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Biographies

Featured Speaker: Debi Shearwater
Professional seabirder and owner Shearwater Journeys

We are excited and pleased to have pelagic birding pioneer, Debi Shearwater, present this year’s keynote address, “40 Years of Seabirding.” From field guides to national marine sanctuaries to seabirds saved and seabirds on the brink, Debi will share experiences and insights gained from thousands of days at sea off the central coast of California to the ends of the Earth – the High Arctic and Antarctica. Debi will demonstrate how changes in the way humans view seabirds has affected their lives and existence. Her illustrated talk will also provide ways people can help save some of the most endangered and magnificent birds on Earth.

Debi is the owner of Monterey-based Shearwater Journeys, and has been leading boat tours to view seabirds in Monterey Bay, Half Moon Bay, and the Farallon Islands since 1975. She is renowned throughout the birding world for her expertise on pelagic birds and continues to lead 40 tours a year in California as well as tours in other parts of the world, including Antarctica. Debi was the inspiration for Anjelica Huston’s character, “Annie Auklet,” in the 2011 movie The Big Year, a major motion picture about competitive birding co-starring Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson.

We are looking forward to Debi’s participation in our 15th Annual Snow Goose Festival of the Pacific Flyway and encourage you to join us at the banquet to hear her presentation!

Bios

Jack Alderson

Jack Alderson is an agricultural engineer with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. He has been a docent at the Dye Creek Preserve for the past six years. Events:

Linda Angerer

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

Jo Anna Arroyo

Jo Anna Arroyo is a Wildlife Biologist working for the US Forest Service since 2005. Her job includes advocating for wildlife populations and addressing ecosystem concerns. She participates on forest planning projects focusing on the protection and habitat conservation for wildlife species such as the California spotted owl. She enjoys watercolor painting, wildlife viewing, and hiking. Events:

Skip Augur

Skip Augur is publicity and webmaster of the White-Tailed Kite, the local Altacal Audubon Society's newsletter. 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 environmental education coordinator for the Chico Creek Nature Center, where he develops and implements nature programs for schoolchildren and families. Events:

Jay Bogiatto

Jay Bogiatto, M. S., teaches Waterfowl Biology and Wetland Management, Ornithology, Mammalogy, 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 Station Management Advisor for CSUCs Eagle Lake Field Station, and Curator of Birds and Mammals for the Biology Department's Vertebrate Museum. Events:

Jim Burcio

Jim Burcio graduated from Humboldt State College with a degree in Wildlife Management and Biology. He is currently the Director of the Educational Leadership Program at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California. Jim has carved wildfowl for 40 years, competed nationally, and judged at the three major carving shows on the west coast. His work has been displayed at several museums. For the past fifteen years, Jim has annually taught 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. In retirement, she returned to a childhood love of drawing, taking oil painting classes. Married to Roger Lederer, an ornithologist, she learned about birds and became an active bird watcher on travels around the world. In 2009 she illustrated Dr. Lederer’s The Birds of Bidwell Park, using pen and colored pencils. Events:

Rex Burress

Rex Burress, a long time naturalist, wildlife artist, outdoor photographer, and nature writer, is retired from the Lake Merritt Refuge in Oakland. Events:

Ranger Zack Chambers

Zack Chambers has been a California State Park Ranger for 10 years. His current work location is the Valley Sector of the Northern Buttes District. Events:

Dick Cory

Dick Cory first became interested in the Teichert Ponds in 1965 when he assisted his wife in completing a comparative water chemistry study of Little Chico Creek to the Teichert Ponds. His interest continued as he taught a five week field biology course at the ponds in the late '60s for Chico Unified School District. Several field trips followed during the '70s. A continued interest in saving the ponds for a passive recreational and study area led to the formation of a group called the Little Chico Creek Educators Consortium in 1990. This group was instrumental in convincing the city to take over ownership in 1999. After 36 years of teaching secondary schools science, Dick retired in 1996. He continues to work with the city and a newly formed group, Teichert Ponds Restoration Advocates (TPRA), in generating interest and seeing restoration plans accomplished. Events:

