2018 Speakers and Workshop Leaders
Anne Lacy grew up in Madison, leaving to attend college in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. She received a B.A. in Psychology (1991) and returned to get a B.S. in Biology (1994). After working various jobs while taking graduate level Geographic Information Systems courses at the University of South Carolina, Anne was accepted to the graduate program in Biology at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. After finishing coursework in Duluth in 2000, Anne accepted an internship at the International Crane Foundation (ICF), while also finishing her thesis. After completion of her M.S., Anne accepted a full-time position at ICF as a research associate in the Field Ecology Department (now the North America Programs), working on an ongoing long-term study of sandhill cranes. In 2009 she added whooping cranes to her work. This work, with the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership, of which ICF is an active member, focuses on the monitoring and management of the newly reintroduced Whooping Cranes in Wisconsin.
A bird lover since childhood, Jennifer Ackerman has been writing about nature and science for three decades. Her most recent book, The Genius of Birds, explores the intelligence of birds. A national bestseller, the book has been published in 20 languages and has been a finalist for several awards. Jennifer’s previous books include Notes from the Shore, a book about the shorebirds and other natural life of the mid-Atlantic coast; Chance in the House of Fate: A Natural History of Heredity; and Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body. Her articles and essays have appeared in National Geographic Magazine, The New York Times, Scientific American, and many other publications and have been included in anthologies such as Best American Science Writing, The Nature Reader, and Best Nature Writing. Jennifer is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including an NEA Literature Fellowship in Nonfiction, a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, and a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
John Azua has been the Curator of Birds at the Denver Zoological Gardens for over 18 years and works with a great staff managing and caring for 120 species and 499 birds. He currently is the Hamerkop SSP coordinator and studbook keeper and Hooded crane studbook keeper. He also serves on the management committee of the Andean Condor SSP (treasurer), Gruiiformes TAG, Coraciiformes TAG and Buceros SSP. He worked previously at the San Diego Zoo’s Bird Department and Avian Propagation Center for 7 ½ years and the San Diego Zoo’s Safari (Wild Animal) Park for 5 ½ years. During his career he has been fortunate to participate in several conservation recovery programs or field research projects, involved with such species as, San Clemente Island Loggerhead Shrike, Ultramarine lory, Lilac-crowned amazon, Cinereous vulture, Lesser kestrel and other Asian raptors.
Chip Clouse, manager of the Front Range Birding Company, is a long-time biologist and environmental educator, former optics representative and former Education Director for the American Birding Association. He will be presenting Optics 101 during the festival.
Ted Floyd is the Editor of Birding magazine, the flagship publication of the American Birding Association. He has written more than 200 scientific papers and popular articles on birds and other aspects of nature. He is also the author of five books, including the recently published ABA Field Guide to Birds of Colorado. Ted’s next book, How to Know the Birds, will be published by National Geographic in early 2019. Ted has served on the boards of several nonprofits, and he is a frequent speaker at bird festivals and other birding events. He’s been all over the world, and he considers the Yampa Valley to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Ted and his wife Kei live in Boulder County, Colorado, with their children Hannah and Andrew.
Pam Liu, born in Taiwan and grew up on three continents, has travelled extensively for six decades. Although trained as a mathematician, an artist, a landscape architect/ecologist, and an educator, her love for understanding all cultures through this broad lens is what is dear to her heart. And, exploring connections through cultural similarities and differences is central to her current pursuit. The ecological and conservation aspects of Sandhill cranes and wetlands brought her to The Yampa Valley Crane Festival in 2016, and she is thrilled to have this opportunity to share a different way of looking at the relationship between cranes and people.
Kin Quitugua, a master falconer and long time environmental educator, founded HawkQuest in 1986. He has trained, handled and flown birds of prey as diverse as the Bald and Golden eagles and the Saw-whet owl. For more than 25 years, Kin has dedicated himself to educating the public about the place of raptors in our ecology.
Kin created HawkQuest believing environmental awareness is a key to the survival of the world as we know it, and education – of our nation’s youth in particular – is paramount to this process. He has received national recognition for his work combining educational and ecological concerns, having appeared on both local and national television programs. Kin also serves as a consultant to organizations which promote the welfare of birds of prey. For more information, please visit www.hawkquest.org.
Paul Tebbel is the former Executive Director of the Effie Yeaw Nature Center on the Lower American River in Sacramento, California. Paul received a BS in Biology from Northern Michigan University and a MS in Zoology from the University of Western Ontario with his master’s thesis on sandhill cranes.
Paul was the manager/director of the Lillian Annette Rowe Sanctuary, owned by the National Audubon Society, in Gibbon, Nebraska for 11 years. The sanctuary focuses on habitat protection for sandhill and whooping cranes, waterfowl and other wildlife and the long range management of the Platte River. One of their primary missions is providing nature education opportunities for people of all ages. Paul led a successful capital campaign which raised $1.6 million and built the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary.
One of Paul’s main hobbies remains watching sandhill cranes and their behavior. He uses his own video programs to show the unique characteristics of these birds and has led workshops on cranes and crane behavior at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge’s Festival of the Cranes for 14 years. He has served as a keynote speaker at the Lodi Crane Festival, the Galt Birding Festival, and the Yampa Valley Crane Festival.
Chula Beauregard is a representational landscape painter who was born and raised in the mountains of Colorado. After graduating cum laude as a Studio Art major from Whitman College, she served for two years in Gabon, Central Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Later, she earned her Master’s in Education to teach Fine Art. She currently pursues her painting career in her hometown of Steamboat Springs, CO, but often wanders the West with her family of two young boys and adventure-loving husband. She is represented by the Wild Horse Gallery of Steamboat Springs, the Cogswell Gallery of Vail, CO, and the Squash Blossom Gallery of Colorado Springs, CO.
Chula says, “The effortless grace of life in Nature is a wealth of wisdom. As I hone my skills as a representational landscape painter, I can only hope that this grace is contagious. The hours I spend in the field and in my studio are really a search for purity, ease, and beauty. The early American Impressionists inspire me to honor the grandeur of the West while remaining true to my own interpretation. The adventure of painting, whether on the well-worn paths of home or spectacular new vistas, is always worth the challenge.”
Chula will be leading the Sketch-a-Bird workshop at this year’s festival.
Ellen Bonnifield’s insatiable curiosity has taken her in many directions. A degree in library science allowed her to use her chemistry and math background while exploring new areas in a variety of library settings. An “accidental” career in teaching took her from preschool story hour to university teaching. As Ellen and her husband collaborated on writing about the twentieth century American west, Ellen considered herself the “research” partner but found that she did much of the editing. Several years ago she started writing poetry about nature and her experiences as a “Ditch Rider.” Currently, she co-authors with her husband a monthly local history column for the Valley Voice. Combining her love of nature, her curiosity, her experience teaching, and her desire to share the excitement of life with others now leads her to facilitate nature-writing workshops.
Betsy Blakeslee, together with her husband Geoff, was in the ranching business for over 30 years. Since 1996, she has been working for the Nature Conservancy as the Carpenter Ranch Outreach and Facilities Manager. She enjoys living and working on the ranch and leading educational field trips and tours for visitors.
Marianne Capra is a freelance natural and cultural historian who grew up amidst the creeks and cornfields of Iowa and has since spent her adulthood in beautiful places in the West. For over a decade, Marianne was an interpreter in parks such as Yosemite, Point Reyes National Seashore and Olympic National Park; then she obtained an M.S. at the University of Montana as a grizzly bear researcher. Love ended her career in parks and lured her to the Yampa Valley where she now specializes in the local landscape and its hiSTORIES.
Bob Enever will be leading the “Big Sit” at the Trillium House of the Yampa River Botanic Park. The author, Bob Enever, was born in 1928 (yes he’s 90) near London, England. He is a CPA, has an MBA from Northwestern U. and had several business careers in London, Africa, Canada, Michigan, Germany and Steamboat Springs. He and his wife, Audrey, created the Yampa River Botanic Park and have loved living in Steamboat Springs since 1971. Bob was instrumental in setting up the platform just outside the Botanic Park where osprey have nested for the past two years. His recently published booklet, Steamboat’s Osprey Family tells the story in photographs and words of the first osprey family to nest within the city boundaries of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Hi, my name is Andrew Floyd. I am 11 years old, I live in Lafayette, Colorado, and I go to the Nevin Platt Choice Program for Middle School. I have learned so much about nature from schools in Boulder County. I am thrilled to be part of the 2018 Yampa Valley Crane Festival! Andrew will be assisting his dad, Ted Floyd during the “Big Sit”.
Terry and Sharon Jost have both had careers in banking. Terry retired from banking in 2015 after having started Mountain Valley Bank. Sharon left banking in 1996 and retired in 2007. They live on and operate TS Jost Ranch northeast of Hayden, CO. Terry enjoys ranching, is a private pilot, and has a love for his horses. Sharon enjoys ranching with Terry, gardening and her involvement with Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition. They will be leading the working ranch tour along with their Belgian draft horses, Pat and Barney.
Liz Leipold, MS OTR, RYT, works as an Occupational Therapist, Yoga Teacher and Ski Instructor in Steamboat Springs. Liz is certified with Shambhava Yoga, Yoga Kids International, and Yoga Nidra. Liz believes yoga is a continuous journey that relaxes the mind and heals and strengthens the body. Come join Liz in an interactive Yoga class focusing on the life, culture and body language dance of our beautiful Sandhill Cranes.
Linda Litteral is an educator and avid adventurer. She has taken her passion for outdoor education and birdlife to Northwest Colorado. Linda has extensive knowledge of the natural world and can share it in terms everyone can understand and enjoy. She will be leading the Birding by Boat event during the festival.
Thomas Litteral is a wild bird enthusiast with 50 years of experience sharing this passion with others. He has taught many others the wonders of bird life and being more aware of the bounty of nature around us. He will be leading the Birding by Boat event during the festival.
Joel Such is an artist, writer, guide, and field researcher who currently works for Bird Conservancy of the Rockies and will be leading guided bird walks during the festival. His intense passion for the avian world was fully ignited by age two. Growing up in the foothills of Colorado’s Front Range, Joel has pursued birds with unwavering devotion and has contributed to a wide range of biological field projects and avian education. These experiences include being a field technician for the Colorado Breeding Bird Atlas, a co-founder and leader for Boulder County Audubon Teen Naturalists, and a bird bander for projects in Colorado, Ohio, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. Joel is a student of Prescott College studying wildlife biology and ecology. He will be leading guided bird walks during the festival.
Karen Vail received a B.S. in Horticulture, with a concentration in Botany from Colorado State University, and earned her Master’s Degree in Gardening from the Royal Horticultural Society in England. She taught Botany at the community college in Steamboat Springs and introduced people to local wildflowers through summer wildflower walks. She has published two books, For the Joy of Wildflowers: Colorado Creations, and Yampa Valley Visions: Photography and Writing of a Yampa Valley Naturalist. She also co-published the video/DVD A Season of Wildflowers: The Rocky Mountains. Karen runs her own landscaping business and continues to be active in education through Yampatika, a local environmental education organization. She will be leading the nature walk on the ski mountain during the festival.
Cindy Wither is a retired art teacher, having taught many forms of art to all ages in Idaho, Colorado, Germany and Zambia. She has a lifetime interest in birds and when living in Zambia was a member of the Zambian Ornithological Society, going on many wonderful bird walks. Currently she is a watercolor artist painting both in the studio and outside painting Plein Air watercolors year around. She has worked with all ages teaching them drawing and painting outdoors – helping to see not just look as they are drawing and painting. She loves to see the results as someone says “oh I never realized all the shapes, details and colors that are in that flower”. Cindy will be assisting Ellen Bonnifield in the nature writing workshop at this year’s festival.
Please visit our photo gallery for more photos of current and past festival speakers and workshop leaders.
Spirit Wind Aerial Arts dancers, lead by local aerialist Heidi Miller, will perform elegant high-flying dance in the hammock and silks, suspended high over the Library Lawn.