David Arnold David earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Abilene Christian University and a Master of Science degree in biological oceanography at Florida State University. David has over 32 years of experience working in various state agency positions. Since 2003, he has been in the executive director’s office of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). His responsibilities include assisting staff with rulemaking, stakeholder engagement and facilitating resolutions of complex issues. He also trains staff in facilitation and stakeholder engagement and helps plan FWC commission meetings. He has helped craft the agency’s Gopher Tortoise Management Plan, improve the process for creating hunting and fishing rules, develop a stakeholder report on non-motorized boating issues and obtain public input on burrowing owl conservation guidelines. David has participated in data collection for the Florida breeding bird atlas and several Christmas bird counts, and he has served as a president for the local chapter of the National Audubon Society and is currently on the board of directors. He is also a docent at the Tall Timbers Research Station.
Tom Arsuffi Tom is director of the Llano River Field Station at Texas Tech University, located in Junction, Texas. He received his doctorate from New Mexico State University and completed postdoctoral research at the University of Georgia and Mount Allison University. His research interests are in aquatic, watershed ecology and environmental education. He served as president of the Texas Academy of Science, chaired the Executive Committee of the Society for Freshwater Science, and received research/education grants totaling more than $10 million from state, federal and foundation funding sources. He advises the LRFS Outdoor School, a national award-winning science education program. LRFS received the 2015 Universities Council on Water Resources Public Service/Education Award.
Darcy Bontempo Darcy Bontempo is the marketing director of Texas Parks and Wildlife, overseeing the Marketing Group, which develops and implements various revenue-generating and other communication efforts to promote visitation to state parks and increase participation in hunting, fishing, outdoor recreation and nature tourism. Prior to joining the department in 1998, she was account supervisor at McCann-Erickson in New York and later at GSD&M in Austin, Texas. She also was manager of cooperative marketing for Dell’s consumer small business units. She holds a master’s degree in business administration from Tulane University and a bachelor’s degree from University of Texas-Austin.
Frank Burris Based at the Curry County Extension Office (where he also serves as county extension chair), Frank Burris is Oregon Sea Grant Extension's south coast watershed educator, providing property owners, interested citizens and organizations with the knowledge they need to assist in improving ecosystem health, salmonid fish populations and water quality. His recent projects and areas of expertise include water-quality monitoring, wetland restoration, control of invasive gorse, beach bacteria monitoring and outdoor recreation/tourism.
Dave Case Dave launched DJ Case & Associates in 1986 based on the premise that there is a need to apply the art and science of communication disciplines to the critically important science of natural resource conservation and environmental protection. Since that time, he has worked with nearly every state and federal natural resources agency in the United States and Canada and many major state and national conservation organizations. Dave's early-career work as a biologist and then media spokesperson opened his eyes to the importance of communication disciplines to achieving conservation goals. He worked for the U.S. National Park Service on a remote, forested island in Lake Michigan as part of his master's degree to study impacts of deer overabundance. Controversy surrounding the management of the island's deer herd gave Dave a crash course on the "people" side of wildlife management. He took a position with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and soon was appearing on weekly radio and TV programs, speaking to civic organizations and schools, and learning both the art and science of communications. Dave and his company have been actively engaged in wildlife viewing and nature tourism through many projects:
Co-authored with Phil Seng, vice president at DJ Case, both the Indiana and Michigan wildlife viewing guides;
Facilitated development of the first set of Watchable Wildlife Guidelines for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service;
Facilitated development of the Eyes on Wildlife strategic plan for the U.S. Forest Service;
Served on the Board of Directors for Watchable Wildlife, Inc.;
Facilitated development of the first Alaska Watchable Wildlife and Ecotourism Interagency Strategic Plan;
Developed the Jack Pine Wildlife Viewing Tour to support Kirtland’s warbler conservation in northern Michigan; and
Dave holds a bachelor's degree in forestry from Purdue University and a master's degree in wildlife ecology from the University of Michigan.
Gisela Chapa Gisela Chapa is the urban wildlife refuge coordinator for the South Texas Refuge Complex. She has worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 10 years, specifically in the management of national wildlife refuges and visitor services, and most recently establishing an urban wildlife refuge program in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. She has a master’s degree in wildlife science from Texas A&M University and a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Texas–Pan American. Her passion is to connect nontraditional audiences to nature and refuges through unique collaborations and making nature accessible to the community.