David Dahnke

Dave Dahnke has been a birding enthusiast for over twenty years. He has sighted over 450 species of birds. Events:

Tim Davis

Tim Davis is a retired California State Park Ranger who has worked at a variety of parks throughout the state including Anza Borrego Desert SP, Emerald Bay/D.L. Bliss SP, and Hollister Hills SVRA. Local parks include Lake Oroville SRA, Bidwell Mansion SHP, and Bidwell-Sacramento River SP. As a Ranger he began leading hikes in the Sutter Buttes shortly after the State acquired Peace Valley and now continues as a State Park Volunteer. Events:

Michael Denega

Mike Denega began his teaching career at Humboldt State University teaching Biological Statistics, Human Anatomy, and Martial Arts. His love and enthusiasm for the biological sciences spread to El Dorado County where he has spent time since 1973 serving the science departments at Folsom Lake College (formally American River College) and El Dorado High School. Recently, Mike has spent 10 years as a researcher and wildlife photographer in Alaska. His work with the Migratory Bird Program and ecotourism projects in Alaska began in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge then spread throughout the state. His love for teaching, viewing wildlife, photography, and traveling is shared with his students wholeheartedly and with sincere passion. Events:

Bruce Deuel

Bruce Deuel has been birding for over 50 years and is a retired Department of Fish and Game biologist. He is a member of the Board of the Central Valley Bird Club and the current compiler of records for Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Sutter, Tehama, and Yuba Counties to be used in the publication North American Birds. He has used eBird for about 3 years, and serves as the reviewer of records submitted to eBird from the same six counties. Events:

Dan Efseaff

Dan Efseaff is the Park and Natural Resource Manager for the City of Chico. He manages Chico's greenways, preserves, and some parks including Bidwell Park. He was formerly the Executive Director for the Yolo County Resource Conservation District, and he has worked for over 15 years as a restoration ecologist completing projects mostly along Sacramento Valley streams. Events:

Steve Emmons

Steve Emmons is a Wildlife Refuge Manager for the Sacramento and Delevan National Wildlife Refuges (Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Willows, CA) since 1996. Events:

Mike Fisher

Mike Fisher is the treasurer of the local Altacal Audubon Chapter. He is an avid birder and licensed bird bander. Events:

Sheila Frisk

Sheila Frisk moved to the North State in 2010. She is a regular volunteer at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge and also volunteers with several other organizations. Prior to moving to California, she worked as a Certified Public Accountant. In their spare time, she and her husband Dan enjoy exploring all the beauty of Northern California. Events:

Marilyn Gamette

Bio to be provided soon. Events:

Dawn Garcia

Dawn Garcia works professionally as a wildlife biologist and is an active conservationist with the Altacal Audubon Society. She has had her federal bird banding license for 18 years and has initiated studies with songbirds and various owl species. Birding, bird-banding, and being in nature are three of her passions. Events:

Kurt Geiger

When Kurt Geiger is not on the trails with Kids and Creeks, he is studying and working towards his degree in Wildlife Biology. As a wildlife photographer and writer, Kurt has created native plant and animal field guides for Verbena Fields and the greater Chico area. Kurt is a proud father of two: Carter,11 and Madison, 10. Events:

Gaylord Grams

Gaylord Grams is an avid local birder and leads many field trips for the Altacal Chapter of the Audubon Society. Events:

Herman Gray

Herman Gray is a retired physician. While traveling the world in his profession, he has enjoyed viewing many bird species. He is also an active Gray Lodge Wildlife Area docent. Events:

Leroy Hord

Leroy Hord, local birder, is actively involved in the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area Wood Duck Program. Events:

Mike Hubbartt

Mike Hubbartt, author, CA State Park Interpreter, and a Middle Mountain Foundation board member has been actively involved in the preservation of the integrity of the Sutter Buttes for over twenty-five years. Events:

