Mackay - Director of Arts and Birding
Artist and educator Jean Mackay has been exploring nature and sharing its beauty and diversity with others for more than 20 years. Her watercolor illustrations and journals capture 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. You can see her work on her blog, Drawn In, at http://www.jeanmackayart.com.
Steve Mason - Family Camp Camp One and Two
Steve received a B.S. in Environmental Science at Stockton University and is currently working on his Ph.D. at Drexel University. He is also a Curatorial Assistant at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Steve’s research focus has been on the most diverse group of organisms in the world - insects. He looks at how insect communities in different forest habitats react to different types of disturbance. Steve’s undergraduate thesis focused on how the overabundance of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) affected the Atlantic white-cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) bog’s forest and ground structure and how it correlated to the insects communities that occur there. His current research focuses on insect succession after fire, looking at which insects can be considered early successional and climax species. Furthermore, he is looking at how certain terrestrial insect species can be used as bioindicators to determine if a forest is healthy, stable, or at risk.
Eva Matthews Lark - Hog Island Program Manager, Director of Mtns to Sea Birding for Teens and Costa Rica Teen Camp
Eva Matthews Lark has an MS degree in Recreation & Parks Management from Frostburg State University and a BS degree in Environmental Science from Lander University. She works year-around for Hog Island and manages the various social media channels, marketing, and camp registration, in addition to scholarships, contracts, and rentals. She is now the director of both the Costa Rica Teen Camp and the Mountains to Sea Birding for Teens session. She has been a birder for over a decade and credits the winter warblers of Florida as being her spark birds. In her free time she enjoys traveling with her wife and two rescue dogs. She particularly enjoys birding competitions with friends and is an avid eBirder and Fantasy Birder.
Carol McIntyre - Raptor Monhegan & Migration
Carol McIntyre is a Wildlife Biologist with Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, where her research focuses on migratory and resident birds. She earned her B.S. in Environmental Studies at East Stroudsburg University, M.S. in Wildlife Management at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, and her Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology at Oregon State University. Carol started her raptor-focused career in Cape May Point, NJ, where she participated in counts of migrating raptors and the Cape May raptor banding project. In 1985 and 1986, she worked with Bill Clark and others on a new raptor banding program in Eilat, Israel. In 1985, she also headed to Alaska to study Peregrine Falcons and other birds along the upper Yukon River. Carol started studying the ecology of migratory Golden Eagles and other birds in Denali in 1987. Carol lives in the boreal forest near Fairbanks, Alaska. When she isn’t in the field studying or watching birds, she's out on the trail with her husband Ray and their small team of very large Alaska sled dogs.
Holly Merker - Director of Building Better Birding Skills; Instructor at Spring Monhegan & Hog Island, Living on the Wind: Fall Migration and Monhegan Island
Holly Merker has been in awe of birds, and the wonders of the natural world, as far back as she can remember. She’s lucky to share her passion by connecting others to nature in her work as an environmental educator. Some of her favorite moments in the field have been as a birding instructor for the American Birding Association’s Camp Avocet for teen birders, where she shows youth birders the marvels of Delmarva’s rich bird life. Holly has a strong interest in bird distribution, and has been the eBird state coordinator for Pennsylvania since 2005, and is a member of the Pennsylvania Ornithological Records Committee. She has participated in many avian population-monitoring projects, and is actively involved with multiple birding clubs, including one she helped start for the local elementary school. Holly’s passion for studying migration is especially alive in fall, experiencing raptor migration as a volunteer hawk counter for both Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and the Rose Tree Park Hawkwatch in Pennsylvania.
Sara Morris - Field Ornithology
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.
Sean Murtha - Arts & Birding
Sean Murtha has lived all of his life near the Long Island Sound. The marshes, beaches, and wide open skies attracted his artistic sensibilities and inspired his first plein-air paintings in his early teens. He still makes a regular habit of drawing and painting in the field, using these as a basis for oil paintings completed in the studio. He earned a BFA in Painting from Pratt Institute in 1990, but feels his true education was gained at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where he worked from 1995 until 2007.Sean first came to Hog Island in 2016 as part of the Artist-in Residence program, and has longed to get back ever since. He has also been an Artist-in Residence at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum in Wisconsin, and at Great Gull Island, a tern-nesting colony off Long Island, NY. In 2013 he was named “Bird Artist of the Year” by CT Audubon. Sean lives with his wife, two sons (when they are home from college) and an indoor cat in Norwalk, CT, not too far from the Long Island Sound. His artwork can be seen at www.seanmurthaart.com
Angelika Nelson - Field Ornithology
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
Colleen Noyes - Educator's Week; Family Camp Session One and Family Camp Session Two Instructor
Colleen has been a Naturalist at the CT Audubon Society since 1996 and she holds an MS in Environmental Education. She had the pleasure of changing careers and giving away her “business” clothing in exchange for boots, bugs, mud and so much more. Twenty years later she continues to share the natural world with children and adults of all walks of life. She is living proof that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life! Colleen lives in Connecticut with her two daughters Fiona and Eleanor. Two Airedale terriers (Gus and Stella) complete the mix. In her spare time, Colleen plays guitar and sings in a band, Fiona & Friend, with her oldest daughter. Colleen has also been a wonderful Friends of Hog Island volunteer in past summers.
