2020 Instructors

Kathy and Dave Biggs

Kathy and Dave enjoy giving programs and workshops about dragonflies and wildlife ponds throughout the West. Kathy authored several dragonfly guides, an educational dragonfly coloring book and ebooks on dragonfly identification and pond building. Dave is course co-leader, tech support and photographer.

Larry Broeker

Larry is a retired geologist from the Umpqua National Forest, Roseburg, Oregon who has much field experience in engineering geology, hardrock mining, and resource management projects. Larry received his undergraduate degree in geology from the University of Montana, Missoula in 1973 and spent his career working in the “wilds” of Montana, Idaho and Oregon. 

Ken Carloni, Ph.D.

Ken Carloni, Ph.D. received his M.S. in Evolutionary Ecology from the University of Connecticut focusing on pollination ecology and his Ph.D. in Forest Ecology at Oregon State University where he investigated the use of landscape fire by local indigenous people as a natural resource management tool, and on the change in forest patterns and processes resulting from Euro-American recolonization. He has volunteered for many years at the Glide Wildflower Show and has been involved with local Douglas County resource conservation work for decades. He recently retired from chairing the Science Department at Umpqua Community College where he taught field botany, forest biology, historical ecology, microbiology and genetics for 30 years.

Jolie Elan, M.S.

Jolie is an ecologist, ethnobotanist, and educator. She has helped thousands of people bond with our intelligent and sacred Earth. Jolie teaches widely for conservation organizations, field institutes, herbal medicine programs, and schools — from university to elementary. She has worked on countless environmental campaigns including restoring sacred forest groves in India and developing the sustainable herbal medicine sector in Kosovo. She is also a certified spiritual director and mentors people wishing to deepen their relationship with nature and spirit. She is the founding director of Go Wild Institute. Jolie considers oak trees her greatest teachers. 

Nancy Winslow Foster, B.S.

Nancy Winslow Foster, B.S., resides in the East Bay area of northern California,where she is active in environmental education. As a child, she spent hours in rural Maine exploring lakes, woods and ocean beaches. In high school, she spent time in the Santa Cruz mountains as a camp counselor helping kids enjoy banana slugs, night skies and songs around the campfire. Her passion for environmental concerns guided her to working with UNESCO, earning a B.S. in Environmental Planning & Management at UC Davis, working with the Youth Conservation Corps as an environmental educator, guiding trips for Wilderness Ventures and the Lane County Juvenile Department. Most recently she became a forest therapy guide through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy and training with the organizations’ founder, Amos Clifford. Nancy believes that forest bathing is a gentle and profound step toward renewing both our physical and emotional well -being while deepening our connection to our periled planet.

Tiffany Sacra Garcia, PhD.

Tiffany is an associate professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University studying the stress impact on amphibians in seasonal streams and ponds. Her research quantifies behavioral, physiological and community responses to biotic and abiotic stressors, including pharmaceutical contamination, invasive species, water quality and climate change variables.

Marty Giles, M.S.

Marty began interpreting the Oregon Coast’s natural resources nearly fifty years ago and has worked in many aspects of communicating about nature — from interpretative programs to teaching and supervising, including several years as South Slough National Estuarine Reserve’s education director. She earned a B.A. in natural science and an M.S. in recreation/leisure with an emphasis on interpretation. Marty owns and operates Wavecrest Discoveries, a nature-oriented guiding service on the southern Oregon Coast. She participates in many groups related to natural resource management, cultural resources and community. She lives with her family in Coos Bay.

Dorota Haber-Lehigh, M.A.

Dorota Haber-Lehigh, M.A., is an artist, educator and a naturalist with a passion for native plants. Dorota loves field sketching, mushroom hunting, botanical drawing and learning about ethnobotany. She holds degrees in Art and International Studies (focus on indigenous cultures) and an Master’s degree in Teaching. She is currently working on a diploma in Botanical Illustration from Society of Botanical Artists in London. She is a member of Oregon Botanical Artists and American Society of Botanical Artists. She enjoys teaching nature and botanical drawing, natural science illustration and ethnobotany. Dorota has self-published two ethnobotanical coloring books: ABC of Native Plants and Native Berries of the Pacific Northwest.

Dave Haupt, B.S.

Dave Haupt, B.S. 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.

Bill Hirt, Ph.D.

Bill Hirt, Ph.D., grew up in southern California and earned his degrees in geology from UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. He served as the geology instructor at College of the Siskiyous in Weed, California from 1991 through 2018, teaching both general geology courses as well as several short courses on regional geology in the Klamath Mountains and southern Cascades.

August Jackson

August Jackson works as Interpretation Coordinator at Mount Pisgah Arboretum in Eugene, OR. August has been studying and photographing the region’s pollinating insect fauna for six years. He is excited about sharing his passion for insects and teaches classes on pollination ecology and bee identification throughout the state. He is currently also working with the Oregon Bee Project to help train volunteers in bee identification.

Lauren Kemple

Lauren Kemple studied for two years at the Vitalist School of Herbology in Ashland, Oregon. She is a mother, plant lover, and has been an outdoor educator since 2001.

Scot Loring, M.S.

Scot Loring, M.S., 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 involved in co-writing the upcoming book Rare Truffles of Oregon.

Frank Lospalluto

Frank Lospalluto is a field biologist who has worked closely with Klamath Bird Observatory for over a decade doing both spring breeding and fall migration bird surveys throughout the bioregion. American Dippers inAshland Creek are a special research focus. Frank is an avid birder and photographer who also has a keen  interest in regional plants and mammals.

Erin McKinsey, M.S.

Erin McKinsey, M.S. is a dispensary herbalist at a natural healing center and has worked as a scientist at a natural product research laboratory. She has a background in environmental education and a passion for plants.

Kristi Mergenthaler

Kristi has conducted plant surveys in the Klamath Siskiyou Bioregion for several years and works as Southern Oregon Land Conservancy’s Stewardship Director. A former SFI board member, Kristi also assists with Oregon State University’s Master Naturalist training in the local ecoregion and has served as president of the Siskiyou Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Oregon. Her accreditations include Wilderness First Responder and certified Northwest Lichenologist.

Joe Metzler

Joe is an amateur naturalist with over 45 years of outdoor experience. Retired in the Coos Bay area after 23 years with the United State Coast Guard, he now works winters for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife conducting coho salmon spawning surveys, and works summers for USDA Wildlife Services protecting nesting western snowy plovers. He is the vice president of the Cape Arago Audubon Society and is active in local watershed stewardship.

Mike Potts

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 photos can be found in the Audubon Mushroom Field Guide I-Phone app and on his website. Mike has been helping with mushroom identification and leading hikes in the Ashland area for the past several years.

Chas Rogers, M.S.

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.

Justin Rohde, M.S.

Justin Rohde, M.S. has ten years of experience conducting habitat assessments of fish habitat in southwest Oregon for the Siskiyou Research Group. His surveys have led him to explore some of the wildest and most remote streams in Oregon, including tributaries of the Wild & Scenic Illinois, Chetco, and North Fork Smith rivers. In 2014, he published his first guide book on the Illinois Valley entitled Hiking Oregon & California’s Wild Rivers Country by Backcountry Press. Justin recently completed his master’s degree in archaeology and is currently employed as an Archaeological Technician for Northwind (Alaska Native Corporation).

Dana Ross, M.S.

Dana Ross, M.S., 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.

John Roth, M.S.

John completed his master’s thesis on the speleogenesis of Jewel Cave in South Dakota. He has worked in the cave sciences in park caves for more than 35 years, over 31 of them at Oregon Caves National Monument and Reserve. John has compiled one of the largest databases on cave species north of Mexico.

Kevin Spencer

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, Ph.D.

Lichens have delighted Daphne Stone, Ph.D., since childhood. She studied ecology at The Evergreen State College and 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.

Craig Tuss

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. 

Linda Ann Vorobik, Ph.D.

Linda Ann Vorobik, Ph.D., is a 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.

Lion Waxman

Lion Waxman is a consultant and educator specializing in regenerative agriculture, permaculture and sustainable gardening practices. Through his business, Good Earth Gardens, he seeks to support people, farms and communities on their path toward a resilient lifestyle.

Lee Webb, M.S.

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. He serves on the SFI and Siskiyou Audubon boards.

William “Bud” Widdowson, B.S.

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

Ann Willyard, Ph.D.

Kelpie Wilson, B.S. is an engineer and analyst with 35 years of experience in renewable energy, sustainable forestry and resource conservation. She worked for the Siskiyou Regional Education Project for 12 years, serving as its executive director during the 1990s. As director of the Siskiyou Project, she helped found the Siskiyou Field Institute and secure its initial funding. Since 2008 she has focused on biochar. From 2008-2012 she was employed by the International Biochar Initiative and was responsible for managing a multi-stakeholder process to draft the first international standards and testing guidelines for biochar materials. She has consulted with private industry and government agencies through her company Wilson Biochar Associates. She is a founder and board member of the US Biochar Initiative. She presents many classes and workshops on biochar production and use every year.

Kelpie Wilson, B.S.

Kelpie Wilson, B.S. is an engineer and analyst with 35 years of experience in renewable energy, sustainable forestry and resource conservation. She worked for the Siskiyou Regional Education Project for 12 years, serving as its executive director during the 1990s. As director of the Siskiyou Project, she helped found the Siskiyou Field Institute and secure its initial funding. Since 2008 she has focused on biochar. From 2008-2012 she was employed by the International Biochar Initiative and was responsible for managing a multi-stakeholder process to draft the first international standards and testing guidelines for biochar materials. She has consulted with private industry and government agencies through her company Wilson Biochar Associates. She is a founder and board member of the US Biochar Initiative. She presents many classes and workshops on biochar production and use every year.

Rachel Winters

Rachel Winters, a self-confessed plant addict, has been teaching plant identification, ecology, and horticulture at Rogue Community College for a number of years. She owns Siskiyou Gardens, a small nursery specializing in bonsai and unusual trees. Previously she operated a local landscape maintenance and design business. Rachel developed an interpretive nature trail at Fish Hatchery Park near Grants Pass as well as being on the team that created the arboretum walk and brochure at RCC’s Redwood Campus. Rachel is a long-time hand weaver and creates her own fiber dyes from a variety of local lichens.

Dana York, M.S.

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.