Brian Yinger has been involved in the summits for the past 23 years. His family has grown and now his two young daughters get excited in January for the Summit in July. He has run the Service Project in Missouri, Bar Harbor Maine, and Lake Junaluska, North Caroline. This year is no different. He and the service project volunteers will be helping the staff at Ghost Ranch with some trail building and other projects around the Ranch. When not working on projects for the Summit, Brian works as a musician, sound engineer, and knife sharpener in Columbus Ohio.
Ron Wahl is a computer scientist emeritus for the U.S. Geological Survey. He received a Geophysical Engineering degree from the Colorado School of Mines and a Master of Science degree in geophysics from Stanford University. He has taught geology, computer science, physics, and astronomy for Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colorado, and astronomy for the Jefferson County, CO Schools Adult Education Program. Ron has taught various classes at a number of summits across the country since 1973.
Betty Trummel has just retired from a 35-year career in elementary teaching, and 10 years as an adjunct professor at the university level. She’s taught at over 40 Summits since 1983 and loves to reach out to learners of all ages to teach about the natural world. Three expeditions to Antarctica have focused on education outreach, working alongside scientists at the U.S. McMurdo Station. Betty is headed back to Antarctica in December, 2016, as part of the all-women’s expedition Homeward Bound. She has been chosen as one of 78 women in science from around the world who are part of Homeward Bound, a global collaboration and an inspiring leadership and strategic initiative teamed with a science education program on climate, biological and earth system research, set against the back drop of Antarctica.
For the past 12 years Betty has co-led a teacher exchange program with educators from the U.S. and northern Sweden, based on environmental education and sustainable development. She’s also on the Executive Committee for Polar Educators International (PEI) and on the Board of A to Z Literacy Movement, a non-profit dedicated to putting books in the hands of children and sharing literacy teaching skills/strategies with teachers in Zambia.
Betty’s off to Svalbard Island in the Arctic later in July, to work with her Italian colleague, Matteo, and help teach on a high school student expedition called “Research and Education Svalbard Experience” (RESEt). Teaching is her passion, rambles/hikes are her joy. Betty is a avid reader, hiker/backpacker, gardener, photographer; she loves to kayak, snowshoe, ski, go orienteering, and spend time in the mountains and at the beach. Her newest adventure: The Science Roadshow….a business she started to continue to promote lifelong learning in science and technology. Dedicated to doing science presentations/programs to learners around the world, this is a way that Betty can share her passion for education for years to come.
Stephen Torbit earned his Ph.D. in wildlife ecology from Colorado State University specializing in ungulate nutritional ecology. Since earning his doctorate, Steve has worked in every aspect of wildlife conservation. He not only has been an academician, by continuing on the faculty of Colorado State as an instructor and researcher, but he has also worked as a biologist for two state wildlife agencies (Colorado and Wyoming). While with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, he was presented with the “Wildlife Professional of the Year” award by the Colorado Wildlife Federation. He has managed wildlife habitats, wildlife populations and served as a wildlife advocate to development proponents, federal and state agencies.
In 1993, Steve brought his research, agency and management experience to bear on wildlife conservation issues in the west for the National Wildlife Federation. He assisted NWF in their policy development concerning the re-authorization of the Endangered Species Act. Steve has also served as an expert witness in many legal forums including federal district court. In addition, Steve has served as technical advisor for over 10 NWF wildlife films broadcast on PBS and the Turner Broadcast System and large format (IMAX) films. Steve has served as technical advisor, writer and on-camera commentator.
Steve’s duties with NWF also included oversight of NWF operations in an 8-state region that included assisting the indigenous tribal people of the western U.S. in the restoration of wildlife and guidance on energy development for their reservations. He remained intimately involved in conservation of wildlife and wildlife habitat on public and tribal lands. Steve led both the public and tribal lands programs including working on behalf of wildlife in the face of massive energy development on public lands.
For his work on behalf of bison restoration, Steve was presented the first annual “Friends of the Buffalo” award from the InterTribal Bison Cooperative. Steve also works with tribal governments to restore other components of their prairie ecosystems, serving both as a technical consultant to the tribes and as an advocate to the federal government for the tribes. He has assisted with the reintroduction Black-footed ferrets on the Ft. Belknap and Cheyenne River Sioux Reservations and with the management of wolves by the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho and Mexican wolves on the White Mountain Apache reservation. Steve served as the Regional Executive Director of NWF’s Rocky Mountain Natural Center in Boulder, Colorado. Steve retired from the National Wildlife Federation in 2011 after nearly 19 years on the NWF staff. Steve returned to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and now serves as the Assistant Regional Director for Science Applications in Region 6 at the Denver Regional Office. He continues to be involved in nearly every aspect of modern wildlife conservation in his new role.
Nicolas Smith coordinates and leads groups in team building events, coaches a youth climbing competition team as well as teaches all ages basic to advanced climbing techniques. He has been an instructor for Boy Scouts of America climbing merit badge program, helped coordinate and teach an anchor-building Clinic for Black Diamond, is a qualified wilderness first aid responder and current member of the Southern California Mountaineers Association.
Early Discovery Program Director Sally Sherrard lives in Littleton, NH with her husband Jim. Sally and her son James have attended 19 summits. With a degree in Early Childhood Education Sally has taught preschool for 25 years. She is presently working as a Para Professional in a Kindergarten class. Her focus is on helping children learn to respect and understand the world in which they live. She believes children learn through playing in their natural environment. Sally enjoys hiking, kayaking, and snowshoeing in her beautiful northern New Hampshire playground; she is also a magician and will share her Nature Magic Show at the Family Summit.
James Sherrard lives near Burlington, Vermont and has been part of the Summits since his first at Mt. Washington Hotel in New Hampshire. In past Summits James served on the board of directors for the newly created Family Nature Summits for two years as the Young Adult member, hiked with the Junior Naturalists, assisted Peggy with the Young Adults, co-led rock climbing and is now a teen Leader with Joel and Leigh Ann. When James is not at the Summits he is working in the field of stormwater management and exploring the New England forests.
My family’s relationship with NWF Family Summits started in North Carolina. We have attended every Family Summit since 2000. I attend the Summit annually with my wife Sabina and children Nika (19) and Ryan (17). My children always look forward to the next summit as much as we do. We all have made wonderful friends all over the country that we stay in touch with between the summits and always look forward seeing them every summer.
For the last 16 years I’ve resided in West Hartford, CT. I am a Founder and Owner of Shall Be, LLC – a national boutique technology consulting and Internet security firm.
Teri Schroeder has worked in the past as director of the child care program. Teri and her family began attending NWF Family Conservation Summits in 1985. Since that first summit, Teri has worked as a volunteer, as childcare staff and director and as a Junior Naturalist leader at many summits.
Joel Schroeder became involved with the NWF Family Conservation Summits starting in 1985 and has either served on the teen staff or directed the teen program many times since then. He was a secondary science teacher and technology coordinator for a school district in Iowa and taught classes in all areas of science.