David Curson has worked as Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon Maryland-DC, since 2004, overseeing the MD-DC Important Bird Areas Program and designing and implementing conservation projects for birds and their habitats in Maryland and DC. Since 2010, Dave’s work with Audubon in Maryland has focused on tidal marsh conservation. Dave grew up in London, England. He has been birding since childhood and has birded extensively throughout western Europe, North America and Mexico. In 1985 he received his BSc in Ecology at the University of East Anglia and began a career in conservation biology, working as a Habitat Survey Ecologist for local government and NGOs in London. He came to the United States in 1993 to begin graduate studies and received MS and PhD degrees in the Department of Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His graduate research focused on the ecology and behavior of Brown-headed Cowbirds and their hosts in northern New Mexico.
Keith Eric Costley is a Baltimore native who has been birding for over twenty years. He is an experienced field trip guide and has lead walks for the National Park Service, the Department of Natural Resources and The Baltimore Bird Club. As an avid eBird user and supporter, Keith has a passion for sharing wildlife sightings and is an enthusiastic new contributor to the Maryland Biodiversity Project. He is currently involved in several local breeding bird monitoring projects, including the Northeast Nightjar Survey, and in habitat restoration sites for the Maryland Stream Restoration Association. Recently, he became a member of the Maryland Ornithological Society’s MD/DC Records Committee. Keith also enjoys birding while biking, birding while kayaking — okay, I know you get it…Keith likes birds!
Nico Sarbanes is a 23-year-old Baltimore native who is already a veteran of the Baltimore birding community. He is very excited to lead walks at this year’s Birding Weekend at two of his favorite Baltimore spots – Druid Hill Park and Fort McHenry (where he spotted a rare Brown Booby two years ago!). As a 14-year-old, Nico was one of four birders chosen to represent the American Birding Association on their “Tropicbirds” youth team in the Great Texas Birding Classic in the Rio Grande Valley. The team finished first in the competition, identifying 195 species in a span of 24-hours. Nico was later selected as the winner of the photography module of the ABA’s Young Birder of the Year competition. Nico currently is a working jazz musician, and is also completing his education certification at Towson University. A sampling of his nature photography, as well as his music, are viewable at www.nicosarbanes.com.
Claire Wayner has been birding for five years and visits local Baltimore spots often. She is a member of the Youth Maryland Ornithological Society, has competed on youth teams at the World Series of Birding, and leads teen walks on a regular basis for Patterson Park Audubon Society. When she is not birding, Claire works to lobby in favor of trash reduction legislation with her initiative, Baltimore Beyond Plastic, and she is also a high school junior at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute.
Mike Hudson is a 21-year-old Baltimore native, and has been an avid birder for most of his life. When he was an elementary schooler he was introduced to the joys of birding by his grandfather and Patterson Park Audubon’s outreach programs simultaneously. Since then his interest has only grown. Mike has been a regular leader of Audubon’s Patterson Park bird walks since he was eleven and has also begun guiding winter waterfowl walks at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge for the refuge friends’ organization and in Chestertown at Heron Point Retirement Community. He is seasonal staff for the American Birding Association (ABA), where he works at Camp Avocet, the Lewes, Delaware-based young birder camp. He was also a speaker at the ABA’s first Mid-Atlantic Young Birders’ Conference and is an occasional writing contributor to several of their publications. He was featured in the 2012 book, Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95, in recognition of his efforts to protect the Red Knot and the horseshoe crabs they rely on. To this end, he was also one of the speakers at the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network Conference in 2012, which celebrates the anniversary of the Delaware Bay being denoted a site of hemispheric conservation importance. Mike is currently a junior at Washington College, were he is studying Biology and English. When not in class, he works as an intern bird bander at the Chester River Field Research Station, where has been for six consecutive seasons.
Susie Creamer is director of Patterson Park Audubon Center in Baltimore City, where she and her staff create bird habitat in the urban context and instruct nature-based education programs for all ages in a multicultural community. Programs and projects of the Center take place in English and in Spanish. Before Audubon, Susie managed education programs at Irvine Nature Center, taught middle school science, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay, South America. Susie has a BS in biology from Washington and Lee University and an MS in environmental science from Johns Hopkins University.
Erin Reed is Education Manager at Patterson Park Audubon Center in Baltimore, where she is working to empower neighbors to increase urban bird-friendly habitat. Erin grew up in the forests and farms of southeast Pennsylvania before earning her Bachelors in Wildlife Conservation and Masters in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Delaware. There she researched insect-plant interactions in suburban landscapes under the advisorship of Dr. Doug Tallamy. From there, she has served as an interpretive naturalist and environmental educator in Delaware, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.
Scott Housten, a resident of Ocean City, Maryland, has been birding on Maryland’s Eastern Shore for over 20 years. As an avid traveler, he has spent many years birding in Central America and Southeast Asia. Scott has lead birding tours for the Delmarva Birding Weekend and the Eastern Shore of Virginia Birding & Wildlife Festival. He has also guided birding and wildlife tours in El Salvador. Scott is a frequent contributor to the Maryland Biodiversity Project, contributing over 1,700 photos of birds and insects to the project database. In addition to birding, Scott enjoys traveling, archaeology, and lucha libre wrestling.
Jim Rapp currently serves as director of the Hazel Outdoor Discovery Center in Eden, Maryland. Prior to holding this post, he was the director of the Salisbury Zoo for 14 years before being tapped in 2007 as the director of Delmarva Low Impact Tourism Experiences, a business-sponsored nature tourism outfit created to entice tourists with hiking, biking, cycling and birding trails and events on the Delmarva Peninsula. Rapp is the past president of the Wicomico Environmental Trust, Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Council, Assateague Coastal Trust and Nanticoke Watershed Alliance. Rapp was named Tourism Person of the Year in both Wicomico and Worcester counties in 2004 and 2006 respectively. He lives in Baltimore, where he enjoys exploring the city’s natural areas with his wife and daughter.
Dave Wilson spent 18 years (1997-2015) working for the Maryland Coastal Bays Program—the first 10 as their public relations guru and the past eight as the Executive Director of this National Estuary Program, based in Ocean City, Md. As director, Wilson helped put nature tourism and wildlife front and center by securing funding for a variety of nature parks and trails including 1,000 acres of new county nature parks and the conversion of the Ocean City dump to a kayak launch. Wilson was named Tourism Person of the Year in Worcester County in 2005. Adept at navigating local, state, and federal governments, Wilson helped protect more than 10,000 acres of forests and farms and instituted colonial nesting bird, terrapin, seal, and amphibian monitoring. His penchant for bringing together diverse factions helped finish the Bishopville Dam restoration, set in motion a US Army Corps of Engineers island restoration program, and create a new Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for the Coastal Bays. Wilson loves playing ultimate Frisbee, cycling, kayaking and birding all over the world. He holds a BS from Penn State University and MA from Boston College. He lives in Berlin with his wife, Keota, a professor in the Geography Department at Salisbury University. In 2015 he formed Conservation Community Consulting, LLC to help promote conservation and nature tourism.