Home : Biographies

Biographies

Keynote Speaker: Karen Amstutz

Karen Amstutz is a native Californian who has spent a lifetime of summers steeped in Lodgepole Pines and their community. She has spent the past 25 years living on the edge of Yosemite National Park with her husband and daughters. Karen carries out a seasonal upslope migration to Tuolumne Meadows where she works as a national park ranger supervising the Tuolumne Meadows Interpretation operation. Karen’s vibrant programs are renowned, and she is proud of the way her staff interprets the subalpine mysteries for visitors from around the world.

Working as a naturalist for 30 years, Karen has lived her life with connection and attention to the natural world in professional and personal capacities. Leading bird walks and carrying out the Tuolumne Meadows bird survey since 2012 has allowed for much time and engagement with a surprising variety of avian species. She has contributed much to the understanding of birds in Yosemite’s high country since her arrival in the park in the early 1990s.

Karen has been a presenter at nearly all of the Mono Basin Bird Chautauquas, leading popular workshops in a variety of areas in and around the Mono Basin. She has been a leader for Yosemite’s Christmas Bird Count for 20 years. Karen has been fortunate to have spent many months birding in South Asia and founded a youth birdwatching organization in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2010 for children in Kailash Hostel. It is Karen’s great joy to see people connect with the natural world through the lenses of binoculars! With close attention to birds, Karen’s definition of ‘Home’ settles on our precious, perfect, planet, Earth.

Leader Biographies

Karen Amstutz

Karen Amstutz is a native Californian who has spent a lifetime of summers steeped in Lodgepole Pines and their community. She has spent the past 25 years living on the edge of Yosemite National Park with her husband and daughters. Karen carries out a seasonal upslope migration to Tuolumne Meadows where she works as a national park ranger supervising the Tuolumne Meadows Interpretation operation. Karen's vibrant programs are renowned, and she is proud of the way her staff interprets the subalpine mysteries for visitors from around the world. Working as a naturalist for 30 years, Karen has lived her life with connection and attention to the natural world in professional and personal capacities. Leading bird walks and carrying out the Tuolumne Meadows bird survey since 2012 has allowed for much time and engagement with a surprising variety of avian species. She has contributed much to the understanding of birds in Yosemite's high country since her arrival in the park in the early 1990s. Karen has been a presenter at nearly all of the Mono Basin Bird Chautauquas, leading popular workshops in a variety of areas in and around the Mono Basin. She has been a leader for Yosemite's Christmas Bird Count for 20 years. Karen has been fortunate to have spent many months birding in South Asia and founded a youth birdwatching organization in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2010 for children in Kailash Hostel. It is Karen's great joy to see people connect with the natural world through the lenses of binoculars! With close attention to birds, Karen's definition of 'Home' settles on our precious, perfect, planet, Earth.

Events:

Carol Anderson

Carol Anderson is a retired high school biology teacher with a life-long interest in nature. A member of Altacal Audubon Society since retirement, she enjoys learning from experienced birders. She has assisted in the grebe survey at the Thermalito afterbay, the birding class of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at CSU, Chico, and the Northern Saw-whet Owl banding project.

Events:

Linda Angerer

Linda Angerer is a U.S. Forest Service wildlife Biologist and currently the Bat Coordinator for California's National Forests.

Events:

Stuart Angerer

Stuart Angerer lives in Colusa County and as an avid birder enjoys the proximity to the Sacramento Valley Refuges. His lifelong love of the outdoors and 30 years working as an Environmental Scientist for the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Reclamation have enabled him to work in the Sierras and Coast Range as well as many of the wildlife refuges in the state. Birding experience includes Spotted Owl, Northern Goshawk, breeding bird, and Tri-colored Blackbird and shorebird surveys.

Events:

Skip Augur

Skip Augur has been an avid local birder and served Altacal Audubon in various capacities for over 30 years.

Events:

Jon Aull

Jon Aull received his master's degree studying parks and natural resources in the recreation department at Chico State. He is the education coordinator for the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve.

Events:

Ted Beedy

Ted Beedy has studied and photographed birds and other wildlife throughout the Sierra Nevada and California for more than 60 years. He earned his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of California, Davis in 1982. He recently co-authored a new book with Ed Pandolfino: Birds of the Sierra Nevada: Their Natural History, Status, and Distribution, that describes the natural histories of birds of the Sierra Nevada, the origins of their names, the habitats they prefer, how they communicate and interact with one another, their relative abundance, and where they occur within the region. Each species account features original illustrations by Keith Hansen.

Ted has studied and photographed birds in all 50 states, and he has traveled widely in the tropics of Central America, South America, and Africa.

Events:

Donald Beers

Don worked for the California State Park System for over 30 years. The Roads, Trails and Resource Section that he supervised were responsible for the District's trail construction and maintenance, backcountry road re-engineering and maintenance, and watershed restoration project implementation. Don recently completed the California State Park's Trails Handbook revision and was the principal author of that handbook.

Events:

Jay Bogiatto

Jay Bogiatto, M. S., teaches Waterfowl Biology, Ornithology, Mammalogy, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, and Advanced Zoology in the Biology Department at CSU, Chico (CSUC). Jay also serves as Faculty Advisor for the CSUC Chapter of the California Waterfowl Association, and Co-Faculty Advisor for Omicron Theta Epsilon, the CSUC Biology Honor Society. In addition, Jay serves as Curator of the CSUC Vertebrate Museum.