Mik Oyler - Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens Session I
Mik holds a Master of Education in Psychology from Springfield College and has over 13 years of experience leading residential programs. Mik spent over seven years with a premier wilderness program, serving as Field Guide, Shift Director, Program Director, and ultimately as Executive Director. Mik was the Director of the Camp Wediko in NH for three years prior to his current role as COO of Shortridge Academy, an innovative boarding school in NH. Mik has been an avid birder for over 15 years since his uncle helped him identify his first Scarlett Tanager in south central Pennsylvania. Since then, birding has been a way of life and form of personal meditation. Mik has participated in multiple birding competitions, always electing a human powered approach, and is an ongoing Mountain Birdwatch volunteer, currently for the Huntington Ravine route at the base of Mount Washington. Mik and his wife Katelin are parents to a one year old girl and live in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where they enjoy year round outdoor pursuits.
Alma Padilla - Educator's Week
Alma hails from the west Texas town of El Paso. She earned her B.S. in biology from Cornell University. She has contributed to conservation projects ranging from desert tortoise monitoring to observing beluga whales. Alma later became a high school special educator in science. Up until recently, Alma taught middle school science at an independent school in New York City. She co-advised the division’s environmental club and led the school’s first sustainability team. Always looking to stay feral even in the big city, Alma pursued field work during summer breaks. She mentored high schoolers through The Nature Conservancy’s Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) program. Most recently, she was a herpetologist in México with Operation Wallacea and has monitored diamondback terrapins in NYC. She is also earning her New York State Master Naturalist certification. Alma is a founding member of the NYC branch of Latino Outdoors. As an Outings Leader, she uses her experiences to help demystify the outdoors to newcomers, and to plant the seed of stewardship in all. Now, Alma has entered a new phase in life, motherhood, and she looks forward to being a “stay-outside-mom.” Alma currently lives in The Bronx, N.Y.
Keri Parker - Educator's Week
Keri was Island Supervisor of Pond Island National Wildlife Refuge for the National Audubon Society’s Seabird Restoration Program (Project Puffin) from 1998-2000 during the critical time that terns re-colonized the island after a decades-long absence. She co-founded Save Pangolins, an international pangolin conservation non-profit, and serves on the IUCN-Species Survival Commission Pangolin Specialist Group Advisory Board. Her adventures include serving for more than a decade as a Wildlife Biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), managing a research project for the U.S. Geological Survey to enhance cerulean warbler breeding habitat in Virginia, developing environmental education curricula for World Wildlife Fund and the USFWS Asheville, North Carolina Field Office, and teaching nature appreciation and wilderness survival skills at a summer camp in southwestern Virginia. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies (concentration Environmental Education) from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina and a Master of Science in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology from the University of Maryland. Keri lives with her husband and pets in Virginia and is an avid naturalist and music lover.
Deb Perkins - Creating Bird-Friendly Habitats
Deb Perkins is a wildlife ecologist with 25 years of experience in her field, and a lifelong commitment to wildlife conservation. Before settling down in her native Maine, she was a field biologist for many years, conducting fieldwork and wildlife research throughout North America, from the deserts of New Mexico to the remote tundra landscape of the Canadian Arctic (where she studied the breeding ecology of Ruddy Turnstones for her Master’s degree). Since 2010, as the sole proprietor of First Light Wildlife Habitats, she has been partnering with landowners throughout Maine to create thriving wildlife habitats in their own backyards, farms, and forestlands. Deb is looking forward to returning to Hog Island – the last time she was on the island was 20 years ago when she helped with seabird restoration in the Gulf of Maine. She fondly remembers seeing a Parula Warbler, for the first time, just outside the Hog Island Kitchen, and she can’t wait to see what 2019 holds in store!