Luke Coccoli Luke Coccoli is a native Montanan and has been with the Boone and Crockett Club for five years. After completing his undergraduate work at Montana State University in fish and wildlife management, he started with B&C as the facilities manager and now holds the title of conservation programs manager. He is an avid hunter and fisherman and is currently working to earn his master’s degree in education from the University of Montana.
William Colson William C. Colson is a Texas native. He has been a photographer since he was about 15 years old. His summer vacations were spent traveling with his family throughout the western U.S. where he learned the basics of photography using his uncle’s 35 mm Minolta camera. Over the years, he’s cultivated his desire to capture wildlife and nature through the use of photography. He has a Bachelor of Science in range and wildlife management (2008) as well as a Master of Science in range and wildlife management (2012); he received both degrees from Texas A&M University–Kingsville. During his master’s program, he documented growth characteristics of wild white-winged dove nestlings through the use of digital photography. Currently, he’s a doctoral student at Texas A&M University–Kingsville researching “Human Dimensions of Conservation Photography in Wildlife Management.” He will graduate in December 2017 after which he plans on developing curriculum to teach people about conservation photography.
April Ann Torres Conkey Dr. April Ann Torres Conkey is an assistant professor in the department of animal, rangeland, and wildlife sciences and is a research scientist in the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M University–Kingsville. She is a wildlife ecologist with research emphasis on education, outreach and human interactions with wildlife.
Javier de Leon Since 2005, Javier de Leon has worked at nature centers in the lower Rio Grande Valley including the National Butterfly Center, the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center (WBC), and Bentsen–Rio Grande Valley State Park of the WBC network. De Leon is currently the park superintendent at Estero Llano Grande State Park of the WBC network. He is one of two advisers for the two Texas Master Naturalists Chapters in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV). De Leon also serves on the core advisory committee for the local chapter of the Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA – RGV) and is active in Texas Children in Nature-RGV and the RGV Nature Coalition.
Thomas Dunne As a long-time entrepreneur and avid traveler, Thomas has a passion for culture and discovery. He is the founder of OnCell and has served as president and CEO since its inception in 2006. OnCell provides mobile tour technologies for parks, museums, cities and historic sites. OnCell helps organizations share stories and connect with visitors using apps, audio tours and beacons. Thomas' involvement in marketing, strategy and technology has not only helped grow the company, but has also empowered over 2,200 organizations to share their stories via mobile technology. He earned his associate degree from the University of Florida and bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of North Florida.
Heather Feeler Heather Feeler, communications manager with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), spends her professional time chasing interesting conservation stories and spreading the conservation message to new audiences, including through technology. Her team is responsible for statewide news, social media, video, marketing, internal communications, media training and crisis communications for MDC. She has been in the field of communications for 17 years, working with both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. In her spare time, Heather can be found hiking, hammocking, kayaking or fishing with her family. She’s also on a quest to visit all the national parks with her two sons before they grow up and refuse to hang out with her anymore.
Anne Glick Anne is a native of Pennsylvania. Growing up in a hunting and fishing family, connection with nature and the outdoors was instilled at an early age. Currently Anne leads the Wildlife Viewing Section for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in Tallahassee. Her responsibilities at the FWC include helping Florida’s rural counties develop sustainable nature tourism programs. She has worked for the agency for 11 years. Anne chaired the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Wildlife Viewing and Nature Tourism Working group for eight years. She holds a Master of Science in environmental sciences and geology from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Arts in biology from Susquehanna University. She currently lives on a small farm outside of Tallahassee, Florida, sharing adventures with her numerous horses, donkeys, fainting goats and her German shepherd.
Anthony Gonzon Anthony is the coordinator of the Delaware Bayshore Initiative, a landscape-level program operating through the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Division of Fish and Wildlife. The program is focused on land conservation and restoration, supporting outdoor low-impact recreation opportunities and promoting ecotourism in Bayshore communities to support local economies. Anthony has worked for the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife as a wildlife biologist and planner for over a decade, undertaking tasks such as implementation of Delaware’s second breeding bird atlas and the development of Bayshore Forever, a land conservation strategy for the Delaware Bayshore region that engaged the area’s integral conservation partners. Anthony is an avid birder and enjoys many outdoor recreation activities including hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing.
Whitney Gray Whitney is the coordinator for the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail (GFBWT), a program of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Whitney has a bachelor’s in zoology and a master’s in environmental engineering sciences with an emphasis on systems ecology, both from the University of Florida. She is a fifth-generation native Floridian who was introduced to wildlife viewing as a child and has worked in Florida’s saltmarshes, wetlands, and now in the hills and rivers of north Florida. As coordinator of the GFBWT, Whitney oversees the physical and informational infrastructure of the trail and works to promote it as a tool for conservation and economic development.
Marybeth Green Dr. Marybeth Green is an associate professor in the department of educational leadership and counseling, and coordinator of the Instructional Technology Graduate Program at Texas A&M University–Kingsville. She specializes in instructional technology, instructional design, and the implementation of technology, such as augmented reality and social media, in teaching practice.
Sandy Hurwitz Dr. Sandy Hurwitz grew up hunting and fishing in Corpus Christi, Texas. He graduated from Trinity University in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and physiological psychology and went on to obtain a degree in veterinary medicine from Texas A&M University in 1973. Sandy is currently a practicing veterinarian in the fields of small animal, general large animal, equine, wildlife and zoo medicine. Sandy has ranching and land restoration in his blood, purchasing and restoring numerous properties over the last 35 years. In 2008 he purchased Las Vistas Ranch in Kinney County and the 240-acre La Lomita Ranch. Sandy acquired a $1 million federal grant for utility development for a wildlife education center. In 2014, Las Vistas Ranch began the development of wildlife photography blinds as a profit center; La Lomita followed suit and developed a high-quality wildlife photography venue in 2016.
Denise Husband As an outdoor recreation planner for over 39 years, Denise Husband has been involved in the planning, design and construction of numerous parks, recreational facilities, trails, and more recently, wildlife viewing platforms. Through these experiences in both private and public practice, she has strived to maintain the balance needed between human interaction on the landscape and natural resource protection. Her knowledge of the environment’s positive impact on public health and well-being has led to many speaking engagements across North America as well as a Canadian television interview on this topic during Saskatchewan Design Week. An avid outdoor enthusiast, Denise earned a bachelor’s in landscape architecture from The Pennsylvania State University and is currently the Bayshore recreation planner for the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife.
Janis Johnson Janis manages several marketing programs at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, including Neighborhood Fishin’, Conservation License Plates and Big Time Texas Hunts. She has launched campaigns, including “Win Your Dream Year Outdoors” and “Brighter Future for Texas State Park,” and manages several agency partnerships. Previously, Janis worked as a marketing consultant for The New York Times and the White House council on Y2K conversion, and she helped launch one of the first internet telephone companies, Pagoo.com. Previous employers include Mountain Travel Sobek, television station KFTY in San Francisco, MCI Telecommunications, and Ogilvy & Mather Direct, New York. Janis graduated from Texas State University with a degree in journalism. After living on both coasts, she is happy to be back in the Texas Hill Country, marketing outdoor recreation and conservation for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Adam Jones Adam is the watchable wildlife biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) as well as a board member of the Nebraska chapter of The Wildlife Society and the Nebraska Master Naturalist program. These programs have been recognized statewide and nationally as sustainable, science-based conservation programs, as well as vast educational volunteer programs. Through working with citizen scientists and taking lead roles in jobs and projects throughout his career, he has been able to help grow and enhance many projects and businesses, helping them become more successful and increasing the quality of their work and message.
Sarah Kendrick Sarah is a Missouri native who earned a master’s degree in fisheries and wildlife from the University of Missouri focused on eastern wood-pewee breeding demography and winter bird populations in the Missouri Ozarks. Sarah performed avian survey data analysis for publication after graduation and worked with the Missouri Department of Conservation as an outreach and regulations coordinator. While in this position, Sarah was given freedom to integrate her passion for birds into her work, so she worked to develop a statewide birding trail. After partnering with a nonprofit, the Great Missouri Birding Trail was officially launched two years later. Sarah accepted the state ornithologist position in March 2017 and is continuing to grow the Great Missouri Birding Trail and expand birder outreach efforts to recruit birders with an emphasis on youth.
