Dr. Tina Carlsen is the Natural Resources Program Manager for the California Tahoe Conservancy, working to enhance forest resources in the Lake Tahoe Basin through a more comprehensive forest management approach. In her field oriented class, she will introduce class members to the concept of a “dichotomous key”, use a simple key in the field to identify local conifers and also introduce participants to the associated shrubs and other plants found within the coniferous forests of the Lake Tahoe basin. In addition, Dr. Carlsen will discuss the ecology of the coniferous forests found in the Lake Tahoe Basin, how human activity has greatly modified the natural forest, and how land managers and conservationists are trying to reverse this trend.
Among the many interests that have occupied Paul Cameron’s attention over the years — outside of his professional career as a physician — is beekeeping. He enjoys sharing this passion which has successfully captured his attention and allowed a measure of relaxation from stresses inherent in being a psychiatrist. Paul had three beehives in the ‘80s for 5 years, and has started up again in 2010 with the new challenges of mites and increased bear activity. (He has personally checked the electric charge on the bear fence he recently built, and states that it works rather well!) His and Annie’s bees have come from a mite-resistant strain of bees developed by a well-known Vermont bee researcher. There will be honey this fall!
Gloria Brown is a Decorative Artist from Nova Scotia, Canada, who taught acrylic painting for 18 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education. She also paints in oils and watercolors. Her original designs are often inspired by scenes in Atlantic Canada and have been featured on several Decorative Art catalogue covers. She is also a Folk Artist, creating with wood, tin, glass, buttons and fabric.
Her passion is especially rewarding when she can resurrect something which has been discarded and make it functional and attractive. As in previous years, her classes continue to use recycled materials. This year, she adds old cutlery to her list. This is her fifth Summit. Gloria is married to Summit Logistics Coordinator, Carl Brown, is the proud mom of Summit instructor, Carla Brown and grandmother to Nora and Russell Welland.
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
Kathy Blank graduated from Northwestern University in 1952 and is the Mom of Chris Blank and Grandmother of Alan and Matt. This will be her fifth Family Summit.Kathy Blank is a graduate of Northwestern University and was a junior high school teacher until her first child arrived. She has three children, one of whom is the Summit’s own Chris Blank. In 1978 she again entered the classroom as a junior high school math and English teacher. When her youngest came to her school she took accounting classes and became a bookkeeper/accountant. She served as Controller of Plaza Communications and publisher of “Registered Representative” for nine years, then opened her own bookkeeping business which still serves clients today. Retirement? Not Now!!! Her hobbies include Scrabble and this year, she will be the facilitator for the Summit Book Club which will be reading My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir and The Indifferent Stars Above by Daniel James Brown
Laird R. Blackwell, who received his Ph.D. from Stanford University, has taught field wildflower classes in the American West for over 25 years. He lives with his wife, Melinda, in Tahoe, where he is professor and department chairman of Humanities at Sierra Nevada College. Laird has spent more than 10 years exploring the Sierra, the Mojave and the Great Basin. He hopes that his books deepen the reader’s knowledge and love of this remarkable part of the world. He also hopes that everyone will be fortunate enough to see the high desert in a wet year, for he believes it is one of the most glorious of wildflower treats.
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