Mary Barnwell has been a public land manager for 20 years.
She currently works for Hillsborough County managing the Little Manatee River corridor lands
and coastal preserves along Tampa Bay. She also worked for Pinellas County for a short time
and for the Southwest Florida Water Management District for 17 years. Mary has a Bachelor’s
degree in Marine Science from Eckerd College and a Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management
from Oregon State University. She has also completed substantial graduate level coursework in
ecological restoration at UF and in wildlife conservation at OSU, and is currently completing
canine behaviorist certification.
Donna Bollenbach is passionate about the environment. She translates
that passion as a nature photographer, writer, and through her involvement with local and state
environmental organizations. As an avid hiker and camper, she has visited nearly all of the
Hillsborough County ELLAP sites, and many of the county and state parks. She is currently
President of the Suncoast Native Plant Society, Vice-chair of the Florida Native Plant Society
Council of Chapters and treasurer of Friends of Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park. Donna also
completed the Florida Master Naturalist Wetland module. She has taught workshops on nature photography
and is the author of many articles on native plants, nature travel, and environmental topics.
Bill is an ecologist with over 23 years of environmental experience
in a wide array of subject matters including habitat restoration, wildlife management, and wetland
functional assessment. Bill graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s
degree in Geography and from Florida Gulf Coast University with a Master’s Degree in Public
Administration. Bill is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners specializing
in environmental planning with experience designing large-scale environmental restoration projects
and has specialized wildlife management experience. With Mosaic, Bill serves as the Lead Ecologist
working on 3 major permitting efforts in central Florida.
A born and raised native of Tampa Bay and an avid Florida naturalist,
Damon Chepren has been a driving force for conservation education in the bay area for
more than 20 years. After many years with local education and conservation institutions such as MOSI
and Lowry Park Zoological Gardens, he spent 11 years as founder and Director of Wild World Experiential
Education, LLC, providing hands-on environmental programs to the greater central Florida area. Damon has
spent the past few years working as field guide for the Institute of Florida Studies and the Youth Programs
Coordinator with HCC.
Damon is a lifelong paddle enthusiast and certified kayak instructor and he loves any opportunity to combine his passions for nature and kayaking to get people excited about the incredible wildlife in and around the waterways of Florida.
Jim Cox heads up the Stoddard Bird Lab at Tall Timbers Research
Station & Land Conservancy near Tallahassee. The lab studies the relationships between the use
of controlled fire and the habitat needs of the many declining bird species associated with
southern pine forests and grasslands.
Dr. Shirley Denton holds a PhD in forest ecology. Her
specialties include plant ecology, forest ecology, wildlife habitats, environmental
planning, and endangered species evaluations. She is also an accomplished nature
photographer and has an extensive collection of images of Florida native plants.
She is past president and science chair of the Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS),
and currently serves as the FNPS Communications Chair, and is a board member of the
Suncoast Native Plant Society. Her willingness to share her vast botanical knowledge
and experience has made her invaluable to educating others on the importance of
Florida’s native plant communities.
Mr. Dickman has been a member of the Suncoast Chapter
of the Florida Native Plant Society since 1996. He has worked in land management for
a combined twenty years in the public and private sectors. (Hillsborough County
Environmental Lands and Conservation Dept. and Quest Ecology Inc.) His experience
includes leading or participating in prescribed fire crews, exotic pest plant control,
floristic surveys of County nature preserves and leading field trips. Prior to land
management, he worked in horticulture and commercial landscaping. During this time,
his plant identification skills were continuously honed. With his plant ID expertise,
he has made valuable contributions to the knowledge of local flora maintained by the
University of South Florida Herbarium.
Kathy Doddridge has been a Florida birder since 2013.
She is an active member of the Manatee County and Sarasota County Audubon Societies.
In 2015 she began volunteering as a Bird Naturalist at the Celery Fields near Sarasota.
Kathy is also actively involved in Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring
both during turtle nesting season and as a bird sterward and shorebird monitor.
Jeanne Dubi is president of the Sarasota Audubon Society.
A birder since young adulthood, Jeanne moved to Sarasota from NYC in 1997.
