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About us

Our Mission

To organize, uplift, and inspire a community of wildlife trackers across the Northeastern U.S. and Canada.

Our Vision

An inclusive, welcoming community of naturalists, educators, tracking enthusiasts, and conservation professionals who share a passion for wildlife tracking and foster a sense of connection across social and geographic boundaries.

Education & Community

Through a quarterly newsletter and tracking event calendar, our robust network of tracking affiliates and community members learn, connect, and collaborate.  Our annual conference brings the tracking community together and serves as a touchpoint for sharing the ecological, spiritual, and cultural lessons that wildlife tracking offers.

Our Beliefs

Wildlife tracking is an ancient skill and lifeway. People of all backgrounds, skill levels, and interests deserve equitable access to the benefits of tracking: a deepened connection to wildlife, a sense of belonging in nature, and enhanced personal well-being.

Our History

The journey began in 2008 when a few wildlife tracking enthusiasts: Jane Winn (Berkshire Environmental Action Team/BEAT), Janet Pesaturo (Winterberry Wildlife), and Lydia Rogers (Walden Keeping Track & Wildlife Passage Task Force) decided that a forum at which trackers could gather and share information needed to be created.

Founding members of Jane, Lydia, Janet, Bob Metcalf (New England Discovery), and later Charlie Perakis gathered their thoughts and ideas and the Massachusetts Wildlife Trackers Conference, a volunteer lead forum, came to fruition. The initial vision for the conference was “to convene, network, energize, and inspire wildlife trackers all across Massachusetts and to use the conference to develop long-term connections and strategies for inspiring wildlife habitat protection through the cross-pollination of issues and experiences.”

In 2010, to reflect the attendance of a diverse audience of talented beginner to skilled trackers from several New England states, the forum was renamed the Northeast Wildlife Trackers Conference.

In 2016, a reconfigured volunteer planning team was beginning to morph as Jane was ready to hand over the reins to focus more on her role as Founder and Executive Director of BEAT. Pam Landry (2015-present), Kim Russell (2016-2022), Collin Adkins (2016-2019), Matt O’Mara (2017-2022), Patricia Liddle (2017-present), Dan Yacobellis (2017-present), and Sophie Mazowita (2018-2022) comprised the new planning team.

In 2017, the vision was expanded to, “The Northeast Wildlife Trackers, are a group of enthusiasts who share a passion for collaborative exchanges on all aspects of wildlife tracking and a common bond that transcends social and geographic boundaries. Together, we gather to share in the ecological, spiritual, and cultural lessons of wildlife tracking while furthermore making connections that last a lifetime.”

The fall single-day conference has assembled since 2008, except for 2013. The conference was hosted at the Doyle Conservation Center, Leominster, MA (2008-2012), the Connecticut Audubon, Pomfret, CT (2014), and Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, Westboro, MA (2015-2019, 2022).

The unprecedented year of 2020 saw a global pandemic providing the opportunity to host a virtual multi-day conference, attracting an international audience. With an opportunity for a multi-day conference format to accommodate attendees from near and afar, provide the ability to build & strengthen a community of trackers, and have the capacity to offer all attendees on-site field experiences the 2021 conference was co-produced with Rowe Center, Rowe, MA. The 15th annual conference in 2023 will follow a similar multi-day format.

In 2022, Amy Martinez Beal joined the volunteer planning team and in 2023, Kai Pratt and Kelly Klingler. In early 2023, the planning team assembled for a one day moderated visioning meeting hosted at the BEAT Environmental Leadership & Education Center to set intentional goals for the next 5 years of the Northeast Wildlife Trackers.

The Northeast Wildlife Trackers continues to operate under the fiscal sponsorship of the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Volunteer Planning Team

The Northeast Wildlife Trackers (NWT) is a consortium and organizing body for engaging and connecting wildlife tracking-aligned programs that exist across the Northeastern U.S. and Canada. 

The Volunteer Planning team consists of a group of individuals responsible for communication within the NWT tracking network through a newsletter, calendar of events, field note article, and website. They are also the people “behind the scenes” planning the annual conference every October! 