Scott Huber

Scott Huber has led field workshops and seminars on the subject of birding-by-ear as well as guiding bird-watchers and conducting bird surveys throughout the western U.S. and Alaska. He is the Education and Research Coordinator for CSU Chico Ecological Reserves, Altacal Audubon Chapter President, and is on the Board of Directors of Audubon California. Events:

Gary Ivey

Gary Ivey is the Western Crane Conservation Manager for the International Crane Foundation (savingcranes.org), where he focuses on the Sandhill Cranes in the Pacific Flyway, from Alaska to California. He is also working on a PhD at Oregon State University on wintering ecology of Sandhill Cranes. Committed to the conservation of all water birds in western North America, Gary is the current president of The Trumpeter Swan Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to assuring the vitality and welfare of wild Trumpeter Swan populations. Events:

Lin Jensen

Lin Jensen is founder and teacher of the Chico Zen Sangha. He also is Senior Buddhist Chaplin to the High Desert State Prison in Susanville. Lin is also a birder, served seven years as sub-regional editor for American Birds magazine, and has contributed articles to Bird Watcher Digest. He is the author of several books on what might be called "natural Zen." 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:

Lupe Jones

Lupe Jones is the owner of Blue Door Art & Antiques in downtown Chico and and is a self-taught needle-felter. Her ‘feltie creations’ have found homes in France, Japan, England Germany, Mexico and throughout the US. Events:

Raina King

Raina King spends much of her time on computers creating digital art. Birdwatching and camping provide her a great way of getting out of the house to enjoy the outdoors. Raina grew up loving nature and is the third generation of birdwatchers in her family. Events:

Steve King

Steve King became interested in bird watching about 35 years ago. Steve is the second of three generations of bird watchers. His favorite birding spots are Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, Upper Bidwell Park, and the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. Events:

Shelly Kirn

Shelly Kirn teaches field biology, ecology, and other classes at CSU, Chico. She is a faculty advisor to the honors biology student club (Omicron Theta Epsilon) and the Chico State Birding Club (CSBS). Shelly has been birding for 16 years and enjoys traveling throughout the US (and occasionally beyond) to see birds. Events:

Roger Lederer

Dr. Roger Lederer is Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at California State University, Chico. He has published over thirty scientific research papers, written books entitled Ecology and Field Biology, Bird Finder and Pacific Coast Bird Finder, Amazing Birds (in seven languages),

Birds of New England, and recently, Birds of Bidwell Park. Dr. Lederer has taught ornithology and ecology, consulted for governmental agencies, environmental organizations and schools, and presented hundreds of public presentations to a wide variety of audiences. He has been contacted by BBC, National Geographic, Weather Notebook, National Public Radio, National Canadian Television, Vanity Fair Magazine, the Guinness Book of World Records, The Weakest Link, Real Simple Magazine, the Detroit Free Press, Voice of America, ABC News, and many other organizations and individuals for authoritative information on wild birds through his popular website, Ornithology.com. He also writes a weekly blog on birds for the Chico Enterprise Record. Dr. Lederer has traveled to and birded in 90 countries, having seen 3000 species, and lectures on cruise ships on ornithology and ecology. Events:

Lundberg Family Farms Staff

Bio to be provided soon. Events:

Laura Lush

Laura Lush is a life-long Yuba Sutter resident, artist, middle school teacher, nature enthusiast, and avid birder. She has been active with Middle Mountain Foundation for over 7 years and is also on the Board of Directors. Events:

Ryan Luster

Ryan Luster works for the Nature Conservancy. 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 the co-director of the San Francisco State University (SFSU) Sierra Nevada Field Station Bird Banding Program. Mac has caught and banded thousands of birds that most people only hope to see. Events:

Marjorie McNairn

Marjorie McNairn had led wildflower field trips for Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society for over 25 years, and has compiled plant lists for several locations around this area. Events:

Jeremy Miller

Jeremy Miller holds a Master's Degree in Environmental Science from Antioch University New England and is a credentialed High School Biology Teacher. He has been an educator since 1994 and has served as an outdoor educator, curriculum designer, and lead teacher at outdoor science schools in Colorado, California, Oregon, New York, and Switzerland. Jeremy enjoys gardening, backpacking, ultimate frisbee, and singing nonsense songs to his two daughters, Zia and Tali. Events:

Maureen Morales

Maureen Morales has been birding in earnest since 1984 when she was a ranger in the Inyo National Forest in the Eastern Sierras. Since then, she has birded in Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Glacier Bay, Denali, and most recently on pelagic trips in Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska. 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 and also works for the Butte Environmental Council. She has lived in the Chico area since 1983, and really enjoys the bird-life of the area, especially in the winter! Events:

Marvey Mueller

Marvey Mueller began sketching while living and hiking in the Eastern Sierras twenty years ago. She has continued to keep a watercolor sketch journal wherever she goes. Being able to sit with nature and enjoy its beauty through the act of sketching is one of Marvey’s greatest pleasures. She has taught sketching classes for Elderhostel and the Chico Art Center. Events:

Nancy Nelson

Nancy Nelson is the current Altacal Audubon field trip coordinator and has been active in Altacal for 5 years. Events:

Michelle Ocken

Michelle Ocken is a graduate student at CSU, Chico where she is working on her Master’s degree in biology while studying Western Burrowing Owls. She is the founder and President of the Chico State Birding Club and is a member of Altacal Audubon Society. She also volunteers throughout the year banding Northern Saw-whet Owls and passerines. Events:

David O'Keefe

David O'Keefe has been observing birds one way or another for most of his life. He has done work for Pt. Reyes bird observatory and has helped with bird surveys across northern California. Currently he is actively renaming the birds of the north state with the titles the birds themselves use. 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 doing QA tree reports for PG&E. He has an Art degree from CSU Chico and has traveled the North State extensively. He’s been birding for 10 years and absolutely enjoys it. Events:

Mike Peters

Mike Peters is the Refuge Manager for Colusa and Sutter Refuges, part of the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Events:

Sophia Rivers

Sophia Rivers went vegetarian at the age of 14 after learning about the deforestation of tropical rainforests for cattle grazing. With further research, she learned that being vegan was the logical extension of her decision to live as compassionately, sustainably, and healthfully as possible. Sophia now devotes her career to educating the public about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle: for farmed animals, native animals, the environment, farm workers, and personal and public health. In addition to speaking engagements, Sophia coordinates events and tours at Farm Sanctuary’s California shelter, introducing guests to the inspirational rescued farm animals who call the shelter home. Events:

Shane Romain

Shane Romain received his BS from CSUC in Parks and Natural Resource Management in 2005. Since 2006 he has worked for the City of Chico as full-time Park Ranger. He also worked at the Sacramento NWR as a Visitor Service Assistant, and has volunteered for the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program. He worked part time for Calif. Waterfowl Association, where he created the Outdoor Education program at Rancho Esquon. Since the creation of the Outdoor Education program at Rancho Esquon, and now through the generosity of Mr. Ken Hofmann and the Community Youth Center, over 3000 students have been able to visit and experience the wonders of wetlands. Events:

Marilyn Rose

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

Frank Sanderson

Frank Sanderson is an avid birder, and considers his birding skills to be moderate/good. Since retiring in February 2010, Frank and wife Darliss spend three to five days a week in the field birding and/or kayaking. Lema Ranch ranks as one their favorite local birding locations, where their Lema list has grown to 106 species with the addition of a Brown Creeper during a resent Wintu Audubon outing. 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 Foundation and an enthusiastic ornithologist. He has been the compiler of the Peace Valley Christmas bird count for the past 23 years. Events:

Ron & Nancy Sanford

Ron Sanford has been a professional photographer for over thirty years. Along with his wife Nancy, he has traveled the world taking photos for hundreds of calendars and magazines, including National Geographic, Audubon, National Wildlife and many others. Events:

Tom Savory

Tom has been a licensed falconer for over 40 years. Besides flying and training falcons and hawks, he has been involved in breeding projects for peregrine falcons, helping to restore dwindling populations to the wild. He has also spent many seasons in public schools teaching children about birds of prey. Tom gave up his career as a building contractor in 1996 to pursue a bird abatement career. With his background of Special Forces training in the military and his acquisition of a pilot's license, Tom found his niche flying his birds at March Air Force Base in Riverside, CA. He was successful at clearing the airspace of nuisance birds to prevent damage to airplane engines. He expanded his services to vineyards in San Luis Obispo and Napa, California. He then went on and expanded his services to blueberry farms in Oregon. With his team of 3 additional specialists, he is continuing to expand his services for the protection of vineyards, farms, and runways. Events:

Mauricio Schrader

Mauricio Schrader boomeranged back to birding in the last decade, and enjoys all aspects as an amateur. He was first introduced to birds by his 6th grade teacher in the Appalachian Mountains. He has a special interest in birding by ear and behavioral bird trivia. His favorite quote is: "Most of us who follow birds are partly scientist, partly sportsman, and partly poet." Leon Dawson, 1923 Events:

Julie Shaw

Julie Shaw is a Master's student at Chico State who is studying wintering Northern Saw-whet Owls using radio-telemetry. She works in the Vertebrate Museum on campus as a student assistant, preparing study skins, leading tours, and maintaining the collection. She also volunteers at the Northern Saw-whet Owl banding station 3 nights a week. Julie is also an avid runner who was a member of the Chico State cross country and track and field teams for 5 years. Events:

Joe Silveira

Joe Silveira is a Wildlife Biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1990 and is currently stationed at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex, where some of his duties include wildlife habitat programs at Llano Seco. Events:

Ken Sobon

Ken Sobon is an avid birder and has been a science teacher to middle school students in Oroville for the last eighteen years. 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 wood since 1975. He has won several 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 acts as judge in their annual wildlife art show. Events:

Marty Steidlemayer

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

Paul Tebbel

Paul Tebbel has worked with cranes since 1976, including 11 years as the director of Audubon's Rowe Sanctuary on the Platte River in Nebraska, where more Sandhill Cranes gather every spring than any other location in the world. Events:

The Center for Reconnecting with Nature

Bio to be provided soon. Events:

Dave Tinker

Dave Tinker is a Biology and Natural Resource teacher at Corning Union High School and is very familiar with this area. He has been very active in this river area for the last 15 years. He has been involved in bird censusing, wildlife viewing, and the maintaining of bird nest boxes. 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 Toricelli

Scott Toricelli is an environmental educator for over twenty-five years. He currently teaches for the Chico Unified School District. Events:

Pamela Waldsmith

Pamela Waldsmith's profession is teaching while her other passions range from birding to kayaking, hiking, and photography. Events:

Bruce Webb, Swarovski Optik

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 the U.S. distributor of Wildlife Computing software products and is California’s Field Technician for Swarovski Optik, USA. Events:

Greg Weddig

Greg Weddig has sixteen years of experience in the professional audio industry, the last 8 or 9 have involved nature recording. 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 spending time scouting for recording locations near his home in Northern California. Events:

Dale Whitmore

Dale Whitmore is a Wildlife Biologist for the California Department of Fish and Game in Sutter, Yolo, and Sacramento Counties. 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. Events:

Mike Williams

Mike Williams is a life-long naturalist of the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and Cascades. Prior to arriving at Butte College, he served as the Director of the Sedgwick Reserve in the Santa Ynez Valley. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington. He has published in breeding bird censuses for the eastern Sierra Nevada in American Birds and possessed a master bird-banding permit for many years. Events:

Rick Wulbern

Rick Wulbern started birding in 2004. Since then he has birded in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Hawaii, and Northern California. Joining Altacal in 2005, he has enjoyed going on many of their field trips and gaining knowledge from other birders. He looks forward to sharing what he has learned. Events:

Steve Zachery

Steve Zachary is a Park Ranger and the Education Specialist at Lassen Volcanic National Park for more than 17 years. He is an avid hiker and naturalist. Events: