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.
Janet Chu taught high school Biology for 38 years and took students into the Estes Park Y-Camp for 24 years on a 3-day, 2-night field experience. She has conducted a 4th of July Butterfly Count for 29 years at an Outdoor Education Center. She enjoys involving children and adults in the joy of coming closer to these unique insects.
Tim Banek Originally from South Dakota, Tim received a BA in Biology from Augustana College Sioux Falls, SD and a MS in Biology from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD. He began his career with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation in northeast Oklahoma. In 1986, he accepted a position with the Missouri Department of Conservation and worked in southwest Missouri as a Fisheries Management Specialist and Fisheries Management Biologist for 22 years. Tim has a diverse history of successful accomplishments for the Department, including working with private landowners, and conducting close coordination with city municipalities, communities, and several state and federal agencies. Tim developed and implemented unique smallmouth bass regulations on Elk River that has improved the fishery in that stream. He also led the effort to improve walleye management in Missouri and showed that stocking high priority lakes with walleye fingerlings significantly improved walleye fishing. Tim is a member of the Missouri Chapter of American Fisheries and the Wildlife societies and represented the Department on the North Central AFS Walleye Technical Committee for 15 years. Tim has presented papers at several professional meetings and has organized and conducted interagency and public meetings.
In February 2008, Tim accepted MDC’s first 1-year leadership training position to serve as Invasive Species Coordinator in central office. The leadership training position was extended and his promotion was made permanent with the Conservation Commission’s approval of the vacancy management plan in October, 2009. He is enjoying the diversity of his responsibilities and the challenges related to invasive species. A few of Tim’s accomplishments as Invasive Species Coordinator include editing and working to get Missouri’s Aquatic Nuisance Species Plan submitted through the Governor’s office, approved by the ANS Task Force and to administer the annual federal grant to implement the plan. Tim also had a major role in using bioagent insects in Missouri to combat the noxious spotted knapweed. Long term bioagent evaluations are currently being conducted on Department areas in southern Missouri. He also continues to provide training and workshop opportunities for staff and produces invasive species materials to help educate Missouri citizens about invasive species
Kyle is an environmental scientist and intern forester currently delineating wetlands and preparing timber management plans for the landowner’s income and/or enhancement of wildlife habitats. In 2011-12, he worked as a team field leader in the Gulf of Mexico assessing impact of the Deep Water Horizon oil facility explosion and leaks on oysters and by tracking drifting bird carcasses using telemetry and tracking oiled pelicans, rails, and egrets from the Everglades to Mexico. He has also worked with invasive species, obtaining biological data from bycatch aboard commercial fishing vessels, and done mist netting/handling of birds and bats. He is a 2009 graduate in forestry and wetland ecology from the University of New Hampshire.