Mark J. Rauzon is a geographer and wildlife biologist specializing in island ecology and vertebrate predator control. Formerly with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, he has studied sea birds and endangered marine mammals in California, Hawai'i, and Alaska (first visiting AK in 1971). He is also an expert in the effects of invasive animals and plants on tropical islands. He has extensive experience in island restoration programs to enhance populations of threatened seabirds and shorebirds, for which he has received the Special Achievement Award from the international Pacific Seabird Group in 2006. Mr. Rauzon is also a research associate with the Point Reyes Bird Observatory and the former Chairman of the Pacific Seabird Group.
His management planning experience includes the master plans for several wildlife refuges for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, US Navy, and restoration programs for US Marine Corps bases.
He is the award-winning author of over 20 nonfiction science books, most of them for children, and is an illustrator and award-winning photographer. Currently he teaches Geography at Laney College, Oakland, CA. and is involved with studying cormorants on the Bay Bridge. Rauzon is also a founding member of the Friends of Sausal Creek, an Oakland-based community creek advocacy group.
Some of his book titles are: Isles of Refuge: Wildlife and History of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands; Parrots Around the World; Seabirds; Hummingbirds; Golden Eagles of Devil Mountain.
Mark Rauzon's stunning photos at rauzon.com.
Alan Barron is Del Norte's leading ornithologist and record keeper of current and historical bird observations in the county. He is one of the original founders of the Aleutian Goose Festival, and has identified and recorded 420 species of birds in the county. For eight years, Alan's uncanny ability to find spring migrants has been instrumental in the success of our festival. He leads tours and conducted bird, butterfly, and amphibian studies and bio-surveys for a variety of state and national organizations. Alan co-authored Birds of Redwood National and State Parks and recently authored and illustrated the Birdfinding Guide to Del Norte County.
Loren Bommelyn is recognized regionally and nationally as a Tolowa spiritual and political leader. The Tolowa Indians are the first people who once lived throughout Del Norte County. Loren serves on the Tribal Council of the Smith River Rancheria, and is a storyteller, basket maker, and dance keeper. He has spent a lifetime resurrecting and documenting the Tolowa language, culture, and spiritual practices. He and his wife Lena have perfected the art of traditional basket making, and teach and perform Tolowa songs and ceremonial dance. Loren is the author of the book, and co-author of Passing the Moon Through 13 Baskets, A seasonal Guide to the Natural Year and Native American Celebration of the Wild Redwood Coast. The Smithsonian consulted with Loren on the design of the new National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., which displays a large Tolowa collection. Recently Loren was chosen to sit on a nine member statewide panel to design California's new Indian Cultural Center and Museum. In 2002, Loren received the National Tradition Bearer Award from President George W. Bush, the highest honor of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Council on Traditional Arts in Washington, D.C. He is the youngest person ever to receive this award.
Gary Bloomfield is a regional artist and nature illustrator. His brilliant artwork and creative designs appear at the Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center, in American Birding Association publications, on maps, brochures, exhibits, interpretive displays, and T-shirts. Gary has designed posters for both Godwit Days and the Aleutian Goose Festival and his birding travels have taken him to Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Mexico.
Dan Burgess is Del Norte County's watershed coordinator for the Coastal Stream Habitat Improvement Program through California Department of Fish and Game. He has a degree in environmental biology and has worked for 15 years with anadromous fish on both public and private lands. Dan has taught Fish Habitat Restoration at the College of the Redwoods and conducted classroom egg incubation projects in local schools for public education and outreach.
Ken Burton is a wildlife biologist and our Festival's "Big Day" leader.He also operates his own professional bird guide service and has led birding and nature study trips for birding festivals, Audubon groups, Elderhostel, conventions, and individuals. Ken has worked and birded in many states and on every continent and has seen over 3,400 bird species. Ken heralds originally from Marin County, where he authored theMarin Audubon Society's Checklist of the Birds of Marin County. He is the past president of Redwood Region Audubon Society; currently he is the Chapter's Project Manager, conducts bird programs, and leads field seminars in both Humboldt and Del Norte counties.
Julie Caldwell, M.A. is an herbalist, flower essence practitioner, and owner of Humboldt Herbals in Old Town Eureka. She began practicing as a full-time herbalist in 1997, and has led numerous medicinal plant walks for people of all ages. She teaches courses on plant medicine through the extended education program at Humboldt State University, and is a frequent guest lecturer on the topic of Herbs and Stress.