Amy Martinez Beal

Amy Martinez Beal, Latinx mamá, abuela and tía, can be found outside on any given day near her home in the Abenaki homelands of Southern Maine, following a tiny River, listening to the birds, tending the garden, or geeking out about some new wildlife track or sign. Committed to deepening relationships with human and more than human kin, Amy has devoted the past 20 years to learning more about the natural world alongside people of all ages, developing kinship through wildlife tracking adventure, birding, book study, hardship, physical work and play.

Pam Landry

Pam grew up appreciating the four seasons in the CT River Valley of MA exploring, discovering, observing, and connecting to the natural world. Through the years the connection expanded to reading the incredible stories left behind through track and sign. She extends great gratitude to all the mentors in her life, especially the natural inhabitants who continue to inspire, challenge, and instill a lifelong curiosity and sense of mystery. Her professional career as a wildlife educator has helped to deepen the understanding of the natural world and inspired a nature connection for pre-school to older adults. Thank you, nature, for being my teacher!

Pat Liddle

Growing up a Mohawk River rat north of Albany, NY, Pat has moved to the uplands of Columbia County, continuing to observe and be observed by wildlife. She hopes they enjoy her company as much as she enjoys theirs.​

Kelly Klingler

Kelly is an environmental educator and conservation biologist. Originally from upstate New York, Kelly spent the last 10 years enjoying the high elevation deserts and mountains of Nevada and California where she studied the American pika and earned her graduate degree. In 2021, she moved back to the Northeast where she enjoys teaching undergraduate courses in wildlife conservation, habitat management, and animal identification and tracking at UMass Amherst. In her spare time, she enjoys birding, buying new houseplants, looking at trail camera photos, and hiking with her partner, Jake and 11-year-old rescue dog, Brewer.

Becca Houghton

Becca offers pathways for awakening to and connecting with one’s self, others, and the natural world through meditation, embodiment, plant connection, bird language, wildlife tracking, and Ayurvedic wisdom, but perhaps most importantly: through play, exploration, and adventure. Some of her favorite forest activities are foraging wild foods, wildlife tracking, connecting with the birds, and moving playfully (and sometimes sneakily) through the landscape. She has found unimaginable joy by connecting with a tree or following a fox’s tracks into hidden places. She and her husband Dave also provide nature-based meditation retreats at their remote mountainside property in North Western Maine while raising two awesome children.

Dave Boynton

Dave is a lifelong outdoorsman. He grew up in the woods and on a small farm in Northern New Hampshire which fostered his passions for canoeing, tracking and awareness, hunting, and fishing. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Education from UNH and an MBA in Sustainability from Antioch NE. He has a passion for guiding groups and mentoring individuals toward a more nature-connected lifeway and an embodied meditation practice called the Realization Process. He and his wife Becca are offering RP nature-focused retreats at their property along the Magalloway River in Maine. Dave is a Registered Maine Guide, Wilderness Medicine Instructor for SOLO, EMT, MovNat Certified Trainer, Reiki III practitioner, and Volunteer Fire Chief for his small town.

Bryan DiFabio

After spending most of his adult life in a recording studio as an audio engineer and musician, Bryan rediscovered his love for the outdoors after moving back to New England in 2016. Though his work is still in the entertainment industry, his passion for tracking, hunting, gardening and herbalism monopolizes most of his free time. If he’s not deep in the woods or walking around his property, you can find Bryan participating in various men’s hockey league games in the area.

Andrea (Andi) Bickford

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Andi is a life-long wildlife lover and recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she earned a B.S. in Natural Resources Conservation. Now an AmeriCorps member, she serves her local community by engaging volunteers in conservation science projects and educating the public about track and scat identification, wildlife management strategies, and wildlife ecology. Her professional interests include wildlife population dynamics, predator ecology, and wildlife capture and chemical immobilization. In her spare time, she enjoys fishing off of her paddleboard, painting landscapes, playing chess, and reading fantasy literature. Fun fact: Andi has tasted over a hundred different kinds of tea!

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