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Photo by Carla Rhodes

Presenter Biographies

To read the biographies of presenting NWT Planning Team Members, Click Here!

Haley Andreozzi

Haley Andreozzi is a wildlife biologist and educator who works to support informed decision-making around wildlife and habitat conservation. In her role as the Wildlife Conservation State Specialist with UNH Cooperative Extension, Haley works with volunteers, landowners, natural resources professionals, and communities to enhance, restore, and conserve wildlife and habitats throughout New Hampshire. She provides technical assistance for outreach, citizen science, and stewardship projects related to New Hampshire’s wildlife species and their habitats, including bats, butterflies, New England cottontail rabbits, and other species of greatest conservation need.

Haley leads several statewide programs that integrate people and natural resources including the NH Coverts Project, which trains landowners and community leaders in wildlife conservation and forest stewardship; Taking Action for Wildlife, which supports community-based efforts related to wildlife conservation; and the Women in the Woods program, which supports women forestland owners and stewards with educational programming and resources.

Over the years, she has worked to build her skills in wildlife track and sign, including participating in the White Pine Programs Tracking Apprenticeship in 2016. She has integrated track and sign into her work, where it provides useful information and data for wildlife conservation efforts, as well as into her personal life, where it provides a deeper connection to wildlife and the world around her. She received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science & Natural Resources Management from the University of Rhode Island and earned a Master of Science in Wildlife & Conservation Biology from the University of New Hampshire.

Emma Tutein

Emma Tutein is an educator with expertise in land conservation and wildlife. In her role as Community Conservation State Specialist with UNH Cooperation Extension, Emma works closely with conservation professionals, communities, and volunteers to support their work in protecting New Hampshire’s natural resources. She provides educational opportunities, professional development, and technical assistance related to land conservation, conservation planning, educational outreach, and stewardship and management of conservation lands.

Emma’s statewide leadership roles include providing organizational support to the NH Land Trust Coalition; coordinating New Hampshire’s annual statewide land conservation conference, Saving Special Places; representing New Hampshire on Trail Finder, a website that maps trails across NH And VT making it easier for people to get outside; and the Taking Action for Wildlife program, working with communities to support wildlife and habitat conservation.

 Emma has long held a passion for wildlife – growing up catching frogs and exploring the woods on her parents farm in NJ.  She went on to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resources, Ecology and Management from Rutgers University and a Master’s Degree in Wildlife Ecology from the University of New Hampshire. She explored an interest in wildlife track and sign through participation in the White Pine Programs Tracking Apprenticeship in 2014.  She has since participated in numerous Track and Sign Evaluations, and became a Track and Sign Professional in 2021.  She loves sharing this passion with others as a way to connect people with nature and build support for land and wildlife conservation.

Michael Douglas

Student of tracking since 1979, Tracking Mentor since 1989

James Michael Ciesluk

James Michael Ciesluk is an educator and naturalist who is passionate about teaching others the art of bushcraft and ancestral living skills. James Michael spent this past summer inspiring and teaching summer campers to build stone tools, make fire by friction, track animals, and build shelters of all kinds. Previously he led adult intensive classes in survival and tracking and youth classes at Earth Native Wilderness School outside of Austin, TX. He studied wilderness skills and nature education full time at Alderleaf Wilderness College in Western Washington where he completed the school’s Wilderness Certification Program and the Alderleaf Instructor Apprenticeship. He attended Wilderness Awareness School’s Immersion program in Duvall, Washington where he further honed his naturalist, nature mentoring, and wilderness skills. James Michael is certified Level III in Wildlife Track and Sign Identification and Level II in Wildlife Trailing through CyberTracker Conservation International, an international standard for evaluating the field skills of Wildlife Trackers and is a wilderness first responder certified. When he’s not running around in the woods with kids James enjoys following animal trails through the woods and honing his bushcrafting skills.

Melissa Ruszcyk

I am a wildlife biologist on the Furbearer/Black Bear Program of the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and concurrently a graduate student at the University of CT. My masters thesis project is focused on the movement and behavioral changes of black bears in response to anthropogenic food. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, tracking, shed hunting, camping, and kayaking, all with my amazing coonhound, Canyon.

Raymond Hardy

Artist/Naturalist and CTDEEP Master Wildlife Conservationist

Mike Bottini

Wildlife biologist on Long Island, NY currently studying: the recolonization of L.I. by river otters; mitigating otter- motor vehicle mortality; tracking the recent expansion of coyotes onto L.I.; collecting and analyzing coyote scats for diet studies; leading a three-year survey to map the distribution of L.I.’s terrestrial and semi-aquatic mammals; and monitoring a population of spotted turtles.

Carla Rhodes

Photographer Carla Rhodes tells visual tales of the natural world, focusing on the overlooked and misunderstood. From endangered storks to everyday moths, her work is a testament to the beauty found in the unexpected. Her journey, once rooted in the realms of comedic ventriloquism, now flourishes in the wild, making images that inspire and educate. Skillfully morphing her narrative craft from the stages’ spotlight to the boundless theater of the wilderness, she is truly a wild storyteller, unveiling the hidden narratives of the unsung heroes of the wild. Published in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, and more, Carla’s images challenge perspective while encouraging a deep appreciation of our shared environment.

