Keynoters, Leaders & Presenters

Keynoters, Leaders & Presenters 2017-12-08T05:45:49+00:00

2018 Keynote Speakers

Stephen Shunk
Stephen ShunkThursday, Feb. 15th
Steve Shunk started birding in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989, and he moved to central Oregon’s ‘Woodpecker Wonderland’ in 1997, where 11 woodpecker species can be found breeding in an area the size of Upper Klamath Lake. Inspired by his backyard woodpecker abundance, Steve has spent nearly 20 years studying this charismatic family of birds, including three recent seasons as a field biologist for the Institute for Bird Populations studying Black-backed Woodpeckers of California’s Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains. Steve co-founded the East Cascades Bird Conservancy (now East Cascades Audubon), and he started the region’s woodpecker festival in 2008. He now lectures and leads birding tours across North America and beyond. Steve’s long-awaited Peterson Reference Guide to Woodpeckers of North America was released in May 2016.
Moose Peterson
Moose PetersonFriday, Feb. 16th
Moose’s life passion is photographing the life history of our endangered wildlife and wild places. Since 1981 he and his wife Sharon have dedicated their lives to this pursuit. Educating the public about our wild heritage is their hallmark. Along the way Moose has been honored for his photographic passion: a Nikon Ambassador USA, Lexar Elite Photographer, recipient of the John Muir Conservation Award, Research Associate with the Endangered Species Recovery Program, just to name a few. Moose continues being a creative innovator of new techniques both behind the camera and the computer, which is the driving force behind his photography and goals.
Kevin McGowan
Kevin McGowanSaturday, Feb. 17th
Dr. Kevin J. McGowan has been on staff at Cornell Lab of Ornithology since 1988. He received his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of South Florida, studying the social development of young Florida Scrub-Jays. He is the world’s foremost authority on the behavior and biology of the American Crow, having followed the life stories of more than 2,500 individual crows over the course of his 29-year study. Kevin is an avid birder as well as a professional ornithologist, and has traveled extensively to watch and study birds. Kevin created the original All About Birds online bird guide and currently writes online courses in the Lab’s Education program. He is the author and instructor for “Ornithology: Comprehensive Bird Biology,” “Investigating Behavior: Courtship and Rivalry in Birds,” and the Be a Better Birder series of courses and webinars on bird identification, available through Bird Academy.

Other Leaders and Presenters

Abbott Schindler

Abbott Schindlerhas been photographing birds, wildlife and general nature for several decades. His photographic work and equipment take advantage of his extensive R&D experience, studies of photographic technique and composition, and classroom experiences. His work has been published in scientific and industry journals and fine art books, and is used extensively by the High Desert Museum.

Angela Sutton

Angela Sutton has worked at Lava Beds National Monument and the Tule Lake Unit, WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument since 2001   She has a degree in Parks and Recreation Management from Northern Arizona University. She is the lead interpreter for the Tule Lake Unit and also the education and volunteer coordinator for both Lava Beds and Tule Lake. She is proud to be a fourth generation local from the Tulelake/Klamath Basin area.

Ben Stone

Ben grew up on the rolling hills of the Palouse in Southeastern Washington, where he earned his BS in Biology from Washington State University in Pullman, WA. The pastoral beauty of the region, however, belied the fact that native Palouse prairie was functionally extinct as an ecosystem. Years of biological field work throughout the Pacific Northwest reiterated in Ben’s mind the need for understanding on either side of the conservation debate and that the “us vs. them” mentality would never be able to solve the big problems facing the environment at large. These experiences inspired Ben to work with Michael and Chris to form the Phoenix Conservancy with the goal of fostering understanding and taking concrete steps to restore and regenerate endangered ecosystems while bringing economic value to the communities most in touch with them.

Chris Duke

Chris is a PhD biology student at Washington State University, teacher, and an avid lifelong conservationist and outdoorsman.  The ideas of restoration and conservation entered Chris’s life at an early age. Fortunate enough to have forest near his home, he spent his childhood playing and learning in the woods. As he grew up, many of these cherished forests were cleared and paved. The sense of profound loss from seeing his old haunts destroyed left a deep and permanent impression, one which still drives his passion for conservation today.  With that in mind, Chris set out to restore and conserve as much of this land as possible in this crucial window, for the maximum possible benefit for the ecosystem and the people that depend on it. As a fanatic birder, Chris is the co-owner and Director for Kea, a global birding mobile app which improves birders’ skills by playing games and custom birding quizzes with birds from every corner of the globe.

Corey Alvis-Allen

Cory Alvis-Allen found her calling first as a volunteer at Wildlife Images while she finished her college career in environmental studies. Now the Animal Care and Education Team Leader, her priority is to ensure the animals get exceptional treatment and that Wildlife Images makes a lasting educational impact by promoting conservation and thoughtful stewardship of the natural world.

Damian Fagan

Damian is a biologist and author with a range of expertise in natural resources. Although his specialty is wildflowers, having co-authored several books including “Pacific Northwest Wildflowers,” he also works as a contract biologist focusing on owl, raptor and breeding bird surveys. He is active in the East Cascades Audubon Society.

Darrel Samuels

Darrel Samuels is currently a Board member of the Klamath Basin Audubon Society and past President and Vice President of KBAS. Having lived in Klamath Falls for almost eleven years, he and his wife Diana (Festival co-coordinator) are enthusiastic birders and feeders of birds and have succeeded in drawing in a wide range of species into their backyard. In addition to the more usual culprits, some more infrequent visitors have been: White-headed and Pileated Woodpeckers, a Sooty Grouse and most recently a Great Gray Owl.

Dave Haupt

Dave Haupt is a Klamath Falls resident, where he teaches biology and art at Tulelake High School. Dave got his start in birding while at the University of California, Santa Barbara. There he worked as a consultant for many years in the management of Bell’s vireo and other endangered bird populations. Since moving to southern Oregon in 2000 his work with the Klamath Bird Observatory as well as personal endeavors has given Dave keen knowledge of the area’s avifauna.

Dave Hewitt

Dave is a research fish biologist with the Klamath Falls Field Station of the U.S. Geological Survey. He moved from Virginia to Klamath Falls in 2008. Dave didn’t start birding until some fellow students at North Carolina State University coerced him into it in 2002, but he’s been obsessed ever since. Dave is a long-time member of Audubon and has served on the Board of Directors for the Klamath Basin Audubon Society. He helps to maintain the Klamath County bird checklist, runs the regional email listserv, and serves as regional reviewer for eBird in Klamath County.

Dick Ashford

Dick is a past Board President of the Klamath Bird Observatory and former Board Chair of the American Birding Association. He is also a board member of the Crater Lake Natural History Associationand a former Mayor of Sonoma, California. He has spent hundreds of hours in the field watching hawks and an equal amount of time researching their natural history.Dick leads hawk-watching outings in both California and Oregon, and is a graduate of both the Institute for Field Ornithology’s Winter Raptor Workshop and Cape May Bird Observatory’s Hawk Identification workshop.

Dustin Taylor

Biologist and Integrated Pest Management Specialist Dustin Taylor came to the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex in April of 2016. Previously a Wildlife Biologist at Sequoyah NWR in Oklahoma, Dustin’s job responsibilities included: wetland and waterfowl management, farming program manager, and invasive species management. Born and raised in New Mexico, he’s an alumnus of New Mexico and Oklahoma State. Dustin and his wife Sara share an appreciation for wildlife and the outdoors.

John Vradenburg

John Vradenburg joined the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges team in July 2015 as a supervisory wildlife biologist. He previously served in the same position at Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico for 9 years. A Minnesota native, he spent his younger years in Northern Minnesota and his teens in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri. Always eager to accomplish more for wildlife, John was recognized as Employee of the Year in 2015 for his management plan for the New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse before it was listed in 2014, and for providing opportunities for youth to learn on the refuge. He and his wife Leigh Ann enjoy bird watching and fishing with their 3 children ages 21, 7, and 6 yrs.

Jim Szemenyei

Jim Szemenyei is co owner of Wild Times Guide Service and has been guiding in the Klamath Basin since 1989. A true waterfowl addict, Jim takes pride in his observation skills and calling abilities and is always happy to pass on what he has learned.

Jim and his co owner Phil Brown have been featured in Stoney Wolf Production’s Hunting with the Pros, ESPN’s Suzuki Outdoors with Will Clark, and Primos’ The Truth About Waterfowl series, and of course Dirty Jobs !


Karl Wenner

Karl has lived in the Klamath Basin since 1989. He is an orthopedic surgeon by profession but has an MS degree in Wildlife Biology, serves on the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, and was instrumental in creating and currently serves on the board of the Klamath Watershed Partnership. He has led the Beginning Birding field trip for the past two years and enjoys sharing his passion for birdwatching with novices of all ages.

Kenneth Doutt

Kenneth Doutt graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a degree in History, French, and Museum Studies in 2012. After working as an archaeologist at Historic St. Mary’s City, he moved across the country in 2013 to begin an internship with the National Park Service at the Tule Lake Unit. During three seasons as an interpretive ranger educating the public about the incarceration of people of Japanese ancestry during World War II, Kenneth’s passion for forming connections between history, people’s personal experiences, and current events through museum education solidified. Since 2017, Kenneth has been working as the Outreach Coordinator for the Klamath County Museum and is continuously on the lookout for ways to form powerful connections.

Kent Barnes

Kent Barnes graduated from Humboldt State University with a B.S. in Wildlife Biology/Vertebrate Ecology and has worked for the last five years with threatened and endangered species for the Yurok Tribe. His work has centered on monitoring and conserving northern spotted owls and marbled murrelets, and reintroduction of California condor to the Pacific Northwest. His devotion to wildlife developed from a deep passion for waterfowl hunting. His hunting background also provided insight required to be a key member of the Yurok Tribe’s Hunters as Stewards program, where he engages with hunters about issues related to hunter stewardship of the natural resources they hunt, conserve, and enjoy. He is also a certified California Hunter Education Instructor, working to pass on the legacy of hunters as conservationists.

Kevin Spencer

Kevin has been a teacher for the past 23 years. He is currently a fifth grade teacher at Tulelake Elementary School. He graduated with a B.A. degree in Forestry from Humboldt State University in 1979. Kevin has been interested in nature since an early age and focused on birds for the past 35 years. He was a contributing author to Birds of Oregon: A General Reference, and an editor of the South Central Fieldnotes for Oregon Birds. For the last 23 years, he has been a compiler for the Klamath Falls Christmas Bird Count and a field trip leader for the Klamath Basin Audubon Society. Since the mid-1990s, Kevin has been involved with the Klamath Bird Observatory as a Point Count Surveyor, conducted USFWS Breeding Bird Surveys in Klamath and Lake Cos., and has been the compiler for Klamath County’s part in North American Migration Counts. His best “Big Day” in Klamath County was 171 species last spring, and has seen or heard over 315 species in the Klamath Basin.Kevin is considered one of the best birders in the Klamath Basin. He has been involved with the Bald Eagle Conference and the Winter Wings Festival since 1992.

Larry Turner

Klamath Basin native son–born and raised in Malin–Larry Turner is a photographer/travel writer with his work appearing in national and international publications, including Atlantic, Smithsonian, National Wildlife, Range Magazine, American Heritage, Vermont Monthly, National Geographic Traveler, Browntrout Publishers, Nevada Magazine, the Whitefish Review, Denver Post, Boston Globe. He is co-owner of and owner of Larry Turner Photography. He is a former daily newspaper writer/photographer and a writer/photographer for United Press International. He can be found on Facebook under Larry Turner where he makes photo posts every day from his frequent journeys. Tulelake and Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuges are in his backyard and he frequents them often.

Mark Fitzgerald

Mark Fitzgerald is an award winning photographer, author, and teacher based in Portland, Oregon. He specializes in helping photographers understand today’s complex photography tools so they can focus on their creative vision. Mark works with photographers worldwide through classes and private training. Learn more about Mark at

Marshal Moser

Marshal Moser is a consultant and manager/biologist at Lonesome Duck Ranch on the Williamson River, 25 miles north of Klamath Falls. He also leads tours in the Klamath Basin, specializing in Crater Lake National Park. Having traveled and studied natural history on 5 continents, he began naturalizing and birding in Oregon in the 1970s and liked southeast Oregon so much he moved to the area in 2006. A Certified Wildlife Biologist, he was the founding Executive Director of the Ohio Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, college biology instructor, and has owned his own environmental consulting company, EcoServices, since 1978. He works with terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, wetland and water issues, endangered and invasive species, fishing, birding, grazing, native plants and landscaping.

Matthew Stuber

Matthew Stuber has been a wildlife biologist and studied/managed raptors for the US Fish and Wildlife Service for 8 years.  He is currently the Eagle Coordinator for the states of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.  The bulk of his duties revolve around managing/studying eagle populations in the Pacific Northwest, but he also works with a variety of other raptor species.  Matt got his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, and his Master of Science (in Raptor Biology) at Boise State University.  He presently lives in Corvallis, OR with his wife and twin 4-year old sons.

Mel Clements

Mel Clements was born and raised in Ashland, Oregon. He is a self-taught bird photographer who specializes photographing the Great Gray Owl. He defines a successful photo event as “one when the photograph is taken and I leave, the bird is not aware I was even there”. His photograph of a Great Gray Owl in flight won first place in the 2015 Oregon Outdoors Wild Bird Photo Contest. His first public bird photography exhibit was extended from one month to seven months in Ashland. His photography has been presented through the Klamath Bird Observatory “talk and walk” programs.

Stan Senner

Stan Senner brings a unique combination of skill and experience with birds, science, conservation, and public policy to his job as Vice President for Bird Conservation – Pacific Flyway for the National Audubon Society, which he has held since 2014. In his career spanning more than 40 years, Stan worked for The Wilderness Society and U.S. House of Representatives during passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, served as executive director of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania, coordinated the State of Alaska’s science and restoration programs following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and tracked the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico for Ocean Conservancy. Stan has worked for Audubon for more than 16 years, including 10 years as executive director of Audubon Alaska (from 1999-2009). In his current role at Audubon, he coordinates coastal bird conservation activities in the Pacific Flyway, leads implementation of the Pacific Americas Shorebird Conservation Strategy, and takes on special projects, such as support of the Saline Lake Program in the Intermountain West and the Arctic Defense Campaign in Alaska.

Tom Essex

Tom Essex is a retired former secondary educator, specializing in physical sciences and  environmental sciences. He is primarily involved in a variety of conservation organizations, including the  National Audubon Society and local Klamath Basin Audubon Chapter, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and a local trout fishery conservation group.