2023 Leader Profiles
December 2023 Keynote Speakers
Kevin Loughlin became fascinated with photography and seeing birds throughout North America as a child on a family trip through the American West. In 1993, he founded Wildside Nature Tours to share the fun of birding travel. His photos and articles have appeared in Nature Photographer, Audubon, Birding and Living Bird magazines. The Galapagos happen to be his favorite destination, where he has made over 40 trips, leading to co-authorship of the recently published “Galapagos: A Natural History.” Kevin will present the Friday dinner keynote at the Wekiwa Springs Youth Camp, plus a two-part photo workshop. Join us Friday evening for a delicious dinner and great keynote!
Luis Gles and Mariah Hryniewich are trip leaders for the NORTH SHORE BIRDING FESTIVAL for the fourth year. For the Saturday dinner keynote, Luis and Mariah, who recently launched Woodstars Birding & Nature Tours, will tell us about birding an amazing place. Three hundred miles from mainland Alaska in the Bering Sea are St. Paul and St. George Islands, together known as the Pribilofs, home to dense colonies of almost three million seabirds. The over 315 species recorded include many rare birds, off-course during their migration. Join us Saturday at the Wekiwa Springs Youth Camp for a delicious dinner and to hear Luis and Mariah's presentation!
December 2023 Field Trip Leaders
Gian Basili is one of the people most responsible for guiding restoration efforts on the Lake Apopka North Shore and for opening the area to birding and other passive recreational use. He worked 2 years for Audubon Florida, 17 years for the St. Johns River Water Management District, and now works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Jacksonville. Gian earned his Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for his groundbreaking work on Dickcissels, the first year-round study of a neotropical migratory songbird.  He will be co-leading Trip 40.
Bert Alm moved to Florida in 2014 and retired from Northrop Grumman in 2016. Bert is an Advanced Florida Master Naturalist and the Treasurer for Space Coast Audubon Society and Hundred Acre Hollows. Bert and his wife Val also volunteer at the Brevard Zoo's Sea Turtle Healing Center helping to rehabilitate sick and injured Sea Turtles. Bert is very active with other nature-centered organizations, and he is over halfway to his goal of visiting the 530+ sites on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. He will be co-leading Trip 12.
Brady Bailo is an avid birder who lives in Osceola County. He has participated in multiple Christmas Bird Counts and volunteered with the Nature Conservancy to monitor Florida Scrub-Jays and Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. He is a past winner of the June Challenge in Osceola County for 2020, 2021 and 2022. He will be co-leading Trip 55.
Michael Brothers is one of the country's leading gull experts. Retired as Director of the Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet, Michael has been leading pelagic birding expeditions off Florida and Georgia for nearly 20 years and natural history tours throughout Florida, the Galapagos Islands, Kenya, and the Amazon. He is a member of the Florida Ornithological Society Records Committee and is the Florida regional editor of the journal North American Birds. Michael will lead Trips 45 and 61.
Steve Coleman is “the dean of the Magnolia Park Lake Apopka sunset photographers.” Through his many posts on Facebook, he created a Magnolia Park sunset photography movement. Steve shares his photos on the Sunsets by Steven Facebook page and with Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive Facebook groups. The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive now closes at 5 p.m. During the period that access at Magnolia Park was closed for renovations, Steve rode his bike on the Loop Trail to do his sunset photography. Steve will lead Trip 54.
Brian Cammarano has monitored terns and other seabirds on Maine's seabird islands, surveyed rare Black Rails in Southwest Florida and monitored breeding and migratory shorebirds through Audubon Florida's shorebird steward program. He assisted with bird banding at the Cape Florida Banding Station and Wekiva Basin Banding Station; worked in grassland bird research in Montana; volunteered for a Miami bird of prey rehab center; assisted with Florida Scrub-Jay research, and was part of the Florida Keys Hawkwatch. Currently he is Audubon Florida Shorebird Steward in Panama City. Brian was a founding member of the UCF Knighthawks  Audubon chapter.  He will be leading Trip 19a and others TBA.
Alexander DeBear is an 18-year-old college student, naturalist, and young birder based in Winter Garden, FL. He has been birding for the past four years and participates in and helps lead bird surveys, particularly monthly surveys at Wekiwa Springs State Park. Alex was instrumental in the creation and development of the Florida Young Birders Club. In addition to birding and trip leading, he dabbles in photography, scientific and field illustration, and taxidermy. Alex will co-lead Trips 17 and 28.