John Piatt - Puffin Islands
John Piatt got hooked on seabirds in the 1970s while camping on a large puffin colony in Witless Bay, Newfoundland. Following stints as a naturalist at Cape St. Mary’s gannet colony, and surveying birds and whales off the coasts of Labrador and Baffin Island, he returned to Witless Bay in the 1980s to study ecological relationships between capelin, cod, seabirds and whales for his Ph.D. at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Lured to Alaska in 1987 to study auklets in the Bering Sea, John is now a senior research scientist at the USGS Alaska Science Center in Anchorage and affiliate professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. His research has usually been conservation-oriented, including for example, studies on the impact to seabirds from colony or vessel disturbance, gill-net bycatch, large-scale seabird “wrecks”, algal biotoxins, consumption of plastics, and oil pollution (e.g., from the Exxon Valdez). A long-term goal of his research has been to characterize the overarching role of ocean climate in regulating “natural” variability in abundance and quality of the forage fish that support seabird populations. Recent research has focused on marine food webs in the Aleutian Islands and glaciated fjords of the Gulf of Alaska, and on the biological impacts of the 2014-2016 marine heat wave in the North Pacific. John’s work has been recognized most recently (2016) with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pacific Seabird Group.
Joshua Potter - Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens I & II
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.
Emma Rhodes - Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens Two
Emma Rhodes is a coastal biologist for Birmingham Audubon and is the Vice President for Mobile Bay Audubon Society in her home state of Alabama. She has been an avid birder since she was seven and in 2009, while in high school, she began training at a Neotropical migrant bird banding station in Fort Morgan, Alabama and has been a bander on the project ever since. Emma has been monitoring coastal birds since 2014 working alongside various nonprofit organizations in Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, and the Bahamas. She first visited Hog Island in 2013 as a Coastal Maine Bird Studies teen camper where she instantly fell in love with Hog Island. As a direct result, she returned to work with Project Puffin in 2014 and 2015 as a volunteer research assistant and as an assistant for the Hands-on Bird Science week at Hog Island in 2015. In 2017, she became a science staff member for Birmingham Audubon to establish the Alabama Coastal Bird Stewardship Program where her research is focused on restoring and managing Alabama’s beach nesting bird populations. Emma is also a bander for a northeastern hummingbird research project with Hummingbird Research, Inc. She received her BS in Biology (with a minor in GIS) at the University of South Alabama where her undergraduate research was focused on avian window strike mortality. Emma is thrilled to now be returning to Hog Island as an official camp instructor for the Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens where she can utilize her experiences to be a positive influence on the next generation of birders.
Heather Richard - Educator's Week - Guest speaker
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.
Juanita Roushdy - FOHI Executive Director and Nature Store Manager
Juanita was smitten with Hog Island the first time she walked its moss-laden trails. She is an avid birder, conservationist, and volunteer. In her retirement, she has worked with Loggerhead turtles, banded Painted Buntings, done shorebird surveys, and led weekly bird and nature walks. She was on the board of Audubon North Carolina, founded and was president of the Cape Fear Audubon Society in Wilmington, N.C. She is a full-time volunteer at Hog Island, President of Friends of Hog Island, on the board of the local Mid-Coast Audubon, and editor of its newsletter The Merganser. She spends her free time enjoying the many birds and wildlife that visit her property.
Joe Rozak - Family Camp Session One
Joe retired from formal teaching a little more than a year ago. He taught high school chemistry and marine biology for 45 years, spending 33 of those years at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, PA, where he was head of the department for ten years. He received a BS degree in chemistry from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY and an MS in chemical education from Colgate University, Hamilton, NY. In 1975, after a month of fieldwork with Project Oceanology in Groton, CT, he introduced a course in Marine Biology at Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, CT and has been involved with marine education ever since, introducing Marine Biology to Germantown Academy students when he moved there in 1980. In 1984, Joe was awarded an Outstanding Teacher award by GA for his initial contributions to the school. In 2011, he was inducted into the Germantown Academy 1760 club by GA alumni. Through the years, Joe was awarded a number of grants that allowed him to expand his knowledge and understanding of the oceans. Joe is certified in SCUBA and has run SCUBA courses at the high school level, leading student and adults on SCUBA trips to the Caribbean (Belize, Roatan, Bonaire, Curacao, St. Croix, Utila). He studied coral reefs with Earthwatch in Fiji and the Bahamas and also led several high school marine biology exchange trips to Russia (Sakhalin in the Far East, Leningrad, and Sochi). One NSTA grant took him to Monterey, CA, where he participated in a workshop on GIS technology. Joe has been a member of the National Marine Education Association since 1976, and an active member of the New Jersey Marine Education Association, where he is a board member and the present treasurer. Joe is no stranger to Hog Island. He joined Craig and Trudy from 1990 to 2000, sharing his marine interests during youth and family camps, leading coastal activities around the island. He is looking forward to returning to the island this summer and sharing his interests once again!
