Donald Davis was born in a Southern Appalachian mountain world rich in stories. “I didn’t learn stories, I just absorbed them ,” he says as he recounts tales and more tales learned from a family of traditional storytellers who have lived on the same Western North Carolina land since 1781. Davis grew up hearing gentle fairy tales, simple and silly Jack tales, scary mountain lore, ancient Welsh and Scottish folktales, and-most importantly-nourishing true-to-life stories of his own neighbors and kin.For Donald Davis, storytelling is a way of giving and living life. When Donald Davis tells a story, he invites each listener to come along, to pull deep inside for one’s own stories, to personally share and co-create the common experiences that celebrate the creative spirit. For Donald Davis storytelling “,…is not what I do for a living…it is how I do all that I do while I am living.”
Michelle Dalrymple lives in Black Forest, Colorado with her husband and three active sons. She has a passion for inspiring kids to explore the outdoors and learn to take care of the environment. Currently, she is in her 6th year of teaching a class she has created called “Wetlands and Waterfowl”. Her students learn about the importance of wetland conservation and also learn how to paint waterfowl in their environment in preparation for the national Jr. Federal Duck Stamp Contest. Ever since she earned her degree in Outdoor Education from the University of Northern Colorado, she has worked extensively in the outdoors with children of all ages. She became inspired to teach in the outdoors through a wonderful Marine Biology teacher during her high school years, who taught her to learn through observing in the outdoors. Her most rewarding “job” was working for College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine as a Program Director. She has also worked as a Naturalist at the Nature Center in Windsor, Connecticut, a teacher at the Outdoor Education Center in Trinity, Texas, and has taught “indoors” in Bailey, Colorado and instructed Science in Colorado Springs. For the past four summers she organized and ran a boys “Art and Nature Camp” which turned into a “Sports and Nature Camp” (so much for art). She is looking forward to returning to the Family Nature Summit to inspire more children to explore the wonders of nature and develop lasting friendships with others.
Carol Cosgrove retired from teaching three years ago. She has been both an art teacher and special education teacher. Originally from Philadelphia, she attended Otterbein College in Ohio and has lived in central Ohio for more than 40 years. Carol is a landscape painter and paints with oils. She is a member and trustee of the Ohio Plein Air Society. She has one adult son who presently lives in Colorado. Carol loves nature, hiking, kayaking and traveling.
Kathy Conroy is a teacher with many years of experience working with children. She enjoys being able to integrate the outdoors into her students’ school day. She has worked on development of her elementary school’s outdoor classroom and developed grants for staff development for using the outdoors in education. Kathy has extensive hiking and backpacking experience across the United States (including Alaska) and Canada. She earned her undergraduate degree in psychology at St. Lawrence University in northern New York, her home state, and her Gifted Certification/Masters in Elementary Education at Georgia State University, her second home state. Kathy currently lives with her family in Charlotte, North Carolina and is thrilled to be able to share with youth the many natural treasures of North Carolina as a member of the 2015 Family Nature Summit.
A native of northwest North Carolina, Kent Cave grew up on a tobacco farm in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He has a BA in history from Appalachian State University, in Boone, NC, and did graduate work there and at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Beginning in 1975, he worked as a national park ranger on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Andrew Johnson National Historic Site in Greeneville, TN, and Fort Pulaski National Monument in Savannah, GA. He recently retired from Great Smoky Mountains National Park where he had served for the past 17 years.
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
Liz is a lifelong summiteer. Some of her first memories are from wading in the tide pools at the last Asilomar summit. These days, she’s a naturalist, a natural resource planner, and a beginning farmer starting Nightfall Farm with her husband Nate. When she’s not doing farm chores or walking in the woods, find Liz curled up with a book listening to the southern Indiana rain.
Danny Bernstein’s mission is to get people out of their cars and hiking. She’s so excited to show summitters the Smokies, her home national park. A committed hiker for over forty years, Danny completed the Appalachian Trail, all the trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the South beyond 6000, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, and the French section of the El Camino. She leads day hikes for several regional outdoor organizations, including Friends of the Smokies, and Carolina Mountain Club. Author of two Southern Appalachian hiking guides and The Mountains-to-Sea Trail Across North Carolina, a narrative on walking the MST, Danny is now working on a book, Forests, Alligators, Battlefields, which tells the human story of Southeastern national parks. She blogs at www.hikertohiker.com.
In her previous life, she worked in computer science for thirty-five years, way before computing was cool, first as a software developer and then as a professor of computer science. Her motto is “No place is too far to walk if you have the time.” Danny lives in Asheville but plans to die with her boots on.
Lenny Bernstein earned a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University in 1969. He spent the next twenty years working for Exxon as a researcher and research manager in the area of petroleum product formulation.
In 1989, Lenny took a position with Mobil Corporation’s Corporate Environmental, Health, and Safety Department, where he soon became the corporate expert on climate change. Though working for an oil company, he quickly realized that human-induced climate change was threat and that its impacts could be severe. His attempts to convince others in industry not to contest climate science were documented in an April 2009 New York Times article.
In 1995, Lenny began attending UN meetings devoted first to the negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol, then to its ratification and implementation. He attended every such meeting through the end of 2007.
Lenny left Mobil in 1999 and set up L.S. Bernstein & Associates, a climate change consulting company. As a consultant, he was an author on the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report, published in 2001, and a chapter editor on the Fourth Assessment Report, published in 2007. He was also a member of the writing team that produced the Fourth Assessment’s Synthesis Report, an overall summary of the IPCC’s conclusions. The IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, and Lenny was recognized for contributing to that award. In 2009, he was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Florida’s School of Engineering, where he had gotten his Bachelor’s Degree.
Lenny closed his business in 2008, and since then has given talks and taught classes on climate change. He continues to actively follow scientific and political developments on this critical issue.
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.