Claudia has been involved in wildlife rehabilitation with Pacific Wildlife Care for 27 years, concentrating on birds. She houses and exhibits Corax, the PWC education raven, leads the creance team and is a member of the oiled bird wash team. Although she finds all birds wonderful and fascinating, she has a particular fondness for corvids and seabirds. Claudia is currently a member of the PWC Board of Directors and to pay for all of this, works at the Superior Court.
Peter Dullea is a retired Deputy Public Defender who has been birding seriously for about 18 years. Peter is a docent at the Sedgwick Ranch Nature Reserve (a University of California research facility), and a docent/volunteer for the Neal Taylor Nature Center at Cachuma Lake and also for the Nature Track Foundation, all in Santa Barbara County. Peter leads field trips, primarily for grade school children, for these non-profits. He especially enjoys introducing young city kids to the mysteries and the joys of nature.
Peter is also a volunteer for the Hi Mountain Lookout Condor Tracking Station in San Luis Obispo County, and he has led and co-led field trips for the MBWBF for about five years.
Tom has lived on the Central Coast in Cayucos since 1975, when he came to Cal Poly State University where he obtained a B.S. in Natural Resource Management. Always interested in birds, an ornithology class sparked a passion that continues today. He has been the San Luis Obispo County bird records compiler for North American Birds since 1983 and the Morro Bay Christmas Bird Count Compiler since 1988. Tom is the eBird reviewer for San Luis Obispo County. He recently retired from his position as a biologist with the California Department of Transportation.
John is Central Coast Outdoors owner, 2003 to present, and an outdoor guide since 1991. He currently runs kayak eco-tours on Morro Bay and enthusiastically shares his wealth of knowledge about life in and on the bay, including shorebirds, migrating waterfowl, seabirds and many others. John's wife Virginia works at Pacific Wildlife Care and specializes in sick and injured seabirds. You can learn more about John and Central Coast Outdoors atwww.centralcoastoutdoors.com.
Virginia is Central Coast Outdoors owner, 2003 to present, with her husband, John, and an outdoor guide since 1991. She currently runs kayak eco-tours on Morro Bay and enthusiastically shares her wealth of knowledge about life in and on the bay, including shorebirds, migrating waterfowl, seabirds and many others. Virginia also works at Pacific Wildlife Care, caring for sick, injured and orphaned seabirds, songbirds and raptors. Virginia is a member of PWC's educational team and houses a western screech owl named Misty, who is one of the Educational Ambassadors. You can learn more about Virginia and Central Coast Outdoors at www.centralcoastoutdoors.com.
Karl is a Biology teacher in Los Angeles. A friend showed him a Brown creeper and White-headed woodpecker in Sequoia's Giant Forest in 1993, and a life-long passion grew from there. Karl has been bird watching in Israel, Sweden, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and around the US. He studied Marine Biology at the University of Miami and worked as a naturalist for the National Park Service in Everglades, Denali, Joshua Tree and Sequoia National Parks before becoming a classroom teacher. He writes a blog about bio-inspired ornithopters and the evolution of human flight called Great Blue Machine.
Claudia Freitas is a retired Biology professor. After teaching college Zoology, Wildlife Bio, Marine Bio and a variety of Natural History classes including Birding classes, for 33 years she moved back to the central coast where she had gone to college and became involved as a docent at the Morro Bay Natural History Museum. Besides teaching courses at Long Beach City College she has also taught Elderhostels, taught and trained staff at the El Dorado Nature Center, taught for Parks and Recreation in Long Beach and at Long Beach State University. She was also lucky enough to lead nature trips for a variety of agencies to many countries including: India, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Egypt, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa and Botswana. Besides those things, she loves showing people how much fun birding is. Hers is a light-hearted look at the world around us.