Susan Schubel - Road Scholar: Saving Seabirds
"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.
Paula Shannon - Road Scholar: Saving Seabirds
Paula Shannon is the Seabird Sanctuary Manager for the National Audubon Society's Seabird Restoration Program (SRP). She began working for SRP in 2002, as Island Supervisor on Matinicus Rock, Maine's most diverse seabird colony. She continued in this role for five years until 2006, participating in various projects involving alcids, terns, gulls, storm-petrels, and shearwaters. In 2011 she returned to SRP, supervising the research and management of all seven of SRP's field stations. She has also studied seabirds in Alaska and Hawaii, leading fieldwork on seabirds for the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska's Pribilof and Semidi Islands from 2008-2010, and serving as a biologist in the French Frigate Shoals in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. Paula also worked for the Bureau of Land Management in Oregon, with much of her work focused on Marbled Murrelets. In addition to her work with seabirds, Paula has worked on numerous avian research and conservation projects across the United States, including work with raptors, songbirds, and shorebirds. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Biology from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, which is where she first developed a love and appreciation for the Maine coast.
KayLani Siplin - Sharing Nature: An Educator's Week
After discovering her love for education while volunteering at the Seattle Aquarium, KayLani has been working with diverse youth and adults through a variety of classroom and outdoor environmental education programs for the past 9 years and is a big supporter of STEAM. KayLani has had the pleasure of sharing her love for science and supporting youth in solving environmental problems they identified in their communities while striving to incorporate youth voice in other aspects of her work. KayLani enjoys helping youth see how everything fits together, opening doorways to interests in science, and helping youth discover the ways they can make meaningful change in their schools and communities. Additionally, she works to incorporate cultural responsive teaching strategies to ensure students are able to see themselves reflected in programming. Education: B.S. in Environmental Science (Marine Ecology emphasis) and B.A. in Environmental Education (Outdoor Education and Interpretation emphasis), Western Washington University; M.Ed. in Urban Environmental Education, Antioch University Seattle.
Ron Smith - Director Family Camp Session Two
Ron teaches environmental science and coordinates district wide environmental programs for the Haddonfield School District. His programs and classes emphasize citizen science, field studies, and ecological restoration. In the summer Ron leads the Life Science Field Training Institute for Pinelands Preservation Alliance – a program that offers teacher training and experience with field study techniques in the NJ Pine Barrens and regional coastal ecosystems. Ron has collaborated on science education projects with the Academy of Natural Sciences, Pinelands Preservation Alliance, Camden County Parks, Drexel University, and Stockton College. Ron enjoys Irish fiddle, hiking, birding, and exploring the natural world with his wife Lisa, children Lily and Gabriel, and dog Linus.
Eric Snyder - Hog Island Facilities Manager, Co-Director of Road Scholar: Saving Seabirds, Guest Instructor for many sessions
In his 15 years working at Hog Island Eric has had the pleasure of sharing his deep enthusiasm and knowledge of the Maine ecosystem with thousands of program participants. Since earning a BA in Geology and minors in Biology and Geography from Vassar College, Eric has traveled extensively including surveying shorebirds around the Bahamas, environmental audio collection throughout Southeast Asia, and geologic research across the pacific. Eric has lived as a resident researcher on most of the Seabird Islands managed by Audubon’s Seabird Restoration Program. To benefit worldwide seabird conservation, Eric helped build out decoy and conservation product manufacturing at Audubon and continues to innovate new product development. On Hog Island, Eric manages operation of the facilities and infrastructure, is resident boat captain, and instructs numerous classes including geology, island ecology, astronomy, and natural history. As Co-director of the Saving Seabirds session, Eric hopes to share a unique and interconnected perspective of Maine Coast ecosystems, while working hard to complete meaningful projects in support of our seabirds and their habitats.
Barbara Sullivan-Watts currently teaches Environmental Biology at Providence College, RI following a 28 year career in oceanographic research at the University of Rhode Island. She received her M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and Ph.D. in Oceanography from Oregon State University. Her research focused on the changes in marine plankton food webs of Narragansett Bay and Georges Bank caused by pollution and over-fishing . She has also shared this knowledge and appreciation of scientific research with K-8th grade teachers for 20 years as a Co-Director and board member of GEMS-Net, a partnership among URI’s School of Education, scientists and public school districts. After attending Steve Kress’s Seabird Conservation Program at Hog Island in 2015 she was delighted to find that her expertise in marine plankton would be a welcome addition to the marine life studies at Hog Island. The seabirds know well enough the significance of the base of the marine food web – plankton – that support the fish that feed the birds! She thinks plankton are wonderful creatures to look at and learn about for their own right, but that knowing about their ultimate importance to birds will makes them all the more fascinating to campers at Hog Island.
Doug Tallamy - Creating Bird-friendly Habitats
Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 92 research publications and has taught Insect Taxonomy, Behavioral Ecology, Humans and Nature, Insect Ecology, and other courses for 38 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of bird communities. His book Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens was published by Timber Press in 2007 and was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers' Association. The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014. Doug is also a regular columnist for garden Design magazine. Doug is a Lifetime Honorary Director of Wild Ones and has won the Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation, the Tom Dodd, Jr. Award of Excellence, and the 2018 AHS B.Y. Morrison Communication Award.
Anna Tucker - Family Camp Two
Anna Tucker is a PhD candidate at Auburn University studying the stopover ecology of migratory shorebirds in Delaware Bay. She received her B.S. in Biology from Loyola University, where she studied wood thrush breeding behaviors, and M.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she worked with prothonotary warblers. For her dissertation she is using mathematical modeling tools to better understand stopover site use, response to shifts in the timing of food availability, and drivers of population dynamics for Arctic-breeding shorebirds. Her research focuses on understanding threats to migratory birds throughout their annual cycle and using that knowledge to support science-based conservation decision making. She has also worked as an educator for the Patterson Park Audubon Society and the National Aquarium in Baltimore, and has taught ornithology and ecology for undergraduate courses and the Alabama Master Naturalist program.
Raymond L. VanBuskirk's love for the natural world was born in the pine forests of the Land of Enchantment. He is a New Mexico native and has spent the first 28 years of his life following his dream of creating a career focused around birding. Raymond co-owns and operates BRANT Nature Tours, a New Mexico-based nature travel company with a strong commitment to both environmental and social justice. His career experience also includes multiple ornithological field research positions, including two summers as seabird research technician on the Arctic Ocean, head Rosy-Finch researcher with Rio Grande Bird Research Inc., past president of the Central New Mexico Audubon Society, board member of Western Field Ornithologists, ABA young birding camp instructor, and birding specialist for Leica Sport Optics. Raymond is a proud member of Queer Birders of North America (QBNA), the continent’s informal club for LGBTQ+ members of the birding community.
Raymond had a life changing experience at Hog Island's Coastal Maine Bird Studies camp way back in 2006, when he was a teenager, and can't think of anything he'd rather do then spend time on Hog Island connecting people's heart to the amazing natural diversity of Maine.
Scott Weidensaul - Director of Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens (both sessions); Director of Field Ornithology; Director of Living on the Wind: Fall Migration and Monhegan Island; Director of Raptor Migration & Monhegan Island; Raptor Rapture Online Speaker; FOHI President
Author and naturalist Scott Weidensaul has written more than two dozen books on natural history, including Living on the Wind (a Pulitzer Prize finalist), The Ghost with Trembling Wings, and Of a Feather, as well as the Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean. He is a contributing editor for Audubon magazine, a columnist for Bird Watcher's Digest, and has written for dozens of other publications. Scott has directed a major study of northern saw-whet owl migration for more than 20 years; is a co-founder of Project SNOWstorm (which studies snowy owls); a director of Project Owlnet, a collaboration of more than 125 owl-banding stations; and the Critical Connections project, which studies the migration of birds from Alaska's national park lands. He is also one of fewer than 200 licensed hummingbird banders in North America. Scott lives in the Appalachians of eastern Pennsylvania.
Torri Withrow - Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens One
Originally from Southern Illinois, Torri relishes the rural mountain setting of Central Pennsylvania. She has been immersed in seasonal and experiential outdoor education for over seven years. Her experience ranges from leading multi-week backpacking trips on the Olympic Coast for teenagers, facilitating high-adventure programs, training birds of prey, and leading conservation education programs with live animals. She's now a manager at a local outdoor gear store, a real estate photographer, and facilitator-of-fun for Shaver's Creek Environmental Center. She's gained life perspective and stories after living out of her Subaru in Seattle for a summer, but is now enjoying being rooted in Central Pennsylvania where she's remodeling a home with her partner on the best fly fishing creek in the mid-Atlantic. Natural habitats include local coffee shops, any small and winding river, old-growth forests, and porches with swings. Torri lives to make meaningful connections, build community, and loathes writing in third person.
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Spark bird: Common yellowthroat
Sherrie York - Instructor Arts & Birding and Educator's Week; Coordinator of Artist-in-residence Program
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.