After a 35 year career with BellSouth Jim realized his dream
of doing field work after being selected as a raptor observer for the 2008 Florida Keys
HawkWatch Project. As an avian field technician, Jim has studied Bachman’s sparrows in
North Carolina, shorebirds/seabirds in Florida and breeding songbirds in Virginia. He was
also a co-founder and co-coordinator for the rebranded Florida Keys Hawkwatch at Curry
Hammock State Park in the Florida Keys. He has participated in numerous Christmas Bird
counts in Tennessee and Florida and is the Brevard County coordinator for Florida’s Breeding
Bird Atlas 2. Jim is a field trip leader for the Space Coast Birding Festival, Everglades
Birding Festival and Wings & Wildflower Festival. In addition, he is past Vice
President-Program/Publicity Chair for Space Coast Audubon Society and recently became a
Florida Ornithological Society board member. Jim also owns
Obsessive Compulsive Birding
specializing in guided trips in and around Central Florida.
Andy Fairbanks got his professional start in conservation
at the Environmental Studies Center in Martin County, Florida, in 1994. His curiosity
about our relationships with nature have taken him around the world, motivated jobs ranging
from sailing instructor to waste reduction coordinator to coconut picker, and earned him two
college degrees in the subject. A graduate of the Florida Studies Program at USFSP, Fairbanks
continues to study environmental history and share his love of this fascinating place as the
environmental outreach coordinator for Hillsborough County's Conservation and Environmental
Lands Management Department.
Colleen and Mike Fearney live in Lakeland, FL and enjoy hiking,
canoeing, birding, camping and music festivals. They met on a birding trip to the Dry
Tortugas in 1973 and have been birding together ever since. Their favorite place to bird
and observe all kinds of wildlife is Circle B Bar Reserve.
Charlie has been an active birder for almost 15 years,
ever since he took on a new client in his CPA practice who introduced him to the joys
of bird identification in advance of a family summer beach trip to Sanibel. One trip
to the Ding Darling NWR with bins and a field guide was all it took. Charlie got home,
registered for the 2003 Florida Nature and Birding Festival, signed up for eBird, threw
out his golf clubs and has been off in the field ever since.
Cole Fredricks is an ecological consultant living in
Winter Haven. He serves on the boards of the Florida Ornithological Society and the
Lake Region Audubon as well as being actively involved with the Florida Breeding Bird
Atlas, USGS Breeding Bird Surveys, and eBird.
Dave has been birding Florida for over 50 years and
currently has the third highest list total for the state. He has served as president
of St. Petersburg Audubon and twice for the Florida Ornithological Society. He is a
retired teacher who currently works as an environmental educator at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve
in St. Petersburg and recently as a consultant monitoring nesting crested caracaras in south
central Florida. He is currently a member of the FOS Records Committee which evaluates rare
bird records for the state. He also leads birding tours to the Dry Tortugas for Florida Nature
As Senior Wildlife Ecologist for Quest Ecology Inc., David is
working at Duette Preserve in association with Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources
on upland habitat management for the Florida scrub-jay and other upland species to manage
and improve habitat conditions. David has been banding and monitoring the population of
scrub-jays at the Preserve since 1999, and assisted with preparing and implementing the
Short-Term and Long-Term Scrub Habitat Management plan, including the oversight of the scrub
mechanical restoration plan. Southeastern American kestrels and Eastern bluebirds also inhabit
the Preserve and David has lead efforts to install nest boxes and nesting structures for these
and other cavity-nesting species for the past 3 years. Mr. Gordon is familiar with other upland
resident bird species that are commonly observed at the Preserve including Bachman’s sparrow,
Eastern meadowlarks, loggerhead shrikes, swallow-tailed kites, bob white quail, Eastern towhees,
and woodpecker species including red headed, red-bellied, pileated, downy, and yellow shafted
George L. Heinrich is a field biologist and environmental educator
with a specialty in Florida reptiles. His company, Heinrich Ecological Services, is based
in St. Petersburg, Florida and conducts wildlife surveys and research, natural history
programming, and nature-based tours.
I am a transplanted Texan living and working in Florida
since 1977. I am a marine coastal ecologist by training and 44 years of experience and have
worked as a consultant, governmental regulator (environmental permitting), artificial reef
coordinator, professor, and an environmental scientist specializing in coastal ecosystem
restoration. I have earned degrees from Lamar University (BS), Texas A & M University (MS),
and the University of South Florida (Ph.D.) and currently am employed as a Chief Advisor
Environmental Scientist with the Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Program
of the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
Dave Howard is a Florida Master Naturalist and Director
for the Friends of Tampa Bay National Wildlife Refuges. Duties include public outreach
programs and volunteer coordinator working closely with USFWS supporting the 3 NWRs in Tampa Bay.
For the past 10 years Dave and Barb with Friends volunteers have conducted monthly bird surveys,
clean-ups, bird rescues, and other activities of support.
