Vale, Eugene

Vale, Eugene

Eugene Vale While doing plant ecology research towards a Masters at St. Louis University, Eugene Vale became active in the Grotto [caving club] there. On his outdoor adventures, he found himself interpreting much of the natural world to others. He came to think, “Wouldn’t it be great to be paid for doing this?” Mr. Vale worked his way through school on a teaching fellowship and at an opticoelectronics factory. In 1980 the Missouri State Parks took over the Fisher Cave Tours at Meramec State Park. Members of the Missouri Speleological Survey, including Mr. Vale, advised state parks on this. That year was his first year as a seasonal interpreter. He led cave tours at Fisher Cave and expanded to cover other interpretive programs at the Park. He also was a seasonal at Babler, and in 1985 was appointed as the first full time naturalist at Onondaga Cave State Park. Mr. Vale moved to the Research Management and Interpretation Program in 2003, where his background in electronics and computers has helped the Mo. DNR switch to digital AV, and develop new types of interactive exhibits.

He has received three Missouri Masterpiece Awards from the Missouri State Parks, is a Fellow of the National Speleological Society, has received two awards from the National Association for Interpretation Region VI, and is past president of the Association of Missouri Interpreters. He has received three awards from that organization. Mr. Vale has degrees in Biology and is married to Jo Shaper who has a degree in geology. She says, “Together we make a planet.” The two are known for their joint programs.

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Springuel, Natalie

Natalie Springuel has lived, played, and worked on the coast of Maine for nearly 25 years. After graduating from College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Natalie became one of the first women to take her Maine guide’s exam specifically to acquire the certification needed to lead sea kayak tours, which she did with enthusiasm for the next decade, honing her skills not only in sea kayaking, but in navigation and the art of interpreting the natural world. She had first paddled a sea kayak at the ripe age of 18, in Alaska’s Inside Passage, where a field course on the ecology of Bald Eagles helped her discover that her life-long passion for the outdoors could turn into a life-long career choice devoted to the sea. Forever a believer that academics should match up with life pursuits, Natalie convinced her graduate committee that spending 2½ months paddling around the Canadian province of Nova Scotia was the best platform for studying coastal tourism and commercial fishing issues.

For the last 13 years, Natalie has worked as a marine extension agent with the University of Maine Sea Grant Program, based at College of the Atlantic. In 2002, following her grad school model, Natalie convinced her Sea Grant boss that paddling around the entire Gulf of Maine was the best platform for embarking on educational programming about this northwest Atlantic watershed. Her co-leader on this five-month expedition, Rich MacDonald, would soon become her husband and partner on most of her life’s great adventures since, including parenting; launching their nearly four-year old family business, The Natural History Center; and serving as lead naturalists for cruises chartered by National Public Radio’s A Prairie Home Companion. And now, Family Nature Summit!

Today, Natalie’s work at Maine Sea Grant is focused on outreach and applied research in Maine’s fisheries heritage, as well as the working waterfronts and coastal communities reliant on the sea. She is the coordinator of the Downeast Fisheries Trail, a thematic Maine experience celebrating fisheries heritage, then and now, to help communities and visitors discover and learn. She comes to this Family Nature Summit excited to share her passion for the Maine coast, its islands, and its people.

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Pool, Juliet

Juliet has worked as a naturalist and informal educator for over 20 years since she graduated from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Over the last 15 years she has worked at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Her most recent position as the Manager of Aquarium Adventures allows her to inspire people not only to protect the ocean, but get up close and personal while participating in tours, sleepovers or diving. Inspiring families to explore nature together is not only a carreer, but a passion. “Through my entire career I have seen the power of nature to inspire children, to not only connect natural world around them, but to expand their vision for who and what they want to be as they grow up.”

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Mullen, Kaitlyn

Kaitlyn Allen Mullen was born in Richmond, Virginia on June 14, 1980. She was raised in Hanover County, Virginia and graduated from Patrick Henry High School in 1998. She attended Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee and graduated in 1998 with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Business and Marketing. After touring as a singer/songwriter she moved to Maine to continue her education. Kaitlyn earned a second Bachelor’s degree in Marine Science at the University of Maine in 2006. She entered the interdisciplinary Ocean Engineering graduate program at The University of Maine in the fall of 2006. While a graduate student at the University of Maine, Kaitlyn also worked as a naturalist for the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company and Acadian Nature Cruises, worked as a Marine Mammal Observer in the Gulf of Mexico, worked as a research associate with Allied Whale, and participated in marine mammal field work in the Gulf of Maine and the Cape Canaveral National Wildlife Refuge. As a result of her experiences, Kaitlyn earned her 100-ton master’s license in March 2010. Kaitlyn is a candidate for the Interdisciplinary Doctor of Philosophy degree in Ocean Engineering from The University of Maine in December, 2013 and currently works as both a captain and a naturalist with Acadian Nature Cruises.

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MacDonald, Richard

Richard MacDonald has a diverse background rooted in science, natural history, and adventure, with a curriculum vitae that reads a bit like an action novel.

Taking a year off from university to earn money for his continued studies became an eight-year hiatus that saw Rich working atop Whiteface Mountain, located in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, studying the effects of acid rain on high elevation forests. These studies, which led to broader studies of climate change, saw him tromping the massive Whiteface massif to remote field sites during all hours of the day and night, driving snow-cats to the summit during the winter research program, climbing 24-meter (80-foot) spruce trees to sample foliage.

During this time, Rich simultaneously pursued his passion for everything bird. Initially, he worked part-time for the Audubon Society, studying the colonial waterbirds of Lake Champlain. Eventually, he joined the science staff of The Nature Conservancy where his studies focused on both waterbirds and the boreal birds of northern forests.

To supplement his ardent passion for the natural world, early on Rich added guiding and instructing to his repertoire, leading bird tours, teaching paddling skills, and touring the Adirondack Mountains on telemark skis. In 1997, he founded the Lake Champlain Sea Kayak Institute. And in 2002, Rich left his position with The Nature Conservancy to co-lead a five-month educational sea kayak expedition, the Gulf of Maine Expedition, along with Natalie Springuel, who afterwards became his wife.

Today, Rich lives in Bar Harbor, Maine, with Natalie and their five-year-old daughter, Anouk. He is the director of The Natural History Center, leading nature and adventure tours, and studying the birds of coastal Maine. Among his many projects, he is writing a bird book for this region.

Since 2005, Rich and his wife have co-directed the education team on special cruise-ship charters for the National Public Radio program, A Prairie Home Companion. And in January of this year, he was a naturalist on a small ship that went to Antarctica. Rich regularly writes about nature and outdoor adventure for a variety of publications. He is a graduate of the State University of New York where he studied field biology.

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Leslie, Clare Walker

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.

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Lawrence, Tom

Avid naturalist and photographer Tom Lawrence has been a resident of Mount Desert Island for 30 years. A biologist, geologist and outdoor educator, Tom is an enthusiastic instructor with the ability to tie together the beauty and science of Acadia. The carriage roads of Acadia have always been a special interest of Tom’s since his first visit. Prior to the roads restoration in the early 1990s Tom volunteered to help identify erosional issues and bolster support for the cause with public presentations on the history of this natural resource. He also published a series of maps for cyclist and hikers to navigate the road system.

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Lampright, Bruce

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.

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Jacobi, Charlie

Charlie Jacobi is a Natural Resource Specialist /AKA Visitor Use Guy at Acadia National Park who has been exploring the park on and off work and on and off trail since 1984. His hiking and trekking experience ranges from Acadia tidewater to over 15,000 ft. near K2 in Pakistan. Charlie is the recipient of the 2013 national award for Leave No Trace education and his Acadia Ridge Runner program at the NPS Awards, Denver, CO.

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Hartness, Marilyn

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.

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