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 Kinsella, Taleypo the Storyteller, of Fairview Heights, IL, has been telling stories since 1981. She tells stories “…from nursery schools to nursing homes.” Her folktales come from many cultures, but her favorite stories are those she wrote about growing up in her small, Mid-western town. Her stories are full of energy and a delicate blend of action and word imaging. As a full-time, free-lance teller she travels to where stories want to be told. Besides telling, she often leads workshops, writes, and performs puppet plays.
In 2010, she became a published author with her book Storytelling and QAR Strategies. She has told stories to hundreds of schools and libraries in the Midwest and has been featured at many festivals and special events including The St. Louis Storytelling Festival Under the Arch, The Celtic World Festival in Ohio, Cahokia Mounds, and The Illinois Storytelling Festival.
Jim Halfpenny is an author, scientist, educator whose interest in COLD (altitudinal, latitudinal, and seasonal) has taken him to all seven continents and Greenland. Jim’s specialties include environmental ecology, animal tracking, and carnivores; his greatest academic love, bears, led to 22 years studying black, grizzly and polar bears. He also works with wolverine, lynx, cougar and wolves. Jim has written over 30 books and videos including his latest, Yellowstone Bears in the Wild and Track Plates for Mammals. He led the American East Greenland expeditions in 1975 and 1976 and is a Fellow of the Explorer’s Club and received the Antarctic Service medal. Jim is past Chairman of the Board of Directors, senior instructor, and past administrative liaison officer of the National Outdoor Leadership School. Currently Jim is President of A Naturalist’s World, an ecological education company. A past Research Fellow of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, Jim was Director of the Mountain Research Station and the Long-Term Ecological Research program in the Alpine. He is listed in Who’s Who in the World 1989-1993, Who’s Who in Emerging Leaders 1989-1996, Who’s Who in Western America 1987-1997 and Who’s Who In Science.
A Vietnam veteran, Jim received the Navy Achievement Medal with Combat “V” and Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm. Jim received his Ph.D. in 1980 in Biology, Ecology, & Mammalogy from the University of Colorado. He received his B.S. in 1969 and M.S. in 1970 both in Botany & Ecology from 2010 Family Summits Classes – Lake Tahoe, California the University of Wyoming. At the University of Wyoming, Jim was on the President’s Academic Honor Roll, University of Wyoming and a four-year letterman in diving, swimming and water polo.
James Bruchac is an award winning author, storyteller, tracking expert, wilderness instructor and guide. Raised in the Adirondack foothills town of Greenfield Center, New York Jim is the eldest son of World renowned Abenaki Indian storyteller and author Joseph Bruchac III. Of Abenaki and Slovak descent Jim grew up immersed in the outdoors and the art of storytelling. Due to their combined efforts to educate others about the natural world in March of 2005 Jim and his father were awarded a CONSERVATION ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FROM THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION.