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.
Professor William Brown is a vertebrate zoologist and herpetologist; he holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Arizona State University (1965, 1968) and a Ph.D. degree in Biology from the University of Utah (1973). Brown is a native of southeastern Pennsylvania where he grew up on a family farm and, when not doing chores, could be found chasing turtles and snakes in the local streams and fields. From 1974 to 1997 he was an Associate Professor of Biology at Skidmore College in New York, teaching a variety of courses (Field Zoology, Vertebrate Anatomy, Environmental Science). Since 1997 he has been an emeritus professor of biology at Skidmore College.
Currently, he is a part-time lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences, State University of New York at Albany, where for nine years he taught Field Biology and Vertebrate Histology (1997-2007), and where he currently teaches Comparative Anatomy of Chordates (2007-2009). In 1990, Brown served a one-year elected term as President of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR), an international professional organization of over 2,000 herpetologists, research biologists, and zoo professionals. In recent years he has served as a consultant for the State of New York in evaluating development projects impacting the timber rattlesnake as well as other reptiles and amphibians, and other wildlife. He has also provided evaluations for citizens’ conservation groups opposing inappropriate developments that impact timber rattlesnakes.
Carla Brown is originally from Atlantic Canada – she was born in Newfoundland and her parents live in Nova Scotia. She became acquainted with Family Nature Summits when they were run by the National Wildlife Federation, where she has worked on the internet team since 2000. She taught at the Summits in Montana, Maine, Colorado, New Brunswick, Oregon and Silver Bay. She taught crafts such as hand quilting, crazy quilting and rug hooking, as well as classes in green lifestyles, global warming solutions and raising children as global citizens. Her daughter said her first “word” at a Summit (a bear’s roar in Colorado) and now her parents come to Summits as well.
Carl Brown was born in Newfoundland, and currently lives in Nova Scotia, Canada. His first summit was in 2004 at Estes Park, Colorado. His wife is Gloria Brown, his daughter is Carla Brown (Green Lifestyles program in 2009 and 2010, Green Tours program in 2012 and 2013 ) and he is grandfather to Nora and Russell. Carl worked 34 years with Imperial Oil, an affiliate of ExxonMobil as a Planning /Real Estate Manager. He retired in 2003 and has continued to do contract work with Imperial Oil since retirement. Carl has a business degree from Memorial University, Newfoundland. He says he enjoys dealing with people and has plenty of energy to coordinate, organize and manage. He says that must be why the Transportation Coordinator role fits his personality. He used to be a Venturer/Boy Scout leader dealing with ages 14 – 17. They experienced many outdoor activities including winter and summer camping, hiking and canoeing. He has also been an Advisor for the Duke of Edinburgh Program, a soccer and T ball coach. The Maine Summit will be his eighth.
Matt Blank was 7 when he attended his first summit in New Hampshire. He has been attending them ever since and is excited to have added a rock climbing class to the program. He has been instructing and guiding rock climbing for the last 5-1/2 years. Matt enjoys many thrill-seeking activities and always stresses safety first so he can keep enjoying them.
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
Annie Tiberio Cameron is a fine art nature photographer with a passion for teaching, especially to beginners. She brings to this Summit (in 2016, her 34th) over 40 years of elementary school teaching, coordinating environmental education programs for Massachusetts Audubon Society, and teaching photography for many institutions across the USA. Since 2009, she has been teaching a 3-credit online photography course at UMass Amherst, (open to anyone, worldwide) and currently focuses her exhibiting efforts in venues around Central Vermont, including the Montpelier gallery that represents her work. Her photos have been exhibited in galleries and museums across the country, received awards and have been published in numerous calendars, magazines, newspapers, and other publications, including two editions of a top-selling Sierra Club book entitled: Mother Earth — Through the Eyes of Women Photographers and Writers, as well as its accompanying postcard book. Annie also tours three slide programs, seen at Summits and available for your communities: Death Valley, Okefinokee and Beyond, Come With Me to Tanzania, and Touring Kenya are for upper elementary students through adults. See her online gallery at: www.AnnieCameronPhotography.com
Kathy Bales , a recreation therapist, has experience working with people of all ages in her work at a rehab center and in a school Pre-K program. Mother of three, she and her husband have volunteered with children in Scouts, Sunday School, Audubon camp, after-school programs and 4-H. Her leisure activities reflect her love of outdoors and include bicycling, gardening and x-c skiing. Maine will be her 12th Summit.
Peggy Brosnan has been a leader for hiking, youth, teens, and young adult programs. A biology and genetics teacher, she advises an ecology club and Environthon team at one of the D.C. area’s top public high schools. She has done hikes to 12,000, 14,000, 16,000, and 20,000 feet in the Alps, the Rockies, the Andes, and the Himalayas respectively, and camped inside Kilimanjaro’s crater at 18,800 ft. She has kayaked Baja, New Zealand, Italy’s Elba Island, and Alaska’s Glacier Bay, but says that one kayaking moment in Canada’s westernmost islands topped them all. This will be Peggy’s 31th Summit.
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.