Julie Albert (Marine Resources Council)

Julie is the Coordinator for Marine Resource Council’s North Atlantic Right Whale Conservation Program. Her projects educate the public on the biology and conservation of right whales. She runs the MRC’s Right Whale Spotter Network, one of the largest volunteer-based scientific networks in the U.S. The spotter network provides photos of right whales that are used to identify individual animals, as well as adding to databases the animals’ movements, abundance, behavior, habitat use and, in the case of mothers, their calving history.


Bryan Ames (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

Bryan is a wildlife biologist with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on two FWC lead properties; Salt Lake Wildlife Management Area (SLWMA) in Brevard County and Split Oak Forest Wildlife Environmental Area (SOFWEA) in Orange County. He has been employed by FWC since April 2002; working at SLWMA since 2004. His focus as a land manager is implementing prescribed fire, wildlife surveys and monitoring, exotic plant species control, physical/mechanical vegetation treatments, and managing passive recreation and public hunting opportunities.


Sarah Anderson (Space Coast Audubon)

Sarah got interested in watching birds as many people do: watching bird feeders while growing up. She graduated from Warren Wilson College with a BA in Environmental Studies in 1987. After moving to Florida in 1992, she joined Space Coast Audubon, became an officer on the board and started going on field trips and helping with CBCs. Sarah has led field trips for the SCBWF for 18 years. Sarah got a dream job (getting paid to watch birds) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station monitoring the population of threatened Florida Scrub-Jays that live on the “Cape.” Through associates with Space Coast Audubon and friends made at SCBWF, Sarah was able to participate in birding trips to the Dry Tortugas, Mexico, Costa Rica and Belize.


Amar Ayyash (Gull Expert, Blogger and Speaker)

Amar is both an expert on gull identification and an evangelist for ‘gull recreation’. He hosts several popular websites devoted to gulling, and he has published various technical articles on gull ID and range shifts. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Ornithological Society and coordinates the Annual Gull Frolic. Amar lives in Northern Illinois and does much of his gull-watching in the Lake Michigan region. Beside supplementing the need to ramble about this fascinating family of birds, the primary objective in maintaining this website (www.anythinglarus.com) is to advance gull recreation in North America.  Visit “North American Gulls” on Facebook. Contact: [email protected]


Christina Baal (Drawing 10,00 Birds)

Christina Baal is a wandering bird artist whose life dream is to see and paint 10,000 species of birds. Since graduating from Bard College in 2014, she has wandered the world meeting incredible places, birds, and people. As an artist, she loves looking at birds for their colorful personalities and loves to encourage others to do so as well. Aside from her work as an artist, Christina works as an environmental educator, bird guide, and art teacher. She currently lives in Hoonah, Alaska. You can see her paintings and follow her adventures on her website, Drawing 10,000 Birds. 


Al Brayton (Merritt Island NWR Volunteer)

Al was born in Staten Island, NY in 1949. He attended Wagner College and earned a BS degree. Al has been birding since he was 17. He led more than 500 field trips for the John Burroughs Natural History Society in the Hudson Valley from 1971 until 2005. He also did a lot of hiking in the Catskill Mountains at the same time. During a ten-year span, Al planned and led most the trips for the Burroughs Society. That included approximately a dozen pelagic/whale watching trips. Al worked as a health inspector for over 30 years. He picked up more college courses in Ornithology, basic Biology and Chemistry thru his job. He authored several articles and short stories which appeared in the NYS Federation of Bird Clubs magazine as well as in the John Burroughs monthly publication. Al moved to Titusville in 2005 and started volunteering for USFWS at the Merritt Island NWR shortly thereafter. He is one of the driver/guides for the refuge tours. He also lead other walks and give lectures from time to time for MINWR.

Michael Brothers (Marine Science Center)

Michael has been the Director of the Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet, Florida for the past 11 years. He a member of the Florida Ornithological Society Records Committee, which evaluates reports of birds recorded in the wild in Florida and is responsible for updating the scientific record of Florida’s bird life. Michael is also a regional editor of the journal “North American Birds.” He is currently conducting a banding project on Lesser Black-backed Gulls in Volusia County in hopes of determining the breeding location of the Lesser Black-backed Gulls in North America.


Chris Brown (Wildside Nature Tours)

After beginning his college career at the University of Montana, Chris took several years to gain experience through biological field work. This led him through jobs in 10 states and with multiple bird observatories, including breeding bird surveys in Montana, bird and habitat surveys in several other Rocky Mountain States, breeding bird atlas work in Ohio and counting migrating hawks and seabirds in Cape May and Sandy Hook, New Jersey. He continues to work towards degrees in Wildlife Biology and Plant Science.


Glenn Crawford (Wildside Nature Tours)

Glenn is a naturalist and teacher of outstanding abilities. His mastery of bird identification is excelled only by the acuity of his vision and hearing. Curious about birds as a child, Glenn began his “official” birding career as a young teenager in northern Belize. He was so excited about birds, he would spend days in the bush studying their field marks, habits and vocalizations long before he ever knew about field guides or binoculars. Glenn became an official Belizean licensed guide in 1986, and has since continued his nature studies throughout Central America. With Wildside for over 15 years, you can enjoy Glenn’s ever-present smile and energetic leadership on each of our Central America birding focused tours!


Paddy Cunningham (Birding Adventures)

Paddy has been a Florida Naturalist for 35 years. Her motto is You Learn the I.D., and her passion is helping birders gain advanced skills during birding festivals and classes. She is Coordinator of the Everglades Birding Festival and new Birding Festival of the Keys. In 2008, she was 1st in Florida and 27th in the ABA area during a Big Year. For Audubon, she is CBC compiler and Field Trip Coordinator.

Paddy Cunningham (Birding Adventures) – See Classroom Presenters


Jim Eager (Obsessive Compulsive Birding)

After a 35-year career with BellSouth, Jim realized his dream of doing field work after being selected as a raptor observer for the 2008 Florida Keys HawkWatch Project. As an avian field technician, Jim has studied Bachman’s Sparrows in North Carolina, shorebirds/seabirds in Florida and breeding songbirds in Virginia. He has spent many years birding at Merritt Island NWR. Jim is the Social Media Coordinator as well as a 10-year field trip leader for the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival. He is a Florida Ornithological Society (FOS) board member recently become Associate Editor (for bird distribution) for the FOS “Florida Field Naturalist”. Jim owns Obsessive Compulsive Birding, specializing in guided trips in and around Central Florida.


Dave Goodwin (Florida Ornithological Society)

Dave has been birding Florida since the age of fifteen. A retired History Teacher, he now spends his time as an environmental instructor for nature camps at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve in St. Petersburg, and as a bird monitor for an environmental survey firm. He also helps lead tours to the Dry Tortugas and South Florida. He has seen more than 470 species of birds in Florida and is closing in on 700 species for the lower 48 states.


Jeff Gordon (American Birding Association)

Jeff is the president of the American Birding Association and a well-known writer, photographer and naturalist. There’s very little about birds, birding, and birders that he doesn’t find fascinating, though he’s especially interested in birding culture and the many ways we all communicate our passion for birds. The American Birding Association inspires all people to enjoy and protect wild birds and offers a wealth of resources for birders, as well as providing a suite of effective conservation and community programs that aim to build a brighter future for birds and for birders.


Dave Grant (Shark Research Institute)

Dave is the Deputy Director of the Shark Research Institute, Princeton, NJ, and established Brookdale College’s Ocean Institute at Sandy Hook, NJ. He has researched oceanography and birds for NOAA, USNPS, USF&WS; taught at Rutgers University Dept. of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography; and studied shark fisheries in the Atlantic and Pacific. Most recently he co-directed the Women Researchers In Science – Journey to the Sea of Cortez Expedition; participated in climate monitoring, albatross surveys, biological research on Laysan duck disease and recovery, and invasive species removal at Papahanaumokuakea – Midway Atoll. Dave has presented in all coastal states, Canada, Germany and on international cruises.


Mitchell Harris (Florida Ornithological Society)

Mitchell has been interested in Natural History and all things out-of-doors from his earliest memories as a small child growing up in Vero Beach Fl. He took up birding fifteen years ago, and is now an avid birder that is most interested in pelagic type birds but enjoys anything that flies. His spark bird might have been a white morph Gyrfalcon that he saw many years ago, just north of the Brooks Range on the North Slope of Alaska.


David Hartgrove (Halifax River Audubon)

Dave’s “spark bird” was a Loggerhead Shrike, in 1973. He was a backyard birder until 1986 when he was introduced to hard core birding through the first Florida Breeding Bird Atlas. In 1987 he became the Conservation Chair for Halifax River Audubon, in Daytona Beach. In 1996 he became compiler for the Daytona Beach CBC. He’s lead trips to the Dry Tortugas, Cuba and Panama. 2020 marks 16 years leading trips at the festival.


Kevin Karlson (Kevin T. Karlson Bird and Nature Photography)

Kevin is a birder, tour leader and wildlife photographer who has published many bird and nature related articles for magazines, books, and journals. He is a regular presence at nature festivals, where he gives keynote presentations and workshops on bird identification and appreciation, as well as photo instruction. Kevin has also authored five books on bird ID and photography. They include The Shorebird Guide, Birding by Impression, Birds of Prey, and the upcoming Gulls Simplified. Two photography books are The Birds of Cape May and Visions: Earth’s Elements in Bird and Nature Photography. Kevin produced six photographic laminated foldout guides on Raptors, Waterfowl, Warblers, Shorebirds and Owls and Nightjars.


John Kendall (Indiana Bird Records Committee)

John has been interested in nature and birding (before birding was cool or even existed) for over 50 years. He has 8mm movies of birds at his home-made bird feeder with a spark bird Red-breasted Nuthatch. An avid “snowbirder” in New Smyrna Beach, John retired from Nalco Co. after a 38-year career as a Chemical Engineer, Sales Manager and Consultant. He has birded in a dozen countries amassing approximately 3,000 species and ~700 in US Lower 48. He has birded extensively in Florida, Texas (lived), California, Michigan, Pennsylvania (lived) Arizona and Oregon. He enjoys all types of birding, esp. Seawatching/pelagic and shorebirds. John has been birding Indiana and the Indiana Dunes area for 28 years. He was the Indiana Audubon Quarterly Editor, 2010-2016 and past Chairman of the Indiana Bird Records Committee and member for 8 years. John has 370 species in Indiana and established the Indiana Big Year record at 312 species in 2008. John is a founder and Secretary of NIMBA, (Northwest Indiana Migratory Bird Association). A particularly rewarding experience has been initiating and maintaining a fifteen-year old Purple Martin colony where he and his wife, Kathy reside. His favorite charity is American Bird Conservancy.


Adam Kent (Florida Ornithological Society)

Adam is an enthusiastic bird nerd who enjoys watching birds in his backyard as well as exotic locals around the globe. A highlight of Adam’s bird adventures was making recordings that led to the description of a new species of bird in Mexico, the Nava’s Wren. Adam has worked on a variety of bird jobs in Florida and internationally and also leads birding tours. While with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, he developed the educational program Bird Detective, assessed sites for the Great Florida Birding Trail, and worked as the state’s first Scrub-Jay Conservation Coordinator.


Gina Kent (Avian Research and Conservation Institute)

Since 2000, Gina Kent has been based in Florida with the Avian Research and Conservation Institute, www.arcinst.org. Whether conducting bird surveys from small planes, boating around the Florida Keys, or climbing up 100-foot tall trees, Gina has worked with many Florida specialty birds including Short-tailed Hawks, Snail Kites, Swallow-tailed Kites, Reddish Egrets, White-crowned Pigeons and others. She travels throughout the Southeast US and internationally to capture birds for telemetry studies, to follow migrating birds, and to gather data to inform management and conservation. Her free time is spent birding, traveling, and guiding trips with her husband Adam.


Kim King-Wrenn (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Merritt Island NWR)

Kim began her conservation career with the National Park Service, going from Everglades National Park to the Grand Canyon and then to Acadia National Park on Maine’s rocky coast. Along the way she learned how gateway communities can be valuable partners in achieving the shared goals of the Service and the local community. She transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1997, working at Pea Island NWR on the NC coast. There Kim worked with local, state, federal and non-profit partners establishing the Wings Over Water Festival, which became a model for successful public-private partnerships in eco-tourism. As the Visitor Services Manager at MINWR, Kim works on permitting for eco-tour guides.


Alex Lamoreaux (Wildside Nature Tours)

Alex attended Penn State University, studying wildlife biology. A freelance nature tour guide, field biologist, and wildlife photographer, Alex has traveled extensively throughout North America, Central America, and South Africa. Alex has worked on wildlife research projects ranging from Whimbrel migration along the coast of Virginia to Yellow-billed Cuckoo nesting in the desert southwest. As migration counter at the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, he has documented the massive visible migration of raptors and songbirds along Lake Superior.


Erin Lehnert (M.Sc. Ornithology)

Erin got her master’s degree in ornithology from the University of Central Oklahoma. She currently works with the California Condor Recovery Program at Pinnacles National Park in California. Erin wants to protect the wild areas of the world, and hopes that through research and science she can contribute to conservation practices for birds and all other wildlife. Erin hopes that by sharing enthusiasm for the natural world, those that she encounters will also find a love for nature and the world around them.


Gabriel Lugo (Wildside Nature Tours)

Gabriel is a certified Puerto Rico guide, his passion sparked by an invitation to join an Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Curiosity became a passion and Gabriel was soon making major sightings throughout Puerto Rico, earning a strong reputation with the local birding community. One of the top birding guides in Puerto Rico, his contributions led him to be elected President of the Puerto Rico Ornithological Society. His contagious enthusiasm helped make him an excellent leader!


Samantha McGee (Florida Department of Environmental Protection)

Sammy is the Park Environmental Specialist at St Sebastian River Preserve State Park. A native Floridian, she was born and raised in Melbourne Beach. Her first jobs were in the western U.S. working with various environmental agencies. Upon returning to the east, Sammy joined the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Aquatic Preserves Program. For 1 ½ years she spent most of her days in a wet suit researching sea grasses and shellfish in the Banana River and in the Mosquito and Indian River Lagoons. Sammy has been at the St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park since 2004. Her many projects there include prescribed fire management, hydrologic restoration, exotic invasive species eradication, public education and outreach, and protected species management and monitoring, including Red-cockaded Woodpeckers.


Sea McKeon (American Bird Conservancy)

Dr. Sea McKeon of American Bird Conservancy is a biodiversity scientist and natural historian focused on the conservation of marine ecosystems.  An enthusiastic conservationist, science communicator, and storyteller, he has participated in expeditions to remote reaches of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian ocean basins investigating the response of global diversity to environmental challenges.

Greg Miller (Wildside Nature Tours)

Greg has birded in all 50 states and much of Canada during his 50 years of birding. In 1998 Greg zigzagged across the continent–traveling 130,000 miles–to try to see as many species of birds in one calendar year as possible. He passed the 700-species mark—an achievement many birders aspire to in a lifetime. But there was competition. Two other birders did “Big Years” the same year as Greg and also broke the 700- mark. Their competitive quests are documented in the 2004 non-fiction book, The Big Year, by Mark Obmascik. Twentieth Century Fox made a full feature motion picture inspired by the book. Greg serves on many bird-related boards and committees and was instrumental in decisions on listing and conservation.


Christian Newton (Local Naturalist)

Chris first started birding in the mid 80’s when his father and uncle took him on birding trips and Christmas Bird Counts throughout the Northeast. In spring 2019 outside of Phoenix, AZ Chris got his 700th species for North America; Ruddy Ground-Dove. Chris has been a birding guide in Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Texas and has worked as an on-call field biologist for environmental firms; monitoring raptor nests in Nevada and Florida. He currently works as a zoological manager overseeing giraffes, lions, rhinos and zebras and nightly operations. In 2015, Chris 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.


Jim Peterson (St Johns River Water Management District)  

Jim is the president of Oakland Nature Preserve on Lake Apopka and an environmental scientist for the   St. John’s River Water Management District where he is the Lake Apopka Field Station Supervisor. His areas of expertise are aquatic flora and fauna and birds.


Betty Salter (The Great Outdoors Trail Master and Naturalist) 

Betty has been a volunteer with US Fish and Wildlife Service at MINWR for about 25 years. She has been a Refuge Rover and a Beginning Birding Field Trip Leader. She created and implemented educational programs for students of all ages and worked with the University of Florida to establish the Florida Butterfly Monitoring Network at MINWR.  All of these activities are dear to her, but one in particular became very important… working with the fire management team at the refuge where she gained a greater understanding of prescribed fire… why and how it is used. Betty serves on the Great Outdoors Nature, RV & Golf Resort Firewise Committee and as Trail Master for their Nature Center. There are 9 nature trails through conservation areas at the Great Outdoors.


David Simpson (Birding with David Simpson)

David was born and raised in Brevard County Florida. With mentors like Helen Cruickshank and Johnnie Johnson and over 36 years in the field, it’s no wonder that he has become one of Florida’s premier birders. David has been leading birding tours in Florida for over 25 years, starting as a teenager leading field trips for his local Audubon chapter. Employment with the Florida Park Service, two Florida Big Years and countless Big Days, extensive county listing, and several environmental consulting jobs have led to an extensive knowledge of Florida’s amazing biodiversity. He was a Florida eBird reviewer and is currently a regional coordinator for the ongoing Florida Breeding Bird Atlas II Project. Check out his blog:birdingwithdavidsimpson.blogspot.com/.


Kelly Smith (American Birding Association)

As the newest member of the American Birding Association team, Kelly works in Delaware as the Headquarters Operations Manager.  A transplant birder from Texas, Kelly has assisted raptor and songbird banding projects in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. For the past decade Kelly has volunteered or served on the board of many nature organizations including the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival and Balcones Songbird Festival, the South Texas Border Chapter Texas Master Naturalists, the Friends of the Wildlife Corridor, Texas Pelagics, and the Texas Ornithological Society.  An all-around nature lover, Kelly spends her time hiking, kayaking, scuba-diving, biking, and looking for herps.


Rebecca Smith (Archaeopteryx Birding and Nature Tours)

Rebecca has been an avid birder and photographer for the last 12 years. She’s won several local photo contests and has a Florida state bird list of 350 species, including photos of each. She has a long resume of jobs in ornithology, studying everything from Clapper Rails to Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. Beck is a certified master naturalist and bird bander. She’s worked as a guide for birding festivals, field trips, and individual clients since 2016, both at home in Florida and abroad. She brings a passion for everything nature and her love of birds, butterflies, and insects is contagious to everyone who goes out with her.  You won’t find anyone more knowledgeable or passionate about what she does.


Jim Stahl (Friends of Enchanted Forest)

Jim Stahl is a native of Ohio where he worked his entire career at a regional natural area park system of 20,000 acres as chief naturalist and natural resource manager. Among his duties were biotic surveys, prairie and wetland restorations, managing natural areas, and making presentations about nature. He also taught life sciences at both Capital and Otterbein Universities as an adjunct professor. After retiring he and his wife moved to the Titusville area where he has been an active volunteer for the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, the Enchanted Forest, and is a long-time board member of the Space Coast Audubon Society. Jim has led field trips and presented talks for the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival for about 17 years.


Edie Stiner

Edie is a retired medical technologist. She began birding in the early 1970’s when husband John did his research on migrating warblers. Together they have birded many national parks and famous birding spots during his 33 years in the National Park Service.


John Stiner (Retired National Park Service – Canaveral National Seashore)

Born in Pennsylvania Dutch country John grew up on scrapple, apple dumplings and shoofly pie. He spent 33 years in the National Park Service working at both historic and natural parks including Gettysburg, Fort Sumter, Great Smoky Mountains and Canaveral National Seashore. While at Canaveral he managed the sea turtle protection program which grew from 3000 to 8000 nests annually. Other duties involved research and protection of hundreds of archeological sites, the information which he loves to share.


Joan Tague (Halifax River Audubon)

Looking for a volunteer opportunity, Joan Tague walked into the Pittsburgh (now National) Aviary in 1987 and changed her life. Along with meeting her future husband, bIrds, birding and education became her focus from that point on. Chuck and Joan published a monthly newsletter for 12 years highlighting the natural history of Western Pennsylvania while encouraging adults and children to experience nature through their classroom and outdoor programs and field trips. They migrated to central Florida in 2005 and almost immediately were “discovered” here. Joan now leads field trips for adults and children, presents programs on Birds and Butterflies, and volunteers for wildlife surveys.


Laurilee Thompson (Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival)

Laurilee is a fifth-generation Floridian with an unshakable commitment to the state’s natural resources, including the Indian River Lagoon. She is the co-owner of Dixie Crossroads, a southern seafood restaurant in Titusville, FL with international name recognition and a menu that features locally caught seafood. Laurilee is an avid naturalist with a pragmatic eye to the sustainable use of natural resources and an important advocate for the promotion, protection, and responsible use of our natural resources. She is the founder of the highly successful Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival and servers on numerous boards related to tourism, the environment and fishing.


John Thomton (Orange Audubon)

John has been birding since high school in the Chicago suburbs.  When he moved to Orlando 16 years ago, he quickly became enamored with the Space Coast and all of the amazing birding it had to offer.  He still remembers seeing his first Florida Scrub-Jays at Merritt Island NWR like it was yesterday.  He has since become rooted in the local birding community.  He is the founder of two local Christmas Bird Counts (Bay Lake and Clermont), and he is a regular tour leader for Orange Audubon Society’s North Shore Birding Festival each year.  He also occasionally leads bird walks during migration at Mead Botanical Garden in Winter Park (also through Orange Audubon), and at the Scrub Jay Trail in Clermont.  When he is not working as a zookeeper, doing activities related to his local church community, or birding, John enjoys traveling with his wife and their two young kids.


David Turner (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

Dave is the Lead Area Biologist for the 5,045-acre Salt Lake Wildlife Management Area in Brevard County, and the 1,700-acre Split Oak Forest Wildlife and Environmental Area in Orange and Osceola Counties. His main work duties include: habitat maintenance and restoration thru the use of prescribed fire, protection and preservation of listed, rare and focal flora and fauna, resource protection of natural communities thru treatment of invasive exotic flora and fauna, maintenance of infrastructure (roads, buildings, equipment, trails, kiosks, observation platforms, etc.), management of outdoor based recreational opportunities (public hunts, hiking, biking, equestrian riding, paddling, natural study, wildlife viewing, etc.), and the protection and preservation of historical resources.


Charlie Venuto (Merritt Island Wildlife Association)

Charlie is the newly elected President of the Merritt Island Wildlife Association. He is a part time Environmental Science Professor at the American Public University System.  He was awarded research grants from APUS to study the creation of the Merritt Island NWR and the lives of Allan and Helen Cruickshank. Prior to retirement, Charlie was an environmental professional for 39 years, mostly at the Kennedy Space Center. He is a former President of the Space Coast Audubon Society and sits on the board of the Brevard Nature Alliance. He is the Science Alternate for the Save Our Indian River Lagoon Citizen’s Oversight Committee.


Jennifer Warner (Experience Wildlife)

Jennifer Leigh Warner is a Fine Art Conservation Wildlife Photographer living in Central Texas and specializes in creating meaningful images that conveys a message of hope for the natural world. Jennifer feels strongly that by sharing these images of beautiful animals in their natural environment, she can inspire those around her to preserve the world that we share with all living creatures. As the Chair of the Ethics Committee for the North America Nature Photographers Association Jennifer promotes the ethical practice of photographing wildlife. Jennifer works closely with conservation organizations to help support their missions to protect wildlife and the world around us. She believes that photography is a powerful tool to share these stores, educate photo viewers on important topics and inspire change. Jennifer’s work has been published in Gizmodo, the NANPA Expressions Magazine, Outdoor Photographer Magazine, WIRED, The New Yorker, National Geographic Online and Wild Planet Photo Magazine among others. You can learn more about Jennifer and the conservation work that she does by visiting her website at www.experiencewildlife.com


Maria Zondervan (St Johns River Water Management District)

Maria graduated from the University of Florida in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. In 2011, she received her Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy and Management through the University of Lund in Sweden. Maria worked for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for 3 years as a Biological Scientist before joining the St. Johns River Water Management District.  She has been there for 18 years, managing all the wildlife programs within the Bureau of Land Resources and serving as Land Manager for the Lake Apopka North Shore Restoration Area. Current favorite projects include red-cockaded woodpecker translocation, scrub-jay habitat restoration and longleaf pine reforestation. Maria also works with barn owls, rodent studies, eagles, burrowing owls and alligators. She is a certified burn boss and an instructor for aerial ignition. Maria is also a Certified Wildlife Biologist and has been an active member of the Wildlife Society since 1996.


Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program Trip Leaders


Vince Lamb (Preserve Brevard) 

Vince is a Florida Master Naturalist and Nature Photographer.  Vince was heavily involved as a volunteer during the translocation efforts led by Brevard Zoo to move multiple Florida Scrub Jays families from areas being developed to conservation lands.  For nine years, he has assisted with Audubon Jay Watch at ten locations.  He serves on an advisory committee for the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program, which manages more than 22,000 acres on conservation lands.


Mark Prynoski (Florida Master Naturalist Program)

Since Mark’s retirement as a business manager for an environmental engineering firm, he has been focused on his first love: immersing himself in Florida’s ecosystems and passing what he has learned on to others. Mark is an Advanced Florida Master Naturalist and a past president of the Space Coast Master Naturalist Friends Group. Recently, he has begun helping to teach aspiring Master Naturalists as an assistant instructor for the program. Each month you can find him leading guided walks for EEL’s three education centers: Enchanted Forest, Sams House, and Barrier Island Sanctuary.