Weber, Jill

Weber, Jill

Jill Weber is a consulting biologist and ecologist who has worked in Maine for over twenty years. She received her Bachelor’s degree in botany from the University of Northern Colorado and her Master’s degree in botany from the University of Maine. Following a brief post-graduate stint as a tree physiology researcher, Jill turned her attention to consulting. Much of the early work consisted of inventories of public and private lands to locate rare plant populations. As new approaches to plant conservation biology evolved, Jill’s projects became more ecological in nature.

With associate Sally Rooney, Jill has assisted the Nature Conservancy, the Maine Department of Conservation, various land trusts, and Acadia National Park. Projects for Acadia include sampling for a vegetation map, development of rare plant management plans for the Park’s rare plant species, and a study of the abundance and distribution of invasive plant species at Acadia. In 2010 she and coauthors Glen Mittelhauser, Linda Gregory and Sally Rooney published The Plants of Acadia National Park, a guide to the vascular flora of the region. She recently assisted with the development of the New England Wild Flower Society’s Go Botany plant identification website and she is currently serving as a Dixon Schoodic Scholar.

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Houser, Steve

Steve Houser Jr has a master’s degree in Elementary Education as well as a graduate degree in counseling. Steve is certified in gifted education, social sciences, and geography, as well as being certified as an Environmental Educator by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. His work as an educator of young people for over 40 years has been recognized through numerous awards, including: The Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (the nation’s highest science teaching award sponsored by the White House and the National Science Foundation), the Governor’s Award for NC Environmental Educator of the Year, the American Geological Institute’s US Earth Science Teacher of the Year, the Mecklenburg County Arts and Science Council’s Outstanding Educator Award for his contributions to the Arts, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System’s Wachovia Ben Craig Teacher of the Year Award.

In addition, Steve is a professional storyteller with over 35 years experience in telling the old North Carolina tales and international stories that inspire and educate the listener. He worked over twenty summers as a National Wildlife Federation Family Summit faculty member at locations all over North America, and he currently serves as Director of the Family Nature Summits Junior Naturalist Program. Recognized as an “Educator of Excellence” with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, Steve has participated in educator institutes in Sweden, Belize, Yellowstone National Park, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest in Peru

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Holmberg, Nels

Nels Holmberg lives on a sheep farm in east central Missouri with his wife Sandra and 10 Australian shepherds. A born again environmentalist, his great interest is understanding, cataloging and preserving the great diversity of fascinating organisms living on this earth. Sandra’s desire to be a farmer led to Nels’ interest in ecology which led to quitting his job and going back to UM-St. Louis for a MS degree in Ecology, Evolution and Systematics. He now spends as much time as possible in the field, looking for and learning new plants. Nels believes that the quality of a nature hike depends greatly on the knowledge all the group members bring along.

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Halfpenny, Jim

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.

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Dawson, Cyndi

Cyndi Dawson is an experienced ecologist with her work focusing on coastal ecology, protected areas and sustainable fisheries management. In her position as an Environmental Scientist with CA State Parks she is tasked with balancing the recreational needs of the citizens of California while striving to preserve Asilomar’s extraordinary natural resources. Her talk will describe the main habitat types, rare species and setting of the natural environment at Asilomar. Before joining State Parks in 2012m, Cyndi received her B.S. in Biology from Humboldt State University and her M.S. in Marine Science from San Francisco State at Moss Landing Marine Labs. She has worked as a Marine Biologist for CA Department of Fish and Wildlife and most recently was the Director of Science of Reef Check California, a citizen scientist organization that monitors over 80 nearshore subtidal sites throughout California to help marine managers make better informed decisions.

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