Vicki McVey lives in the mountains, spends many hours hiking, snowshoeing, and more than anything just “being” in the natural world of the Rockies. She practices art in many forms, and has developed several outdoors workshops that combine art, journaling, and deep relationship with nature. She has written books for children that focus on the natural world, and has lived and worked in Mexico and Nicaragua. Her children and grandchildren are frequent visitors to her mountain home.
Clare Walker Leslie is a nationally recognized author, artist, naturalist and educator. She has taught for National Wildlife Summits since 1995. She is working on her 11th book – Connecting Parents and Teachers to Nature. She will have an assortment of her other books with her to buy. Clare comes to us from over the lake, in Vermont.
Marilyn Houser Hartness has spent a lifetime creating art work herself and teaching others to enjoy the natural beauty which is all around; using the process of art to make a lasting visual memory. Her first choice of art mediums is clay. From her outdoor interests: hiking, riding horseback, and swimming, the world of natural beauty coupled with imagination produces ceramic creations which are sculptural and functional. Her career as Associate Professor of Art at Wingate University in North Carolina has allowed her to share ceramics concepts to many people. She teaches Ceramics Fundamentals and Ceramic Art History. Marilyn has instructed courses with the Family Summit Staff for over 14 years She instills a challenge of discovery in her students (young and old) with the focus on shapes of natural objects and the emphasis on the art of seeing line, shapes, color, mass, and space. Creativity plus the location of the summit equals enjoyable learning with a focus on art.
Dierks is the owner of WovenWord Press, a long time hand weaver and painter. She is an ordained priest in the Ecumenical Catholic Communion, works in a parish, as well as being part of a faith community in discernment.
She has a family of four adult children, one daughter and three sons, and five grandchildren who live all over the US and, at times, the world. She is married to Peter, a retired engineer. Her passion is community building and the recognition of the sacred all around us.
Ron Cisar – Earth Music – Ron is one of our faculty this year as well as performing his popular “Earth Music” for us. All of his hobbies revolve around nature from song writing, photography, reading, writing prose, poems and essays, hiking, kayaking, gardening etc. Ron has released two CDs of his original musical compositions, Earth Music and The Spell of Yellowstone. He has a very sincere enthusiasm about what he does and enjoys working with people of all ages. Be prepared to be entertained and delighted!Ron Cisar is no stranger to Conservation Summits. He has worked over 20 National Wildlife Conservation Summits from 1984 to 2004. Ron has served as Director of the Teen Adventure Program as well as an Earth Music instructor sharing his love of the natural world through his original songs. Ron has performed in 18 states and Canada. His programs have been scheduled and viewed by colleges, public schools, nature centers, and numerous regional, national and international conferences across the country including Project Wild, Bluebirds Across America, Missouri Department of Conservation, Girl Scouts of America, and the National Academic Decathlon Finals to name a few.
Ron has been an environmental educator his entire life. He presently teaches Environmental Science and Biology at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, IA. He has received numerous honors and awards in the area of education such as the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, Nebraska Conservation Educator of the Year and a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Ron’s whole life involves the study of natural history. All of his hobbies revolve around nature from song writing, photography, reading, writing prose, poems and essays, hiking, kayaking, gardening etc. Ron has released two CDs of his original musical compositions, Earth Music and The Spell of Yellowstone. He has a very sincere enthusiasm about what he does and enjoys working with people of all ages. Ron’s personal goal is to enrich his student’s and/or participant’s life with the values of a true land ethic and to instill in everyone a passion for positive stewardship of the planet. He lives in Omaha, Nebraska with his wife Muriel. They have three sons.