Janet Chu taught high school Biology for 38 years and took students into the Estes Park Y-Camp for 24 years on a 3-day, 2-night field experience. She has conducted a 4th of July Butterfly Count for 29 years at an Outdoor Education Center. She enjoys involving children and adults in the joy of coming closer to these unique insects.
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.
Ryan Boggs is the executive director of Legacy Land Trust. He came to Legacy Land Trust with nine years experience with Colorado Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Ryan received his B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University and is a native of Fort Collins with many family members in the area. He started his conservation career at the Phantom Canyon Preserve in the Laramie Foothills area of Larimer County and later served as a Project Director for the Aiken Canyonlands and Chico Basin areas. As an experienced wildland firefighter he also worked on forest and fire restoration as well as land protection issues. Ryan brings a wealth of land conservation experience to Legacy Land Trust along with a desire to bring a balanced and healthy land protection program to our Front Range communities. Growing up in Fort Collins gives him a perspective on the rapid changes that have taken place and he sees many opportunities for retaining some of the rural patterns that make our three county area such a unique and inspiring place in which to reside.
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
Jim Barausky originally trained at Emerson College, England and in Fuhlenhagen, Germany has over 40 years of experience as an organic/biodynamic farmer and gardener. His expertise includes a wide range of large and small scale projects as well as teaching and public outreach. Jim has managed commercial organic farms, market gardens, small land holdings, and developed educational and service programs for three colleges,. He has worked with students and apprentices in many capacities including establishing a farm and bio-dynamic training course at Kimberton Hills, Pa. With his wife, Cheryl Mulholland, he has also created a K-12 on-farm based curriculum.
As adjunct faculty at The Naropa University, Jim developed a 100 member CSA and market garden at Naropa’s Hedgerow Farm. He was on staff at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC as the Garden Manager and developed 8 acres of market garden to serve in the school cafeteria and train students in organic/biodynamic gardening.Working together with the City of Albuquerque, NM as Farm Manger for Rio Grande Community Farms, Jim helped design and operate a food security project on 300 acres of public land. This project delivered fresh food to local food banks, made public garden plots available, offered volunteer service programs and educational programs, and produced farm based public events which drew 60,000 people per year. Jim has consulted on several projects in Colorado and California. Jim also has served as president of the Biodynamic Society, and is regional coordinator for Biodynamic Training and Apprenticeship programs.
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.
Homeretta Ayala (Homer) has been actively involved in Family Nature Summits for the past 18 years. She has spent the past 38 years teaching, music, library technology,and ESOL preK-college. An avid traveler, she has worked building libraries in Nepal and Bhutan. “I wanted to give back to Family Nature Summits. It has provided me and my family a special opportunity to focus one week each year with nature-loving friends. It doesn’t get better than that!!!