OUR SPEAKERS

KENN KAUFMAN

Naturalist, Author, Artist

Kenn Kaufman is a naturalist, author, and artist who has written more than a dozen books about birds and nature. The migratory behavior of birds is a particular focus, and is the subject of his most recent book, A Season on the Wind: Inside the World of Spring Migration, published in 2019. He is also a Field Editor for the National Audubon Society and has been elected a Fellow of the American Ornithological Society. Although he currently lives in Ohio, Kenn grew up in Wichita and did most of his early birding in Kansas.

BOB GRESS

Naturalist, Photographer, Birder, www.BirdsInFocus.com

Bob Gress is a naturalist, photographer, and birder and is the former director of the Great Plains Nature Center.  He holds an M.S. in Biology from Emporia State University.   Along with David Seibel and Judd Patterson, he co-founded the website BirdsInFocus.com which features over 2,100 species worldwide.  Since retirement in 2012, he has expanded his interest in world birds while continuing to search for U.S. birds that have eluded him.  He has photographed birds and mammals for publications for over 30 years and over 4,500 of his photos have appeared in a variety of publications including most major nature magazines and more than 50 books.

MIKE OLDHAM

Quivira NWR Manager

Mike Oldham grew up in northeastern New Mexico and began working toward his Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife & Habitat Management at New Mexico State University (NMSU) in 1988. Mike has experience in managing wetland habitat, invasive species control, cooperative farming, safety, wildland firefighting, and law enforcement. RecenHe has worked as a Wildlife Refuge Specialist at Deep Fork NWR in eastern Oklahoma, Wildlife Refuge Manager at Cibola NWR in southwest Arizona, and as Wildlife Refuge Manager at Quivira NWR in central Kansas.

ROBERT PENNER

Avian Conservation Manager

Robert Penner spent sixteen years as a Wildlife Biologist for the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission before coming to Kansas. In his current position as the Avian Conservation Manager with the Nature Conservancy, he oversees the management of the Cheyenne Bottoms Preserve, a site of hemispheric importance to shorebirds.

Along with working on shorebird habitat management on a regional level, he has been conducting the International Shorebird Survey for about 27 years in different capacities. He also represents the Nature Conservancy working on issues at an international scale.

He's also on a multi-country steering committee developing a conservation plan for shorebirds spanning Canada, the United States, Central America and South America and works extensively with the Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network.

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SHARON STITELER

The Bird Chick

Since 1997,  The Bird Chick has successfully made it her goal to get paid to go birding. She travels the world as a field trip leader, birding consultant, humorous keynote speaker, bird field technician, bird bander, and writer. She wrote the books Disapproving Rabbits, City Birds/Country Birds, and 1001 Secrets Every Birder Should Know. She is also #32 in the Geek A Week Trading Card set and works as a National Park Ranger for the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. She appears regularly on tv and radio including Outdoor News Radio, All Things Considered, and has been on NBC Nightly News answering bird questions.

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ALVARO JARAMILLO

Owner of Alvaro's Adventures

​Alvaro has been birding since he was 11 years old, and started guiding local trips as a teenager. He is a biologist, researcher, conservationist and guide. He started Alvaro's Adventures to provide his own style of trip leading to tours. About the experience of travel through birds, having a good time while birding! This philosophy guides all of our tours, although each guide adds their own personal touch to each trip

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CHUCK OTTE

K-State Extension & Author

Chuck Otte has been a longtime Geary County K-State Extension agent, which has made him a keen observer of the plants and animals of Kansas and how humans interact with them. He also manages the immense database of the Kansas Bird Listserv, the go-to hub of information where birders around the state report findings and engage in conversations about all things birds. He is also an avid bird-watcher with decades of experience birding around the state.

Chuck Otte authored the book, "Birds of Kansas."

JASON WAGNER

Manager Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area

Jason was born and raised less than 30 miles from Cheyenne Bottoms.   Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area played a huge role in his love and passion for wildlife and the outdoors.   He received his B.S. degree in Wildlife Biology from Fort Hays State University.  He received an M.S. degree in Natural Resource Management from Sul Ross State University.  He has over 15 years of professional experience, 8 of those years with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and 7 years with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.  Jason has been the manager of Cheyenne Bottoms since June of 2017.  He enjoys hunting, fishing, trapping, and spending time outdoors with his wife and two daughters.