The Birds Seen at the
Presenters, Workshop Leaders
& Field Trip Guides
Genevieve Atwood is an earth scientist - geographer, a former three-term state legislator and former State Geologist and Director of the Utah Geological Survey. She is currently Chief Education Officer of Earth Science Education, a small not-for-profit organization that uses local geology to teach teachers earth science principles, outdoors, in their students' neighborhoods. She is an Associate Instructor in the Geography Department at the University of Utah and teaches Geography of Utah.
Tim Avery has worked for the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory and the Utah DWR doing bird surveys. He currently holds Utah's Big Year record.
Christopher Balmer is a nationally recognized wildlife photographer and owner of Perfect Light Camera and Supply in Idaho Falls, Idaho. He is a recognized regional expert on Northwestern owls and teaches nature seminars throughout Teton and Yellowstone National Parks each year. Christopher is/was the keynote speaker in January at the Winter Bird Festival in St. George Utah.
John Bellmon is a life-long birder. He helped organize the 1st Ogden Christmas Bird Count 30 years ago. He is founding president of the Wasatch Audubon Ogden Chapter-1981, and founding chairman of the Audubon Council of Utah-1985. He served on the board of Directors of the National Audubon Society as representative of the Rocky Mountain Region from 1998-2004.
Randy Berger is a graduate of Utah State University and has been with DWR for 25 years working in wetlands management. He is manager of Salt Creek, the Public Shooting Grounds, and Locomotive springs WMA. He is also the project leader for the Invasive and Noxious Weed Control Project for DWR's Waterfowl Management Areas (2006-2018).
Jeff Bilsky is one of the few individuals that have seen over 300 birds in the state of Utah in the span of one year. Jeff is entertaining, as well as informative; his trips are bound to leave you stimulated. Jeff has a vast knowledge of birds, habitats, and migrant traps in and throughout the state of Utah. Birding with Jeff is an unforgettable learning experience.
Todd Black just recently started aas the Wildlife Manager at Deseret Land and Livestock- but being there has been his goal for over 20 years. Todd is both a BYU Cougar and a USU Aggie having obtained degrees from both Utah universities. He did his graduate work on songbirds on the LaSal Mountains our of Moab Utah, worked for the Utah DWR conducting breeding birds surveys, and for the past 15 years he has been working at Utah State University primarily doing research in sage-grouse throughout the state of Utah. Todd has personally counted sage-grouse (Greater and Gunnison) on 133 different leks in 21 different counties in UT/ID/WY/NV. Additionally he has trapped over 500 sage-grouse with varous volunteers and graduate students starting back in 1998. It is likely that one one knows more or has been to more sage-grouse leks in Utah than Todd. He is also an avid birder but not your typical birder. He will match his audio ID skills with anyone. Todd's species list for Utah is just over 400 birds and has had two 300+ bird years.
Adam Brewerton grew up birding in Utah and has been a fan of the outdoors just as long. He has worked for the Division of Wildlife Resources as a bird biologist/ecologist for 6 years. He currently works in the Northern Region as the Sensitive Species Biologist for the region. He recently earned a master's degree in Avian Ecology from Utah State University studying sagebrush songbirds following Utah's largest wildfire, the Milford Flat Fire. Like most that choose the outdoors as their office, he loves to ski, bike, hike, and raft when he is not working from behind a pair of binoculars.
Howard Browers is currently the wildlife biologist at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. His background includes managing eight refuges located in northeast Oregon and southeast Washington. He holds a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology from Oklahoma State University and a M.S. in Wildlife Science from South Dakota State University.
Ron Brown is co-owner of R&G Horse and Wagon with his wife, Ginger. They started doing a Roman-style rider act in a wild west show in 1970 and have wrangled horses for several major motion pictures.
Steve and Louise Brown are consummate naturalists who volunteer for the U.S. Forest Service and Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. They have completed courses in ornithology at Weber State and macro invertebrates in the Master Naturalist Program through USU.
Jaimi Butler is the coordinator for Great Salt Lake Institute at Westminster college. Since 1999 Jaimi has been working in and around GSL as a field and lab biologist for a variety of organizations. As coordinator of GSLI she manages undergraduate research, K-12 outreach and does anything she can to spend as much time at the lake as possible.
Terri Clemons got involved with birding when she bought a cat named Oliver seven years ago and set up a bird feeder on her balcony to keep him occupied and out of mischief. She enjoyed the birds more than the cat did, and took it up as a hobby. She especially enjoys viewing shorebirds and raptors. Terri is also a volunteer and seasonal employee at Antelope Island State Park.
Rosie Cobbley is a landscape designer and horticulturist. She is a long-time member of the Utah Water Garden Club and currently is Director of the annual Pond Tour. She is interested in the birds the water features attract and how you can plant a garden to help sustain them.
Joseph Donnell began his career in parks and recreation in 1984 working with a county parks system in Pennsylvania while attending high school and college. He graduated from slippery Rock University with a dregree in Recreation Resources Management. He has worked for the US Fish and Wildlife service in Rhode Island and Connecticut doing endangered species studies and protection. In 1992 he began a career with Utah State Parks and Recreation as a Park Ranger and is currently the Park Manager at Rockport State Park.
Kathy Donnell is the Park Naturalist at Rock Cliff State Park. She is also a volunteer for HawkWatch International and serves on the Utah Society for Environmental Education Executive Committee.
Phil Douglass has served the people and wildlife of Utah for the past 20 years. His experiences include wetland biologist, assistant manager at Farmington Bay WMA and his current assignment as Regional Conservation Outreach Manager. His current duties include managing all outreach programs for Northern Utah, which include hardware Ranch WMA, education and education programs.
DaLyn Erickson is the Rehabilitation Specialist and Executive Director at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. She has over 13 years of experience training and working with every species of raptor as well as most non-raptor species native to Utah. Throughout these years DaLyn has also provided wildlife education programs for groups of all ages.
Bill Fenimore is affiliated with the Wild About Birds store in Layton, Utah. He was selected as the International Franchise Association's "Franchisee of the Year 2008". Bill also won in 2008 the "Roger Tory Peterson Nature Education Achievement Award" from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute and the "Ludlow Griscom Award for Outstanding Contributions to Regional Ornithology" from the American Birding Association. He is the author of "Backyard Bird Guides", a series for each of the 50 states. Bill's Wild Bird Center was selected as the Utah Business of the Year 2009 for Environmental Education by the Utah Society for Environmental Education.
Valerie Frokjer discovered her passion for birds after an Ornithology class at Weber State University, while obtaining her Bachelor's degree in Zoology. She then went on to work for Dr. John Cavitt doing a Colonial Waterbird Survey all over Utah. She is currently employed at Rio Tinto/Kennecott Utah Copper as an Ecosystem Specialist where she assists in managing the Inland Sea Shorebird Reserve (ISSR) and Kennecott-owned areas of Oquirrh Mountains.
Brian Ferguson is retired from the U.S. Forest Service. He has worked in diverse ecosystems and promotes quality habitat for many species of wildlife. He volunteers at Antelope Island State Park and Bear River National Migratory Bird Refuge. He is also a nature photographer.
Dick Gilbert is past President and also has been water master of the Ambassador Duck Club since 1993. The Ambassador is a 3,000 acre privately-managed wetlands and uplands habitat on the south shore of the Great Salt Lake. He is an avid birder and hunter.
Val Grant is president of Bio-Resources, a company looking for environmentally friendly solutions for industries. He has served three years as president of Bridgerland Audubon.
Rich Hansen is currently Area Manager of Farmington Bay WMA.
Steve Hegji is an avid hiker and wildflower photographer. Each year he travels many road miles, several hundred trail miles, and climbs the equivalent of Mt. Everest 2-3 times in search of new and old botanical friends to identify and photograph. Steve is a member of the Utah Native Plant Society, a volunteer at the Utah Valley University Herbarium, and the author of two publications; a book titles "Wasatch Wildflowers", and an app for smartphones and tablets titled "Flora of the Wasatch".
Dallin Henderson is an avid bird watcher and outdoorsman. Teaching and working in Scouting as a Scout maste, Cub master, Varsity Coach, and Round Table Trainer for more than 25 years. He firs fell in love with bird watching while attending college in eastern Idaho and enrolling in a Western Bird Study class and has been watching birds ever since. Contractor by trade, bird house builder by profession.
Home Depot, Centerville has been a Festival Partner for many years. They are a great asset to our community.
Dr. Frank Howe has been with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources for 15 years as the Coordinator for the Partners in Flight, Mexican Spotted Owl and Non-game Avian Programs. He is currently involved with a variety of issues in avian ecology, including riparian and shrub-steppe bird monitoring, Endangered Species surveys, bird/habitat model development and population trend analyses. Frank enjoys leading field trips that offer a mixture of bird ID and ecology.
Bob Huntington has a passion for birdwatching that takes him into the field 3-4 days a week. He leads field trips for GSL Audubon and Salt lake Birders and he participated regularly for six years in the Great Salt Lake Waterbird Survey.
Dick Hurren has always been interested in birds and birding in the US, Europe and the Middle East. He served as Outings chair for Bridgerland Audubon for 6 years. He currently is a volunteer for Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.
Patrick Kelly says he has been a duck hunter since the age of 12 and a birder since the age of reason. He is a member of the Ambassador Duck Club and Great Salt Lake Audubon.
Tonya Kieffer is the Utah DWR community fisheries program biologist and KSL Outdoors Correspondent with Adam Eakle. She has called Utah home for 4 short years, and carried her love for birding from the great state of Ohio, where she grew up and was fortunate to be involved in a birding mecca with a very passionate group of birders from the McGee Marsh and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge area- such as Kenn and Kim Kaufman, Mark and Julie Shieldcastle, Tom Kashmer. She also worked for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology on the Ivory-billed woodpecker recovery team in the 2007-2008 field season in the Big Woods of SE Arkansas, where the search for Elvis still continues. She received her bachelor of science in Biology with a wildlife management emphasis from the University of Findlay in Findlay Ohio.
Larry Kienke What started from one bird feeder as a birthday present and a love of birds, has grown into a backyard of 10 feeders and a business. Larry has fed the birds for 15+ years. He has now taken his passion of feeding the birds to his store, Feed the Birds and More, in Bountiful, 197 South 500 West, and helping his clientele on what seeds are preferred by which birds. He enjoys the interaction with his clients and they enjoy him and his enthusiasm for the birds.
Mark Loewen Ph.D. is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Utah and a Resident Research Associate at the Natural History Museum of Utah. His research interests include the evolution of meat eating dinosaurs and the diversification of dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous before the extinction event that facilitated the rise of birds and mammals.
John Luft graduated from Kansas State University with a B.S. in Wildlife Biology. He has worked for DWR since 1994 at Ogden Bay WMA and Farmington Bay WMA as assistant superintendent. He is now the Project Coordinator for the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Project.
Bob MacDougal has been birding more than 20 years. He is past president of Salt Lake Birders and is an experienced field trip leader.
Wayne Martinson works as Utah Important Bird Areas Coordinator for National Audubon Society. In 2008, Keith Evans and Wayne co-authored a book titled: Utah's Featured Birds and Viewing Sites: A Conservation Platform for IBA's and BHCAs.
Keeli Marvel discovered the wonderful world of birds while taking ornithology and world bird families courses at Brigham Young University. She has a Master's degree in Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation and has been the Natural Resource Specialist at Dugway Proving Ground for the last two years. She love spending time outdoors and currently serves as the president of the Utah County Birders.
Eric McCulley is a Senior Associate Ecologist with ENVIRON International Corporation. He is currently serving as the chair of Utah Linking Communities, Wetlands and Migratory birds, which is an organization with a mission to advance conservation, education and ecotourism in the United States, Mexico and Canada. He also serves on the Jordan River Commission Technical Advisory Committee and the newly formed Salt Lake City Parks, Natural Areas, Urban Forestry and Trails board. he has a degree in geology from James Madison University and is working on a masters in Watershed Science at Utah State University.
Katie McVey is a Wildlife Refuge Specialist at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Brigham City, UT. She originally hails from north-central Wisconsin and holds Masters of Raptor Biology from Boise State University, where she studied burrowing owls. Katie is an avid naturalist and has passion for teaching about the out-of-doors.
Bonnie Messinger and her family began watching the Burrowing Owl colonies in the West Desert of Utah in the late 1980's. Over the next decade they observed ongoing habitat destruction and the gradual decline of some established colonies. Bonnie and her husband, Jim, began videotaping the 'Clowns of the Desert' in 1999. They joined a group (Raptor Inventory Nest Survey-RINS) of raptor enthusiasts tracking raptor nesting activity on the West Desert in 2000. Each spring and summer Bonnie observes and videotapes Burrowing Owl activity and creates educational video to give others the opportunity to watch the antics of these comical desert dwellers.
Dick Mueller is a professor at Utah State University and an active member of Bridgerland Audubon.
Alan Myrup is a biology and AP biology teacher at Timpview High School in Provo. He has a BS in Zoology (Biology Composite) from BYU and an MEd from Utah State in Education (Project: Ecology Field Studies for High School Students). He is a member of Utah Lepidopterists Society (over 30 years and current Editor), Lepidopterists Society, Odonata Society of the Americas (dragonflies), and the National Association of Biology Teachers. Alan has received the USTA Life Science Teacher of the Year in 2000 and the Provo School District Excellence in Teaching Award in 2009. Alan enjoys collecting butterflies and dragonflies, birding, hiking, fishing and canoeing.
Ann Neville has been the manager of Kennecott's Inland Sea Shorebird Reserve since it opened in 1997. She is the North American representative for Birdlife International and their Birds and the Environment partnership with Rio Tinto.
Dr. Russ Norvell has been working in the field with the birds of Utah for the past 16 years. Currently, he works with Utah's Non-game Avian program designing and conducting research on Utah's riparian and shrubsteppe bird population trends, and is finishing his graduate studies (USU) on the shrubsteppe-obligate birds of Rich County.
Bryant Olsen has been a bird lover since he picked up an 'Audubon Society Guide to Birds of North America' when he was 19 and has been actively studying and seeking out the company of birds ever since- almost 20 years now. Really more of a naturalist than a 'birder', he focuses on the way birds interact with their environment. Besides birds, he also has an interest in no-feathered wildlife, botany, geology, astronomy, as well as gardening. He works at the Salt Lake City Public Library.
Eric Peterson has worked at Utah's Hogle Zoo since 1994. He is a senior keeper there and works with the Elephants and Rhinos. He is an active member of the Utah County birders and a Citizen Scientist for Hawkwatch International. He is also a published photographer, with a passion for catching wildlife through the lens of a camera.
Vivian Schneggenburger began doing river trips many years ago and has been enthralled with the bird life along our Western river corridors. As a nurse she has a flexible schedule and spends time birding while hiking, river running and skiing.
Bret Selman and his family are the owners of 4-Mile Ranch. They have been caretakers of this unique land for generations and are avid birdwatchers.
Bryan Shirley is the owner/operator of Bryan Shirley Birding and Nature Tours www.bshirleybirding.com Bryan got interested in 'birding' as a hobby about when he graduated from high school. He has lived in Hawaii, Japan, and Kentucky where he fell in love with warblers. He has a B.A. in Japanese/International Economics. Birding and Nature Tours became a full time job 6 years ago.
Dennis Shirley is a retired Conservation Officer for Utah Dept. of Wildlife Resources. He is a well known local birder and as of 2006 holds the Utah Bug Year Record. He is an active member of Utah County Birders.
Lee Shirley is a former Biology teacher and has served as President of Utah Audubon Council. He is on the Northern Region Adivisory Council of the DWR, President of Wasatch Audubon Society, on the Board of the Ogden Nature Center and Friends of the Bear River Refuge. Lee and Paula Shirley enjoy sharing their enthusiasm for birds and birding.
Doug Sims is a professional photographer from Davis County. He is the co-founder/president of the Photgraphix Camera Club of Layton, Utah and board member of the Salt Lake Photo Club. Doug teaches the Wildlife Photography Class at the Tracy Aviary.
Arnold Smith has been interested in birds, especially their nesting behavior since he was eight years old. He is a long time active member of Wasatch Audubon.
Weston Smith grew up watching birds with his father, Arnold. As a lifetime resident of Morgan County he has spent countless hours bird watching in different areas of the county. Weston also enjoys feeding birds and has counted approximately 124 species of birds in his yard over the past 6 years. Weston is a new member of the Board of Directors for Wasatch Audubon Society.
Ella Sorensen is a well-known Utah birder and author and has worked and spoken avidly to protect bird habitats in the state. Ella is manager of the National Audubon Society's Gillmor Sanctuary on the south shore of Great Salt Lake.
Kathi Stopher has been the Visitor Services Manager for Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge Natural Resources Educator for nearly 20 years. She is the mother of 3. As an outdoor enthusiast, she loves to hike in the mountains, watch wildlife, and engage in all things wilderness. She is inspired by Aldo Leopold's writings to change career paths and take education to the out-of-doors.
Les Talbot is a retired Biology teacher, and has been an avid birder for the last 10 years. He is the fieldtrip chairman for the Wasatch Audubon, and sits on their Board of Directors. He currently volunteers at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge teaching Environmental Education classes, and leading bird tours.
Al Trout graduated from Colorado State University in 1971 with a degree in Wildlife Management. For the next 35 years he was employed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a Refuge Manager in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and finally at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Utah. His primary responsibility was the restoration, expansion and enhancement of the Refuge in the aftermath of flood damage inflicted by rising water of Great Salt Lake in 1983-87. Now retired, Al is a member of the Friends of Bear River Refuge, Wasatch Audubon, and Friends of Great Salt Lake.
Todd Turner is an avid scouter and former Venturing Crew Advisor. He is a current Unit Committee Training Chairman, Deseret Peak District (Tooele) Venturing Forum Commissioner and Great Salt Lake Council University of Scouting Chairman. He says, "Cub scouting with my son turned me on to birding about 4 years ago. So, I am still very new and enthusiastic about this new hobby and passion. And so far, my wife and four children are enjoying the adventure as well!"
Jim Van Leeuwen assists John Luft with the Great Salt Lake boat tours.
Bob Walters is the DWR's Watchable Wildlife Program Coordinator. He initiated Bald Eagle Day in 1990 and has led/hosted myriad Watchable Wildlife Program Field Trips for years. He instigated and continues to maintain, nurture and sustain the famous Salt Lake City peregrine falcon family in downtown SLC. With the cooperation of the LDS Church and SLC Peregrine Falcon Watchpost Team volunteers, Bob informs, educates and showcases the falcon family to passersby, spearheads the annual vigil to safeguard the first flights of the young-of-the-year birds and, since 2006, makes possible real-time, worldwide web coverage of the family via the SLC Peregrine Falcon Cam.
Boyd White currently works as an environmental scientist at Deseret Chemical Depot and part time as a Wildlife Technician for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. He has a BS in Natural Resources with an emphasis in Fish and Wildlife from Oregon State University and an MS in Rangeland Ecosystem Science from Colorado State University. In 2007 Boyd worked on a master's thesis to validate a graphic information system model for predicting Burrowing owl habitat at Dugway Proving Ground and surrounding areas. While working on the thesis he volunteered to collect research data for a DoD Legacy Project for the Migratory Linkages of Burrowing Owls which required trapping and banding the owls, taking morphological data, and collecting blood and feather samples for DNA and radio isotope analysis. In 2005 - 2006 he volunteered with trapping, fitting with radio collars, and track Greater Sage-grouse in Tooele County. Boyd is Chairman of the West Deseret Adaptive Resource Management Local Working Group for Sage-grouse.
Rosalie Winard has traveled the country by foot, canoe, airboat, and ATV for over a decade photographing the large birds of the wetlands from Florida to California, Louisiana to North Dakota. She is the author of 'Wild Bird of the American Wetlands'.
Ben Woodruff has been training and handling raptors for 22 years. He has had the opportunity to train and work with every species of diurnal and nocturnal raptor native to Utah as a practicing falconer, wildlife educator, and aiding in raptor rehabilitation. Ben is the author of the book "Trapping Essentials", an illustrated guide for biologists, bird banders, and falconers. Ben is the Director of the John Hutchings Museum in Lehi Utah and presents educational programs featuring live raptors.
Utah Water Garden Club is a social club, bringing members with common pond garden habitat interests together. Members hold pond side meetings, have speakers, provide hands on education, and offer a 'show and tell'. The valley wide Annual Pond Tour of members' ponds is in August.
Richard Young is retired from biomedical photography and has become a passionate bird photographer, "focusing" on the Jordan River Parkway.