Events:

Joyce Bond

Joyce Bond has been an avid birder for more than two decades and is a member of Altacal Audubon Society. She teaches a class called "Birding in the Chico Area" for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at CSU, Chico, leading birding field trips to locations all around the area and helping students learn how to ID birds from field marks and by ear. She also enjoys painting and photographing birds.

Events:

Keith Book

Keith Book and his family are owners of the Book Family Farms.

Events:

Jim Burcio

Jim Burcio graduated from Humboldt State College with a degree in Wildlife Management and Biology. Jim carved his first decoy in 1974 and since then has competed nationally, judged at the three major carving shows on the west coast, as well as the World Championships in Ocean City, Maryland. His work has been displayed at several museums. Since the early 1990's, Jim has taught bird carving seminars for the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association. In 2010, and 2012, Jim was selected by the Ward Foundation in Salisbury, Maryland to be an instructor in their National Endowment for the Arts Grant.

Events:

Carol Burr

Carol Burr, PhD, is Professor Emerita from Chico State, where she taught literature in the English Department for 37 years and served in a number of administrative positions. Married to Roger Lederer, an ornithologist, she learned about birds and became an active bird watcher on travels around the world. In retirement, she returned to a childhood love of drawing and illustrated Dr. Lederer's The Birds of Bidwell Park (2009), using pen and colored pencils. She is also the co-author with her husband of Latin for Bird Lovers, published by Timber Press in 2014.

Events:

Chico Creek Nature Center

Staff and volunteers

Events:

Gary Cole

Gary Cole is the owner of Cole Farm.

Events:

Andrew Conlin

Andrew Conlin has worked as a Soil Scientist for the NRCS for 28 years. After mapping soils in IL, MN, NY and the San Joaquin Valley, he completed the Soil Surveys of Butte County and Lassen Volcanic National Park. Andrew has provided soils tours for 20 years, explaining the relationships between soils, geomorphology, and vegetation.

Events:

Brad Cooke

Brad Cooke has a California Chico State University degree in Recreation Administration. Since 1999, he has been an associate faculty at Butte Community College in outdoor education and has worked for 25 years in Butte County supporting natural history, native ways, and environmental education with an appreciation and knowledge for the hidden gems in Northern California. He has been a consultant for National Wildlife Refuges and an education programs director throughout Northern California. He has served as an experiential educator for thousands of students and teachers throughout Northern California. Brad is a eco-tour and raft guide with a huge variety of knowledge on our amazing North State.

Events:

Charlie Cornell

Charles Cornell holds a degree in Geography. He has birded in Butte County since the 1970s, worked for the U. S. Forest Service, and volunteered in Outdoor & Environmental Education programs. Living near rice fields in Butte County, he enjoys stepping outside at night and hearing goose music and Great Horned Owls.

Events:

David Dahnke

Dave Dahnke has been actively birding since 1980. He has birded throughout the United States and Eastern Europe.

Events:

Colin Dillingham

Colin has been an active birder and raptor enthusiast for 32 years. His first work was with Peregrine Falcon cross-fostering work for Alturas Bureau of Land Management in 1987 as a volunteer and has been active with monitoring Peregrine Falcons in California and Oregon ever since. He has worked as a wildlife biologist for the US Forest Service - first in Brookings and Gold Beach, Oregon from 1988 - 2001 and then on the Plumas National Forest from 2001 to present. Colin has birded extensively around the world. His favorite local birds are the Peregrine Falcon and Pileated Woodpecker.

Events:

Jerry Dirnberger

While living in the wilds of Montana in the fall of 1999, Jerry Dirnberger, the internationally unknown birder and adventurer, heard the 'not so quiet' whispers of the migrating snow geese saying "head south, head south". Since then he has spent his winters both in Colombia, SA and Chico (where he has homes) enjoying the friendship of the birds he has encountered along the way.

Events:

Amber Drake

Long time Chico resident Amber Drake has worked with children throughout her professional life. She is currently the Chico Area Manager for Play-Well TEKnologies, a national company based in the Bay Area that teaches STEM skills and inspires youth to explore engineering concepts using LEGO. Locally, she also offers LEGO birthday parties and camps and programs that use LEGO, including Art & Architecture and an original game: Mine, Craft, Build! A member of the Snow Goose Steering Committee, Amber also helps coordinate the Junior Naturalist Activities for the Snow Goose Festival.

Events:

Dan Dugan

Dan Dugan is best known as the inventor of the automatic microphone mixer. He has been a technical mentor for the Nature Sounds Society since 1990. Dugan has recorded surround sound in many national parks including Muir Woods, Joshua Tree, and Yosemite. He has published six "relaxation CD's" of nature sounds with naturemusicdownload.com and a full-length dawn chorus from Mariposa Grove in Yosemite with listeningearth.com.

Events:

Dan Efseaff

Dan Efseaff has over 20 years of experience as a restoration ecologist and land manager. Currently, he is the District Manager for the Paradise Recreation and Park District. Mr. Efseaff has experience with a wide variety of restoration projects, conservation and agricultural lands management, education and outreach, water conservation, and overseeing watershed programs.