Jim Clark started birding in the San Joaquin Valley when he was ten years old and a charter member of the Tulare County Audubon Society. In 1973 he earned a degree in Natural Resources from Humboldt State University. After a career in Environmental Health he retired in 2008. Jim has been active in Redwood Region Audubon Society since 1982 and is about to serve his fourth term as the chapter's President. Since retirement, he has focused on all areas of natural history and recently completed certification in Ecotourism from Humboldt State University. He calls himself a "bad birder" because he has viewed and enjoyed many more species than he's counted. As a guide, Jim doesn't label himself as an "expert" but loves to share his extensive knowledge and allow participants to make their own discoveries.
Rob Fowler graduated from Humboldt State University with an emphasis in Applied Vertebrate Ecology. He has been an active California birder since 1998 when he enrolled in a birdwatching class at Monterey Peninsula College and has been a "birdwatcher" since the age of ten. He has worked on numerous bird-related projects from Alaska to southern California, mostly working with passerines but also waterfowl, raptors, and marbled murrelets. In addition to being an active birder in northwestern California, Rob enjoys sharing his knowledge with others through leading numerous field trips for Redwood Region Audubon Society and area bird festivals. He also donates time as the eBird reviewer for northwestern California and is the Humboldt County editor for the quarterly journal, North American Birds. Rob lives in Arcata with his wife, Jenn, and son, Quinn Avery.
Adam Friedrich is an Interpretive Park Ranger at Redwood National and State Parks and avid surfer. He holds a B.S. degree from Humboldt State University in Natural Resources Interpretation and Native American Studies. He has worked for Yellowstone National Park, Everglades National Park, Del-Nor Wiggins Pass Florida State Park, as a volunteer wilderness ranger for the US Forest Service in the Trinity Alps, as a white water raft guide in Cody, WY, and as a carpenter helping to restore buildings in historic Old Town, Eureka. The highlight in Adam's career was being a featured ranger in a National Geographic book about “Our National Parks: Tours with Rangers”.
Joe Gillespie is and educator, naturalist, and avid fisherman who grew up in Del Norte County and has lived on the banks of Smith River for over twenty years. Graduated from HSU with a degree in biology, he has been an inspirational and innovative teacher in local schools for more than two decades. Joe served on the Del Norte County’s Resource Advisory Committee and is a founding member and president of the Friends of Del Norte, a local conservation organization that worked for the establishment of the Smith River National Recreation Area, the Siskiyou Wilderness, and the wild and scenic designation for the Smith River. Joe has an intimate knowledge of the backcountry and has hiked every trail in the Smith River watershed at least once.
Keith Hamm is Associate Wildlife Biologist for Green Diamond Resource Company. He received his B.S. from Frostburg State University and M.S. in Wildlife from Humboldt State University. He is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and is president of the California North Coast Chapter of The Wildlife Society. He has been working with wildlife on the North Coast since 1989.
Rick Hiser is one of the original founders and coordinators of the Goose Festival. He has been a commercial and aerial photographer for over three decades with a degree in Parks & Recreation from Clemson University, South Carolina. Rick leads interpretive tours on redwood ecology and salmon spawning for Save the Redwoods League and Redwood National & State Parks. He also serves as the president of the North Coast Redwood Interpretive Association and as a docent for the St. George Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society. Some of his spectacular images of the redwoods can be viewed in recent interpretive displays at Redwood National and State Parks' southern entrance Kuchel Information Center.
Humboat Kayak Adventures is owned and operated by John "Hawk" Martin, who is committed to excellence, professionalism, and safety for his clients. Humboat Kayak Adventures provides lessons and tours taught and led by professional guides with years of experience, both locally and on an international scale. Hawk and his guides participate in on-going training and drills from water sports safety organizations such as the American Canoe Association, British Canoe Union, Wilderness Medicine Institute, Rescue III Intl., the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance. For Hawk and his fellow guides, kayaking is not simply a job or a hobby—it is a way of life. The guides at Humboats Kayak Adventures are also avid naturalists with knowledge about all manner of flora and fauna of the marine environment.
Jeff K Jacobesen is an international whale researcher and associate faculty at Humboldt State University. He has degrees in Oceanography and Biology and did his master's thesis on killer whale social behavior. Jeff began his career observing whales in the wild in 1977, studying the killer whales at Northern Vancouver Island. He currently is working on an long-term study of humpback whales in Mexico, Isla Socorro, and still working on it. Jeff's research has led him to conduct whale surveys in Russia, Arctic, Aleutians, SE Alaska... all the way down the coast into Mexico and out to the Galapagos Islands. He also conducts seabird research studying marbled murrelets.