I started birding while I was majoring in biology at Cal State, Northridge. I went on to become a Physical Therapist, but continued birding after graduation and, with a DIY spirit, I converted a wooden salad bowl into a dish microphone with a cheap tape recorder. I simply wanted to ID the songs by comparing my recordings to my Peterson's CD field guide. In 1995 I called the phone number in the booklet that came with the CDs. I spoke with Greg Budney who is now the Audio Curator of the Library of Natural Sounds at Cornell University. I asked about proper field recorders, and on his advice, I looked up Stith Recording. I started with a Marantz PMD 222 cassette recorder, and an omnidirectional microphone with a 24-inch parabola. I switched to a Marantz PMD 661 digital recorder and added a short shotgun microphone in 2012. I've been uploading my recordings to xeno-Canto for several years now, and include links to my recordings to slocobirding: many people include links to their photos, why not audio recordings?
Jessica Griffiths has been working as a field ornithologist for over 10 years. She grew up in Chicago, got her undergrad degree at Wellesley College outside of Boston, and spent the next few years traveling around the country working for non-profits and government agencies in 7 states with a focus on songbird ecology. She then worked as a Wildlife Biologist for Ventana Wildlife Society, running the Big Sur Ornithology Lab for 4 years. She discovered a passion for public outreach and education, and has given presentations and bird banding demonstrations to thousands of people. She is currently getting her Masters in Biology at Cal Poly, where she also TAs Ornithology.
Kara got turned on to birds camping as a kid in Colorado. After completing her degree in Zoology, she worked as an Environmental Educator for NY State Parks. She volunteered at the Cornell Hawk Barn as a raptor rehabilitator and in 1997 adopted Sunshine, an unreleasable Red-tailed Hawk. Together they have presented hundreds of programs focusing on the beauty, behavior and value of raptor species. In 2010 Kara wrote, directed and produced "Sunshine's Surprise", a docu-drama-comedy about a hawk who hatched chickens. Sunshine was such an excellent mother that she went on to foster two Red-shouldered Hawks. Kara wrote a book about it called, "Sunshine's Mothering Miracle". Visit their website
Rich is a retired FDA Microbiologist. He has been a Central Coast resident for the past 30 years, where he was an Audubon board member when Sweet Springs was acquired, and where he has served in several capacities with the BirdFest over the past 15 years. His photos have been published in most major "bird" and/or "nature magazines.
Marlin has been birding for over 35 years, has lived in Morro Bay that entire time, and considers the bay his back yard. He has been a leader in each of the previous winter bird festivals. He has a degree in biology, assisted in research at Mono Lake and the Farallon Islands in the 1980s, and in the 1990s he coordinated numerous local shorebird censuses in conjunction with PRBO (now named Point Blue). In the past decade he has been active as a photographer, has contributed photos for various conservation projects and has sold others. Flickr photo site: www.flickr.com/marlinharms
Steve Hendricks was born and raised in San Luis Obispo County. He achieved a A.S. Cuesta College, a B.S. in Fish Biology from Humboldt State University, and an M.S. in Fish Biology from Oregon State University. He has worked as a fish biologist in California, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska for the past 12 years, and for 10 years as a Biology Professor at Cuesta and Hancock Colleges. He is married to wife Rachael for 15 years, and has one daughter, Zoe, who is 8 years old (and part bird fairy!). Steve is an avid fisherman and an amateur birder.
Ken is a professor in the Biological Sciences department at Cal Poly, and has been birding the central coast since 2004
Rick Derevan is a native Californian who grew up in the San Gabriel Valley. He has also lived in the Bay Area, Sacramento, and (mostly) Orange County. He moved to the Central Coast in 2006.
Ricks interest in birding was sparked in 1974 when a two birds, now with different names, began appearing on his balcony: a Western Scrub Jay and an Oregon Junco. Rick is an appellate lawyer, but now works part time so he can devote more time to birding, and especially to bird and wildlife photography. His photographs have been honored by Audubon, Defenders of Wildlife, and the North American Association of Nature Photographers. You can follow Rick's photography on Facebook
Jodi has worked in the natural resource management field for over 17 years and currently works as an Environmental Scientist for California State Parks in Morro Bay where she dedicates much of her time to habitat conservation and restoration. Since 2005 she has operated a Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) station in coordination with the Institute for Bird Population at Morro Bay State Park. Jodi completed her graduate work in Australia studying bird movements in a fragmented rainforest landscape, has worked with endangered bird species in Maui, and worked at other banding operations in Africa, Ecuador, and around California.
For more than 20 years David Jaffe has guided and taught a variety of audiences about our natural world and our connection with it. His childhood interest in natural systems eventually brought him to Evergreen State College where he earned a B.S. in Environmental Studies and Geology, followed by a M.S in Applied Ecology from the University of Vermont. Mingling an academic background with experience working around the world in exceptionally diverse environments, he is able to efficiently observe, understand, and interpret natural and cultural history.
He has climbed onto an elephant in Nepal, looked into the eyes of masked boobies in Galápagos, sought nudibranchs on the Great Barrier Reef, and walked the Ghats along the Ganges River in India. He has led backcountry trips in Denali National Park, learned from students in Kentucky, and gained great insights while hitchhiking home from work in Yosemite National Park. In addition to working many years in Denali National Park, he has worked in Southeast Alaska on various ships. He has experience as a naturalist in many of the lower 48 states. And he has also worked as a divemaster in Australia, Costa Rica, and India. He assisted with the establishment of a marine protected area off the coast of Madagascar and researched birds in Canada and South America. His enthusiasm about the natural world is contagious.
Vicky is an "Amateur naturalist and a professional volunteer. She is a Docent for the Small Wilderness Preservation Association (SWAP) at the Elfin Forest in Los Osos, CA.
Dave Keeling taught Chemistry at Cal Poly for over 35 years. He has been a serious amateur photographer since high school, with an initial emphasis on landscapes, but drifted and evolved to wildlife, and in the last 20 years to bird photography. He has photos of over 1,700 bird species, with over 300 in San Luis Obispo County. He reports his best asset to be dogged persistence.
For the last 8 years, Paul has been living and birding in northern Santa Barbara County, where he leads field trips. For the previous 9 years, he served the Santa Barbara Audubon Society as Field Trip Chair.
Jerry is a State Park Docent for the CCNHA as well as a Pecho Trail Docent and is very active leading various AWN (Adventures With Nature) walks. Those dealing with natural history and his passion for photography include local Flora and Fauna along with Digital Photo Instruction. He teaches programs dealing with Digital Photo Walks, Birds, Estuary, Wild Flowers, Plankton, and Intertidal Hikes. A retired bio/zoo instructor, he posts both common and scientific names on flickr. He is a member of NAPP, the SLOCC, to name a few.
Will Knowlton was born and raised in Templeton, CA. He graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in biology, and now works as a biologist in the county. His birding exploits have taken him to many exotic places, including Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Panama, and most recently, Taiwan.
Gale began to love birds in the mid-70's when she purchased her first Lovebird. Then, in the early 90's while on a trip to Point Reyes National Seashore, she noticed birds on a rock in the ocean and wondered what they were. This led Gale to buy her first bird book, a Peterson Guide, and ignited her passion for bird watching. Gale attended the first Morro Bay Bird Festival as a participant, later as a representative for Morro Coast Audubon and the Snowy Plovers, and for the past several years as a Co-leader of the North Coast trip where she enjoys the birders as much as the birds. In addition to birding, Gale has found another passion in horses and is working towards a career in gentle horsemanship training.
Sally has lived on the Central Coast since 1972, when she came to Cal Poly to study Biological Sciences. A phycology class from Dr. Shirley Sparling introduced her to the enthralling marine life on our coastline and involved her in marine science research. She observed the impact that tide pool visitors have on the intertidal marine life and became involved in marine science education programs. Sally is employed as a biologist for Pacific Gas & Electric and works throughout San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, including Diablo Canyon, on environmental permitting. She is also a member of Diablo Canyon's land stewardship program, and works closely with ranchers and fireman on managed access programs. Sally is a board member of Central Coast State Parks Association.
Ken Levine is a retired veterinarian who practiced in Arroyo Grande for 35 years. He is a charter member of San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden, and has been a docent there for over 20 years. Two of his favorite things are plants and birds. This has resulted in a particular interest in the role that birds play in the pollination of many of our plants. He enjoys sharing the many adaptive variations that can be seen in bird-pollinated flowers with other participants at the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival.
John Lindsey is a media relations representative and marine meteorologist for Pacific Gas and Electric Company at Diablo Canyon Power Plant. He has worked for PG&E for more than 12 years.
He has forecasted weather and oceanographic conditions along the Central Coast of California for over 25 years. His forecast can be heard every morning on 920 KVEC radio and weekly on Mondays in the San Luis Obispo Tribune.
Before PG&E, he was a marine meteorologist and research scientist with Tenera Environmental. He served in the U.S. Navy for over 24 years and completed the U.S. Naval Aviation Meteorology and Oceanography Program. He attended Santa Rosa Junior College and Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.
He is currently on the Board of Directors of the PG&E Veterans Employee Resource Group and the president of the board of directors of Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers. He was also named Los Osos citizen of the year.
He currently lives in Los Osos, California and is married to Trisha. They have two children, Chloe 17 and Sean 11
Curtis lived on the Central Coast from 1980 to 1988 while attending Cal Poly State University, where he received a B.S. in Environmental and Systematic Biology and a M.S. in Computer Science. He went on to get a second M.S. in Zoology at Louisiana State University and a Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts in Biology, both concentrating on song variation and systematics in a group of Neotropical birds known as woodcreepers. For his research, Curtis spent parts of 15 years in South America recording the songs of woodcreepers and other birds, yet he has always retained an interest in the birds of California and in particular San Luis Obispo County, for which he and Tom Edell are currently working on a book covering the status and distribution of birds found in the county. Curtis is currently employed an a biological consultant, a job that takes him to various sites across central and southern California.
Ron is a lifelong birder and naturalist. He currently resides in Sacramento, and is working for the CA Department of Water Resources on river conservation and restoration within the Central Valley of California. He is also completing his doctorate in geography at the University of California, Davis, where his research is focused on river meander and bird habitat dynamics within the flood management system of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. Ron has worked with birds in wetland, riparian, and montane systems throughout California, Oregon, Washington, and southwestern British Columbia, specifically with species such as Black Rail, Least and Western Sandpiper, Black-backed Woodpecker, Northern Sawwhet Owl, and many songbird species including Bank Swallow and Least Bell's Vireo. Outside of his school and work pursuits, he enjoys working with Rocky Point Bird Observatory on their migration monitoring efforts and banding workshops within the Partners in Flight Bird Conservation Region 5.
Paul O'Connor is retired from Cal Fire after 30 years of service in the Fire Dept. He volunteer for State Parks in outdoor activities providing walks and talks at Montana de Oro and the tidepools at coralina cove and works as a kayak, bike and hike tour guide for Central Coast Outdoors in Morro Bay. In the past he worked with CCO assisting kayak tours for bird festival and gave a photo walk at Montana de Oro also for the bird festival. His biggest joy is work and volunteering at the Point San Luis Lighthouse, restoring, giving guided tours and driving the trolley up the hill to the county's hidden gem on the coast.
After earning a BS in Natural Resources Management from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Regena began working for California State Parks in 1995. As an Environmental Scientist, she currently manages the Western Snowy Plover program for State Parks in the Morro Bay area, which has the largest breeding population of snowy plovers in the State Park System. Regena has also been banding birds since 1998. The two banding projects she is currently involved with are a Monitoring Avian Population and Survivorship (MAPS) station at the Powell properties within Morro Bay State Park and a study looking for Large-billed Savannah Sparrows near the Morro Bay State Park Marina.
Rachel Pass serves as the Morro Bay National Estuary Program's Communications and Outreach Coordinator. She works with community members, partners, and other stakeholders to raise awareness of the Estuary Program's mission, and to encourage participation in restoration and preservation efforts. Rachel enjoys almost any outdoor activity, and can often be found watching wildlife on the bay, or hiking along the coast.
within Morro Bay State Park and a study looking for Large-billed Savannah Sparrows near the Morro Bay State Park Marina.
Ella Pennington lives and birds in Los Angeles with her husband with whom she participates in a California Naturalist citizen science project investigating population fluctuations of American Kestrels with the Peregrine Fund. She grew up on the eastern seaboard where her passion for nature and birds arose, and she has been studying California birds, their behavior and their vocalizations for the past 10 years. After recently retiring from social services management, she's been volunteering with several habitat rehabilitation projects in California when not traveling the world seeking outdoor adventures. It is her great joy to share her love of birds and nature with others to foster a greater respect and sense of awe for California's natural wonders.
Kaaren Perry has been interested in birds and nature since childhood. She is an avid birder and has birded throughout the United States, Canada, Alaska, France, England, Greece and the Czech Republic. For the past 20 years, Kaaren has enjoyed leading local field trips and conducting yearly field classes in the study of gulls, seabirds and birds of the rocky coast. Kaaren recently lead a birding trip to Alaska for the Sierra Club. She has also been selected as field trip leader for the Salton Sea and San Diego Birding Festivals and the Western Field Ornithologists conference. She enthusiastically shares her love for watching and learning about birds.
Lu is a member and former president of Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society. He has been involved with the Snowy Plover recovery program for 15 years. His other interests include calligraphy, native plant gardening, and backpacking. He recently retired from a career in bookselling. (Je parle francais!)
Roy Poucher has also been a Sea and Sage Audubon Society (Orange County) trip leader and field trip assistant in their introductory birding classes (including aural birding) for 24 years. He has led trips to Yosemite, the Eastern Sierra, Arizona, Texas, North Dakota (sparrows), the Great Lakes (warblers), the eastern seaboard (shorebirds). Roy is, also, an international tour leader and, with his company Bird Odyssey Tours, has led trips to Costa Rica, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, Kenya, Thailand and Cambodia. Tours to Trinidad/Tobago and South Africa are upcoming. His passion is bird vocalization, and has personally mentored aural birding with Dick Walton (author of the Peterson bird vocalization audio series), Luis Baptista (late of the California Academy of Sciences), Tom Hahn (UC Davis) and Sylvia Gallagher (renowned Southern California educator).
Donald Quintana is a Central California Nature and Wildlife Photographer whose family was an early settler in Morro Bay. He finds comfort and renewal by spending time amidst the wonders of the local natural world. His greatest enjoyment comes from capturing fleeting moments in nature that are often missed by the casual observer and sharing them with others. He has published photos in magazines, calendars and online articles, and has won awards for his photography in contests as well as from the North American Nature Photographers Association. Bird photography is one of the areas of nature photography that he is very passionate about. You can see his photos at www.donaldquintana.com as well as his flickr site at http://www.flickr.com/photos/donaldquintana/sets/
Manager, Morro Bay Museum of Natural History since 2005, State Park Interpreter since 1989. Bird Festival program committee member or co-chair since 2006. Morro Coast Audubon Society program co-chair since 2006. Birding informally since childhood, he began leading beginning bird walks for California State Parks in the early 1990s. He particularly enjoy shorebirds, seabirds, raptors, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, and calling birds with whistled and vocal sounds. Rouvaishyana also works as a naturalist on local whale-watching boats, where he has numerous opportunities to observe seabirds.photos at www.donaldquintana.com as well as his flickr site at http://www.flickr.com/photos/donaldquintana/sets/
Dan Robinette is a senior scientist at Point Blue Conservation Science, a non-profit dedicated to advancing the conservation of birds, other wildlife, and ecosystems through science, partnerships, and outreach. Dan manages Point Blue's coastal marine program. His research interests include studying the population, breeding, dietary, and foraging ecology of seabirds in relation to local and regional oceanography. Dan has published and presented papers on using seabirds as indicators of juvenile fish recruitment to local nearshore populations. Dan has studied seabird foraging effort within and adjacent to the Vandenberg State Marine Reserve since 2000 and has expanded this program to investigate the new marine protected areas established under California's Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative. Dan is also involved in the expansion of the Seabird Protection Network which aims to reduce human-caused disturbance to important seabird breeding and roosting sites throughout California. Dan served on the Science Advisory Team for the South Coast Study Region of the MLPA Initiative and is a current member of science advisory groups for statewide management of the endangered California least tern and the Montezuma Wetlands Restoration Project.
Michele Roest participated in her first Audubon Christmas Bird Count at the age of nine with her father, zoologist Aryan Roest, who served as the first Charter President of the Morro Coast Audubon Society in 1967. Michele has an M.S. in biology, specializing in vertebrate ecology. Her government agency work includes NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program, US Fish & Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife. In 2009 Michele founded Science and Environmental Education Development (SEED). She works with government agencies and nonprofit organizations in developing science-based education programs for all ages. Visit Michele and SEED at www.sciencecurric.org.
Jim got the bug for birding in the mid 70's from his brother Allen, and has led field trips for various Audubon Chapters, the WFO, the ABA, and other groups since the late 70's (including trips to Veracruz, Mexico, to see the world's largest raptor migration). Jim has an interest in "green birding" and in 2010 he found 318 species while on cycling, walking, and kayaking trips starting from his home, without using any gas. He also has organized the local "Elfin Forest Big Sit" for over 10 years. He has been a board member on several Audubon chapters, and helped establish the original Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival. He is an attorney, lives in Los Osos, and likes to bird with his wife Celeste, his two grown children Alisa and Dylan, and his dog Nike.
Environmental Scientist, California State Parks, San Luis Obispo Coast District since 2005. First started birding in earnest in 2005 while monitoring snowy plover populations along the beaches of San Luis Obispo County. He grew up in southern California amidst all the development and habitat destruction, but also near its open space and wild elements. An interest in ecology and gardening got him involved with native plant propagation and restoration techniques. John has been involved with the Winter Bird Festival since 2006.
Ross Schaefer began birding "for real" after moving down to the Central Coast in 2006. There he met Jim Royer, who took him under his wing and taught him all he knows now. Ross has co-led and led trips for the Morro Coast Audubon Society, as well as for the Kern Spring Nature Festival and a Cheeseman Pelagic Trip. Ross is now studying Biology at Allan Hancock College
Brad started birding in the 1940s as a child in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California. After retiring early from the business world he has served since 1997 as a part-time birding tour leader for Victor Emanuel Nature Tours and as a naturalist aboard adventure cruise ships. His tours have extended north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle as well as across the South Pacific through Polynesia and Melanesia. Brad has birded on all continents and has led birding tours on five of them. He and his wife Dianne have seven grandchildren.
Steve is an active member of the Morro Coast Audubon Society: President 2000-2001; past Program Chairman; author "The Peregrine Falcons of Morro Rock: A 40-Year History"; Volunteer Coordinator (1996-present) for the Hi Mountain Condor Lookout Project. Steve teaches at a residential environmental education program attended by more than 3,000 students each school year and teaches natural history courses for Community Programs at Cuesta College. He has been a speaker and field trip leader for the Winter Bird Festival each year since its inception. His wildlife and landscape photography can be found at here.
Other Related Websites:
Dennis Sheridan is a native Californian who grew up in Arcadia. He graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in biology, specialty entomology. He moved to Morro Bay in 1974 and began a career in photography, concentrating on birds of prey and native wildlife, as well as fungi, lichens, insects, wildflowers and California scenery. Dennis has traveled worldwide photographing nature. Dennis has published many photographs in magazines, books, and calendars including Audubon field guides. He contributes his photography and naturalist services to the California Native Plant Society, Audubon Society, Small Wilderness Area Preservation, and Morro Estuary Greenbelt Alliance.
An avid surfer and extreme rock climber for more than 30 years, Tom only recently "discovered" birding in October 2011. A self-starter (inspired by the book and movie "The Big Year"), he bought a Sibley's guide and some binoculars and then scoured the Central Coast with his 7 year-old son Owen in search of anything with feathers. He has seen and enjoyed over 270 county species. Tom has been mentored by Maggie Smith and others in the SLOCO community. What he lacks in experience he makes up for with enthusiasm. He has led trips with Lifelong Learners of the Central Coast to Oso Flaco Lake and Oceano Lagoon, and he enjoys passing on his newfound joy for birds to anyone who will bird with him. He welcomes entire families to join, as he will be birding with his son Owen during this year's festival. When he isn't birding, he is teaching English at Mesa Middle School in Arroyo Grande.
Greg Smith has birded and searched out nature's wonders on all seven continents and has led natural history and birding tours in California, Alaska, Argentina, Chile, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctica. He is recently retired after a 27-year career with the California State Park System. Formerly a park ecologist, Greg was a superintendent of eight park units, focusing on education on the importance of preserving natural and cultural resources. An accomplished wildlife photographer, he also maintains a U.S. Master Bird Banding permit. Greg plays an integral part in planning and administration of Naturalist Journeys. As the WEST COAST REPRESENTATIVE for Naturalist Journeys Natural History & Birding Tours ( www.Naturalist Journeys.com ); he has designed a number of itineraries in California, Baja, Oregon and Washington.
Maggie began noticing and identifying birds in 2004. She has led field trips for Morro Coast Audubon Society, Winter Bird Festival and Western Field Ornithologists since 2005. As a volunteer, she's helped with a series of Sea Bird surveys for Cal Poly and two Tricolored blackbird surveys in San Luis Obispo County. Though she prefers being outside, she has organized the yearly Morro Coast Audubon pelagic trip and served as a Christmas Bird Count sector leader for the past four years. Her bird and nature photos can be seen here.
Mike is a local native and has been an avid birder since 1973. He leads trips for the Morro Coast Audubon Society and the Winter Bird Festival, and was a long time board member of MCAS. He started and moderates the county's rare bird email system, and maintains a SLO County birding website. He is a recent retiree from the Cal Poly Biology Department and looks forward to expanding his county, North American, and world bird lists.
Jeanette served as the Center Operations Director for Pacific Wildlife Care in Morro Bay, CA. She has volunteered with PWC for over 9 years in different capacities; as a center worker, website designer, board vice-president and president.
PWC holds permits from the Department of Fish & Wildlife and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to possess and rehabilitate wildlife and is a primary response group for wildlife in the event of oil spills or other environmental crises. The Center which opened in March of 2007 takes in approximately 3,000 animals annually.
Jan has been a Morro Coast Audubon Society Board member 2006 to present (Hospitality, chair, President, Past President). A retired teacher from St. Louis, Missouri, Jan moved to the Central Coast in 1999 to enjoy year-round running. Even after traveling to all seven continents, Jan's favorite places on this planet remain southern Utah and Santa Margarita Lake, where she birds and previously lived and worked.
Dean Thompson is a naturalist who also happens to enjoy birding. Trained as a wildlife biologist, he has worked with a variety of raptors in California, Arizona and Wyoming for The Peregrine Fund and the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Group. He traveled to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji before finally settling down here in SLO county. Since then he has worked as an outdoor science school instructor in Montana de Oro State Park. For the last 26 years he has led natural history tours along the central coast, conducted Least Tern surveys, raised 2 children, coached and managed to stay sane by spending as much time as possible outdoors . Dean's skill as a professional storyteller makes his tours both entertaining and educational.
Bert Townsend has been birding since age 11, including several area of North America; from Michigan to Florida and California to Texas. He has also birded in Central America and Europe. Bert has been anticipating in the MBWBF from the beginning.
Karen Watts has a bachelor's degree in Biology from UCSB and a master's degree in science education from Cal State East Bay. She is a former molecular biologist and high school science teacher. She has been a docent at the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History since 2007, where she works with education programs for students of all ages and leads nature walks. Karen helped to develop a plankton program that is regularly presented to school groups from grades 4 through college, and the general public. She is also a bacteria monitoring volunteer for the Morro Bay National Estuary Program and a substitute naturalist at Rancho El Chorro Outdoor School.
Dean Wendt is director of the Center for Coastal Marine Sciences and dean of research at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. His research and teaching focuses on marine ecology and conservation. He is also the founding director of the San Luis Obispo Science and Ecosystem Alliance (SLOSEA), an organization of scientists, stakeholders, and resource managers working together on improving management of California's marine resources. He served for two years on the Master Plan Science Advisory Team as part of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), which called for the establishment of California's Marine Protected Areas. He currently serves on the Board of the Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS) and the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS). During the past decade he has procured over $10M in external funding for his research program and has published 39 peer-reviewed publications. Dean earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University (1999) and conducted postdoctoral research at the Kewalo Marine Laboratory at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. He held an assistant professorship at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro before arriving at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2002.
Dr. Weymann is a retired astronomer with 40 years experience at major universities and observatories in teaching and research. His research has varied from the history of the early universe to the atmospheres of stars, and combines calculaitons and observations with some of the world's most powerful telescopes, including the Hubble. Since moving to Atascadero he has tutored students in advanced math courses at Atascadero High School. More recently his interests have turned to public education about science for adults and students, espcially concerning climate science and global warming. Dr. Weymann is the author and webmaster of a website about the CA central coast climate science.
After more than 20 years of general birding and hawkwatching, Sheri L. Williamson's life got hijacked by hummingbirds when she and her husband and colleague Tom Wood moved to Arizona to manage The Nature Conservancy's Ramsey Canyon Preserve. A quarter century later, Sheri is still obsessed with these rainbow-hued warriors, feeding them year round, maintaining a hummingbird garden, writing about them in her blog, and banding hundreds of them each year. She currently serves as Director of the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory and is working on a revision of A Field Guide to Hummingbirds of North America in the Peterson Field Guide Series, originally published in 2002.ning.
Tom Wood is co-founder of the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory, a non-profit conservation organization. A native Texan, he has a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and was director of the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge for 14 years before moving to Arizona in 1988 to manage The Nature Conservancy's Ramsey Canyon Preserve. Tom and his wife, Sheri Williamson, have conducted a 21 year banding study of hummingbirds on the San Pedro River, conducted breeding bird monitoring on National Park Service sites, and worked on development of birding tourism in southeastern Arizona and Sonora.
Chuck is the resident park ranger at Santa Margarita Lake for the County of San Luis Obispo and has been birding the Central Coast since 1986, when he came to Cal Poly SLO and obtained a B.S. in Natural Resource Management. He has done waterfowl and shorebird research for the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife and worked on the California Condor Recovery Program for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He often leads interpretive outings at Santa Margarita Lake and Lopez Lake recreation areas and has been leading outings for the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival for 7 years.
Roger is a recently retired Biology teacher and former North Cuesta Audubon President and Field-trip Leader. He has been a compiler of the Carrizo Plain CBC since 1983 and is presently an active field-trip leader for Morro Coast Audubon Society and enjoying digital photography. (www.flickr.com/photos/sloroger).