Events:

Steve Emmons

Steve Emmons has been the Wildlife Refuge Manager for Sacramento and Delevan National Wildlife Refuges (Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Willows, CA) since 1996. Prior to his current position, he served as the Assistant Refuge Manager at Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge in Lake Arthur, LA (1990-1996) and the Fish and Wildlife Specialist at the Fort Carson Military Reservation, Colorado Springs, CO (1982-1990). Steve's primary interests include nature photography (particularly wildlife photography) and observing birds.

Events:

Kirby Flanagan

Kirby is a professional nature and wildlife photographer residing in northwest Nevada. He is a member of the Lahontan Audubon Society in Reno, Nevada, a longtime member and current board member of the National Photography Enthusiasts Group (NPEG) of Bozeman, Montana and is a past member of the Cuyahoga Valley Photographic Society based in Peninsula, Ohio.

Kirby has been involved in photography for more than forty years and in bird photography for more than ten years. During those ten years, he has photographed birds in several midwestern states, most of the western states, Alaska and the Galapagos Islands. His interests are primarily in photographing raptors and waterfowl, but he enjoys photographing all birds. And he loves to teach.

Kirby has been a workshop leader, group shoot leader, speaker and webinar presenter for NPEG for over ten years. He is the author of the e-book "A Nature Photographer's Guide to Alaska". He is a blog and a podcaster on the "Photographing the West" podcast both his blog and his podcast episodes are available on his website at www.flanaganfotos.com.

Events:

Malia Forbert

Malia Forbert graduated from Sonoma State University in 2017 with a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science. Ms. Forbert has five years of field experience with native and invasive plant management, and biological surveys in Northern California. As Stewardship Coordinator for the Northern California Regional Land Trust, Malia's main focus is to maintain communication and relationships between landowners, agencies, and community partners, and coordinate and perform annual conservation easement monitoring, GIS mapping, and reports for 33+ properties across Butte, Glenn, Tehama and Shasta counties as well as assist with all outreach, field trips, and surveys.

Events:

Matt Forster

Matt Forster is an avid outdoorsman and birder whose love of the land has him interested in conservation of habitat and restoration. He studied waterfowl biology and wetland management as well as ornithology at CSUChico.

Events:

Bill Frey

Bill Frey generally resides and birds in Carson City, NV. When he is not there, he can sometimes be found wandering the many bird areas of California.

Events:

Harry Fuller

Harry Fuller has been leading Pacific Coast bird trips for two decades. He frequently teaches bird classes for Point Reyes Field Seminars and other non-profits. He has led trips for Golden Gate Audubon of San Francisco to Malheur and the Oregon Cascades. He frequently leads custom trips in Oregon and Northern California.

Harry is the author of Freeway Birding, San Francisco to Seattle for birding Oregon, Washington and Northern California. He also teaches classes in the history of American ornithology.

Check out his blog at www.atowhee.wordpress.com and his birding website at http://www.towhee.net/index.html.

Events:

Henry Ganzler

Henry Ganzler has been an avid photographer and videographer since the middle 70's, and studied photography and videography formally for several years at Butte College. His photographs have won awards in exhibits and contests at the Butte College art gallery, The Chico Chamber of Commerce, and an All Chico photography contest in the early 90's. Henry started his own video production company, Mindful Productions, in 1990. He has produced travel, cultural, and educational videos in many parts of the world, as well as training videos for businesses, and the Butte County Department of Behavioral Health. His video Wetlands Wildlife - The Sacramento Valley was selected and shown at the 2010 Gallery 1078 Film Festival in Chico and was shown at the Chico Museum as part of its series on the Rice Fields. Henry was a member of the Avenue 9 Gallery's Artist Guild until the gallery closed in 2014. He exhibits his photographs in various places in the Chico area.

Events:

Gaylord Grams

Gaylord Grams is an avid local birder and has led many field trips for the Altacal Chapter of the Audubon Society.

Events:

Matthew Greening

Matthew Greening recently moved to the area to complete his degree and pursue his passion for Civil Engineering. His love of learning and sharing knowledge (and LEGO!) led him to Play-Well, enabling him to lead camps and Enrichment Programs at local schools. When he's not studying or building with LEGO, he's busy with his custom woodworking business, Fox & Burl.

Events:

Heidi Gysin

Heidi Gysin is local to Northern California. She moved to Chico for school and graduated with a degree in Natural Resource Management. Heidi has taught environmental education for a decade with organizations such as Kids and Creeks, Rancho Esquon, and the Oroville Forebay Aquatic Center. She has also served as Volunteer Coordinator for the City of Chico's Park Division. Currently, Heidi works for the California Conservation Corps and serves on the board of directors for Friends of Bidwell Park.

Events:

Mike Hubbartt

Mike Hubbartt, author, California State Park Interpreter, and a Sutter Buttes Regional Land Trust board member, and hike guide has been actively involved in the preservation of the Sutter Buttes since 1996.

Events:

Liam Huber

Liam Huber started bird-watching at age 5 and has become accomplished at bird identification by sight and by ear. He spends much of his free time, as well as most of his not-free time, photographing and exploring every inch of Butte County.