Barb Howard is the President of the Friends of the Tampa Bay National Wildlife Refuges and has been with the group since it began in 2005. She is a Florida Master Naturalist graduate, putting the information she learned in the program to good use in various programs for the Refuges. She also volunteers for St Petersburg Audubon with the rooftop and beach nesting bird programs.
Mary Keith has been birding most of her life. She grew up in rural
Pennsylvania where most weekends were spent in the state parks and woods. She has lived and birded
in Florida since 1992. Her degrees have nothing to do with birds (Chemistry and Food Science),
but they have supported a life of work around the world where she managed to watch birds as well.
She is retired from the University of Florida Extension Service and now has more time to lead bird
walks for the Tampa Audubon Society, watch birds, monitor eagle nests and wading bird colonies,
and participate in Christmas Bird Counts.
An anhinga spurred Adam’s passion for birds when he was five years old.
Since then, a love of sharing his enthusiasm about the natural world has led Adam to work on a
variety of environmental projects including as a naturalist guide, developing the educational
program Bird Detective, assessing sites for the Great Florida Birding Trail, and working as the
state’s first Scrub-Jay Conservation Coordinator. Adam is President of the Florida Ornithological
Society and serves as a County Coordinator for Florida’s second Breeding Bird Atlas.
Gina Kent has worked for the Avian Research and Conservation Institute
for over 17 years. Whether conducting bird surveys from small planes, boating around the Florida Keys,
or climbing up 100-foot tall trees, Gina has worked with many Florida specialty birds including
swallow-tailed kites, short-tailed hawks, snail kites, reddish egrets, white-crowned pigeons,
magnificent frigatebirds and others. She grew up in Wisconsin and went to the University of
Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Upon graduation she took tech positions on birds, herps, small mammals,
and invasive plants from New Mexico to New York and Missouri to Australia. Once hired as a temporary
tech on ARCI’s Short-tailed Hawk project, she was hooked on the birds and fieldwork in Florida.
She received her Masters at Georgia Southern University on stopover ecology, habitat associations,
and parasites of Swallow-tailed Kites. She is now ARCI’s Research Ecologist and Coordinator.
Billie and Jerry Knight have been avidly birding for the last five years.
Members of Manatee Audubon, they have also birded with Sarasota Audubon, St. Pete Audubon,
and Knoxville Ornithological Society. They have gone on birding trips to California, Tennessee,
and Texas, picking up many life birds. They led a birding trip at the Grand Opening of Perico
Preserve May 14, 2016.
Stanley Kroh has been the Manager of Land and Stewardship Programs for
Tampa Electric Company for the past 16 years. Prior to that, he worked for the Environmental
Protection Commission of Hillsborough County where he was involved in wetlands protection.
He currently chairs the Hillsborough Greenways Committee and serves as President of the Hillsborough
River Watershed Alliance. He is also active on the board of the Learning Gate Community School,
a K-8 charter school with an environmental focus. He is a Registered Environmental Manager (REM),
a Certified Environmental and Safety Compliance Officer (CESCO) and a Certified Waste Management
Professional (CWMP). He has a Bachelor’s degree in Botany and Environmental Horticulture from UF
and a Master’s in Public Health in Environmental and Occupational Health from USF.
John Lampkin is an avid citizen naturalist and photographer and now
retired from a New York music career, he explores and marvels at the Floridian universe with macro
lens in hand. His long-range project is to photograph and catalogue the flora and fauna of the Sun
City Center Nature Trails. Not coincidentally, as a professional composer his woodwind quintet,
"Insects: A Musical Entomology in Six Legs" won the Grand Prize in a Composers Guild international
competition. John also constructs crossword puzzles for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal
the LA Times and other venues, with many of his puzzles having nature themes. Except for his
fascination with bugs and plants he is totally harmless.
Dan has been an environmental Specialist for Florida Park Service since
2006, assigned to the North Pinellas island group stationed at Honeymoon Island State Park. His primary
areas of responsibility include shorebird nest monitoring, sea turtle nest monitoring, exotic species
control, and prescribed fire on Anclote Key Preserve State Park, Caladesi Island State Park,
Honeymoon Island State Park, and Egmont Key State Park. He participates in eagle and osprey nest
monitoring. Degree in Environmental Science from University of South Florida.
Mr. McGinity is a biologist and environmental educator with a life-long
passion for birds. He started bird watching at the age of seven and has shared his love of birds
with people of all ages while working at nature/environmental centers in four different states
(Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida). He began a migratory bird banding station in Milwaukee
and has participated in a number of research and citizen science projects involving birds.
In 2011, he began a migratory bird banding station in west central Florida (Dunedin) where he bands
for six weeks every spring and fall. He is very interested in communicating the importance of
native plants and healthy ecosystems to resident and migratory birds. A native of Indiana,
Mr. McGinity has lived in Dunedin for 12 years where he enjoys exploring Florida's natural areas
including paddling rivers/streams and bird watching on our beautiful beaches and in Hammock Park.
After an over 20-year career as an environmental educator in the non-formal world at nature / environmental centers in four states, he now is working in formal education at an environmental charter school (K – 8). He is very interested in collaborating with researchers and banders around the state of Florida to contribute to our knowledge of neo-tropical migrants and how we can conserve them for the future.
Dr. Minno received a Bachelor’s degree in entomology from Purdue University,
a Master’s in entomology from the University of California at Davis, and a Ph.D. in zoology from
the University of Florida. For 21 years Marc worked as a wetland scientist for the St. Johns River
Water Management District in Palatka, Florida. He now is an ecologist with Maria Minno’s home-based
environmental and education consulting firm, Eco-Cognizant, Inc. Dr. Minno has written or
co-authored many scientific and popular articles on butterflies and moths.
Damon Moore is an Environmental Program Manager with Manatee County Parks
and Natural Resources Department (MCNRD) with 10 years of experience in habitat restoration.
He is responsible for managing habitat improvement projects being conducted by MCNRD. He loves
when people come on these field trips and listen to him talk about the joys of habitat restoration.
Katie NeSmith is a zoologist with the Florida Natural Areas Inventory,
a special program that monitors rare species and natural communities throughout Florida. Katie
focuses primarily on rare species of birds but also conducts surveys for gopher tortoise, natural
communities, and invasive exotics.
Nancy is a Senior Professional Engineer with a BS in Environmental Engineering
from USF and an MS from University of Tennessee. She has thirty years of engineering experience
working in both the public and private sectors. The past nine years she has worked in the Surface
Water Improvement and Management Section at SWFWMD managing projects that improve water quality and
restore natural systems. Among those projects are: FDOT North Dale Mabry Stormwater Retrofit/Wetland
Restoration, a 12-acre site focused on improving degraded wetlands and provided a new stormwater pond,
Robles Park Water Quality Improvement and Natural Systems Enhancement where stormwater baffle boxes
were installed and non-native plants were removed and replaced with native upland and marsh plants
along a channel discharging to the Hillsborough River. Additionally, Brandt Henningsen and Nancy
co-managed the MacDill AFB Restoration Phase 3 Project and the Rock Ponds Ecosystem Restoration
Ann Paul has worked for Audubon’s Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries
(FCIS) since 1991 and is the Tampa Bay Regional Coordinator. She received a Bachelor of Science
degree in biology from Cornell University in New York and Master of Science degree in biology
from Trinity University in Texas. She worked for the Texas Nature Conservancy as Assistant Land
Steward and Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation managing conservation lands.
Ms. Paul is an expert in waterbird populations and management of coastal habitats for wildlife,
and an active participant in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Reddish Egret, American
Oystercatcher, and Wood Stork Working Groups. She currently serves on the board of the Tampa
Bay Conservancy and is past president of the Tampa Audubon Society.
Eric Plage is an Environmental Scientist at Tampa Bay Watch whose
focus is primarily on habitat restoration and living shoreline construction. An avid birder
since age 7, Eric is extremely familiar with the species that pass through Pinellas County each fall,
having recorded 317 species in Pinellas County alone.
Mark Rachal has worked for Audubon's Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries
since 2006 and is currently the Sanctuary Manager. His duties include bird surveys, habitat management,
and bird sanctuary conservation. Mark has led shoreline restoration and erosion control projects at
the Alafia Bank Bird Sanctuary, Green Key Bird Sanctuary, and Whiskey Stump Key Bird Sanctuary. Mark
has a Bachelor of Science degree from Davidson College and conducted graduate work at Eastern Michigan
University. Mark participated in the Roseate Spoonbill banding project in Tampa Bay and has surveyed
and managed many of the waterbird colonies along the Gulf Coast of Florida. He is a member of the
US Fish and Wildlife Service's Reddish Egret Working Group and the American Oystercatcher Working
Stephen Raymond has accumulated over 14 years of public land management
experience working for the Florida Park Service, Pinellas County’s Environmental Lands Management,
and Manatee County’s Parks and Natural Resources. Currently, he is the Northeast Region Land
Management Coordinator for Hillsborough County’s Conservation and Environmental Lands Management
Department and is responsible for managing approximately 15,000 acres, the majority of which is at
the Lower Green Swamp Preserve.
Mr. Raymond has an AS in Environmental Science Technology from Hillsborough Community College, and a BA in Environmental Studies from Eckerd College. He is a Florida Certified Burn Manager, and Federally Qualified as a Firefighter Type-1 and Incident Commander Type-5.
Sandy has travelled the world and always loved birds, but it became
a serious obsession when she retired in 2009 and wanted to GET OUTSIDE! Tampa Audubon
taught her to see Hillsborough County through "new" eyes and to appreciate the wondrous
birds that live, breed and migrate throughout Florida. She hopes to share her enthusiasm
and growing knowledge with others who seek to enrich their lives with our beautiful birds.
Sandy participates in many "bird protection" activities from enhancing erosion control at
nesting islands, bluebird trail monitoring, Colony Watch, Eagle Watch, Shorebird
Stewarding and establishing a very successful educational committee tackling the horrors
of fishing line entanglement, particularly of Brown Pelicans.
Tom Ries, President of Ecosphere Restoration Institute, Inc.,
has 33 years of Florida ecosystems experience, specializing in habitat restoration and
seagrass ecology. He has designed or assisted in the implementation of over 97 habitat
restoration projects in central Florida. Many of these projects have won regional awards
for environmental excellence. Mr. Ries was recently recognized for his work when he was
awarded the National Wetlands Award for Conservation and Restoration from the
Environmental Law Institute.
George F. Shambaugh, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of the Department
of Entomology, Ohio State University. Before entering academia, Dr. Shambaugh conducted
human physiology research for the U.S. Army. At Ohio State, his teaching and research
focus was invertebrate physiology and biochemistry. Now in retirement, Dr. Shambaugh
offers instruction on plants and animals as a volunteer at the Hillsborough County’s
Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center and serves on the board of Bayou Outdoor Learning
and Discovery, Inc.
Roger Sheets began his career as a mathematics teacher with
a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Purdue. After teaching 7th graders
mathematics, he shifted to computer science and worked for almost 40 years as a software
developer. About 10 years ago Roger started to visit Lettuce Lake on breaks from work
and resurrected his photography and birding hobbies. After hearing a couple of people
leaving Lettuce Lake saying that they didn't see anything, he also resurrected his
teaching career and became a volunteer at Lettuce Lake. Purdue included him in an
article on alumni with strange hobbies. Roger enjoys sharing the natural beauty of Lettuce Lake
with people. He says, “It's one of those experiences in life where the more
you learn, you see there's a lot more to learn.”
Don Stillwaugh has been a field biologist for over 30 years. He has participated
in numerous projects and specializes in studying the distributions, life histories and habitat
requirements of a wide variety of insects as well as reptiles and amphibians. He co-founded
the Illinois Butterfly Monitoring Network in the late 1980’s. He currently serves as a Florida
editor for the NABA Butterfly Count Program and has participated in over 200 counts in Florida.
Aedan is the Program Manager for Manatee County Parks and Natural Recourses Volunteer
and Education Division with 10 years of experience in outreach and environmental education.
As a Certified Interpretive Guide and Leave No Trace Trainer, Aedan seeks to engage the public
on environmental issues and encourages them to seek the beauty of their own backyard.
A Florida native, Aedan grew up on the Gulf Coast, wading through seagrass beds and exploring
mangrove swamps, and found himself receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from New
College of Florida after writing a Senior Thesis on those same mangroves. Using his familiarity
and love of Florida’s natural areas, Aedan now develops interpretive signage and leads educational
tours throughout Manatee County.
Paul Trunk has been observing dragonflies since 1986. He’s given
many presentations on the Dragonflies of West Central Florida to groups throughout
the years. Paul has completed dragonfly surveys throughout Pinellas County and conducts
regular walks at Brooker Creek Preserve on odonates.
Kathryn is on the Board of Directors of the Sarasota Audubon Society,
where she has held the Chair for Day Trip Coordinator, and Overnight Field Trip Coordinator
from 2006 - 2014 and is currently, Education and Program Chair. Kathryn also teaches
Basic Birding at the Celery Fields, leads Road Scholar Birding programs and provides
presentations for various clubs in the Sarasota/Manatee areas. She also is co-owner
of Sarasota Birding Guides a local "for hire" Bird Guiding Company.