2013 Field Trip Leaders
TIM AMARAL is an educator by training and a professional guide who loves to teach folks about the natural history of his favorite "patch"—the Monterey Bay. He is the new face of the very popular Monterey Seabirds tour company where he acts as the tour coordinator and trip leader for both land and seabirds. He has been a guide for local bird festivals, conferences, and community organizations since 1996 and has served as the vice-president of the local Audubon Society.
RITA CARRATELLO is a Monterey County bird specialist. She participated in the county’s breeding bird atlas project, wrote species accounts, and designed the publication published in 1993. She was the voice for the Monterey rare bird alert before the automated BirdBox, and served on the Audubon Society Board for 16 years. She and her husband also travel the world in search of bird families, and enjoy giving multimedia presentations of these adventures. See more at http://montereybay.com/creagrus/trips.html.
DAVID EKDAHL has been birding and guiding trips for the Santa Cruz Bird Club for more than 20 years. He began his birding in Humboldt County and has birded in Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Canada, Alaska, New Zealand, and South Africa. He is a section leader in the Santa Cruz/Moss Landing and Pinnacles Christmas Bird Counts.
STEVE GEROW has been birding and studying other aspects of the natural world since the late 1960s. He has participated in numerous bird studies and surveys around the Monterey Bay Area, and regularly monitors bird populations and trends in the vicinity of Santa Cruz. He has contributed to several publications, and often leads field trips for the Santa Cruz Bird Club and other groups.
LOIS and WALLY GOLDFRANK have been actively birding in the Monterey Bay area since becoming empty nesters in 1991. Their birding adventures have taken them to over 35 countries and to most of the states in the U.S. Both professional educators, they particularly enjoy leading walks for beginners and sharing their enthusiasm for birding and their knowledge of the local area with residents and visitors alike.
CLAY KEMPF K has been teaching classes and leading California birding trips for more than 20 years. He is a regular leader for Shearwater Journeys offshore expeditions, and has conducted trips involving the American Birding Association, Elkhorn Slough Foundation, and a variety of Audubon Societies and bird clubs. He has contributed to bird-finding guides to Santa Cruz County and the Panoche Valley in San Benito County. Clay is a former Watsonville Wetlands Watch Board member, and credits Wetlands Watch for much of the success in the preservation of the Watsonville Slough Systems.
EARL LEBOW has been birding and leading bird trips on the Central Coast of California since he moved here from the East Coast in 1986. Though he had been birding for many years in and around NYC, his skill and passion for birding increased exponentially when he moved to California. He has birded extensively throughout the United States, Central America, Africa and Europe. He has led trips for the Santa Cruz Bird Club for many years and enjoys leading trips locally and sharing his love of birds and birding with others.
TODD NEWBERRY a lifelong birder, has taught biology for 40 years at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He leads frequent and popular bird walks throughout our region, including regular walks in the university's arboretum and others along the coast for the Santa Cruz Bird Club. He is the author of the recent book, The Ardent Birder.
MARK PAXTON has been an avid birder for 37 years, and has worked as a naturalist, science teacher, and even as a birding field biologist in the Sierra Nevadas and Alaska. His love for nature grew from his experiences as a Boy Scout in Monterey County, backpacking monthly with his troop in the Ventana Wilderness, and working summers on the nature staff at Pico Blanco Scout Camp. Kim is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable field trip leader, having served as the field trip chairman for the Tulare Audubon Society for 15 years, and leading monthly birding trips throughout that period. He has also participated on Christmas Bird Counts and Breeding Bird Surveys in the Monterey Bay Area for over 30 years.
BOB RAMER has been birding in the Monterey Bay area for more than 30 years and has done volunteer work with the Nature Conservancy, the Point Reyes Bird Observatory, and the Elkhorn Slough Foundation in monitoring the bird populations in this area. In 1976, he was one of the founders of the Moss Landing Audubon Christmas Bird Count; and he and his wife, Bernadette, continue as co-compilers of this count.
STEVE ROVELL, is a lifelong resident of California. He escaped the hectic life of Southern California to pursue his studies at Humboldt State University where he graduated with a degree in Natural Resources and a teaching credential. He moved to Monterey County in 1990 where he now teaches high school biology and earth science. His other hobbies include native plant gardening and dragonflies. Steve lives in Marina with his wife of 15 years and two sons, Julian (11) and Marco (4).
JENNIFER RYCENGA has been a birder for more than 20 years, first seduced into this passion by a White-tailed Kite hovering over the hills of Marin. She has led trips for Sequoia Audubon (San Mateo County), and currently serves as president. Join her for the Big Sit! on Sunday at Bayfront Park in Menlo Park. When not looking for the next bird for her multiple lists, Jennifer is a professor of humanities at San Jose State University.
RUSTY SCALF has been birding since his teenage years and has taught adult school bird ID for beginners since 1988. He has been involved in several California breeding bird atlas projects as cartographer and field surveyor and has been a regular field volunteer for organized population studies such as state wide Burrowing Owl and Long-billed Curlew surveys. Rusty lives in Berkeley and is active with the Golden Gate Audubon Society.
MICHELLE SCOTT has been actively birding since 1990. She has done Snowy Plover monitoring for the counties of Santa Cruz and San Mateo, and she surveys for Santa Cruz County. She was an employee at the Birdfeeder in Santa Cruz from 1994 to 1998, and enjoys introducing people to birding.
DEBRA SHEARWATER is the founder of Shearwater Journeys, a name synonymous with seabirding trips from Monterey, California. Over 50,000 birders from all over the world have joined her on boat trips since 1976. A full-time marine naturalist-birder, she has logged close to 1800 days at sea, visiting countless places from the Bering Sea to Antarctica. Enthusiastic about all marine life, Debi has worked as research associate on programs focusing on blue whales, several dolphin species, and leatherback sea turtles. Featured in numerous books and television programs, Debi co-produced her own DVD, Through the Seasons: An Introduction to the Seabirds and Marine Mammals of Monterey Bay. Debra is a past member of the Board of Directors of the American Birding Association, and invites you to visit her website at www.shearwaterjourneys.com
SCOTT SMITHSON began birding in hometown Pacifica, CA after receiving a little blue Golden Guide from his Kindergarten teacher. At the age of 9, he met super birder Gil West on a Sequoia Audubon field trip, and thus began a birder-mentor-friendship that would continue until Gil passed away in 1994. Scott went on to receive his MS in Biology from CSU Long Beach, studying the breeding biology of introduced Orange Bishops and Nutmeg Mannikins in southern CA. His most recent venture was the organization of The Green Big Day, an international greenbirding competition held mid-April to mid-May, 2011. Details are available at www.greenbigday.org
MICHELLE TEMPLETON is a local educator and naturalist who has been working on conservation issues throughout the area for over 10 years. In 1997 Michelle developed the Natural History Guide to the Birds of Wilder Ranch in conjunction with Native Plant and Living History sections published by California State Parks. Since then Michelle has been developing and providing environmental education programs and curriculum in Watsonville, Seaside, Salinas and Marina.
BOB POWER is the executive director for Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society. He has led or co-led trips to Alaska, Costa Rica, Texas, Southeastern Arizona, the Mono Basin, the Klamath Basin, and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Bob has been a Hawk Watch day leader for the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory for 10 years, and he has taught raptor identification classes for the past nine years.
PHIL BROWN turned a lifelong interest in birds into an obsession in 2004 when he joined the Santa Cruz Bird Club. He has led birding trips for the SCBC since 2006, and since 2008 has been the field trip officer for the club. He participates in the Bluebird birdbox program at Quail Hollow Ranch County Park, leads a section in the Santa Cruz and Moss Landing Christmas Bird Counts, and surveys bird populations for the Watsonville Wetlands Watch.