Events:

Scott Huber

Scott Huber has lead birding trips from Arizona to the Arctic. He is Past President of Altacal Audubon Society, Board Member of Audubon California and currently serves on the Chico City Council. He aspires to be as good a birder as his son Liam.

Events:

John W. Hunt

John Hunt has worked as a natural resources professional and project manager for more than 20 years. He is a wildlife biologist and botanist with a Master's Degree in Biology and certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). John is the Conservation Director of the Northern California Regional Land Trust.

Events:

Phil Johnson

Phil Johnson has been a long time board member of the Altacal Audubon Society, and he has coordinated the Oroville and Chico Christmas Bird Counts.

Events:

Maya Khosla

Maya Khosla is the Poet Laureate of Sonoma County for 2018-2019 and is working on The Local Legacies Project. Her new poetry book, All the Fires of Wind and Light, is forthcoming from Sixteen Rivers Press in 2019. Working with The Sitting Room Community Library, Maya is currently bringing the poets of Sonoma County together to respond to the 2017 fires in a series of public presentations and filmed readings. Five years ago, she joined a team of scientists studying the post-fire forests of the Sierra Nevada-Cascades Region. She began documenting the work and was later supported by grant-awards from Patagonia, The Sacramento Audubon Society, Fund for Wild Nature, and Environment Now. Maya has since written essays devoted to post-fire forests, including Forests Rebound on Their Own, Faith in Rejuvenation, and Pioneers of the Post-Fire Forests.

Her previous work includes Notes from the Field and Web of Water: Life in Redwood Creek (Golden Gate Parks Conservancy Press), Tapping the Fire, Turning the Steam: Securing the Future with Geothermal Energy (World Wide Fund for Nature), and Keel Bone (poems from Bear Star Press; Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize), screenwriting, and films for the Turtle Diaries Project.

Events:

Jeff Kidd

Jeff Kidd is a raptor ecologist who maintains various state and federal permits authorizing capture and take of threatened and endangered species ranging from butterflies to eagles. Since 1993 Jeff has concentrated his efforts in raptor research and banded approximately 10,000 raptors from 33 species throughout the western United States, Canada, and Scandinavia with an emphasis in California. Jeff is the Vice-President of Kidd Biological, Inc, a small consulting firm located in Murrieta, CA that focuses on research and management of raptors and various endangered species. Jeff is currently conducting research on Rough-legged Hawks throughout North America, Peregrine Falcons in coastal northern California and in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Northern Harriers along southern California coastal zones and Burrowing Owls statewide to name a few.

Events:

Shelly Kirn

Shelly Kirn teaches conservation biology, ecology, evolution, and several other classes at CSU, Chico and is faculty co-advisor to the biology honor society (Omicron Theta Epsilon). Shelly has been birding for almost 25 years and enjoys traveling throughout the US (and occasionally beyond) to see birds and other wildlife.

Events:

Mike and Kathy Landini

Mike and Kathy Landini own and manage the Divide Ranch with the help of their adult children Nicole and Tony. They are passionate about creating environments on both land that they own and land that they lease, which support the family and the cattle as well as the land and the wildlife. They also direct-sell their 100% Grass-Fed Beef at farmers' markets, including the Chico Certified Farmers' Market on Saturdays.

Events:

Roger Lederer

Dr. Roger Lederer is Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at California State University, Chico, whose expertise is ecology, science education, and ornithology. He has published over thirty scientific research papers and seven books, including Ecology and Field Biology, Amazing Birds (in seven languages), Birds of Bidwell Park, Latin for Bird Lovers, and Beaks, Bones, and Birdsongs.

Dr. Lederer has served as a consultant to governments, private organizations, and schools on environmental issues, and presented hundreds of public presentations to a wide variety of audiences. He has been consulted by BBC, National Geographic, National Public Radio, National Canadian Television, Guinness World Records, and many other organizations, publications, and individuals for his expertise on birds.

He is still active as a member of the local science fair board, maintaining his popular website, Ornithology.com, and exploring the world. He has traveled to 100 countries and has been a guest speaker and naturalist on several cruise lines across the world, speaking on ecology, natural history, and geology.

Events:

Henry Lomeli

A lifetime outdoorsman, Henry Lomeli has been a wildlife biologist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for 26 years, responsible for a big range of land in Northern California and often responding to animal control calls ranging from skunks to mountain lions. Twelve years ago, inspired to share his love of the outdoors with others, Henry founded Sacramento River Eco Tours, which takes curious customers on an educational tour down the Sacramento River and Eagle Creek Ranch Eco Tours, safari-style tours, in the beautiful foothills of Northern California. In 2017 he added Sutter Buttes Eco Tours. Henry has also been practicing his survival skills since he was young that he put to use during his appearance as the survival expert on an episode of the Discovery Channel show "Tethered" in 2014. Henry spends his summer on the river and as an actively engaged member of the California outdoor community!

Events:

Cortney Lopez

Cortney Lopez is a park aide for California State Parks, working at both Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park and Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park. She loves wildlife and the outdoors and is very excited to be leading hikes in the Sutter Buttes.

Events:

Laura Lush

Laura Lush is a life-long Yuba-Sutter resident, artist, high school teacher, nature enthusiast, and avid birder. She has been active with Middle Mountain/Sutter Buttes Regional Land Trust for nearly 20 years, and is currently on the board of Middle Mountain Interpretive Hikes.

Events:

Christine Mac Shane

Christine Mac Shane has been painting for over 40 years and teaching for more than 12. Her easy step-by-step guidance will have you painting in no time! Christine has been a muralist in the Northern California region for over 20 years and loves that the rich wildlife and landscapes provide such ongoing inspiration. www.christinemacshane.com.

Events:

Jan Martinez

Jan Martinez is a member of the Altacal Audubon and Plumas Audubon Societies and has taken part in the Oroville Christmas Bird Count and grebe counts on Lake Almanor. She enjoys hiking and birding in the Northstate and plans to expand her "birding horizons" in the future. Jan lives in the Oroville foothills and has identified over 40 species of birds that have visited her home.

Events:

Charlie Mathews

Charlie Mathews and his family have been farmers in the area north of Marysville for multiple generations. He and family members are leaders in the rice industry and waterfowl conservation.

Events:

John "Mac" McCormick

John "Mac" McCormick is a retired high school biology teacher of 37 years and has been an avid birder since the 1970s. He is the former co-director of the San Francisco State University (SFSU) Sierra Nevada Field Station Bird Banding Program. Mac has literally handled thousands of birds during the seventeen summers he spent banding. This intimate contact with birds in hand has given Mac insights to identification tips not always mentioned in field guides. Since his retirement in 2000, he has traveled the world bird watching in such exotic places such as the Peruvian Amazon Basin, Brazil, Central America, Australia, and Japan.

Events:

Tess McGuire

Tess McGuire has been birding and making hats for the last twenty years. She became an avid kayaker when she bought a house on Clear Lake. Now that she lives near Mendocino, she paddles the local rivers and birds the coast. Perhaps someday she'll be brave enough to go out on the ocean.

Events:

John Meserve

Is a professional Consulting Arborist and Horticulturist working throughout Northern California. He is Tree Risk Assessment Qualified and Certified by the International Society of Arboriculture, as well as being a member of the American Society of Consulting Arborists. Besides being a full time consultant he has worked as an adjunct instructor at U.C. Berkeley teaching horticulture and plant identification to Landscape Architecture students in the School of Environmental Design, as well as teaching Landscape Management in the U.C. Berkeley Cooperative Extension program. Meserve considers himself a tree and plant enthusiast, spending much free time in his garden and landscaped property, and helping others in theirs. New to birding, he is excited to share his extensive knowledge of the tree world with those that study and focus on the birds that live there. He looks forward to turning 'that tree' into something identifiable and known to participating birders.

Events:

Gary Moeller

Gary Moeller lived in Lafayette until he entered the Navy. There he met Harry Adamson of artist fame. Audubon clubs would go to Harry's backyard to view birds. A good friend of Gary's did amateur taxidermy and sparked his interest in birds. Naturally, birding in his youth was hit and miss due it not being "cool."

Gary became a machinist and did quality control at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. He birded on and off with his mother, who went often and also painted. As time went on, he became more interested in birds and has been to Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, and Costa Rica.

Gary considers himself an advanced beginner birder. He enjoys knowing the names of the various species and is always searching for ones to add to his life list.

Events:

Spencer Morrison

Spencer Morrison is president of Middle Mountain Interpretive Hikes and has guided some of their most challenging treks for about 10 years.

Events:

Mary Muchowski

Mary Muchowski has worked as a wildlife technician/biologist since 1988 with the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. She has lived in the Chico area since 1983, and really enjoys the bird-life of the area, especially in the winter! She is currently the Executive Director of the Altacal Audubon Society.

Events:

Ken Nelson

Ken Nelson has been actively carving for six years and has participated in many seminars, first as a student and now as an instructor. He has worked with and learned from several Master Carvers from the PFDA, and competes in both novice and open competitions. Currently he is the President for the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association.

Events:

Gary Nielsen

Gary Nielsen has birded for more than 40 years in Butte county and beyond. A particular love are birds of open horizons, be they raptors or seabirds. Since retiring from teaching in 2007, he has spent more than a year in the seabird colonies of the NW Hawaiian Islands, including 11 months on Midway, among the 2 million Albatross.

Events:

Michelle Ocken

Michelle Ocken is a biologist working for Colorado State University at Beale Air Force Base. She received her Master's degree in biology from Chico State University studying Western Burrowing Owl habitat requirements. While attending Chico State, she was the founder and president of the Chico State Birding/Naturalists Club and has been a member of Altacal Audubon Society. She enjoys leading birding trips and assisting with bird banding whenever she can and sharing her knowledge of the natural world.

Events:

Joseph O'Neil

Joseph O'Neil is a Certified Arborist with over 30 years of experience in the tree and nursery field, working at Mendon's Nursery in Paradise for 9 years and currently as a consulting arborist. He has an Art degree from CSU Chico and has traveled the North State extensively. He's been birding since 2003 and loves sharing his knowledge regarding tree resources for birds.

Events:

Owl Monitoring Team

Bio to be provided soon.

Events:

Ruth Paz

Ruth Paz is a member of Altacal Audubon Society and enjoys the monthly meetings and presentations. The summer camping trips with Audubon are great fun. When birding in Lassen Volcanic National Park on some of these trips, she enjoys seeing birds that don't come to her back yard. Ruth has been birding for over 20 years.

Events:

Victor Paz

Victor Paz was a member of the Central Sierra Audubon Society in Sonora, CA for 20 years. He has recently moved to Tehama County and is now a member of the Altacal Audubon Society.

Events:

Sharon Perry

Sharon Perry has worked as an environmental educator. She is currently the chair of the Nature Sounds Society.

Events:

Melanie Albrecht Peterson

Melanie Albrecht Peterson is a lifelong outdoors enthusiast whose interests include geology, natural sciences, and bird watching. As a former nursery employee, Melanie has a deep interest in plants and trees and their function in providing habitat and food for avian species. She has enjoyed learning the plants, birds, and geology of the west coast since relocating to California in 2017.

Events:

Ranger Blair Pubols

Ranger Blair Pubols has worked for California State Parks since 2011, previously working at Bidwell Mansion and Humboldt Redwoods State Park. He graduated from CSU Chico, where he studied history, geography, and GIS. He is excited to take over these special hikes into the Sutter Buttes and looks forward to sharing this unique place.

Events:

Gregory Purifoy

Gregory Purifoy is the lead park guide at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center in Lassen Volcanic National Park. After graduating from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania with a double BA in Philosophy and Film, Greg joined the Peace Corps where he volunteered in Nicaragua, working in rural primary schools in the field of environmental education and natural sciences. Upon returning to the U.S. after two years abroad, he has spent the last five years working as an Interpretation ranger with the National Park Service at Point Reyes National Seashore and Lassen Volcanic National Park. Greg loves to share his passion for parks and for wilderness, for connection and for solitude, and to explore ideas about how we as a people relate to and care for the natural world--our shared and universal heritage.

Events:

Mary Jean (Corky) Quirk

Corky Quirk is the founder of NorCal Bats, an organization that provides care for injured bats and educational programs for libraries, school, nature programs, fairs and other events throughout the region. Corky has been working intensely with native bats since 2005 and has educated thousands of people. She works with injured and orphaned bats, returning them to the wild and keeps a captive colony of non-releasable bats for use in education. She is permitted through the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife and the USDA. Corky also is responsible for maintaining www.norcalbats.org.

She is also an experienced environmental educator who got her start with Camp Fire Boys and Girls. She has an undergraduate degree in natural resource planning and interpretation from Humboldt State University. She teaches three days a week in a wetland education program in the Sacramento Valley, in addition to her work with bats.

Events:

Joan Robins

Joan Robins has been a wildlife and nature photographer for over twenty years, traveling the world, but more importantly, exploring the nooks and crannies in nearby mountains, fields, and ponds. She has photographed Bald Eagles along the Sacramento River, Bushtits and Ruby-crowned Kinglets along the paths at the Indian Fisheries, Osprey and dancing Grebes at Black Butte Lake, and Sandhill Cranes at dawn at Llano Seco. Over the years, she's studied animal and bird behavior and adjusted her own habits to match theirs - up before dawn to capture them in the morning light. The beauty of the natural world never loses its allure and nothing delights her more than sharing this beauty with others through her photographs.

Events:

Michael Rogner

Michael Rogner is a riparian ecologist for River Partners and has worked on the Sacramento River since 2003. He has designed and implemented over 2,000 acres of riparian restoration projects throughout California and Nevada.

Events:

Shane Romain

Shane Romain is passionate about the outdoors and outdoor education. He was the Supervising Park Ranger for the City of Chico for the past nine years and is now the Park Services Coordinator. He teaches Parks and Natural Resources Management at CSUC and is the Coordinator of the Outdoor Education program at Rancho Esquon. Since he created the program at Rancho Esquon in 2008, over 7,000 students have been able to experience the wonder of our wetlands thanks to the generosity of the Hofmann Foundation and the Community Youth Center.

Events:

Marilyn Rose

Marilyn Rose is the owner of Out of This World - Discount Binoculars located in Mendocino, CA.

Events:

David Samuels

David Samuels is a retired middle school teacher who now enjoys spending part of his summers volunteering in our National Parks as an Astro VIP - Astronomy Volunteer in the Parks. He has presented solar viewing, star parties, and astronomy outreach programs in parks located in California, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Maine.

Events:

Peter Sands

Peter Sands is one of the landowners of the Dean Ranch in the Sutter Buttes. He is a naturalist for the Middle Mountain Interpretive Hikes and an enthusiastic ornithologist. He has been the compiler of the Peace Valley Christmas bird count since 1990.

Events:

Ross Schaefer

Ross Schaefer has enjoyed nature from a young age. He decided he wanted to be an Ornithologist at 6 years old, and hasn't stopped birding since. Quite the world traveler, Ross has a lot of birding knowledge to share from around the world. He especially loves pelagic birding, and is currently a student at Chico State, studying Biology, of course.

Events:

Birder, John Seid

John Seid taught elementary school children for 35 years and made it a point to teach them about the wonders of our natural world and our place in this amazing world. Since we live in the Pacific Flyway, many units were done around birds that migrate here and also our local ones. John believes that if you know the name of something it brings you closer. He is an avid photographer, and you can find him all summer kayaking and all winter at the refuges around us with his faithful dog Lucy.

Events:

John Seid

John Seid taught elementary school children for 35 years and made it a point to teach them about the wonders of our natural world and our place in this amazing world. Since we live in the Pacific Flyway, many units were done around birds that migrate here and also our local ones. John believes that if you know the name of something it brings you closer. He is an avid photographer, and you can find him all summer kayaking and all winter at the refuges around us with his faithful dog Lucy.

Events:

Bill Smith

Bill Smith is a retired Professional Forester who has resided in in Chico since 1975. He has a BS in Forest Management from Michigan Technological University and retired as the "Forest Silviculturist" from the Plumas National Forest in 2010. His forte in the Forest Service was large reforestation project logistics and Service Contract Administration. Notable accomplishments include serving on the Bidwell Park Commission, securing the three acre "Blue Oak Reserve" within Hillview Terrace Subdivision, and spearheadimg the design and build-out of Baroni Park, a Chico Neighborhood Park.

Bill leads a Chico Meetup Hiking Group and stays active in Community affairs. Currently, Bill is a docent at the Abbey of Our Lady of New Clairvaux, in Vina, Ca., where he leads tours. The Abbey is home to 25 Trappist monks, and the property played an important role in California history.

Events:

Karen L. Smith

Karen is a lifelong birder and loves nature. Three years ago, after attending the annual Snow Goose Festival, she moved to Chico from the bay area due to Chico's rich habitat for bird life and its location on the Pacific Flyway. She has traveled to Baja, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama and several locations within the United States to learn about birds. Karen currently co-leads a birdwatching group with Newcomers Club of Chico and next semester will teach a basic birdwatching course with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) in Chico. A member of Altacal Audubon Society since moving to Chico, she enjoys teaching new birders how to identify and appreciate the birds around them.

Events:

Lorraine Smith

Lorraine Smith grew up in rural Northern California. She went on her first camping trip at age 7 months, and has taken every opportunity to get outdoors ever since. After enjoying a career in higher education, Lorraine is thrilled to have more time now to pursue her love of all things outdoors - hiking, birding, camping, kayaking, and learning something new every day about the natural world. Since retiring, Lorraine has guided nature walks, and hiking and backpacking adventures, with an emphasis on amateur birding and botanizing. Recently she has lead hiking and camping outings with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at CSU, Chico.

Events:

Ken Sobon

Ken Sobon is an avid birder, field trip leader, Vice President of Altacal Audubon Society and is now the Northern California representative on Audubon California board of directors. He has worked the last 6 seasons volunteering and assisting and is now the Director of the Northern Saw-whet Owl fall migration monitoring project. In addition Ken has been a science teacher to middle school students in Oroville since 1995. He has shared his love of science and birding with his students both in the classroom and in field.

Events:

Bob Solari

Bob Solari has been carving and sculpturing birds from wood since 1975. He has won numerous first place awards in carving competitions, and his work has been displayed in museums and galleries. An Honorary Life Member of the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association, he instructs in the Association seminars, is an active competitor, and is a judge in their annual wildlife art show.

Events:

Marty Steidlmayer

Marty Steidlemayer is a Sutter Buttes landowner and rancher. Marty has an intimate knowledge of the Sutter Buttes landscapes.

Events:

Bob Steinacher

Bob Steinacher has enjoyed watching birds and the wildlife on his family's farm for over 37 years. This year he gets to share them with you.

Events:

The Center for Reconnecting with Nature

The mission of The Center For Re-Connecting With Nature (CRWN) is to create pathways for all people, especially youth, to fall in love with nature. Creating positive relationships with the natural world allows physical, emotional and spiritual balance. CRWN promotes learning by having fun in nature, which counteracts the alienation caused by the indoor, virtual and urban worlds.

Events:

Richard Thieriot

Dick Thieriot is a descendent of John & Abby Parrott who purchased Llano Seco Rancho in the 1860s. He is co-owner of Llano Seco Ranch, where he has implemented diverse riparian, freshwater wetland, ranching and farming conservation practices.

Events:

Fred Thomas

Fred Thomas grew up locally in the Live Oak area climbing the Sutter Buttes and has always felt at home when they are within sight. After graduating from CSU, Chico with a degree in Agriculture, he farmed for five years before becoming a regional farm seed manager, travelling throughout Northern California for fifteen years. In 1995 he started CERUS Consulting, and over the next twenty years, he specialized in cover crop and California native grass establishment, farm management, pest control advising, and project management on a number of pesticide reduction programs. Project management of the Going Organic Project, which CERUS Consulting spearheaded for the California Certified Organic Farmers Foundation from 2005 - 2010, converted 55 different farms to an organic production track, resulting in over 4,500 acres practicing 'clean water' organic production in the Central Valley and North Coast. Fred has been a regular birder since farming in the mid 1970's, and he is a rock hound and lapidary enthusiast often finding agates, petrified wood, and fossils along the Sacramento River and throughout the wild lands.

Events:

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas is a raptor biologist and project manager for Kidd Biological, Inc, a small consulting firm located in southwestern California. Scott maintains state and federal permits authorizing capture and take of various threatened and endangered species ranging from California Gnatcatchers to Golden Eagles. Since 1985 Scott has concentrated his efforts in raptor research and banded approximately 5,000 nestling and adult raptors throughout the western U.S. and Scandinavia with an emphasis in northern and southern California.

