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Kathe Anderson.jpg
Priscilla and Hank.jpg
Callie Caplenor.jpg
Bill Cavaliere.jpg
Jillian Cowles2.jpg
Alan Dart.jpg
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Mike Foster - small.jpg
Chris Harbard.jpg
Mark Hart2.jpg
Greg Homel1.jpg
Mark Johnson.jpg
Gordon Lam.jpg
Deb Liggett.jpg
Jennie MacFarland.jpg
Charles Melton.jpg
Tamela Birdle.jpeg
Rick Wright 2.jpg

2024 summer festival


Kathe Anderson

Kathe is an avid birder, leading bird walks, teaching classes, and participating in bird surveys, among other birdy activities. She’s led hundreds of walks for individuals, conservation organizations, private groups, and life-long learning programs, and taught scores of hands-on birding-related classes for nature festivals, Arizona State University’s Osher Life-long Learning Program, The Nature Conservancy, state parks and numerous local conservation organizations. She loves sharing her passion with others.


Rich Bailowitz

Rich was born and raised in New York and was smart enough to move to Arizona in 1974, already a seasoned birder and entomologist. He finished his MS in Entomology from the University of Arizona in 1985. His latest books are The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Arizona and Sonora, co-authored with Doug Danforth and Sandy Upson (nominated for Southwest Books of the Year: Best Reading 2016), and Southeastern Arizona Butterflies (2021) co-authored with Jim Brock.


Priscilla Brodkin

Priscilla has lived in Carr Canyon, in the bird and butterfly rich Huachuca Mountains of Arizona, for twenty-one years. Her special love of the tropical birds and butterflies has taken her on trips to many places around the world, especially the neotropics, mostly Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. In 1992 she became interested in observing and photographing butterflies. She is a founding Director of the Southeast Arizona Butterfly Association (SEABA) and co-author of Butterflies of Arizona. She has led and co-led many butterfly field trips in Arizona and in Sonora, Mexico.

Callie Caplenor 

Callie is the education coordinator for the National Park Service’s Southeast Arizona Group, which includes Chiricahua National Monument, Coronado National Memorial, and Fort Bowie National Historic Site. Callie attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she earned a B.A. in English, and eventually an M.S. in Forestry, with research focused on human dimensions of wildlife management. She then traveled around the west for several years working as an interpretive park ranger at places like Olympic National Park and Glacier National Park before settling down in Sierra Vista, AZ in 2021. Despite growing up with a passion for nature and outdoor activities, she did not develop an interest in birds until moving to Arizona, for which she credits the amazingly diverse Sky Islands and a very warm and welcoming local birding community. She enjoys inspiring the next generation to care for our public lands and conversing with the visiting public about the latest bird sightings in the parks.

Bill Cavaliere

Bill Cavaliere is president of the Cochise County Historical Society and sits on the board of the Arizona Historical Society’s southern chapter. He lectures frequently on the Chiricahua Apaches at colleges and historical societies. He has written articles for numerous historical journals and magazines, and recently finished his first book, The Chiricahua Apaches - A Concise History. Bill retired in 2012 after 28 years in law enforcement, all on the border. He is the former sheriff of Hidalgo County NM. Prior to this he worked for the US Forest Service in the Chiricahua Mountains. He and his wife Jill live on a cattle ranch and own the Four Bar Cottages near Portal AZ.

Jillian Cowles

Jillian has been living in southern Arizona for the past 47 years. She worked as a clinical microbiologist at University Medical Center in Tucson (now retired), but her avocation has been photographing and studying the plants, arthropods, fungi, and slime molds of southern Arizona. She is the author of Amazing Arachnids, and her photographs have appeared in a number of books, including The Sting of the Wild, The Bees in Your Backyard, Beetles of Western North America, Spiders of North America, Venomous Animals of the United States and Canada, and a number of other books.

Allen Dart

Registered Professional Archaeologist, Allen Dart – who encourages us to call him “Al” – has worked in Arizona and New Mexico since 1975 for federal and state governments, private companies, and nonprofit organizations. He is the executive director of Tucson’s nonprofit Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, which he founded in 1993 to provide educational and scientific programs in archaeology, history, and cultures. Al has received honors and awards from the National Park Service, the Arizona Governor's Archaeology Advisory Commission, and archaeology and historic preservation organizations for his efforts to share archaeology and history with the public.

Zach Fitzner

Although not a great birder, Zach has worked or interned for entire field seasons with seabirds in Alaska, parrots in the Bahamas, hummingbirds in Ecuador and bald eagles in Arizona. Zach has also worked in excavating, preparing, mounting and casting several fossils including T. rex. Zach is author of the book Tears for Crocodila: Evolution, Ecology and the Disappearance of One of the World’s Most Ancient Animals. Zach lives in Colorado with his wife and three dogs.

Mike Foster 

Mike has been making videos about Sonora, Mexico and southern Arizona for the last twelve years. He has posted nearly 300 educational videos about the flora, fauna and cultural history of the region. Much of his early work was done with the Friends of the San Pedro River. Now he works as the interpretive person for the Friends of the Huachuca Mountains at the Carr House Information Center. He is also currently doing video work for the Border Community Alliance in Tubac. He has done significant work for the El Pinicate and Sierra Alamos Rio Cuchujaqui Reserves in Sonora and his work also appears on the Coronado National Memorial Park web pages in the US. He has lived in Bisbee for the last 35 years from where he launches his filming trips across the Southwest.


Chris Harbard 

Chris is a well-known British ornithologist and conservationist who now lives in SE Arizona. After 24 years working with the world’s largest bird conservation organization, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, he managed the Swarovski birdwatching website for several years. He is now a freelance author, a lecturer on board expedition cruise ships (which has taken him to countries around the globe and to remote areas of the Arctic, Antarctic, Atlantic and Pacific), and bird guide for Naturalist Journeys. He is on the board of the Arizona Field Ornithologists, and he and his wife, Mari Cea, help to run the Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival.  Chris writes for Birdwatch magazine and was editor of the Birdwatchers' Guides series of books. His own books include BirdwatchSongbirdsA Birdwatcher's Quizbook, A First Guide to Birdwatching. Although his main area of interest is birds, especially seabirds, he also enjoys a range of other wildlife such as cetaceans, butterflies, dragonflies and plants.

Mark Hart

Mark Hart is a public information officer with the Arizona Game and Fish Department in Tucson. He serves as department spokesman for southeastern Arizona news media, and manages information and education programs throughout the region. Hart joined the department in 2009, and also serves as a public information officer for the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management. In addition, he is an agency representative to the federal Borderlands Management Task Force. Hart, a contributor to the Arizona Daily Star and a Best of Gannett award recipient, earned a bachelor’s degree with high honors from Loyola University of Chicago in 1981.

Greg Homel

Greg Homel is an ornithologist, award-winning international nature photojournalist, documentary film producer, birding tour leader and lecturer. He lives and works from his home in California, USA and from his second homes in the north tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. A birder-naturalist since childhood, Greg founded Natural Elements Productions in 1986 and Natural Encounters Birding Tours shortly thereafter. Now he travels the globe on a full-time basis in search of rare and little-known birds and other wildlife. Throughout his life, but especially since the early 1990s, Greg has guided, educated, and inspired travelers in over 80 countries throughout the world. He has contributed to many books and magazines, and since the "digital revolution," he has moved into television, video production for conservation groups such as American Bird Conservancy, field guide writing and lecturing aboard expedition. His photographic guides include Birds of Southeastern Arizona, Southern California and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. His new book Bad Roads, Good Birds, a guide to birding in Mexico will be published soon.

Mark L. Johnson

Mark is a retired senior water resource professional having worked for three of the nation’s largest water/wastewater utilities in California, Illinois and Connecticut. Mark is a Founder and President of the Tortolita Alliance (Marana, AZ), a community group that advocates for conservancy of the Tortolita Preserve and associated lands, ensuring protection of open space, wildlife habitat, watershed, and compatible recreational use.


Jim Koweek

Jim is the owner of Arizona Revegetation & Monitoring Co. and the author of Grassland Plant ID For Everyone – Except Folks That Take Boring Technical Stuff Too Seriously. For the last 4 decades Jim has worked with plants, seed, and rock in SE Arizona. To be honest, the results are not always pretty. Then again, having your career’s reputation dependent on moisture in the great Southwest is not a genius move to begin with. When not day working, Jim can often be found playing mandolin at various water holes in the Sonoita - Patagonia area. 


Karen Krebbs 

Karen Krebbs worked at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum for more than 26 years, and now works on her own as an independent contractor. She has extensive knowledge of birds, mammals, deserts, and animal adaptations and behavior. Karen has carried out research for bats in the United States and Mexico for more than 30 years. She trains biologists on the proper protocol for handling and studying bats. Karen regularly carries out workshops and presentations on bats and birds to groups, schools, festivals, and organizations in the southwest and Mexico. Her long-term inventory and monitoring program for bats in the Chiricahua Mountains continues in its 20th year of study. She has written articles, books, and manuals for bats and birds. She has collaborated with other researchers on many bat research projects with local government agencies, universities, Mexico partners, and non-profit organizations. Karen has participated in natural history learning trips in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Mexico, Baja, Costa Rica, Africa, Galapagos, and Ecuador. Karen’s passion for bats is contagious! Her animal lectures and presentations are exciting and fun! Karen has a B. Sc. Degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from the University of Arizona. Karen’s latest books include Desert Life: A Guide to the Southwest’s Iconic Animals and Plants & How They Survive; Desert Life of the Southwest Activity Book; Explore Tucson Outdoors; and Bat Basics: An Introduction to the Life of Bats in the United States & Canada & Their Many Benefits.

Gordon Lam 

Gordon is a recently transplanted (from New York) Naturalist and Educator with a particular passion for birds and their habitats. For well over a decade he has been leading nature and history walks throughout the US for organizations such as the National Park Service, the American Littoral Society, and The Linnean Society. He and his wife recently moved down to Southeast Arizona, after many years visiting. He is a docent at the nearby Ash Canyon Bird Sanctuary, as well as a professional musician, and, sadly, a big proponent of dad jokes!

Deb Liggett

Deb is a 25-year veteran of the National Park Service with assignments from Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Minnesota, Wyoming and Alaska. She served as superintendent at Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming and at Katmai and Lake Clark National Parks and Preserve in Alaska. She is now at home in Tucson. In 2021 she published Pilgrim, Paddler, Poet: The Ranger Chronicles - a collection of absorbing tales which trace her career across the US. 

Jennie MacFarland

Jennie is a Bird Conservation Biologist for the Tucson Audubon Society. She is a nearly life-long Arizonan that loves exploring different habitats in Southeast Arizona. Birding is an integral part of her social life and work life and much of her free time is spent in the field birding or learning more about birds and their ecosystems. As Bird Conservation Biologist for Tucson Audubon, Jennie coordinates the Arizona Important Bird Areas Program and other bird survey conservation projects. She is also the coordinator for the Tucson Bird Count and organizes several large-scale community science efforts in Southeast Arizona each year including Elegant Trogon surveys of five Sky Island mountain ranges, Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo surveys and the Desert Purple Martin Project. 


Charles Melton

Charles has spent the past 20 years traveling throughout Arizona taking photographs and video of a wide variety of nature subjects. Hummingbirds and insects are two of his favorite subjects. For the past 15 years, photographing the moths of Arizona has been a major activity. To date he has photographed over 1600 species of moths in Arizona. He occasionally conducts hummingbird photography workshops and has produced four DVDs, three on hummingbirds and another on the Mexican Spotted Owl.

Glenn Minuth

Glenn is a 34-year career federal civil servant. His bachelors and graduate degrees are in geography with specialties in cartography, geomorphology, remote sensing, and geology. Others areas of academic focus were biogeography (flora/fauna), weather/climate, and pedology (soils). His research focused in the area of geomorphology and geology examining mound micro-relief (Mima-type mounds) on volcanic mudflows in the central Sierra Nevada foothills, California. He taught geography, weather & climate, and geology part time in the Life and Physical Science Department of American River College, Sacramento for seven years. He's been a part time instructor in geography and geology for 20 years in Cochise College credit and non-credit programs where he conducts field trips and lectures in the areas of military history, ecology, weather/climate, geography, and geology. 

Eric Moore

Eric Moore, owner of The Lookout (formerly Jay's Bird Barn and Arizona Field Optics) in Prescott, Arizona, has been a life-long birder. Eric grew up in Tucson and at a young age birded extensively all over southeastern Arizona. As the owner of The Lookout, Eric has an intimate knowledge of optical equipment, including binoculars and scopes and knows what the unique demands are for quality birding optics. With the perspective of being a birder, and not just a business owner, Eric understands the importance of quality optical equipment to maximize birding experiences - both at home and in the field. 

Tamela Birdle

Tamela was born in Hereford, AZ at the base of the sky islands. She was introduced to nature and birding at a young age. Tamela is a singer, songwriter, and artist who draws inspiration from the great outdoors. She is currently raising 2 children in the high deserts of Cochise county and she is often sighted in Bisbee, AZ amid her fun-filled performances!

Stephen Vaughan

Steve is a seasoned professional nature photographer and ornithologist, dedicating over five decades to capturing and exploring the wonders of natural history. His exceptional imagery has graced the pages of countless esteemed publications, including Audubon, Bird Watchers Digest, National Wildlife, and Sierra Club.

Rick Wright

Rick Wright leads Birds and Art tours in Europe and the Americas for Victor Emanuel Nature Tours. A widely published author and sought-after lecturer and field trip leader, Rick studied French, German, Philosophy, and Life Sciences in his native Nebraska before making a detour to Harvard Law School.  He took the Ph.D. in German Languages and Literatures at Princeton University in 1990, then spent a dozen years as an academic, holding successive appointments as Assistant Professor of German at the University of Illinois, Reader in Art and Archaeology at Princeton University, and Associate Professor of Medieval Studies at Fordham University. He and his wife, the medievalist Alison Beringer, spent eight happy years in Tucson before Alison's work took them to northern New Jersey, where they live with their little girl, Avril, and their black lab Quetzal. Rick's numerous scholarly publications include two books on the Latin animal literature of the later Middle Ages. He is the author of the ABA Field Guide to Birds of New Jersey and the ABA Field Guide to Birds of Arizona; his most recent book is the Peterson Reference Guide to American Sparrows..   

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