Speakers


don-quintenzDon Quintenz
Senior Ecologist
Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

About Don Quntenz:
Don Quintenz is the Senior Ecologist at Schlitz Audubon, and has been teaching environmental education since 1967. Before joining the Schlitz Audubon teaching staff in 1981, he worked with the Milwaukee Public Schools as their environmental specialist for five years, and before that he was with the Wisconsin Humane Society for three years as their environmental educator and the Wisconsin DNR as a resource technician. The skill he cherishes the most is his ability to excite and fascinate people about the natural world because of his intimate familiarity with the native flora and fauna.


Sumner MattesonSumner Matteson
Avian Ecologist
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Wisconsin Stopover Initiative

About Sumner Matteson:
Sumner Matteson is an Avian Ecologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and has worked for 35 years on the conservation and management of several endangered and threatened bird species in Wisconsin, including the restoration of the Trumpeter Swan.  He is a founding organizer of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative, has been involved in regional bird conservation plans with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and Canada, has served on national advisory boards, and serves as the state’s nongame bird representative to the Nongame Bird Technical Section of the Mississippi Flyway Council.  Since 2005, he has co-led the Wisconsin Stopover Initiative with Kim Grveles, focusing on the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats within  Great Lakes’ basins.

Sumner received his M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and studied the breeding biology of the Zone-tailed Hawk under the guidance of Dr. Grainger Hunt of the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute in Alpine Texas.  In 1974, he conducted for the UW-SeaGrant College Program the first systematic survey of colonial waterbirds breeding along the Wisconsin Lake Superior coast – a survey he has repeated every 5 years since then.

In recent years, he has focused on surveys and management of Wisconsin’s four endangered terns; participated in a Common Tern geolocator study on Lake Superior; co-led the Wisconsin Piping Plover conservation effort with the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy, and The Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Tribe; helped oversee and participate in the second Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas; and assisted the Wisconsin Natural Resources Foundation with the funding of major Wisconsin bird conservation programs.

When not immersed in ornithological pursuits, Sumner can be observed biking, hiking, swimming, trying to keep up with 3 children, and gardening, including, notably, canning 28 quarts of tomato juice in late summer 2016.


Robin KimmererDr. Robin Kimmerer
Distinguished Teacher and Professor
State University of New York
Center for Native Peoples and the Environment

About Dr. Robin Kimmerer:
Dr. Kimmerer is a mother, plant ecologist, writer and SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. She serves as the founding Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability. Her research interests include the role of traditional ecological knowledge in ecological restoration and the ecology of mosses. In collaboration with tribal partners, she and her students have an active research program in the ecology and restoration of plants of cultural significance to Native people. She is active in efforts to broaden access to environmental science education for Native students, and to create new models for integration of indigenous philosophy and scientific tools on behalf of land and culture. She is engaged in programs which introduce the benefits of traditional ecological knowledge to the scientific community, in a way that respects and protects indigenous knowledge.

As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. Dr. Kimmerer is the author of numerous scientific papers on the ecology of mosses and restoration ecology and on the contributions of traditional ecological knowledge to our understanding of the natural world. She is also active in literary biology. Her essays appear in Whole Terrain, Adirondack Life, Orion and several anthologies. She is the author of “Gathering Moss” which incorporates both traditional indigenous knowledge and scientific perspectives and was awarded the prestigious John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing in 2005. Her latest book “Braiding Sweetgrass: indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants” was released in 2013 and was awarded the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award. She has served as writer in residence at the Andrews Experimental Forest, Blue Mountain Center, the Sitka Center and the Mesa Refuge.


Dave EwertDave Ewert, Ph.D.
Avian Conservation Scientist, Migratory Bird Program
The Nature Conservancy – Michigan Chapter

About Dave Ewert:
Dave Ewert is a Senior Conservation Scientist with The Nature Conservancy.  He works on several conservation topics, including winter habitat of the Kirtland’s Warbler in The Bahamas, protection of stopover sites for migratory birds in the Great Lakes region, and Great Lakes coastline and island protection.

Dr. Ewert received his B.S. from the University of Michigan, and Ph.D. from the City University of New York. His research and conservation projects have taken him to the West Indies, Central and South America.

He has served on boards of conservation organizations and teaches at the University of Michigan Biological Station.


Susan BonfieldDr. Susan Bonfield
Executive Director
Environment for the Americas
Home of International Migratory Bird Day


Katie KochKatie Koch
Migratory Bird Biologist
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Midwest Coordinated Bird Monitoring Partnership

About Katie Koch:
Katie Koch landed her dream job with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 2008 as a Migratory Bird Biologist.  Her main charge has been developing and leading the Midwest Coordinated Bird Monitoring Partnership and Midwest Avian Data Center.  She also serves on the steering committee for the Avian Knowledge Network and has co-chaired the North American Bird Conservation Initiative’s Monitoring Subcommittee and Avian Knowledge Alliance.  On occasion, she manages to get out in the field to survey for nocturnal birds, secretive marshbirds, breeding birds, and the federally endangered Kirtland’s Warbler.  Katie was recently appointed to the new Kirtland’s Warbler Conservation Team and is coordinating the Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial throughout 2016 in the Midwest Region.  Katie is a graduate of UW-Stevens Point, and she enjoys outdoorsy adventures with her husband and Siberian husky.  When not working on bird conservation, she can be found cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, practicing yoga, camping, organic gardening, reading, learning, and serving through her local Rotary club.


Rebeccah A. Sanders
Executive Director, Audubon Great Lakes
Vice President, National Audubon Society

About Rebeccah Sanders:
Rebeccah Sanders joined Audubon in 2013, where she is inspired by Audubon’s commitment to building smart conservation solutions that work for birds, nature, and communities. She currently serves as the executive director of Audubon Great Lakes and the deputy director of the Mississippi Flyway. She has a background in engaging diverse communities in civic and environmental issues. Prior to her positions at Audubon, Rebeccah led the Chicago Cultural Alliance and the International Business Council. Inspired by nature documentaries on PBS and her parents’ subscription to National Geographic, she studied anthropology and environmental science at the University of Notre Dame, earning a B.A., and then received an M.A. from the University of Georgia’s Department of Environmental and Ecological Anthropology. As a Fulbright Scholar, Rebeccah studied in Israel.  After settling back in Chicago nearly a decade ago, Rebeccah spends her weekends enjoying the birds and landscapes of the Great Lakes with her husband and three children.


Craig ThompsonCraig Thompson
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Division of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks

About Craig Thompson:
Craig Thompson is Chief of Program Integration for the Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation.  He serves as Chair of the International Committee of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative (WBCI), on the Leadership and Technical Teams for AFWA’s Southern Wings program, is a member of the BCR 12 Steering Committee and sits on the Board of Directors of Osa Conservation, a Costa Rican NCO. Craig has a keen interest in working with birders to catalyze conservation.  He lives in La Crosse, on Wisconsin’s west coast, with his wife, Mary, two mischievous dogs and a yard full of cool bugs.


Bill VolkertBill Volkert
Wisconsin Naturalist and Wildlife Educator

About Bill Volkert:
Bill worked as the naturalist and wildlife educator for Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources at Horicon Marsh for 27 years, where he conducted more than 3,700 education programs for over 220,000 people.  His broad audiences included 66 delegations of scientists from 43 countries who came for professional training.  In his personal time he has traveled widely in search of the world’s birds and the wild places they inhabit.  His travels have taken him to 33 countries, from the Canadian Arctic to  Southeast Asia and Borneo, and from Siberia and Mongolia to India, Africa and throughout Latin America, among other remote locations.

Bill has been watching and studying birds for over 40 years and in his travels has sighted more than 3,600 species.  He shares his experiences and understanding of the natural world through lectures, presentations, and field trips.  He is also the author of “Where to Watch Birds in Nicaragua” and is working on several other writing projects that will give these presentations more permanence and reach an even wider public.


Working Group Session Speakers

Working Group I: Stopover Protection and Management
Session Facilitators

Craig Thompson
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Division of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks

Jane Anklam
Northwoods Land Conservation Manager
West Wisconsin Land Trust


Planning Committee

Kim Grveles
Avian Ecologist
Coordinator, Wisconsin Stopover Initiative
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Diane Packett
Migratory Bird Ecologist
Wisconsin Stopover Initiative

David Ewert, Ph.D.
Avian Conservation Scientist, Migratory Bird Program
The Nature Conservancy – Michigan Chapter

Jane Anklam
Northwoods Land Conservation Manager
West Wisconsin Land Trust

Craig Thompson
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Division of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks


Session I Speakers

Mhairi McFarlaneMhairi McFarlane
Conservation Science Manager, Ontario Region
Nature Conservancy of Canada

About Mhairi McFarlane:
Mhairi McFarlane grew up in Scotland, where she completed an Honours Ecology degree from the University of Stirling. She then completed her PhD in Ecology from the University of Exeter in Cornwall. Her thesis was on the behavioural ecology of Cape Sugarbirds in South Africa. She moved to Ontario in 2006, and had short contracts with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Bird Studies Canada before joining the Nature Conservancy of Canada in March 2008. She worked as the Conservation Biologist for southwestern Ontario before becoming the Conservation Science Manager for Ontario in September 2014.

Katie KahlKatherine Kahl, Ph. D.
Conservation Policy & Practices Specialist
The Nature Conservancy

About Katie Kahl:
Katie joined The Nature Conservancy in 2011, focusing on Great Lakes Climate Change adaptation strategies. Since 2013, she has been the Michigan Conservation Policy and Practices Specialist, managing Michigan’s Western Lake Erie Coastal Strategy and co-managing the Conservancy’s Great Lakes Coastal Strategy.

Prior to joining TNC, Katie held positions as the director of conservation and policy research for the Heart of the Lakes Center for Conservation Policy, representing Michigan’s regional land conservancies, and managed a seven-county Green Infrastructure Project in west Michigan, connecting local units of government, businesses and conservation organizations who share regional land-use interests. She completed her master’s and Ph.D. at Michigan State University’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife with a focus in quantitative and landscape ecology.


Working Group II: Research and Monitoring  Midwest Landbird Migration Monitoring Network (MLMMN)
Session Facilitators

Amber Roth
Assistant Professor of Forest Wildlife Management, University of Maine
Coordinator, MLMMN

William P. Mueller
Director, Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory
Steering Committee Member, MLMMN


Session Planners

Amber Roth
Assistant Professor of Forest Wildlife Management, University of Maine
Coordinator, MLMMN

William P. Mueller
Director, Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory
Steering Committee Member, MLMMN

Katie Koch
Migratory Bird Biologist
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Midwest Coordinated Bird Monitoring Partnership

Bryan Lenz
Chief Scientist
Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory
Steering Committee Member, MLMMN


Working Group III:  Education, Outreach, and Ecotourism
Session Facilitators

Dr. Susan Bonfield
Executive Director
Environment for the Americas
Home of International Migratory Bird Day

Kim Grveles
Avian Ecologist
Coordinator, Wisconsin Stopover Initiative
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources


Session III Speakers

Dr. Susan Bonfield
Executive Director
Environment for the Americas
Home of International Migratory Bird Day

Carl Schwartz
Steering Committee Chair
Bird City Wisconsin
Board Chair, Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory
Editor, The Badger Birder, Wisconsin Society for Ornithology

Kim Grveles
Avian Ecologist
Coordinator, Wisconsin Stopover Initiative
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Joanna EcklesJoanna Eckles
Bird Friendly Communities Manager
Audubon Minnesota

About Joanna Eckles:
Joanna has watched, studied and worked with birds all her life. She started Project BirdSafe for Audubon Minnesota in 2006 to study bird-window collisions and promote solutions. Joanna is also developing Bird City Minnesota, a municipal recognition program modeled after Bird City Wisconsin which highlights communities for the positive actions they take on behalf of birds, including steps to reduce bird-window collisions among other threats.

Matthew Freer
Assistant Director of Landscape – Natural Areas
Chicago Park District

About Matthew Freer:
Matt Freer manages the Natural Areas Program at the Chicago Park District.  The Park District holds over 1,500 acres of urban natural ecosystems.  Matt has worked in various settings including land management and program oversight.  Matt has recently joined the Executive council of Chicago Wilderness.  Believing in multiple uses for urban natural areas Matt is currently helping to oversee a natural areas expansion and transition of the Natural Areas program from simply ‘preservation’ to ‘participation.’

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