Events:

Andy Tomaselli

Andy Tomaselli is an avid outdoor enthusiast, having spent his young adult life working and living in Yosemite National Park where he first became curious about natural history. He is a self-taught naturalist, learning most of the flora and fauna of California from field guides. Andy enjoys fly fishing, backcountry skiing and has spent many years helping with local Christmas Bird Counts. Andy refers to himself as a "smart alecky laymen" and likes to call his self-taught natural history a "burden of knowledge" that he is more than happy to unload on anyone who asks. He has resided in Chico for over 25 years and has explored the Northstate extensively; especially obscure out of the way locations. When not birding or botanizing with his lovely wife, he likes to pursue his creative side playing and singing American standards on the ukulele.

Events:

Scott Torricelli

Scott Torricelli has been an environmental educator and classroom teacher for over 30 years. He is currently bringing "nature into the classroom" as a 5th and 6th grade teacher for the Oroville Elementary School district. He has worked as naturalist for the Yosemite and Headlands Institutes, Slide Ranch Environmental School, The Chico Creek Nature Center, The Audubon Society, Elder Hostel, and the National Park Service.

Events:

Pamela Waldsmith

Pamela Waldsmith enjoys a variety of interests: birding; hiking; yoga; kayaking; painting; travel; local, national, and world affairs; reading; pickleball; and photography. As an educator of thirty-five years, she most enjoyed teaching science and expanding her young students' educational experience through field trips. Fueled by her passion for science, she coached her students for the annual Nature Bowl, a fun environmental competition, with her students often placing very high in the final state competition. Since her retirement, she misses the youngsters yet has had more time to pursue her many interests, and she continues learning every day in new ways.

Events:

Bruce Webb, Swarovski Optik Field Tech

When Bruce Webb was a student at Chico State, he worked with Tim Manolis to write the "Annotated List of Birds of Butte County." Currently, he is California's Field Technician for Swarovski Optik.

Events:

Greg Weddig

Greg Weddig has been recording and documenting natural soundscapes since 2003. He is a member of the Nature Sounds Society, a founding member of the Maryland Nature Recordists, and has taught field recording and editing classes. Greg is currently a volunteer recordist for Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Events:

West Coast Falconry

Licensed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, West Coast Falconry is the premiere Northern California resource for a full range of hands-on Falconry classes and services. Owner and Master Falconer, Kate Marden, invites you to join her and the staff at the West Coast Falconry Center to get a glimpse inside this incredible and ancient hunting tradition. Our classes and experiences are for falconers and non-falconers alike where you can actually work hands-on with our birds of prey. Our birds of prey have been featured in videos and on shows such as Mythbusters, Showdown of the Unbeatables for Nat Geo, KQED, Wreakreation Nation on the Discovery Channel, Unchained Reaction, Mancations on the Travel Channel, and Methods of Take.

Events:

Dale Whitmore

Dale Whitmore was a wildlife biologist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for 37 years. He retired in 2014 and continues to lead wildlife projects with youth organizations and the public on both public and private lands in the Marysville-Yuba City area. He can be contacted at 530 635-0046.

Events:

John Whittlesey

John Whittlesey owns Canyon Creek Nursery & Design. He has served as the horticulture chairperson for the Mount Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society and is a graduate of the California School of Garden Design. His book, The Plant Lover's Guide to Salvias, published by Timber Press, was released in the spring of 2014. John is passionate about changing the way we garden to provide more habitat for birds, pollinators and all forms of wildlife.

Events:

Lisa Winslow

Lisa Winslow has a lifelong love for birds, wildlife and nature. She has been a School Counselor for many years in the Chico community. She often spends her weekends out birding and hiking and is a member of the local Altacal Audubon Society. One of her favorite hot spots in the Chico area is the Oxidation Ponds.

Events:

Lindsay Wood

Lindsay Wood has lead ecotours and backcountry trips throughout the Northstate for the past 13 years. A wildlife ecologist by training, Lindsay has conducted fisheries, avian, and herptile research throughout the Sacramento River Watershed. Lindsay comes to us with a strong background in conservation ecology, outdoor education, and water policy. Lindsay graduated from Chico State's Biological Science program after spending her undergraduate years leading the Hands on Science Lab, surveying the Western Pond Turtle, and studying rainforest conservation at her (other) beloved alma mater, the Universidad de Costa Rica. As a biologist for various studies and projects, Lindsay has been involved with several species level conservation studies including the Greater Sage Grouse, Aechmophorus grebes, Steelhead, Chinook salmon. She currently serves on the Butte County Forest Advisory Committee representing the watersheds of Plumas and Lassen National Forests.

Events:

Mary Wrysinski

Mary Wrysinski is a retired accountant, a California Certified Naturalist, and a member of the Altacal Audubon Society. She began birding in 2008 and has been a member of the Snow Goose Festival steering committee since 2009. One of her goals is assisting people in the appreciation of our local natural resources. The Pacific Flyway is an outstanding example of those resources, and the Snow Goose Festival is a great path to appreciation!

Events: