Biographies

Carol Anderson

Carol Anderson is a retired high school biology teacher with a life-long interest in nature. A member of Altacal Audubon Society since retirement, she enjoys learning from experienced birders. She has assisted in the grebe survey at the Thermalito afterbay, the birding class of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at CSU, Chico, and the Northern Saw-whet Owl banding project.

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Stuart Angerer

Stuart Angerer lives in Colusa County and as an avid birder enjoys the proximity to the Sacramento Valley Refuges. His lifelong love of the outdoors and 30 years working as an Environmental Scientist for the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Reclamation have enabled him to work in the Sierras and Coast Range as well as many of the wildlife refuges in the state. Birding experience includes Spotted Owl, Northern Goshawk, breeding bird, and Tri-colored Blackbird and shorebird surveys.

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Kim Armstrong

Kim Armstrong has worked for River Partners as a Restoration Biologist for the last two years. Prior to working with River Partners, she was a Scientific Aid at the Oroville Wildlife Area for 9 years where she got to partake in various wildlife surveys, band ducks and geese, and was in charge of the areas wood duck box program. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science Ecology, with a minor in Biology, from CSU, Chico in 2019. Her favorite classes were ornithology, waterfowl biology and wetland ecology, entomology and aquatic ecology. She enjoys fly fishing, hiking, backpacking and birding. In her free time, she volunteers with the Audubon Society banding northern saw-whet owls.

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Skip Augur

Skip Augur has been an avid local birder and served Altacal Audubon in various capacities for over 30 years.

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Jon Aull

Jon Aull received his master's degree studying parks and natural resources in the recreation department at Chico State. He is currently the outdoor education coordinator for the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve, and has worked as a naturalist along the creek for 20 years.

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Joyce Bond

Joyce Bond has been an avid birder for more than two decades and is a member of Altacal Audubon Society. She teaches a class called "Birding in the Chico Area" for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at CSU, Chico, leading birding field trips to locations all around the area and helping students learn how to ID birds from field marks and by ear. She also enjoys painting and photographing birds.

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Keith Book

Keith Book and his family are owners of the Book Family Farms.

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Carol Burr

Carol Burr, PhD, is Professor Emerita from Chico State, where she taught literature in the English Department for 37 years and served in a number of administrative positions. Married to Roger Lederer, an ornithologist, she learned about birds and became an active bird watcher on travels around the world. In retirement, she returned to a childhood love of drawing and illustrated Dr. Lederer's The Birds of Bidwell Park (2009), using pen and colored pencils. She also illustrated The Wildflowers of Bidwell Park. She is the co-author with her husband of Latin for Bird Lovers, published by Timber Press in 2014.

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Lori Castaldo

Lori is a retired educator from Chico Unified School District. Lori loves hiking in Butte County and Northern California. She started Birdwatching several years ago and loves getting out in some of the best birding areas Butte County offers.

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Gary Cole

I was born in Chico and went through most of my education in Chico schools. I have a degree in biology and natural history while stressing my interest in ornithology at the graduate studies level while at CSUC. I've traveled and birded in many places around the world such as China, Columbia, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Russia, and spent extensive times in Australia/Tasmania. For several years I've guided the bird walk at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area on weekends Dec. thru Feb. I've lived, farmed, an enjoyed observing and studying wildlife at my present residential location for over 50 years. I look forward to sharing my interests, observations, and wildlife viewing with others.

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Andrew Conlin

Andrew Conlin has worked as a Soil Scientist for the NRCS for over 30 years. After mapping soils in IL, MN, NY and the San Joaquin Valley, he completed the Soil Surveys of Butte County and Lassen Volcanic National Park. Andrew has provided soils tours for over 25 years, explaining the relationships between soils, geomorphology, and vegetation.

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Brad Cooke

Brad Cooke has a California Chico State University degree in Recreation Administration. Since 1999, he has been an associate faculty at Butte Community College in outdoor education and has worked for 25 years in Butte County supporting natural history, native ways, and environmental education with an appreciation and knowledge for the hidden gems in Northern California. He has been a consultant for National Wildlife Refuges and an education programs director throughout Northern California. He has served as an experiential educator for thousands of students and teachers throughout Northern California. Brad is a eco-tour and raft guide with a huge variety of knowledge on our amazing North State.

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Charlie Cornell

Charles Cornell holds a degree in Geography. He has birded in Butte County since the 1970s, worked for the U. S. Forest Service, and volunteered in Outdoor & Environmental Education programs. Living near rice fields in Butte County, he enjoys stepping outside at night and hearing goose music and Great Horned Owls.

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David Dahnke

Dave Dahnke has been actively birding since 1980. He has birded throughout the United States and Eastern Europe.

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April Damanti

April Damanti obtained a bachelors degree for wildlife biology from CSU, Chico in 2016. After college, she worked for the United States Forest Service assisting the Mendocino National Forests Botany and Wildlife programs. While serving the MNF she surveyed for sensitive species such as mountain lady slipper orchid, northern goshawk, and northern spotted owl to name a few. She began her career with River Partners in fall 2021 as a restoration biologist specializing in side-channel restoration.

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Dan Efseaff

Dan Efseaff has over 20 years of experience as a restoration ecologist and land manager. Currently, he is the District Manager for the Paradise Recreation and Park District. Mr. Efseaff has experience with a wide variety of restoration projects, conservation and agricultural lands management, education and outreach, water conservation, and overseeing watershed programs.

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Steve Emmons

Steve Emmons previously served as the Wildlife Refuge Manager for Sacramento and Delevan National Wildlife Refuges (Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Willows, CA) from 1996 to 2020 prior to retiring. Previously, he served as the Assistant Refuge Manager at the Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge in Lake Arthur, LA (1990-1996) and the Fish and Wildlife Specialist at the Fort Carson Military Reservation, Colorado Springs, CO (1982-1990). He currently resides in southwestern Oregon. Steves primary interests include nature photography (particularly wildlife photography) and observing birds.

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Holly Ferrara

Holly Ferrara is a Restoration Biologist for River Partners. She has worked for River Partners for four years. Before that she worked for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for five years as a Scientific Aid and Turkey Hunt Coordinator. She received her Bachelors of Science in Wildlife Management and Conservation from Humboldt State University in 2013.

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Matt Forster

Matt Forster is an avid outdoorsman and birder whose love of the land has him interested in conservation of habitat and restoration. He studied waterfowl biology and wetland management as well as ornithology at CSUChico.

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Charlie Giannini

My name is Charlie Giannini I was born and raised in Chico, California. I always had a love for the outdoors and I began birdwatching in 5th grade. I am now a Junior at CSU, Chico Majoring in Biology with a minor in studio arts. After I finish my bachelors degree I plan on going to grad school with the goal of eventually working as a wildlife biologist.

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Gaylord Grams

Gaylord Grams is an avid local birder and has led many field trips for the Altacal Chapter of the Audubon Society.

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Scott Hardage

Scott Hardage is a land steward for The Nature Conservancy in the Lassen foothills area. Scott organizes public outreach hikes at the Dye Creek Preserve and manages a group of volunteer docents who help to lead the hikes. He enjoys hiking and photography, and has recently used camera traps to document burrowing owl activity on the preserve.

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Rose Hoskinson

Rose has been hiking in the Sutter Buttes with Middle Mountain Interpretive Hikes for 7 years, where she was first introduced to birding. She recently retired from computer engineering and hopes to focus on citizen science and outdoor activities. Her first love remains wildflowers but birds are now a close second - if they would only sit still!

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Mike Hubbartt

Mike Hubbartt, author, California State Park Interpreter, and a Sutter Buttes Regional Land Trust board member, and hike guide has been actively involved in the preservation of the Sutter Buttes since 1996.

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Liam Huber

Liam Huber started bird-watching at age 5 and has become accomplished at bird identification by sight and by ear. He spends much of his free time, as well as most of his not-free time, photographing and exploring every inch of Butte County.

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Scott Huber

Scott Huber has led bird watching trips throughout the western US, Mexico and the arctic as well as hundreds of wildlife tours in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Scott is past President of Altacal Audubon Society and past northstate representative to the California Audubon Board of Directors.

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Phil Johnson

Phil Johnson has been a long time board member of the Altacal Audubon Society, and he has coordinated the Oroville and Chico Christmas Bird Counts.

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Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan moved from the Bay Area to Oak Run in 1980 to escape the crowded, noisy, hustle and bustle of city life. Among the gray and ponderosa pine, and the oak savannah, he found himself surrounded by nature. Coyotes howled in the winter evening, deer and fox were abundant and birds seemed to be everywhere. On the way home from an evening out, he and his wife found a tiny owl standing in the middle of the road to his home. He didnt know what it was and had to look it up in his first edition Peterson Field Guide. It was his spark bird - a Burrowing Owl! Larry joined the Wintu Audubon Society and became the groups webmaster in 2008. He is the Shasta County Coordinator for the California Bluebird Recovery Program and monitors an active Burrowing Owl habitat in the Chico area.

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Shelly Kirn

Shelly Kirn teaches conservation biology, ecology, evolution, and several other classes at CSU, Chico and is faculty co-advisor to the biology honor society (Omicron Theta Epsilon). Shelly has been birding for almost 25 years and enjoys traveling throughout the US (and occasionally beyond) to see birds and other wildlife.

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Roger Lederer

Dr. Roger Lederer is Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at California State University, Chico, whose expertise is ecology, science education, and ornithology. He has published over thirty scientific research papers and seven books, including Ecology and Field Biology, Amazing Birds (in seven languages), Birds of Bidwell Park, Latin for Bird Lovers, and Beaks, Bones, and Birdsongs, and The Wildflowers of Bidwell Park.

Dr. Lederer has served as a consultant to governments, private organizations, and schools on environmental issues, and presented hundreds of public presentations to a wide variety of audiences. He has been consulted by BBC, National Geographic, National Public Radio, National Canadian Television, Guinness World Records, and many other organizations, publications, and individuals for his expertise on birds.

He is still active as a member of the local science fair board, maintaining his popular website, Ornithology.com, and exploring the world. He has traveled to 100 countries and has been a guest speaker and naturalist on several cruise lines across the world, speaking on ecology, natural history, and geology.

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Hilary Locke

Hilary Locke is a lifelong nature lover who makes a living as a social worker. She has recently discovered that birding is a fabulous way to maintain her equanimity.

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Henry Lomeli

A lifetime outdoorsman, Henry Lomeli has been a wildlife biologist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for 32 years, responsible for a big range of land in Northern California and often responding to animal control calls ranging from skunks to mountain lions. Almost 20 years ago, inspired to share his love of the outdoors with others, Henry founded Sacramento River Eco Tours , which takes curious customers on an educational tour down the Sacramento River and Eagle Creek Ranch Eco Tours, safari-style tours, in the beautiful foothills of Northern California. In 2017 he added Sutter Buttes Eco Tours. Henry has also been practicing his survival skills since he was young that he put to use during his appearance as the survival expert on an episode of the Discovery Channel show "Tethered" in 2014. Henry spends his summer on the river and as an actively engaged member of the California outdoor community!

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Laura Lush

Laura Lush grew up in the shadow of the Sutter Buttes and is an artist, high school teacher, nature enthusiast, and avid birder. She has been active with Middle Mountain Interpretive Hikes for 20 years and is currently on the organization's board of directors.

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Tess McGuire

Tess McGuire has been birding and making hats for the last twenty years. She became an avid kayaker when she bought a house on Clear Lake. Now that she lives near Mendocino she paddles the the local rivers and birds the coast. Perhaps some day shell be brave enough to go out on the ocean.

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Ali Meders-Knight

Ali Meders-Knight is a Mechoopda tribal member, mother of five, and traditional basketweaver based in Chico, CA. She is a Mechoopda Tribal liaison working to form partnerships for federal forest stewardship contracting and tribal forestry programs on public lands. She has been a Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) practitioner for over 20 years, collaborating on environmental education and land restoration projects with Chico State University and the City of Chico. In 2009 she helped plan and establish Verbena Fields, a unique 17-acre interactive food forest and interpretive park in North Chico to help educate the community about the rich ecological heritage of the Mechoopda people.

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Gary Moeller

Gary Moeller is an avid birder and has been with Altacal for 6 Years.

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Mary Muchowski

Mary Muchowski has worked as a wildlife technician/biologist since 1988 with the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. She has lived in the Chico area since 1983, and really enjoys the bird-life of the area, especially in the winter!

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Gary Nielsen

Gary Nielsen has birded for more than 40 years in Butte county and beyond. A particular love are birds of open horizons, be they raptors or seabirds. Since retiring from teaching in 2007, he has spent more than a year in the seabird colonies of the NW Hawaiian Islands, including 11 months on Midway, among the 2 million Albatross.

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Joseph O'Neil

Joseph O'Neil is a Certified Arborist with over 30 years of experience in the tree and nursery field, working at Mendon's Nursery in Paradise for 9 years and currently as a consulting arborist. He has an Art degree from CSU Chico and has traveled the North State extensively. He's been birding since 2003 and loves sharing his knowledge regarding tree resources for birds.

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Owl Monitoring Team

Bio to be provided soon.

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Greg Payne

Greg and Kathleen Payne have been leading hikes in the Sutter Buttes for Middle Mountain Interpretive Hikes for the last eight years. They are coordinators of the MMIH Education Program that leads 3rd and 4th grade students from local schools on field trips in the Sutter Buttes. Greg is also president of Middle Mountain Interpretive Hikes and Kathleen serves as Secretary.

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Kathleen Payne

Greg and Kathleen Payne have been leading hikes in the Sutter Buttes for Middle Mountain Interpretive Hikes for the last eight years. They are coordinators of the MMIH Education Program that leads 3rd and 4th grade students from local schools on field trips in the Sutter Buttes. Greg is also president of Middle Mountain Interpretive Hikes and Kathleen serves as Secretary.

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Ruth Paz

Ruth Paz is a member of Altacal Audubon Society and enjoys the monthly meetings and presentations. The summer camping trips with Audubon are great fun. When birding in Lassen Volcanic National Park on some of these trips, she enjoys seeing birds that don't come to her back yard. Ruth has been birding for over 20 years.

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Victor Paz

Victor Paz was a member of the Central Sierra Audubon Society in Sonora, CA for 20 years. He has recently moved to Tehama County and is now a member of the Altacal Audubon Society.

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Asher Perla

Asher Perla is a 14 year old high school student and birder from Yuba county. He started birding in early 2019, after discovering eBird on a Snow Goose Festival field trip. In 2020, he completed a birding bird year in Yuba County, observing 242 species in one calendar year. Asher goes birding every day, and loves to discover and observe new behaviours in common birds as well as find rare and unusual species. In 2021, he began a study of nesting habits of a Purple Martin colony in Oregon House which he plans to continue in 2022.

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Melanie Albrecht Peterson

Melanie Albrecht Peterson is a lifelong outdoors enthusiast whose interests include geology, natural sciences, and bird watching. As a former nursery employee, Melanie has a deep interest in plants and trees and their function in providing habitat and food for avian species. She has enjoyed learning the plants, birds, and geology of the west coast since relocating to California in 2017.

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Ranger Blair Pubols

Ranger Blair Pubols has worked for California State Parks since 2011, previously working at Bidwell Mansion and Humboldt Redwoods State Park. He graduated from CSU Chico, where he studied history, geography, and GIS. He is excited to take over these special hikes into the Sutter Buttes and looks forward to sharing this unique place.

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Shane Romain

Shane Romain is passionate about the outdoors and outdoor education. He was the Supervising Park Ranger for the City of Chico for the past nine years and is now the Park Services Coordinator. He teaches Parks and Natural Resources Management at CSUC and is the Coordinator of the Outdoor Education program at Rancho Esquon. Since he created the program at Rancho Esquon in 2008, over 7,000 students have been able to experience the wonder of our wetlands thanks to the generosity of the Hofmann Foundation and the Community Youth Center.

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John Seid

John Seid taught elementary school children for 35 years and made it a point to teach them about the wonders of our natural world and our place in this amazing world. Since we live in the Pacific Flyway, many units were done around birds that migrate here and also our local ones. John believes that if you know the name of something it brings you closer. He is an avid photographer, and you can find him all summer kayaking and all winter at the refuges around us with his faithful dog Lucy.

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Joe Silveira

Joe Silveira is a retired Wildlife Refuge Manager for the Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge and the North Central Valley Wildlife Management Area--Llano Seco Unit. He served as a Wildlife Biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1990 and has been stationed at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex since 1992, where he worked on habitat restoration and management programs involving the ecology and conservation of riparian floodplains, vernal pool landscapes, grasslands, and managed freshwater wetlands.

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Bill Smith

Bill Smith is a retired Professional Forester who has resided in in Chico since 1975. He has a BS in Forest Management from Michigan Technological University and retired as the "Forest Silviculturist" from the Plumas National Forest in 2010. His forte in the Forest Service was large reforestation project logistics and Service Contract Administration. Notable accomplishments include serving on the Bidwell Park Commission, securing the three acre "Blue Oak Reserve" within Hillview Terrace Subdivision, and spearheadimg the design and build-out of Baroni Park, a Chico Neighborhood Park.

Bill leads a Chico Meetup Hiking Group and stays active in Community affairs. Currently, Bill is a docent at the Abbey of Our Lady of New Clairvaux, in Vina, Ca., where he leads tours. The Abbey is home to 25 Trappist monks, and the property played an important role in California history.

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Karen L. Smith

Karen L. Smith is a lifelong birder and nature lover. Five years ago, after attending the annual Snow Goose Festival, she moved to Chico from the bay area due to Chicos rich habitat of bird life and its location on the Pacific Flyway. She has traveled to Baja, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama and several locations within the United States to learn about birds. Karen currently co-leads a birding group with Newcomers Club of Chico and taught a Beginner's Birding course with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at CSU, Chico. She enjoys teaching new birders how to identify and appreciate the birds around them.

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Lorraine Smith

Lorraine Smith grew up in rural Northern California. She went on her first camping trip at age 7 months, and has taken every opportunity to get outdoors ever since. After enjoying a career in higher education, Lorraine is thrilled to have more time now to pursue her love of all things outdoors - hiking, birding, camping, kayaking, and learning something new every day about the natural world. Since retiring, Lorraine has guided nature walks, and hiking and backpacking adventures, with an emphasis on amateur birding and botanizing. Recently she has lead hiking and camping outings with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at CSU, Chico.

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Ken Sobon

Ken Sobon is an avid birder, field trip leader, Vice President of Altacal Audubon Society and is the Northern California representative on Audubon California board of directors. He has worked the last 11 seasons volunteering and assisting and is now the Director of the Northern Saw-whet Owl fall migration monitoring project. In addition Ken has been a science teacher to middle school students in Oroville since 1995. He has shared his love of science and birding with his students both in the classroom and in field.

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Vickie Stoll

Vickie is an East Coast transplant who came West to pursue a dream career with the United States Forest Service. Now retired, and still a firm believer in the Forest Service motto "Caring for the land and serving people," she believes getting outdoors is a wonderful way to share a love for nature and to serve the community.

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Andy Tomaselli

Andy Tomaselli is an avid outdoor enthusiast, having spent his young adult life working and living in Yosemite National Park where he first became curious about natural history. He is a self-taught naturalist, learning most of the flora and fauna of California from field guides. Andy enjoys fly fishing, backcountry skiing and has spent many years helping with local Christmas Bird Counts. Andy refers to himself as a "smart alecky laymen" and likes to call his self-taught natural history a "burden of knowledge" that he is more than happy to unload on anyone who asks. He has resided in Chico for over 25 years and has explored the Northstate extensively; especially obscure out of the way locations. When not birding or botanizing with his lovely wife, he likes to pursue his creative side playing and singing American standards on the ukulele.

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Karen von Bargen

Ive been casually birding since I was about 3 when my granny gave me my first Golden Guide. I fell away from birding in my teen years but started up again when I was in college and doing native plant surveys. I feel very lucky to live in Butte County where birds are numerous and people are so kind as to share their bird knowledge with others.

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Pamela Waldsmith

Pamela Waldsmith enjoys a variety of interests: birding; hiking; yoga; kayaking; painting; travel; local, national, and world affairs; reading; pickleball; and photography. As an educator of thirty-five years, she most enjoyed teaching science and expanding her young students' educational experience through field trips. Fueled by her passion for science, she coached her students for the annual Nature Bowl, a fun environmental competition, with her students often placing very high in the final state competition. Since her retirement, she misses the youngsters yet has had more time to pursue her many interests, and she continues learning every day in new ways.

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Bruce Webb, Swarovski Optik Field Tech

When Bruce Webb was a student at Chico State, he worked with Tim Manolis to write the "Annotated List of Birds of Butte County." Currently, he is Californias Field Technician for Swarovski Optik.

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Lisa Winslow

Lisa Winslow has a lifelong love for birds, wildlife and nature. She was a School Counselor for many years in the Chico community. She often spends her weekends out birding and hiking and is a member of the local Altacal Audubon Society. One of her favorite hot spots in the Chico area is the Oxidation Ponds.

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Mary Wrysinski

Mary Wrysinski is a retired accountant, a Butte County Master Gardener, and a member of the Altacal Audubon Society. She began birding in 2008 and has been a member of the Snow Goose Festival steering committee since 2009. One of her goals is assisting people in the appreciation of our local natural resources. The Pacific Flyway is an outstanding example of those resources, and the Snow Goose Festival is a great path to appreciation!

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