2019 Speakers

Gary Clark & Kathy Adams Clark
Author Gary Clark — professor, former dean, and former vice-president at Lone Star College – North Harris County — writes the nature column for The Houston Chronicle and is the author of six books including Enjoying Big Bend National Park: A Friendly Guide to Adventures for Everyone and Book of Texas Birds.
Kathy Adams Clark’s photographs accompany the beautiful writing of her husband Gary Clark in the Book of Texas Birds. The accomplished photographer, owner of the Woodlands based photo agency KAC, is past president of the North American Nature Photography Association. Her photographs have graced numerous, books, magazines, and calendars, including Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas Highways, Birders World, The New York Times, and National Geographic. She is the author of Photographing Big Bend National Park: A Friendly Guide to Great Images. Her images fill the pages for Enjoying Big Bend National Park: A Friendly Guide to Adventures for Everyone. Their Birdfest topic is “Ten tips to advance your Bird Photography.”
Robin Bjork - GCBO Avian Biologist
Avian biologist and conservationist Robin Bjork of the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory in Lake Jackson has dedicated her research on the spatial and habitat needs of wide-ranging, often rare or endangered birds, identifying sites important in their annual cycle, and guiding regional conservation planning. Much of her work has focused on colonial water birds in the southeastern US and tropical frugivorous birds in Central America. Her Birdfest topic is “Conservation of Shore Birds along the Texas Coastal Shores through Monitoring, Stewardship, and Education.”
David Newstead
David Newstead of the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program conducts and manages projects involving census, survey, and management of coastal birds, including colonial-nesting water birds, marsh birds and shorebirds and their habitats in the Texas Coastal Bend. His Birdfest topic is “Where do they come from and what do they want? Technology and ecology solving mysteries of the shore bird world: a case study on Red Knots.”
Texas Audubon Suzanne Langley
Suzanne Langley is the executive director of Audubon Texas. She oversees the organization’s programs in urban conservation, coastal conservation and grasslands and prairie conservation as well as the oversight of three nature and education centers: Trinity River Audubon Center, Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, and Mitchell Lake Audubon Center. Her topic is “The Year of the Bird.”
Margie Crisp
Writer and illustrator Margie Crisp is the author of River of Contrasts: the Texas Colorado, a loving homage to the river and its wildlife inhabitants. She tells of the Colorado’s ecology, cultural significance, geology, natural history, and its environmental issues through personal narrative, landowners, and river people. She also wrote a book titled “The Nueces River: Rio Escondido.” As an artist and naturalist, Margie will be commencing the inaugural artist in residency program for M.A.R.S.H. in 2019. Her Birdfest topic is “Parting the Waters: the Colorado River Raft and Matagorda Bay.”
Dr. Liz Smith
Dr. Liz Smith, Whooping Crane conservation biologist with the International Crane Foundation in Rockport, will speak on “Hurricane Harvey’s Impact on Crane Habitat.” Her extensive research on sea-level rise and storm surge effects on coastal habitat change, and promoting community advocacy for conservation planning and coastal protection have been undertaken to ensure quality wintering habitat for the Whooping Crane as its populations continue to increase.
Ryan Spencer
Ryan Spencer is the partnership coordinator for the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University in San Marcos. He helps develop relationships, build strategic alliances, and foster an inclusive environment in the pursuit of the Meadows Center's Mission: "Inspiring research and leadership that ensures clean, abundant water for the environment and all humanity."
He will speak on “The Nature of Art” in an interactive presentation that will engage participants in hands on activities designed to help children engage in creative expression in the outdoors.
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