Living With Nature Speaker Bios
Herpetologist Hector Avila grew up in central Mexico, roaming in the Chihuahuan Desert, where he learned about wildlife at an early age. Avila holds a Master’s degree in Natural Resources Management (CIBNOR, 2005), a Toxinology certificate (CEVAP, Universidad Estadual Paulista, Brasil, 2001) and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology (UAA, 2000). His new book Rattlesnake: between danger and conservation is the first in its type in Mexico, combining scientific information with field observations and select photography. Published by the Mexican Commission on Biodiversity.
Dinah Bear served for 24 years as General Counsel and earlier as Deputy General Counsel for both Democratic and Republican administrations at the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the environmental agency in the Executive Office of the President. CEQ has responsibility for advising the President on environmental issues, developing environmental policy and coordinating its implementation within the executive branch and . overseeing implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the statutory basis for the environmental impact assessment process.
Ms. Bear chaired the Standing Committee on Environmental Law of the American Bar Association from 1991-1993. She chaired the Steering Committee of the Environment Section of the District of Columbia Bar Association, which won the “best section” award during that period. She received the Chairman’s Award from the Natural Resources Council of America, the Distinguished Service Award from the Sierra Club, the Distinguished Achievement Award in Environmental Law and Policy from the American Bar Association.
Ms. Bear now lives in Tucson, Arizona, where she remains professionally active in environmental law and policy with a special focus on the borderlands. She chairs the board of Humane Borders and also serves on the boards of Defenders of Wildlife and the Mt. Graham Coalition. She received a Bachelors of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1974, and graduated from McGeorge School of Law, Sacramento, California, in 1977.
Michael Cardwell, wildlife biologist, has an MS in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation and currently enjoys an appointment as an adjunct research associate at San Diego State University. Among his many past projects, Mike has participated in rattlesnake and snakebite research at Loma Linda University and radio-tracked wild rattlesnakes to understand their habits and private lives. He authored the 44-page Mohave rattlesnake account for the book Rattlesnakes of Arizona (2016), is co-editor of The Biology of Rattlesnakes (2008) and has served on the expert panel that revised the Wilderness Medical Society treatment guidelines for pitviper bites (2015). His long-term field study of Mohave rattlesnakes was prominently featured in Animal Planet’s Venom ER television series (2004). Michael is a long-time member of Tucson Herpetological Society and a current board member. He lives in Tucson with his family.
Dr. Crimmins is on the faculty of the Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science at the University of Arizona and is a Climate Science Extension Specialist for Arizona Cooperative Extension.
In this position Dr. Crimmins provides climate science support to resource managers across Arizona by assessing information needs, synthesizing and transferring relevant research results and conducting applied research projects. His extension and research work supports resource management across multiple sectors including rangelands, forests/wildfire, and water resources as well as informing policy and decision makers. This work aims to support managers by increasing climate science literacy as well as developing strategies to adapt to a changing climate. He also serves as a drought monitoring expert on the Arizona Governor’s Drought Task Force and has worked with counties across Arizona to implement drought preparedness and impact monitoring plans.
Katie Fallon is the author of Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird (2017) and Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird (2011), which was a finalist for the Reed Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment. She is also the author of two books for children, Look, See the Bird! (June 2017) and Look, See the Farm! (forthcoming 2018). She is co-founder of the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia, a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving the region’s wild birds through research, education, and rehabilitation. She has taught writing at Virginia Tech, West Virginia University, and West Virginia Wesleyan College. Her first word was “bird.”
Karen Krebbs worked at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum for more than 26 years and has extensive knowledge of birds, mammals, deserts, and animal adaptations and behavior. Her passion for hummingbirds has resulted in a book, book chapters, scientific papers, and also a husbandry manual for captive hummingbirds for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. She is writing a second book on hummingbirds and her experiences with these flying jewels. Her research on hummingbirds includes migration, nesting biology, behavior, song development, and longevity. Karen regularly advises zoological institutions and aviaries on the proper care and husbandry of captive hummingbirds. She has conducted educational workshops and seminars on birds for various organizations, schools, yearly bird festivals, and local bird groups. Karen has also studied bats for more than 30 years and carries out lectures and workshops for bats. She has led and co-led natural history trips in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mexico, Baja, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Galapagos, and Africa. Karen has a B.Sc. degree in Wildlife & Fisheries Science from the University of Arizona.
Robin Motzer, Development/ Community Relations, Tucson Wildlife Center, Inc.
Robin’s passion for nature and wildlife was cultivated at an early age by her family’s hiking trips and visits to the great National and State Parks around the United States and Canada. She worked in TUSD, Vail and Tucson Waldorf schools, and created an afterschool program, in which she won a national award. She has traveled and studied in Europe, North Africa, and was a part of a documentary filmed in Egypt and Jordan about the ancient frankincense trail.
Robin fell in love with the amazing beauty and biodiversity of Tucson during her annual childhood trips to visit family in Tucson and Green Valley and moved here 15 years ago. In her spare time, she enjoys hummingbirds, nature and all wildlife. She is learning from several generations of hummingbirds who have become quite comfortable sitting near her as she gardens, reads or paints outside, and has photographed them from egg to leaving the nest. She also enjoys writing poetry, exploring the mysteries of life with her Astrophysicist partner, and hiking.
She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science from Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio, and has continued education in health and nutrition. She has created dozens of presentations, taught workshops, and has spent many hours observing and photographing nature and wildlife.
Robin has devoted her life to harmonious co-existence with nature and wildlife, and sharing her passion with others. She loves raising funds and awareness for Tucson Wildlife Center.
John Rowden, Director of Community Conservation for the National Audubon Society joined Audubon in 2009 when he was hired by New York City Audubon to direct citizen science and outreach for the chapter throughout the city. In 2013 he transitioned to the National Audubon Society, first working on the Toyota TogetherGreen program before becoming Audubon’s director of community conservation in 2016. In that role he oversees Audubon’s Bird Friendly Communities conservation strategy and works to engage new audiences in Audubon’s conservation efforts, personally and through Audubon’s extensive national network. He earned his PhD in Zoology from Duke University.
Stephen Vaughan is a professional photographer and ornithologist. He was president of Aiken Audubon Society in Colorado Springs, CO for five years. Stephen moved to Tucson a year and a half ago.
Charlene Westgate is owner of Westgate Garden Design, a sustainable landscape design firm in Green Valley. She is certified in Permaculture Design through the Sonoran Permaculture Guild, and a Certified Water Harvesting Professional through Watershed Management Group. Charlene is known as the Oasis Architect for creating lush landscapes of native plants that provide beauty and enjoyment to people, and food and habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife. To do this, she uses Nature a resource rather than treating it as a nuisance. The result is landscapes that are not only beautiful, but that are easier and less expensive to maintain, save water and create comfort. Charlene has been a designer for the past 18 years and an avid desert gardener for more than 25 years. She completed her Pima Master Gardener Certification exams in 2017. She believes that our actions have a ripple effect and that we can heal the earth one garden at a time.
Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120 Tucson, AZ 85705
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742
Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624