Gigi DelPizzo is a Freshwater Fisheries Biologist who worked many years for and now is a contractor for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. An avid birder, she participates in Florida Scrub-Jay surveys, North America Breeding Bird Atlas surveys, Bluebird Nesting Box surveys, EagleWatch, quarterly bird and butterfly surveys in Lake County, and numerous Christmas Bird Counts. She has assisted with the Wekiva Basin Bird Banding Station at Lake Lotus Park. Gigi enjoys extensive traveling and birding around the United States and abroad and in 2019 saw her 500th American Birding Association species. She will co-lead Trips 29 and 49.
Casey Dorsch has been working as a Wildlife Technician for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in Christmas, FL. since 2001. She is active in land management and conducts grassland bird and eastern bluebird nesting box surveys each spring. Casey’s love for birding started almost 20 years ago when she began hosting birding tours at Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area. She will be co-leading Trip 12.
Paula Duenas is a photographer and birder who recently traveled to Maine and Newfoundland to photograph Atlantic Puffins with her Nikon D500. She hasn't had any formal training but has learned a great deal from other birders and friends. She calls herself the accidental birder as she discovered her love for birds while spending time in nature as a healing tool. Paula volunteers as a Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive Ambassador. She will be co-leading Trip 31, Viaje de fotografía. 
Lynn Marie Folts is a photographer and naturalist that visited the North Shore even before there was the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. Her photos of birds in action, bugs and wildflowers have set the bar for future photographers on the Drive. A trip leader since 2018 but absent several years, the festival committee is happy to have Lynn Marie back. She will co-lead Trips 24 and 54.
Natasza Fontaine is an avian ecologist and natural science illustrator. Moving here from New York in 2018, she and Robert Gundy broke the Florida Big Year record in 2020. Completing her graduate degree in 2021, she birded in Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Peru, banded birds in Alabama, worked as a field technician with Whimbrels in South Carolina, and surveyed cryptic wintering grassland birds in New Mexico and Texas. She is now a Florida Panhandle seabird/shorebird biologist for Audubon Florida. A skilled birder by ear and avid recordist, Natasza has contributed over 1,000 recordings to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Macaulay Library, some on the Merlin App. She will co-lead Trips 21, 22, 25, 36, 38 and 54.
Pamela Ford is an avid birder from the Charleston, South Carolina area who accompanies Craig Watson on birding adventures. Pam still works in the health field but enjoys sharing bird identification for visitors, is active in the Carolina Bird Club and is a skilled photographer. Pam will co-lead, along with Craig, Trips 3, 8, 15, 33, 37, 40 and 59.
Reinhard Geisler chases birds throughout Florida while working as a manager for a large corporation. A superb nature photographer, Reinhard is a volunteer at the City of Orlando's Orlando Wetlands Park and a Florida Master Naturalist. Along with his wife Jutta, he created the “Birds of Orlando Wetlands Park” book and teaches bird photography workshops to benefit that park in east Orlando. His images have also been featured in “American Birding Association” (ABA) magazine and “ABA Field Guide to Birds of Florida” by Bill Pranty. Reinhard will be co-leading Trip 42.
Jutta Geisler is a photographer, graphic designer and web designer through her company G-Graphic Solutions, LLC. She chases birds in Florida and all over the world with her husband Reinhard. Jutta is also a volunteer at Orlando Wetlands Park. She will be co-leading Trip 42.
Greg Gensheimer became an avid birder through the 1998 Emeralda Marsh Christmas Bird Count and monthly counts at Emeralda and the Lake Apopka North Shore. He chairs the Friends of Green Mountain Scenic Byway (GMSB), which created the 45.2-mile Florida-designated Scenic Highway along western Lake Apopka, including acquisition of Ferndale Preserve and the Green Mountain Scenic Overlook and Trailhead. Retired from dual careers as an environmental and investment consultant, Greg now spends time on the GMSB and birding. He will lead Trips 4, 14 and 44.
Luis Gles is a naturalist from Colombia, currently living in Miami, and is a well-known member of South Florida’s birding community. He is lead hawk watcher for the Florida Keys Hawkwatch and volunteers at the Cape Florida Banding Station. He is a founding member of Valley of the Colors, an organization focused on developing ecotourism in Colombia and Florida and coordinating with bird tracking agencies. He and Mariah Hryniewich have recently formed their own tour company, Woodstars Birding & Nature ToursHe is also a Kowa USA ambassador and avid digiscoper. Luis will co-lead Trips 27, 34, 45 and 57, along with the Saturday keynote with Mariah.
Rafael Gomez retired at sixty-two after many years of operating a printing press. In his post retirement years, he spends much of his time hiking and riding his bicycle, mostly on the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. He saw so many interesting things that he decided he should capture these experiences, so he bought his first DSLR in 2019. After the pandemic he became more interested in birds and has since dedicated time to learning both birding and photography. 
He will be co-leading Trip 31. Viaje de fotografía. 
John Groskopf is currently an eBird reviewer for the state of Florida and is on the Florida Ornithological Society Records Committee. Even as a child he had a fascination for birds; however, he only started birding seriously in 2017, with 2018 the year he really got hooked. John did a Florida Big Year in 2019, which boosted his familiarity with birding throughout the state. He has continued to chase state and life birds throughout Florida since then. John grew up and lives in Sarasota, FL. He currently works as a Registered Nurse on a cardiac unit at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, but hopes to do more with avian research and bird banding and perhaps guide tours. He will be co-leading Trips 18, 28, 41 and 53.
Robert Gundy has been an avid birder since just before he graduated from FSU with a degree in biology in 2010. He loves birds, reptiles, invertebrates, and plants and has been working for Florida Natural Areas Inventory since 2016. In 2020, he and his girlfriend (and fellow tour leader) Natasza Fontaine drove over 60,000 miles to set a new Florida big year record of 388 species. He has birded several areas of the U.S. and in six Latin American countries. He also has passions for wildlife & macro photography and saltwater fishing. Robert will co-lead Trips 20, 22, 25, 38 and 54.
Mark Hainen is a birder/nature photographer who birds the majority of the year in Michigan and Ohio, particularly at the Black Swamp Bird Observatory at Magee Marsh. He spends 3 months each winter in Central Florida and has enjoyed birding the Lake Apopka North Shore for the past 8 years. Mark is an official Observer for the Detroit River Hawk Watch and one of its photographers. He makes an annual trip to Northern Minnesota’s Sax Zim Bog during February to see and photograph Great Gray, Northern Hawk and Boreal Owls. He wades into chest deep marshes, crawls on hands and knees and hikes miles for an opportunity to see and photograph nature. Mark will be co-leading Trip 11 and 19.
Mitchell Harris has been interested in natural history from his earliest years growing up in Vero Beach. He began birding about twenty years ago after seeing a white morph Gyrfalcon, just north of the Brooks Range on the North Slope of Alaska. He is extremely interested in pelagic birds and leads trips for the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival and for Space Coast Audubon. Mitchell has found many rarities in Brevard County, including an American Flamingo at Canaveral National Seashore years ago. He will be co-leading Trips 59 and 61.
David Hartgrove was a backyard birder until 1986 when he helped with the Florida Breeding Bird Atlas. In 1987 he became Conservation Chair for Halifax River Audubon in Daytona Beach, and in 1996 he became compiler for the Daytona Beach Christmas Bird Count. David has led trips to the Dry Tortugas, Cuba and Panama. He will co-lead Trips 15 and 45.
Chuck Honaker of Lake Mary, FL is an avid birder and a Florida Master Naturalist. He is active in his local Audubon Society and a volunteer with Florida St. Parks, FL Audubon JayWatch, Eagle Watch, Big Sit and the Christmas Bird Count. At Blue Spring St. Park, he monitors FL scrub jays and leads interpretive Jay Walks. As an independent contractor, he leads birding hikes to help acquaint the public with Florida’s varied birdlife and unique habitats. Chuck has birded around the US, Costa Rica and Colombia. He will be co-leading Trip 46.
Jack Horton is a wildlife photographer whose photography has been used by Nikon USA, National Audubon Society, and the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey EagleWatch Program. Recently retired from a career as a high school math teacher and water polo, coach and referee, Jack serves on the board of Orange Audubon Society and assists the Water Management District on the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. Jack will be co-leading Trips 43 and 54 and helping with festival logistics.
Mariah Hryniewich is the keen-eyed partner of Luis Gles at the Florida Keys Hawkwatch from August through November. An avid naturalist from Port Charlotte, Mariah is a wildlife photographer and a rep for Kowa Sporting Optics and PhoneSkope. She and Luis have recently formed their own tour company, Woodstars Birding & Nature ToursMariah will co-lead Trips 27, 34, 45 and 57, along with presenting the Saturday keynote with Luis.
Pete Johnson is active in Duval Audubon and serves as director of their Crosby Sanctuary (500-acre nature preserve) near Jacksonville, Florida. He is also an experienced bicyclist having completed numerous endurance events and nature tours of backcountry areas by bike. Pete grew up in central Florida and still travels down to bird and bike Lake Apopka as often as possible! His dad is on the right. Pete will be co-leading trip 44. 
Luddy Lambertson is an avid birder, nature lover, and world traveler. Professionally, he and his wife Rachel breed and sell daylilies through his Art Gallery Gardens in Lake Helen, FL.  Luddy has been an art instructor for junior high, high school, adult education and the learning disabled, and his artwork is represented in numerous private and public collections. His birding trips have taken him all over the United States and to Peru, Colombia, Thailand, Africa, and Costa Rica. Luddy will co-lead Trip 30.
Ethan Landreville is only 13 years old but has been birding now for 4 years. He became interested in birding seriously after seeing his spark bird, a Great Shearwater, at Canaveral National Seashore in 2020. He incorporates photography into his birding and recently won the ABA Young Birder of the Year Photo Contest and has won prizes in Orange Audubon's annual Chertok photo contest. Ethan is from Brevard County, where he birds with his father, Brennan Landreville. He has found rarities such as an Olive-sided Flycatcher in Orange County and Maine’s 2nd state record of Tufted Puffin. As an avid reader, he enjoys reading bird research articles in addition to studying field guides. Ethan will co-lead Trip 42. 
Paul Lammardo is park biologist at Wekiwa Springs State Park, a position he has held since 2005. Paul's Master’s thesis at SUNY Stonybrook was on scrub-jays—comparing survival in natural and suburban settings. Through monthly Wekiwa Springs State Park bird surveys, using Orange Audubon Society volunteers, he is documenting how species like Bachman's Sparrow, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Red-headed Woodpecker and Eastern Bluebird have increased at the park through years of prescribed burning. He also monitors Florida Scrub-Jays on park properties. Paul will lead Trips 22 and 58.
Alex Lamoreaux is senior leader and North American specialist for Wildside Nature Tours and guides birding tours across the US and beyond. He has worked on avian research projects from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to southern Belize, and everywhere in between! Alex is particularly interested in shorebirds and raptors, and absolutely loves watching birds in active migration. A former Florida resident, he currently resides in Cape May, New Jersey, but birding tours take him all over the world. Alex is leading Trips 6, 13, 19, 26, 41 and 52.
Michael Legare is Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge's Supervisory Refuge Biologist and works to develop and implement recovery efforts for federally threatened and endangered species across public lands in east-central Florida. One of the species he focuses on is the Eastern Black Rail, recently listed as federally Threatened. The St. Johns National Wildlife Refuge, managed though Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, is a location where Black Rails still survive. Michael will be leading Trip 8.
Lorri Lilja worked as a contractor for the St. Johns River Water Management doing bird surveys and other projects, which spawned her interest in birding. She earned an Environmental Studies degree from Rollins College and participates in bird and butterfly surveys, Bioblitzes, Florida Scrub-jay surveys and Christmas Bird Counts. Recently retired from a career in law enforcement, Lorri enjoys birding travel. Her American Birding Association (ABA) species list is over 500 and her worldwide total is over 700. Lorri enjoys pointing out birds to others and will be co-leading Trips 5, 10, 26, 47 and 55.
Ed Maldonado is a Retired Law Enforcement Officer with a passion for bird photography. This passion really started three years ago when he took his oldest grandson to a Bird Rehabilitation Center. Taking photos of birds not only helps Ed in his daily life but it is satisfying to share them with family and friends on social media.  His gear for bird photography is a Sony A9 camera and a Sony 200-600mm lens. Ed will be co-leading Trip 31 Viaje de fotografía. ​​​​​​​

Jim McGinity is a biologist and environmental educator that has worked at nature/environmental centers in four different states (Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida). He teaches at an environmental charter school (K - 8) in Lutz (north of Tampa). Jim is a master bird bander, interested in collaborating to conserve neotropical migrants for future generations. His Florida Avian Conservation organization supports research on migratory songbirds in west-central Florida. Jim is a mentor for young birders in the Tampa Area and is co-founder of the Florida Young Birders Club. He will co-lead Trip 28.​​​​​​​
Eric Moore had a childhood love of nature and wildlife that led to him earning a degree in biology and later a medical degree. Medicine brought him to Florida in 1991; the abundance of wildlife has kept him here. Eric's photos have been featured in Florida media outlets and in photo galleries at Advent Health Hospital. Co-moderator for the Florida Backyard Birds Facebook group, one of his greatest joys was having his yard designated as a certified wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. Eric will be co-leading Trips 24 and 60.
Chris Newton started birding with his father and uncle in the Northeast, including Christmas Bird Counts.  He has been a bird guide, monitored raptor nests in Nevada and done surveys on the Lake Apopka North Shore. His full-time job is keeper of giraffes, lions, rhinos and zebras at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In 2015, he did an Osceola County Big Year in competition with his friend Gallus Quigley, who did a Lake County Big Year. Chris saw 236 bird species, a record for Osceola County. He saw his 700th North American bird species in 2019. Chris will co-lead trips 3, 13, 18, 27, and 55. 
Katrina Noland is a Land Management Specialist with the St Johns River Water Management District, assisting in management of 10 conservation areas totaling over 80,000 acres in Orange, Seminole, Brevard, and Volusia Counties. Keeping the natural lands healthy while offering public recreation opportunities makes for an extremely diverse work schedule. Katrina earlier worked as Land Manager for Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales and was an exotics spray technician and AmeriCorps member with the Florida Parks Service. Her BS degree is in Environmental Science from the University of Central Florida. Katrina will be co-leading Trip 10.​​​​​​​
Lee Ann Posavad is an avid nature photographer who enjoys working with young photographers, having taught her grandchildren photography. She has taught Youth and Family Photo Workshops for Orange Audubon Society for several years including for our festival. Lee Ann is always learning by working with other photographers and taking photo workshops to improve her skills. See her photography at this link. She designed our festival T-shirts this year and last. Lee Ann will be co-leading Trips 1, 7 and 33.
Ben Powell frequents the Lake Apopka North Shore. He considers himself equal parts birder and photographer, inspired by grandmother and father and reading the National Audubon Society Field Guide for North America Birds as a kid. He gets great shots with his Nikon D700 / 200-500mm combo aided by Nikon bins for tracking.  Professionally a Manager of Commercial Finance, Ben is Scoutmaster of a local Boy Scout Troop and a Bird Study and Photography Merit Badge Counselor. Ben will be co-leading Trip 11.
Lynn Proenza is a Wildlife Biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in Christmas, FL. In addition to land management activities, she conducts annual grassland bird and Eastern Bluebird nesting box surveys. Her true birding passion started while hosting birding tours each year at Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area. She looks forward to each migration and loves traveling to new destinations to add to her growing list of bird sightings. Lynn will be co-leading Trip 11.
Gallus Quigley works as a planner, biologist and trails coordinator with the Lake County Parks & Trails Division. He also is a birding guide with Rebecca Smith through Archaeopteryx Birding and Nature Tours. An avid birder for over 25 years, he is the Cornell eBird regional reviewer for Lake and Sumter counties and coordinated the Florida Breeding Bird Atlas II for Lake County. He broke Lake County’s Big Year record in 2015 with 243 species. A past Orange Audubon board member, Gallus has contributed to the development of this festival. He will co-lead Trips 4, 14, 29, 39 and 64.
Matt Richardson is a native Floridian whose interest in birds began when his family moved to the pine woods of Northwest Florida. At age 8 he requested a field guide for Christmas and set out to identify every bird he could find. Moving to Central Florida in 2005 for a career in corporate finance, he added photography to his birding hobby. Matt frequents the North Shore, St. Marks NWR, the South Carolina low country and birds on business travel. He enjoys fishing, camping and is a scratch golfer but easily distracted by birds. He will co-lead Trips 37 and 51.
Kathy Rigling is an avid birder, eBirder and photographer who retired after 35 years as a middle school science teacher. She is part-time Education Coordinator for Orange Audubon Society, coordinates local bird survey and serves on the NORTH SHORE BIRDING FESTIVAL committee. Each summer Kathy directs the Nature Studies program at the Wekiva Youth Camp. She will co-lead many trips (see At-A-Glance).
Ralph Risch for many years was Florida Scrub-Jay Biologist for Seminole State Forest in Lake County and now is principal forester for Flagler County. While studying for his zoology masters at University of South Florida, he worked at Archbold Biological Station with pioneering Scrub-Jay experts Reed Bowman, John Fitzpatrick and Glenn Woolfenden. He has birded in 45 states, 3 Canadian provinces, and 6 European countries, and worked as a bird biologist in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, New York, Oregon and Washington, and as a birding guide. He will be leading Trip 49.
Bob Sena has been doing scenic and nature photography for many years, beginning with trips to over 30 US national parks and continuing with trips to such places as the Galapagos Islands, China, and New Zealand. In recent years he has used his photos as a basis for more than 70 detailed color pencil drawings of birds and other wildlife, winning “Best of Show” and other awards at various competitions. Bob has a degree in Graphics Communication. He will be co-leading Trip 32.
Steve Shaluta ​​​​​​​was the West Virginia Tourism Board’s primary photographer for 30 years. Upon retirement, he moved to Central Florida and has turned to nature photography, with the Lake Apopka North Shore, Emeralda Marsh, and Ocala National Forest among his favorite places. Steve had taught many photo workshops in West Virginia and now teaches in Central Florida.  He will be co-leading Trips 16 and 48.
Alan Shapiro owned a large native plant wholesale nursery in Gainesville, FL before retiring to Winter Garden several years ago. He now spends most of his time outside birding, botanizing, biking and kayaking - usually around Lake Apopka.  As he had been active with Alachua Audubon, Orange Audubon has pulled him into our fold as board member and festival committee member. He will be co-leading Trips 1, 17, 32, 51 and 56.
Scott Simmons was given a SLR camera in 2001. HIs interest turned to nature photography and a few years later, through the Central Maryland Photographer's Guild, he developed a passion for teaching. The more he learned about photography, the more he wanted to be out in nature photographing it and the more he “got into” birding. Scott is a fan of the Lake Apopka North Shore and submitting observations to iNaturalist. He is an eBirder, chaser of rare species and has a great ear for bird vocalizations. See learnoutdoorphotography.com to see his photos. Scott will be co-leading Trips 20 and 25.
David Simpson is one of Florida’s top birders, a life-
long resident of central Florida and holds many American Birding Association records, including Big Year and Big Day. He has spent over 25 years leading tours, both through his previous job as a ranger at the St. Sebastian Buffer Preserve and at festivals. He currently is active in the revival of the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival. He is a birding guide through his own company, Birding with David Simpson. David will be leading Trips 5, 26, 46 and 59​​​​​​​. 
Rebecca Smith, "Beck" to her friends, now leads birding tours with Gallus Quigley through Archaeopteryx Birding and Nature Tours, a festival sponsor. Since 2000 during her internship studying dotted skippers and diamondback terrapins in New Jersey, Beck's passion for biodiversity spread from entomology and herpetology to birding. A Certified Master Naturalist, she volunteers with Audubon Florida's Jay Watch, NABA butterfly counts and Christmas Bird Counts. She has been a bird bander with the Wekiva Basin Banding Station. Beck will be co-leading Trips TBA.
Mary Soule is one of the most dedicated birders on the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive—digiscoping and documenting on eBird the arrival of waterfowl and shorebirds as well as spotting rarities. In the Orange County June Challenge. Mary placed first in 2019 and second in 2020. Mary will be co-leading Trips 2, 6, 9 15 and 34.

Joan Tague walked through the doors of the Pittsburgh Aviary in 1987 and never looked back. Her path in birding is like so many others that love a hobby—studying, doing the field work, traveling, developing skills, giving back through volunteering and teaching both adults and children. She regularly guides field trips for Halifax Audubon Society and other organizations and looks forward to sharing her love for her adopted home of Central Florida. She will be co-leading Trip 30.

Susan Thome-Barrett is an avid birder who now serves as Orange Audubon Society's conservation chair. She retired as a physical therapist and, in the past, worked in marketing. Susan is part of the team originating Bird Chats with Orange Audubon Society, the weekly online Zoom programs. She co-leads Orange Audubon Society's Beginner's Bird Watching Classes, was instrumental in the start of our Young Birders Club, and is an avid birder, here and in her home state Ohio. Susan will be co-leading Trips 5 and 52.
​​​​​​​John Thomton began birding during his junior year of high school in the Chicago suburbs. An avid birder in Central Florida for the past 15 years while working for Disney, John founded and is compiler for two local Christmas Bird Counts, Clermont and Bay Hill. He holds degrees in wildlife management and biology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and particularly likes corvids. John will be co-leading Trip 27.
Craig Watson is recently retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the ACE Basin south of Charleston, SC, where he researched avian populations. Thirty-three years ago, he worked for the U.S. Forest Service in the Francis Marion National Forest when Hurricane Hugo hit and obliterated the population of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. Craig led the installing artificial inserts into pine trees, now widely used to expand populations of this endangered woodpecker. He and partner Pam Ford lead trips and bird surveys for the Carolina Bird Club and now Ventures Birding Tours, a festival sponsor. Craig will co-lead Trips 3, 8, 15, 33, 37, 40 and 59.
Maxfield Weakley has been immersed in wildlife since his earliest memories. Learning to photograph at the age of eight from his father, Kent Weakley, deepened his passion for wildlife (particularly the feathered variety). He graduated from the Univ. of Central Florida in 2019 after helping found the UCF Knighthawk Audubon Campus Chapter. His website, www.MaxBirdFacts.com, shares his passion for avifauna and photography with fellow bird nerds around the world. Max will co-lead Trips 16 and 48.
Bob Wexler is a Lake County birder who does bird surveys with Gallus Quigley and leads trips locally for Oklawaha Valley Audubon Society. Bob has been an avid birder for 65 years and moved to Central Florida in 2004 from the Catskill Mountains of New York. He and his late wife birded in over 30 countries. Bob will co-lead Trip 48.
Graham Williams works for the St Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) managing 10 conservation areas totaling over 80,000 acres in Orange, Seminole, Brevard, and Volusia Counties. He balances public access and recreation with natural resource management and regularly employs prescribed burning. Graham has BS and MS degrees in Biology from the University of Central Florida and was a SJRWMD Land Management Specialist in north Florida, a Florida Park Service Environmental Specialist II, and worked for the Seminole County Natural Lands before becoming a SJRWMD Land Manager. An avid birder, Graham will lead Trip 10.
2022 Field Trip Leaders Who May Be Back, Depending on Schedules
Debra Segal is a retired environmental scientist who worked in the field of wetlands ecology, soil science, and environmental permitting for over 25 years. While working with Wetland Solutions, Inc., Debbie helped design and permit Sweetwater Wetlands Park in Gainesville.  She serves on the stakeholder committees for Sweetwater as well as for Gainesville's proposed new treatment wetland.  Debbie is also president of the Alachua Audubon Society
Danny Young is a birder and environmental consultant, owner at Young Bear Environmental / YBE Consulting. He is also on the Land Management Partners Committee at Florida Native Plant Society. He lives in Edgewater, Florida.
Tim Hardin is Alachua County's top young birder and co-vice president of Alachua Audubon. He is winner of the Alachua County June Challenge for several years. He has led Orange Audubon on January trips to Gainesville birding hotspots for the past two years and presented for us on Bird Chats. 
Connor Wagner has been the Park Services Specialist and Volunteer Manager at Blue Spring State Park since September 2021.  Connor has his B.S. in Environmental Science and Land Management from the University of West Florida, and his M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of South Florida.  Before working for Blue Spring, he worked for the Longleaf Alliance in Northwest Florida doing prescribed fire and land management work on sensitive habitats.  Connor enjoys birding and giving educational talks to curious park visitors.
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