Sandra Jerabek, is a local naturalist, advocate, and long-time lover of Lake Earl the West's largest coastal lagoon. She has been kayaking on and studying the lagoon as a generalist for 15 years. A founder of and steering committee member for the festival, she has developed nature and heritage tourism programs in Del Norte County for more than a decade. Sandra has been appointed to the County's Point St. George and Lake Earl committees and the U.S. Forest Service's Resource Advisory Committee.
Larry Karsteadt, M.A. has nurtured life long interests in biology, natural history and medicine. His master's in biology from Humboldt State University focused on mammalogy, ecology and animal behavior. He has traveled as a student and guide to Ecuador, Central America, Australia, Alaska, Europe, and Africa to learn more about the natural world. Ron leads local nature walks and is a casual but perpetual birder interested in all living things. Larry is a past president of Redwood Region Audubon Society and currently serves as the Executive Director of North Coast Emergency Medical Services, which coordinates emergency medical care in Del Norte, Humboldt and Lake Counties.
Zack Larson ..... coming soon!!!
Ron LeValley is an outstanding world-traveled wildlife and bird photographer, and founder and senior biologist of Mad River Biologists, a biological consulting and research firm specializing in birds, wildlife, and plants of special concern. Ron is best known for his identification and distribution of birds along the Pacific Coast. Besides authoring scientific publications, Ron is an associate editor of Western Birds. He currently serves on numerous wildlife conservation and management committees including the Aleutian Cackling Goose Working Group. He is also the California coordinator of the Pacific Coast Joint Ventures and treasurer of the Pacific Seabird Group. One of Ron's exceptional attributes is sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm with others. His beautiful photographs are on view at the Festival's website's photo gallery and on his own website www.LeValleyPhoto.com.
Mike McCain ... coming soon!!!
Kim McFarland moved to Humboldt in 2001 to complete her bachelors in biology with an emphasis in ecology at Humboldt State University. In 2008, she returned to Humboldt State for graduate study in bee biology under Dr. Michael Mesler and in 2009, received a scholarship to "The Bee Course", an intensive, international workshop organized by the American Museum of Natural History and held at its Southwest Research Station in Portal, Arizona. Kim has spent the past three years conducting a survey of native bees on wetland conservation easements in the Central Valley for the Natural Resources Conservation Service and is currently finishing her thesis research on the life history of the dune silver bee, Habropoda miserabilis."
Clarke Moore ... coming soon!!!
Eric T. Nelson is the refuge manager for Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which includes Castle Rock National Wildlife Refuge. After completing his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Humboldt State University, Eric worked on refuges throughout the West.
Brad Norman has studied reptiles and amphibians for over 30 years. He works locally and regionally researching and conducting field surveys of fish, mollusks, and amphibians for California Department of Fish & Game, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. He has published more than a dozen scientific papers on herpetology and given numerous presentations.
Chet Ogan works with Redwood Sciences Lab U.S. Forest Service based in Arcata. A graduate in biology from Humboldt State University in 1970, his career includes silviculture research projects at the USFS Redwood Experimental Forest near Requa, old-growth studies in Douglas fir and redwood forests, and wildlife surveys for spotted owls, passerines, small mammals, and meso carnivores. Chet serves as a docent for the Arcata Marsh, is Conservation Chair and field trip leader for the Redwood Region Audubon Society.
Mark Renner received an M.S. degree in geology from the University of Wyoming, with emphases in stratigraphy, sedimentology and paleontology. After graduate school he worked for nearly a decade as a geologist for a company which sent him to Australia, Asia, and most of the lower 48 states, working on groundwater-related projects and teaching short courses for government agencies, corporations, and universities. An entrepreneurial “bug” bit Mark in the mid-1990’s and he founded his own consulting company, which he operated until 2000 when he pursued a life-long dream of living in “redwood country,” joining the College of the Redwoods. Renner has been teaching full-time at the college for eleven years, is a tenured professor of Geology/Earth Science, and has earned various awards (such as Faculty of the Year in 2005). He has taken hundreds of students on field trips similar to the one he’s conducting for this year’s festival.
Debbie Savage serves as the supervisor for the North District Interpretive Division of Redwood National & State Parks. She has led a 25-year career with the National Park Service working at nine national parks. Debbie grew up learning about birds by identifying the feathered beauties that frequented her family's backyard feeders. Her interest in bird watching grew when she worked in the Everglades in the 1980s. The impressive variety of water birds captured her attention and bird watching became her favorite hobby.
Kristin Schmidt is a wildlife biologist with many years of experience with the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service. Her experience includes managing spotted owl and barred owl monitoring, inventory, and other projects; conducting and assisting with forest mesocarnivore studies; and, most recently, managing the mountain lion, bear, and elk programs at Redwood National and State Parks. She also has many years of experienc working with threatened and endangered species management. Kirstin holds a Master's of Science Degree in Environmental Biology and Bachelor of Arts Degree in Zoology.
Richard Sermon is the former California State Parks Superintendent for Redwood National and State Parks. He served as a park ranger with the California Department of Parks and Recreation in multiple capacities and at different parklands for over 25 years before retiring. His efforts include the coordination of diverse programs and partnerships with multi-agencies and local, state, and federal governmental bodies that led to the development of policies, funding, interpretation, and protection for the conservation and management of the public's natural, cultural, and historic resources.
Craig Strong has devoted his career to conducting studies and monitoring populations of coastal wildlife species. His work has taken him from the Olympic Peninsula to Antarctica. Craig owns and operates Crescent Coastal Research, a wildlife consulting business based in Crescent City. Craig serves as a member of the Festival's steering committee, and also as an instructor of oceanography and marine mammal science courses at the College of the Redwoods.
Clay Taylor, one of our festival major sponsors representing Swarovski Optik is a lifelong resident of Moodus, Connecticut, he started photographing birds in the 1970s. A founder of the Braddock Raptor Research Center in Rochester, NY, he has given lectures, led nature tours. banded raptors and passerines. He is past president of the Mattabeseck Chapter of Audubon and founding president of the Connecticut Butterfly Association. As the Naturalist Markets Field Coordinator for Swarovski Optik, he travels throughout the nation, attending bird festivals, meeting people, sharing the company's fine optics, as well as seeing and photographing great birds.
Doris Valencia-Puclla grew up in Cusco, Peru. She has a degree in tourism administration, and spent most of her childhood between the rainforest and Cusco, worked as a park ranger in the Manu Biosphere Reserve in 1998, where she deepen her passion for birds and nature. Since then, she is been working as a naturalist tour guide in several natural areas of Peru, Doris has dedicated the last 10 years of her life to bird watching, which is what she enjoys the most, she is also a very avid lecturer, and has a special dedication to the study of the rich cultural and archaeological content of her country. Doris has had the opportunity to show her skills working for several birding companies, has worked as a general natural history guide and birding guide doing Amazon River cruises between Manaus (Brazil) and Iquitos (Peru). She loves to share her knowledge of regional customs, history, folklore, music and food. Her attention to detail, humor and knowledge of the local areas in Peru are outstanding. In July 2007 Doris and her husband Carlos started the Monterosa Plant a Tree Project-a long time dream which focus on environmental education and conservation efforts to protect the very fragile ecosystem of the Lucumayu Valley located in the vicinity to the new seventh wonder of the world Machupicchu.
Chris West ... coming soon!!!
Tiana Williams ... coming soon!!!
Wendell Wood is a wildlife biologist and botanist, Wendell began exploring the Lake Earl/Tolowa area thirty-five years ago as part of his course work at Humboldt State University--where he graduated with degrees in Biology and Wildlife Management in 1973. Wendell has since spent most of his adult life familiarizing himself with (and sharing his enthusiasm with others) on the northwest's flora and fauna. Originally, a high school biology teach in southern Oregon, since 1981 Wendell has worked as a Wildland's Advocate and Naturalist for Oregon Wild (formerly the Oregon Natural Resources Council) http://www.oregonwild.org/ He has regularly lead natural history trips throughout Oregon and northern California, and also authored a "Walking Guide to Oregon Ancient Forests". Wendell also leads outdoor trips in the Redwood Region and Klamath/Siskiyous for the Siskiyou Field Institute, and has produced three photo CDs for the Northwest Redwood Interpretive Association of flowering plants, mushrooms and marine life along the immediate northern coast of California. Among his other conservation and advocacy projects for Oregon Wild in the Klamath Basin, Wendell also works part-time on conservation projects in California for the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) http://www.wildcalifornia.org/ based in Humboldt Co.