Siskiyou Field Institute
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PO Box 207
1241 Illinois River Rd
Selma, OR 97538
Phone: (541) 597-8530
Fax: (541) 597-8533
Contact: Siskiyou Field Institute

Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday
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2016 Instructors


Tom Atzet, Ph.D has worked as an operations ecologist in southwestern Oregon for over 40 years. He helped develop the national ecological database. He currently works for local conservation groups including the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy and serves on the Western Governors Association’s forest health committee.

 
Larry Basch, Ph.D is an ecologist, natural historian, mountaineer, photographer, author, and teacher. He has travelled and worked for decades all along the Pacific Coast and mountains, and elsewhere from Alaska to Antarctica. He has taught and researched aquatic and marine animals and plants; their interactions in diverse habitats; fisheries; and conservation biology.

Keith Bensen is a fish and wildlife biologist at Redwood National and State Parks, where he is responsible for marine mammal and seabird monitoring as well as threatened and endangered species management.

Jim Clover formerly worked for the California State Department of Health as a medical entomologist. He became a tick specialist when the first case of Lyme Disease was diagnosed in Marin County and he was working in nearby Santa Rosa. Jim has continued his role as a public educator about ticks in southern Oregon, where he and his wife, Annette Parsons, retired. In addition to tick research, Jim is an avid runner and traveler.​



Dave Haupt has been active in the birding community since 1989, primarily on the West Coast in California and Oregon.  His experience extends from southern California projects with the Bell’s Vireo and Least Tern, to a year with the Forest Service trapping and tracking Pileated Woodpeckers.  He has lived and birded in southern Oregon for the past 15 years.  Dave teaches biology and art in the Klamath Falls area.  



Jim Johnson has been studying Odonata since 1995 and photographing them since 2006. His focus is on the identification and distribution of Pacific Northwest species with occasional forays to other areas of the continent and Latin America. He has served on the Dragonfly Society of the Americas executive council since 2005 as regular member and president (he currently serves as Immediate Past President). Jim has spoken about Odonata to many groups including the Audubon Society of Portland, The Wetlands Conservancy, North Coast Lands Trust, Straub Environmental Center, and has taught workshops at the Oregon State Arthropod Collection and Jackson Bottoms Wetlands Preserve.



Michael Kauffmann authored the book Conifer Country, an innovative natural history and hiking guide to the Klamath Mountains that uses conifers as a lens to explore. His latest book is Conifers of the Pacific Slope: A field guide to the Conifers of California, Oregon and Washington. Kauffmann’s blog http://blog.conifercountry.com/ chronicles his on-foot travels in the mountain ranges of California and southern Oregon. He lives in Kneeland, California with his family and teaches science at elementary through college levels.

 
Tony Kerwin has been working with bats since 1992. He has worked on projects at Lava Beds National Monument, was part of a major survey on Winema National Forest in 1994, as well as other research projects. He has worked as a wildlife biologist for BLM since 1999, and coordinates bat surveys in southern Oregon for a statewide research and survey effort.


 
David Lebo, M.S., is a botanist for the Mt. Hood National Forest. He specializes in lichens, bryophytes and fungi. David served on the interagency tax team for the Survey and Manage Program. He has taught environmental science, botany and ecology at the University of Washington and Oregon Institute of Technology at Marylhurst University.



Photo by Cheryl Beyer

Scot Loring, Ph.D. has worked as a biologist for a variety of Pacific Northwest entities for 21 years, 17 primarily as a consultant for the federal government. He has inventoried many thousands of acres, discovered new species, new genera, and documented numerous other rare and interesting species occurrences within the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion.  He also studies truffles at the USFS Forestry Sciences Laboratory (Corvallis) and is currently coauthoring the upcoming book Rare Truffles of Oregon.



James R. LaBonte has studied the beetles of Oregon for over 40 years. He has published over 20 peer-reviewed articles on beetles (including new species descriptions), primarily on Carabidae (ground beetles), a personal research focus. In his job as an Oregon Department of Agriculture entomologist, his emphasis is wood-associated exotic species. His current research concerns taxonomy and natural history of soil-dwelling Carabidae of the Pacific Northwest.

 
Julie Kierstead Nelson, M.S. has a B.S. in botany from Oregon State University and an M.S. in biology from Northern Arizona University, and has worked as a professional botanist since 1979. She was Berry Botanic Garden’s conservation director in the 1980’s and developed a seed bank for rare and endangered plants of the Pacific Northwest. Since 1989 she has been Forest Botanist for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Redding, CA. She co-edited Field Guide to Selected Rare Plants of Northern California with Gary Nakamura (2001, UC Press and also wrote rare plant and Klamath-Siskiyou Mountain serpentine pages on the Forest Service's national Celebrating Wildflowers website, at www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers.



 
Celeste A. Searles Mazzacano, Ph.D earned a doctorate in entomology and is the principal scientist at CASM Environmental, LLC. Her experience in research, education, and conservation spans two decades of developing and managing natural resource education and citizen science programs, monitoring invertebrates in streams, wetlands, and springs; developing macroinvertebrate indicators of stream flow duration; and doing surveys, status reviews, and management plans for at-risk invertebrates.



 
Brennan McGinnis served as SFI’s Youth Education Instructor in Fall 2013 and is certified as a Ropes Challenge Course trainer. He graduated from Southern Oregon University’s Master’s program in Environmental Education and has led back packing trips for the Ashland High School Summer Outdoor Program since 2005.



Kristi Mergenthaler has conducted plant surveys in the Klamath Siskiyou Bioregion for 12 years and works as Southern Oregon Land Conservancy’s Stewardship Director. She is an SFI board member and frequent student, Kristi’s accreditations include Wilderness First Responder and certified Northwest Lichenologist.




Rich Nawa holds degrees in zoology and researched salmon at Oregon State University. He has led nature hikes in the Illinois Valley for 20 years.




Mike Potts is a local amateur mycologist who has studied fungi and their habitats in southern Oregon since 2007. He is an expert in field identification and has passionately devoted his time to mushroom photography. His photo's can be found in the Audubon Mushroom Field Guide  I-Phone app and on his website (mikepottsphotography.smugmug.com). Mike has been helping with mushroom identification and leading hikes in the Ashland area for the last several years.



Stewart Reid, Ph.D is an independent biologist specializing in the biology and stewardship of native western fishes, especially non-salmonids. Based in Ashland, Oregon, he works in creeks and rivers throughout the west from the Canadian border down into Mexico. Stewart has been workign with lampreys of all kinds for nearly twenty years.

 


Chas Rogers, M.S. is a geologist and professor at the Rogue Community College where a yearlong course in geology culminating in “The Geology of Oregon” is offered. With an M.S. in geology from the University of Oregon, Chas has studied volcanic rocks and the Cascade Mountains for over 20 years.​


Dana Ross, MS, entomologist, specializes in butterflies and moths. He has studied Oregon insects for over 30 years and currently works in rare butterfly conservation and documents insects at important sites.



Photo by Kathleen Pyle

John Roth is the Natural Resource Specialist for Oregon Caves National Monument and has worked in caves sciences in National Parks for more than 30 years, 17 of them at OCNM. He has compiled one of the largest databases on cave species north of Mexico.




Sean Smith is a botanist for the Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Program in Ashland,
Oregon. He is the project lead on several long term vegetation monitoring projects. Sean has been botanizing the Klamath Siskiyou region since 2003. In conjunction with
the California Native Plant Society, he recently published a flora of Lava Beds National
Monument.
 

Kevin Spencer has been birding for more than 35 years, seen/heard more than 300 species in Klamath County, and has led numerous trips in the area over the years. He says that Rocky Point in June is unbeatable anywhere in the region for diversity of species. He still currently does Breeding Bird Surveys, Point Counts, and other surveys, relying on both sight and sounds of birds for detection.


Daphne Stone, PhD. Lichens have delighted Daphne Stone since childhood. She studied ecology at The Evergreen State College received her doctorate in lichen ecology at the University of Oregon in 1986, studying the succession of epiphytes on oak twigs. She has since worked as a contractor surveying public lands for lichens and bryophytes. She enthusiastically shares her lichens knowledge with others.


Dr. Joshua Strange has spent over 20 years researching and exploring the Klamath River and its fishes. He brings a wealth of scientific knowledge as well as first-hand experience and connections to local Tribes. He has rafted most all of the Klamath watershed and many of wildest rivers in the West.
 


Dennis Strayer is a retired National Forest and Parks Interpretive Manager with his last nine years (1996-2005) working at the Oregon Caves NM Visitor Center. He has 25 years experience designing and installing cultural and Natural History Exhibits in Alaska, Washington and Oregon. Since 2006, Dennis has served as the Kerbyville Museum & History Center's Curator and Historian. He also earned an associate’s degree in landscape design from Portland Community College. Dennis recently co-edited ?? of the Illinois Valley with Lee Webb.

 


William Sullivan, M.A. is the author of 17 books. He has hiked every Oregon trail but he has also written four novels, three books on Oregon travel & adventure, two books on Oregon history, and two adventure memoirs.His latest hiking guide is an updated edition of 100 Hikes on the Oregon Coast and the Coast Range. It’s available at www.oregonhiking.com.
 


Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey

Dr. Robbin Thorp is Professor Emeritus of Entomology at the University of California, Davis. He taught diverse entomology courses and conducted research on bees and pollination for 30 years. He retired 20 years ago, but continues his research on bees including monitoring bumble bees in the Siskiyous. He also teaches in bee ID workshops, including THE BEE COURSE in Arizona.

 

Photo courtesy of Ferron's Fun Trips

Craig Tuss retired in 2009 after 32 years working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He currently serves as Project Manager for the Natural Resource Department of the Rogue Valley Council of Governments, where his main duties include serving as lead for a five-year monitoring effort related to the removal of Gold Ray Dam and lead for the restoration of the Gold Ray Dam impoundment area.

John Villella, M.S. currently works for Siskiyou Biosurvey in Ashland, OR. He has consulted as a rare plant and non-vascular botanist and mycologist on BLM and Forest Service lands in Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and California. He has taught botanical subjects for several colleges and non-profit educational organizations. John has particular expertise in the Pacific Northwest bryophyte, fungi, and lichen flora, with a special interest in crustose lichens he is also passionate about the butterflies of the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion. He was certified for his expertise with macrolichens west of the Cascade Mountains by the Northwest Lichenologists in 2004. He serves on the board of directors of the Northwest Scientific Association and is the Editor of the Bulletin of the California Lichen Society.​​



Photo by Jill Pade

Linda Ann Vorobik, PhD. Botanist, editor and illustrator of numerous botanical publications, holds a PhD from the University of Oregon. She conducts field research and teaches in the Siskiyou Mountains of southwestern Oregon. Linda has over 25 years of illustration and college teaching experience and served as the Jepson Manual principal illustrator.



Greg Walter is a local small business owner, regional historian and advocate for the Oregon Caves. He also sits on the board of the Crater Lake Natural History Association and has done over 100 hikes in just the past few years exploring the area around Bigelow Lakes and the Siskiyou Crest. He holds an Associate’s degree in both Fire Science and Geology from Southwest Oregon Community College.



Lee Webb, M.S. was the Forest Wildlife Biologist for the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest from 1975-2004. Rare plant management was one of his responsibilities.​



William “Bud” Widdowson is a Senior Wildlife Biologist with ICFI International, an environment consulting firm. When based in Arcata, he taught birding classes for SFI. Bud resides outside Redding, California, with his wife, botanist Margaret Widdowson.



Dana York, M.S., has worked for the US Forest Service, Umqua Ranger District, and Death Valley National Park as a botanist. He has conducted botanical surveys throughout California and Oregon on both public and private lands. Dana co-described two eriogonum species with the late Dr. James Reveal, as well as discovering other new plants in the Sierras and Death Valley. He currently works in Eureka, California, for Caltrans as an Environmental Unit Supervisor and teaches botanical workshops in the field for the Jepson Herbarium.



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