Bruce Lampright currently serves as the Naturalist for Brays Island Plantation in Beaufort County, South Carolina. Originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, Bruce has lived in coastal South Carolina for the past four decades. After graduating from the University of South Carolina (with a degree in Marine Science) he conducted research at USC’s Baruch Marine Lab and served as Education Coordinator for the Belle W. Baruch Foundation, both near Georgetown, SC. Lampright has also served as the Director of USC-Beaufort’s Coastal Zone Education Center in Bluffton and is a founding member and former President of the South Carolina Marine Educator’s Association. In 1999 Bruce and two others started the SC Master Naturalist Program, now administered by Clemson University with programs throughout the Palmetto State. Lampright is a Master Gardener and has been involved in environmental education for over 35 years and was the 2004 recipient of the South Carolina Marine Educator of the Year Award. He is also one of the first to be certified in South Carolina to legally pick mushrooms for resale. This will be his 13th Summit as a faculty member.
Matt Hays has been teaching high school science in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for twenty-eight years. He currently teaches AP Environmental Science, AP Biology, and AP Chemistry. In addition, he organizes hiking, backpacking, and rock climbing trips for his high school students and faculty. Matt is an avid hiker, backpacker, rock-climber, skier, and mountaineer. He has climbed all fifty-four fourteeners in Colorado numerous times, many in the winter. He has also climbed Mt. Whitney, CA and the Grand Teton in Wyoming via the Exum Ridge. He summited Mt. Rainier last summer for the second time; this time via the Emmons Glacier route. Also in the Cascades, Matt has summited Mt. Hood via the Hogback route. He would like to pursue more peaks in Mexico and South America. This Christmas he hopes to summit Pico de Orizaba, an 18,491 foot peak in Mexico. Long term, he hopes to have the opportunity to climb Aconcagua, the highest peak in the southern hemisphere (22,841 ft.) in Argentina. Denali is also on the radar.Matt Hays has taught high school science in Colorado Springs, Colorado for the past thirty years. Matt is retiring this May and is eager to begin another chapter in his life. Matt would like to pursue a career in wildlife/adventure photography. Not one to sit for long, Matt will continue to seek out peaks to scale, rocks to climb, ice to ascend, canyons to explore and long trails on which to walk for days. He is married to Peggy Hays who is one of the Junior Naturalist instructors with Family Nature Summits.
Amy Hahn grew up just outside of Washington, D.C. In 1988 she moved to Colorado and in 1989 led her first hike as part of the faculty of Family Nature Summits (then National Wildlife Federation Conservation Summits). She worked in the outdoor industry for 22 years as a product tester, sales rep and consultant, before turning her attention to the world of conservation, where she still works. She is a confirmed altitude junkie, and spends as much time as possible in the mountains of CO and WY near her home. She enjoys turning people on to playing outside, environmental stewardship, green habits and activism to address environmental degradation.
When not acting as President of Family Nature Summits Chris Blank is a private practice attorney based in Newport Beach, California. His firm’s focus is business litigation, business law, and bankruptcy. In addition to his law practice he sits on the board of a local educational non-profit organization and founded a political action committee to support local candidates. He has been coming to the Nature Summits since 1994. This is the highlight of the year for he and his sons. He has been a committed environmentalist since the 1970s and is excited about continuing the Summit mission
Homeretta Ayala (Homer) has been actively involved in Family Nature Summits for the past 18 years. She has spent the past 38 years teaching, music, library technology,and ESOL preK-college. An avid traveler, she has worked building libraries in Nepal and Bhutan. “I wanted to give back to Family Nature Summits. It has provided me and my family a special opportunity to focus one week each year with nature-loving friends. It doesn’t get better than that!!!
Julie Barta attended her first summit at nine years old in Marquette, Michigan and has participated in nearly every summit since, whether it be as a guest, teacher, or Board member. Julie is from Columbus, Ohio but moved to the mountains of Boone, North Carolina in 2010 to attend Appalachian State University. She received a degree in Elementary Education and currently resides in Asheville, NC teaching second grade. Working with children and exploring nature are two of her greatest passions. The summit has greatly influenced Julie’s life and will continue to do so for years to come!
Dave Linthicum has been losing orienteering events and doing maps for the sport since starting in 1974 (as a Scout.) He’s GPS’d and used maps for trekking up to 20,000 ft. all over Tajikistan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Andes, Tanzania, Ladakh, Tasmania, Jordan, and the Alps by land, and British Columbia, Alaska, New Zealand, Thailand, Baja, Maine, and Elba by sea (kayak), all with Peggy Brosnan. They live 19 miles from the US Capitol and a mile from their nearest neighbor on the longest river entirely in Maryland. YouTube
Dave’s new water trail map of that river is a best-seller. Dave was recently the primary witness for the plaintiff in the precedent-setting environmental victory in Patuxent Riverkeeper vs. Md. Dept. of the Environment before the Maryland Court of Appeals, furthering citizen standing (Court Upholds Citizens Rights in Fight Over Woodmore Towne Center). In real life at the Office of the Geographer of the US State Dept., he analyzes, edits, and draws most of the non-European international boundaries that you see on Google Earth/Maps and for all federal military and civilian use.
Dave Egan got his undergraduate degree in the Valley and Ridge Province of central Pennsylvania at Bucknell University and then his graduate degree in the glacial plains of the Miami River Valley at Wright State University in Ohio. Dave has been involved with geologic studies nationwide as a geologist supporting cleanup of soils, groundwater, streams and estuaries at Superfund sites and other industrial or former industrial facilities. He has also helped to interpret geology for hikers and other enjoyers of the outdoors for the past 20+ years. In his spare time, you may find him biking, hiking, kayaking, swimming or playing ultimate Frisbee.