Tiffany Kersten Tiffany has been revitalizing the McAllen Nature Center since 2014. She has been working in environmental education, visitor services and wildlife research since 2006. She has a Bachelor of Science in wildlife ecology from Northland College. Other organizations she has previously worked with include the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, Cape May Bird Observatory, Massachusetts Audubon Society, U.S. Forest Service and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
Leslie Kessner Leslie is the conservation education coordinator with Texas A&M Forest Service. She has worked in the non-formal education field for 20 years, exploring and learning with people in Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Leslie has a Bachelor of Science in wildlife and fisheries ecology from Oklahoma State University and a Master of Science in resource interpretation from Stephen F. Austin State University. Leslie enjoys hiking, hunting and having fun in the woods with her husband, son and their dog. Her goal is to help others get outside and have a positive experience so that they’ll do it again and again.
Edward Lagace Edward has developed six nationally recognized water trails on the Winona District of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. He has also assisted other refuges with trail planning and development. In 2012 he paddled the 261 miles of the refuge to promote the “Summer of Paddling.” Ed is the lead instructor for the non-motorized boat operator training for the seven-state U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) Midwest Region. Ranger Ed was also a key player in the development and implementation of the FWS national non-motorized train-the-trainer water safety program. He was recently recognized for his efforts with the 2017 Midwest Regional Directors Employee Excellence Award for Safety Improvement. A passionate outdoorsman, Ed has 54 years of professional and personal experience on the water. Ed has 28 years with the FWS and has spent the last six years as the Winona District Refuge ranger. Ed is American Canoe Association certified in the essentials of river kayaking and canoe level.
Jerrie Lindsey Jerrie has worked in the fields of environmental education and outdoor recreation for more than two decades. In her career, she has sought to weave these elements together to create meaningful outdoor experiences for the public. She is a graduate of Florida State University and has worked with the Florida Recreation and Park Association, the Florida Park Service, the Florida Legislature’s Advisory Council on Environmental Education and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Jerrie serves on the state’s Greenways and Trails Advisory Council, Keep Florida Beautiful Board of Directors, and Scenic Highway Advisory Council. She grew up in a military family, living throughout the United States and in Europe. She enjoys almost all outdoor recreation activities particularly hiking, paddling and wildlife viewing throughout the world.
Meagan Lobban Meagan Lobban is a biologist with an interest in wildlife. Meagan has been working at the Meadows Center since 2007. She has had many roles since then including boat driver, educational tour guide, office assistant, park supervisor, assistant educational tour coordinator and educational outreach specialist with the stream team. Meagan graduated in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in photography from Texas State University. She then went on to get her teaching certification in life sciences. She is passionate about educating future generations about the importance of our natural resources and how we can protect them. Meagan Lobban has an apartment in San Marcos that she shares with her two dogs, a 14-year-old pom-rat terrier and a 10-year-old Siberian husky, but she spends a lot of her time at her grandparents’ small ranch in Stockdale, Texas.
Marsha May Marsha May works for Texas Parks and Wildlife in the Diversity Program as a Texas nature tracker biologist. She has been with the agency and Texas Nature Trackers for over 16 years. She received a Bachelor of Science in wildlife from Texas A&M in 1998 and a Master of Science in aquatic biology from Southwest Texas State University in 2001. Her background includes years of experience with various citizen science groups. Texas Nature Trackers has evolved through the years into a project where now volunteers contribute wildlife observations in iNaturalist (www.inat.org). Texas Nature Tracker projects in iNaturalist can be found at www.tpwd.texas.gov/trackers. She also teaches general biology at a local community college as an adjunct professor.
Carrie McClelland Carrie completed a Master of Environmental Studies in nature-based recreation and tourism at Lakehead University, with no plans except to move back to Toronto. Instead, she moved to the North and has worked for the Wildlife Viewing Program at Yukon government since 2009. The program is unique the country as it works outside of the parks and formal education systems. Staff work directly with biologists to engage and inspire people to learn more about Yukon’s wildlife. Carrie’s favorite part of the job is watching people’s faces when they see a bat for the first time.
