Christopher Leahy currently holds the Gerard A. Bertrand Chair of Natural History and Field Ornithology at Mass Audubon. He has been a professional conservationist for more than thirty years and served as Director of Mass Audubonís Center for Biological Conservation. His interests in natural history are comprehensive, and he is a recognized authority on birds and insects. His published works include Birdwatcher's Companion to North American Birdlife, The First Guide to Insects, Introduction to New England Birds, An Introduction to Massachusetts Insects, and The Nature of Massachusetts. He is also the editor of a series of authoritative books on the flora and fauna of New England. Chris has designed and led natural history explorations to over 70 countries on all of the continents. He is especially fascinated with the world's great remaining wilderness areas and biodiversity hot spots such as Gabon, Madagascar, and Mongolia. He grew up in Marblehead and has lived in Gloucester with his family since the 1970s.
Dr. Gerard (Jerry) Bertrand has been active in environmental science and conservation for over thirty years. His work in habitat preservation and bird conservation has been recognized with the President's Medal by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in England and through the President's Medal of BirdLife International. Jerry was President of the Massachusetts Audubon Society for eighteen years and has been active in international conservation since 1969. He has traveled to more than fifty countries in an official government capacity representing the United States, and an additional forty-five countries to work on wildlife and land conservation projects. He is the co-founder of The World Land Trust where he serves as Honorary President and the American Bird Conservancy. He was the first Chairman of the Global Council for BirdLife International where he is currently a Vice-President. There is nothing that Jerry enjoys more than showing people birds and wildlife.
Robert Buchsbaum is Mass Audubonís Conservation Scientist in the Southeast and Islands Region and has been a staff scientist here since 1987. His major responsibilities are to coordinate Mass Audubonís statewide biological inventory and monitoring project and to work with sanctuaries on their ecological research and management needs. Robert received a PhD in marine ecology from Boston University and has carried out research on salt marshes, seagrass meadows, and other coastal habitats. Robert enjoys sharing his knowledge and passion for the natural world and is a frequent trip leader and lecturer for Mass Audubon and other environmental groups. His particular interests include marine and coastal habitats, wildflowers, birds, climate change, and alpine ecology. He has traveled extensively in the United States and internationally and has led trips to Australia, Hawaii, the GalŠpagos, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Virgin Islands.
Gary Clayton has many years of professional experience with non-profit and public conservation organizations. His work has centered on environmental education and the protection and stewardship of natural areas in hundreds of communities across Massachusetts. Gary is Vice President for Conservation Programs at Mass Audubon. In that capacity, he has oversight for education, advocacy and land protection in an extraordinary statewide system of wildlife sanctuaries and nature centers. And, as a volunteer community leader, he has served on multiple municipal boards and commissions as well as a trustee of a local land trust to protect and manage the natural and cultural resources of his historic New England home community. In his travels throughout and beyond the United States, Gary has explored the fauna and flora associated with varied habitats including shorelines, rivers, wetlands, temperate and tropical forests and—one of his favorites—coral reefs. Gary is an experienced leader for Belize, Alaska, and Trinidad tours, among others.
Jeff Collins is Director of Mass Audubon's Ecological Management Department, coordinating habitat management planning and activities on our wildlife sanctuaries as well as assisting conservation partners through our Ecological Extension Service. He holds a masterís degree in botany from the University of Vermont Field Naturalist Program. Jeff takes a holistic approach to exploring and enjoying the landscape, considering the interplay of bedrock, soil, water, plants, and animals, all while sharing his enthusiasm for the natural beauty of each destination. He has traveled extensively, birding and botanizing in North America; exploring Southern Africa while a Peace Corps volunteer in Zimbabwe; visiting birding hot spots in Bolivia, Peru, Costa Rica, and Nepal; and leading tours to Namibia, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, and Mexicoís Baja Peninsula.
Carol Decker is Director of the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, one of Mass Audubonís largest sanctuaries located in Topsfield. She and her staff deal with a broad range of wildlife management challenges, and she is interested in bringing awareness of local flora and fauna to trip participants. She has over twenty yearsí experience as a field naturalist and educator, teaches workshops on a broad range of topics, and enjoys connecting people to the natural world and its diverse bird life. She has led tours throughout the US, including New England, Alaska, Arizona, Texas, Hawaii, New Jerseyís Brigantine and Cape May areas, as well as international tours to Arctic Norway, Atlantic Canada, the Caribbean, Galapagos Islands, Panama and Brazil.
Bill Gette is Sanctuary Director at the Joppa Flats Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary in Newburyport. Bill, a skilled teacher and field naturalist, has been leading domestic and international natural history expeditions for Mass Audubon since 1986. He has led very successful programs throughout the United States and to Canada, Kenya, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, Ecuador, and the Galapagos Islands. Bill has taken a leadership role in bird research and public education concerning birds and bird conservation. He directs the Joppa Flats Bird Banding Station, a research and education facility operated in cooperation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. He and his staff have also developed interpretive programs and field trips for audiences with special needs, including the visually impaired. Billís most recent initiative is Mass Audubonís Birderís Certificate Program, which is designed to enhance the publicís knowledge about birds and to stimulate a conservation ethic. Bill developed his passion for natural history education as a teen while working at the National Audubon Societyís Audubon Camp of Maine on Hog Island, Maine, and while studying loggerhead turtles on Little Cumberland Island, Georgia.
Elissa Landre is the Director of Mass Audubonís Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary. She has led tours in Belize, Hawaii, Trinidad, and Tobago, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Ecuador, and Mexico. She has consulted on interpretation, guide training, and marketing for ecotourism at national parks in Bolivia and Poland, holds a masterís degree in biology, runs a bird-banding station at Broadmoor, and is a past president of the Association of Field Ornithologists. On tours she likes to explore how protected conservation land is managed for birds and native plants.
David Larson is the Director of Mass Audubon's Birder's Certificate Program, a college-level ornithology course, and is teaching a bird ecology course for naturalist guides in Belize. He is the Education Coordinator for Mass Audubon's Joppa Flats Education Center in Newburyport, where he designs and leads educational programs and field trips for participants of all ages. He holds a PhD in zoology from the University of Minnesota and has served on the faculty of Boston University. He is a member of the Nuttall Ornithological Club and is the Production Editor of Bird Observer. He has birded and led expeditions throughout North America, and in the Caribbean, Trinidad, Belize, Panama, Brazil, Botswana, and Japan.
Renť Laubach , Director of the Berkshire Wildlife Sanctuaries since 1985, has led tours for Mass Audubon to Belize, Guatemala, Mexico, the American Southwest, the Great Plains, and the Mid-Atlantic states. Since his first trip to Belize and Tikal in 1992, Renť has returned annually to this fascinating and wildlife-rich area of Central America. His natural history interests include birds, bats, and butterflies, and he has been an active bird bander for many years. He has authored six books on natural history topics, including The Backyard Birdhouse Book, which he wrote with his wife, Christyna.
Sue MacCallum is Director of Mass Audubonís South Shore Sanctuaries in Marshfield. During her twenty years with Mass Audubon, she has coordinated and led natural history and birding trips to many North American hot spots. Her international trips include many visits to Costa Rica, Ecuador, and the Galapagos Islands, as well as the Amazon Basin in Peru. These trips to the neotropics have sparked her fascination with tropical ecology, which she enjoys sharing. She graduated from Western Illinois University with a bachelorís degree in zoology and a minor in botany.
Wayne Petersen is Mass Audubonís Director of the Massachusetts Important Bird Areas (IBA) program. He has led trips and tours, lectured, and conducted birding workshops across North America for over thirty-five years. His tour-leading experiences have taken him from the Arctic to South America, as well as Iceland, Svalbard, Africa, Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctica. Wayne was a founding member of the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee, is a New England Regional Editor for North American Birds, and serves on the advisory committee for the Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program. His writing projects include authoring the National Audubon Societyís Pocket Guide to Songbirds and Familiar Backyard Birds (East), coauthoring Birds of Massachusetts and Birds of New England, co-editing the Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas, and contributing to The Audubon Society Master Guide to Birding, The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior, and Arctic Wings. In 2005, Wayne was the recipient of the American Birding Associationís Ludlow Griscom Award for outstanding contributions in regional ornithology. He is especially interested in seabirds and shorebirds, and he derives great satisfaction from sharing his knowledge of the natural world with his fellow colleagues and traveling companions.
Bob Prescott is the Director of Mass Audubonís Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary on Cape Cod, where he is actively involved in coastal issues and research. He has a degree in wildlife biology from the University of Massachusetts and has studied such diverse topics as whale strandings, harbor seal distribution around Cape Cod, and, most recently, the home ranges of box turtles. Bob is also Massachusetts coordinator for the Northeast Sea Turtle Stranding Network. His particular interests include seabirds and coastal ecosystems. Bob has led tours throughout the world, including Baja, Costa Rica, the GalŠpagos Islands, Churchill, Antarctica, Belize, and Big Bend, Texas.
Scott Santino is a Teacher-Naturalist at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield, where he has been leading nature education programs for Mass Audubon since 1998. He is Director of the Ipswich River Day Camps and coordinates the sanctuaryís volunteer docent program, training adults in natural history interpretation. In addition to birding, some of Scottís other interests include tracking mammals, leading canoe trips, and studying vernal pools. He has led trips throughout New England and beyond, including Cape May, New Jersey; the Delmarva Peninsula; New Yorkís Finger Lakes region; Big Bend, Texas; and the mountains of Southeast Arizona.
Bob Speare , Director of Wildwood and the Monadnock Conservation Center in Rindge, New Hampshire, has led numerous trips for Mass Audubon including Belize, Baja California, Big Bend in Texas, the Mojave Desert, and Death Valley. Throughout the East he has lead many trips to areas from Cape May to Newfoundland. Beyond birds and other aspects of flora and fauna, Bob likes to focus on wetland and desert ecology, butterflies, reptiles, and amphibians. He also enjoys sharing his passion for photography on tours and presents workshops on digital photography across the state.
Christine Turnbull , Director of the Mass Audubonís Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in Sharon, has traveled extensively throughout her career. She has an avid interest in the outdoors and in the cultural context with which people develop a relationship to the environment. In the past she was part of the US Peace Corps and lived and worked within parks in northern Honduras and El Salvador. She has traveled extensively throughout the region and cultivated a strong background and deep enjoyment of the culture and nature in Central America.
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