Pliny Mier Pliny is a native Californian who grew up in what was, at that time, rural Ventura County on a farm and ranch where he started hunting and fishing at a very early age. He was taught how to hunt by his father and great-grandfather, but he was also instilled with the concepts of wildlife conservation and land management. Pliny is a lifelong painter as well as a photographer. After raising his children, Pliny traveled extensively throughout the Western states photographing landscapes. He left Southern California in 2007, moved to Texas, and re-embraced his love of hunting, fishing and photography. The amazing Texas wildlife biodiversity along with the development of high-end digital photography equipment and software led Pliny to redirect his artistic talents to wildlife photography. Pliny is a top residential real estate broker in a very competitive environment, and he recognized that he could effectively incorporate his wildlife photography into his business. The rapidly expanding market of bio-tourism provided him an opportunity to incorporate his love of nature, his experience in the hospitality business and land management, and his skills as a businessman, marketer and photographer into the Texas photo-ranch industry. His La Lomita Wildlife Photography Ranch in Uvalde, Texas, has quickly joined the club of high-quality, consumer-based wildlife photography ranches.
Kyle OHaver Kyle grew up spending as much time in the outdoors as he could get playing in ponds and woods on his grandparent’s farm, or catching birds, snakes and bugs in his neighborhood. That passion grew into a career in nature; he served as a seasonal interpreter at Thousand Hills State Park in Missouri, worked with fisheries at the Missouri Department of Conservation, completed an internship at Missouri State Parks headquarters, earned a Bachelor of Science in parks recreation and tourism at the University of Missouri, worked as park interpreter and resource specialist at Estero Llano Grande State Park and World Birding Center, served as superintendent at Lake Colorado City State Park, and most importantly, he is father of Kaleb and Sibley.
Marisa Oliva-Rodriguez Marisa has managed the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center since 2004. She has worked in environmental education and outdoor recreation since 1994. She has a Master of Forest Resources with an emphasis in wildlife ecology from The Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Science in wildlife and fisheries science from Texas A&M University. She has served as president of the local Texas Master Naturalist Chapter.
Jennifer Owen-White Jennifer is the refuge manager of the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in Albuquerque, the first urban refuge in the Southwest. Formerly, she was the refuge manager at the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge and the visitor service manager for the South Texas Refuge Complex. Born in Chicago, Owen-White grew up in Houston, has a Bachelor of Science in biology and a Master of Science in wildlife science from Texas Tech University. She is completing her doctorate in forestry and natural resource interpretation from Stephen F. Austin State University where she has focused on connecting urban communities to conservation and the outdoors.
Alix Pedraza Alix serves as the diversity outreach coordinator for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), having begun her career there as an intern. Originally from Colombia, South America, Pedraza facilitates SCDNR communication and education initiatives that connect Spanish-speaking communities to natural resources information, current events, opportunities and advisories. As a bilingual representative of the SCDNR, she strives to grow nature-related outdoor programs and services by breaking down language and cultural barriers. Pedraza has created SCDNR web and Facebook pages for the state’s Spanish-speaking audience and also provides assistance in translating state regulations and related information into Spanish. She holds an associate degree in wildlife management and a Bachelor of Science in biology. The Wildlife Society named Pedraza as its recipient of the national 2016 Diversity Award. The award is designed to encourage and promote successful efforts in furthering diversity in natural resources professions with particular emphasis on wildlife conservation and education.
Miles Phillips Miles is on the extension faculty of the Tourism and Business Development College with Oregon State University and Oregon Sea Grant. He is in the OSU College of Business and currently works in supporting tourism with the “triple bottom line” along the coast of Oregon. He combines the many facets of the tourism industry to bring visitors to the southern Oregon Coast to improve the economy and to promote conservation of its natural resources. He previously worked for the Texas A&M University Extension where he created a cohesive and sustainable tourism program.
Ruben Reyna Ruben is a park ranger at National Park Service Palo Alto in Brownsville, Texas. He has a degree from University of Texas at Brownsville in computer information systems. As a ranger he works with supervisors and staff to develop ways to attract and educate visitors. He directly interacts with visitors and manages multimedia projects such as the website and mobile tour app.
Sean Saville Sean Saville joined the staff of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies as the Blue Ribbon Panel campaign manager in August of last year. Previously he was the national field director for Audubon in the Washington, D.C., office for over 10 years. He particularly enjoys managing advocacy campaigns where he is able to leverage networks of grassroots and VIP advocates to influence policy outcomes. Some of his accomplishments in that role include coordinating a campaign that led to the successful passage of the Restore Act, and more recently directing the Western Rivers Action Network to policy success for the Colorado River. He has been training and organizing citizens to get involved in conservation policy campaigns including on water, public lands and wildlife for the last 18 years. Sean is a native to the Washington, D.C., area but also spent the better part of 10 years advocating for our public lands in New Mexico and Colorado, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in environmental conservation at the University of Colorado in Boulder and worked with several conservation organizations in Denver and Greeley. Sean is passionate about protecting America’s special places and the critters that depend on them. He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys numerous adventure sports.
Johnnie Smith Johnnie is the interim director of outreach and education for Texas Parks and Wildlife, responsible for outreach, conservation education, and TPWD’s hunter, boater and angler education programs. His background includes a 21-year U.S. Air Force career, an elementary and middle school science educator, education programs manager at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, public school campus leadership as assistant principal and principal, and is a past president of the Informal Science Education Association of Texas. He holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Stephen F. Austin University.
Rob Southwick For 25 years, Southwick Associates has helped the fisheries and wildlife community understand customers and how their activities translate into spending, jobs, tax revenues and more. Major clients include most state fish and wildlife agencies, the American Sportfishing Association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and more. For state agencies, we help explain the economic issues surrounding the resources they manage, plus identify how to maximize license sales and revenues. Timely and dependable, Southwick Associates provides the outdoor community with the intelligence needed to improve participation and revenues.
Tracy Stratman Tracy Stratman has worked in the recreation field for nearly 17 years. She has spent the last 13 years with the City of Omaha Parks and Recreation. As a recreation manager, Tracy oversees 13 community centers, 18 swimming pools, two tennis centers, a nature center and an ice rink. She provides leadership for staff development for 20 full-time employees and over 300 part-time/seasonal employees. She holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Creighton University and a master’s degree in recreation administration from the University of Nebraska Omaha, and she is an Adjunct Professor at UNO. As an active member in the Nebraska Recreation and Park Association, she is the chair of the Great Park Pursuit Program. The Great Park Pursuit has become a pivotal program within NeRPA and serves as an advocacy program for statewide partnerships. She has presented at the National Recreation and Park Association’s Aquatics Conference in 2008, the Midwest Region NRPA Conference in 2010, the Neighborhood USA Conference in 2014, the Iowa/Nebraska IN the Neighborhood Conference in 2014, and the 2015 Northstar Publishing Fall Festival.
Holly Vaughn-Joswick Holly is the wildlife communications coordinator for Southern Michigan with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. She is based out of the Detroit Metro Customer Service Center in Detroit. Holly loves to communicate with people about Michigan’s wildlife. She has a Bachelor of Science in fisheries and wildlife and a Master of Science in park, recreation and tourism resources from Michigan State University. Holly is an avid birder and wildlife viewer.
Miranda Wait Miranda is the assistant manager of the Spring Lake educational programs at the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment. Her educational background is in biology with an emphasis in wildlife ecology. She has worked at the Meadows Center since 2006 and has held many roles. Miranda has a passion for getting kids and adults outdoors and excited about nature. Currently, she is working on bringing a research component to the Meadows Center’s educational programming as well as increasing community involvement. She recently co-authored a field guide published through the Meadows Center on the flora and fauna of Spring Lake. In her spare time, she spends time on her ranch in the hills of San Marcos enjoying her dogs and chickens and enjoying the wildlife that shares the space with her.
Marianna Wright Marianna Trevino Wright is a Rio Grande Valley girl who grew up with one foot in the country and one in the city at a time when cabbage whites and coral snakes were commonplace. Although the landscape of this place has changed dramatically, her desire to protect the special creatures and features peculiar to deep South Texas has not changed. As executive director of the National Butterfly Center, she gets to share much, much more than butterflies with visitors, members, students and stakeholders when they venture just beyond the bounds of town to explore where the wild things are.