Will Close

Will Close is an artist, designer, educator and wildlife tracker who specializes in the intersection of nature, art, design, and teaching. He holds a degree in Fine Art Painting from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and studied wildlife track and sign under Dan Gardoqui and Daniel Hansche. Currently, Will resides in Concord, MA where he maintains an artistic studio practice and is an outdoor education instructor with the Carroll School located in Lincoln, MA. His passion for nature illustration, tracking and sharing it with others, has taken him from the spruce forests of Maine to the Ecuadorian Amazon. Most recently, he was the inaugural artist in residence with North Country Land Trust in North Central Massachusetts.

Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean has worked in the field of outdoor education since 1983 as a wilderness guide, rock climbing instructor and teacher of animal tracking, bird language and nature awareness. In addition to working with several nature education centers, she offers her own Women’s Wildlife Tracking Intensive, custom-tailored nature programs and wildlife surveys. Kathy is the author of Abbreviated Field Guide to Mammal Behavior: New England Region and is certified by CyberTracker Conservation as a Track & Sign Professional. She lives in a small hill town in western Massachusetts and is blissfully surrounded by woodlands, wetlands and wildlife.

Joan Ellis

I’m a lifelong artist, with experience in advertising design, marketing, logo design, and illustration. I also taught Art (K-8) at the Andover School of Montessori for 14-years, and have operated a design studio on Main Street, Andover, for 22 years. I teach drawing skills to children and adults, with an emphasis on shape, proportion, perspective and texture, with the goal of enhancing the overall drawing experience so my students become better observers. When I’m not teaching classes, my primary work is as a Natural Science Illustrator.

Bob Etzweiler

Bob Etzweiler has over 15 years of focused experience in wildlife tracking. He runs wildlife tracking programs for Vermont Wilderness School, including apprenticeships, one day workshops, and tracking expeditions. He is a certified Professional Tracker through Tracker Certifications of North America.

Rebekah Lowell

Rebekah Lowell is an award-winning author/illustrator and surface pattern designer with a passion for the natural world. As a survivor of domestic abuse, she’s found healing in creativity and time outside. Her debut novel in verse, THE ROAD TO AFTER, published by Nancy Paulsen Books in May 2022, offers a story of recovery from trauma, and was a Junior Library Guild selection and recipient of the Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award. Her debut picture book, CATCHING FLIGHT, published by Doubleday Books for Young readers in March 2023, provides hope on the wings of birds. Her artwork has been featured on the Maine Duck Stamp five times and has been included in various shows around the country. Rebekah has a BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA in Children’s Literature and Illustration from Hollins University. She is currently studying Natural Science Illustration through the Rhode Island School of Design and earning her certificate as a Nature Journal Educator through the Wild Wonder Foundation. When not in her studio, you can find her outside—birding, gardening, nature journaling, rescuing birds for Avian Haven, and raising butterflies – often with her daughters, who she homeschools. She lives with her family in her hometown of Biddeford, Maine. For literary projects, Rebekah is represented by Paige Terlip at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

Joy Wang

Joy, Muqing Wang graduated from School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Art and Environment curriculum. She holds a “Track and Sign” Level III certificate. Her passion for tracking is multi-fold: As a photographer, she considers herself an archiver of wildlife art, recording works of the original artists. She is a city-born working to re-wild herself, meanwhile, she’s developed strong interest for urban ecology. Currently, she is working on several projects to study the tracks and signs of animals in her home country, China.

Daniel Hansche

A wildlife tracker & mentor with over 25 years of field experience, Daniel’s work in conservation & education has taken them to wolf dens, elk herds, rhino encounters, & lion trails. They are a Track & Sign Evaluator with Tracker Certification North America and certified in Eurasia & Africa. Daniel’s intensively mentored well over 100 wildlife trackers and taught many hundreds through workshops & trainings. Brimming with creativity, their approach to mentoring is unlike any other. Everyone has unique gifts, needs, & styles. One of Daniel’s virtues is in learning, respecting, and serving each student’s needs while tending to a group’s cohesion.

Scott Semmens

I am originally from North Dakota. I have lived in several other states including Minnesota, Montana, Colorado, Texas, and in the last 28 years, I have lived in New Hampshire. I have degrees in Biology, Science Education, and Anthropology. I have taught high school sciences for 28 years. In the last 7 years, I have taught in the Environmental Studies Department at Keene State College in NH. I am an avid animal tracker (Professional Tracker), tracking animals in NA, southern Africa, and Nepal. My current research is focused on sustainable wildlife management by studying tiger/human interactions in Nepal.

Jamie Walker

After working in Environmental Consulting, Jamie has spent the last twelve years working in nature based education creating community through the exploration of our connections to self, others and the natural world. His love and connection with the natural world have been fostered from a young age by amazing mentors. Jamie is committed to paying that gift forward to others. Whatever the setting, Jamie strives to share the many healing powers of nature with others.

Chrystal Sherritt Cleary

Chrystal Sherritt Cleary is a visual artist and writer who lives in Vermont. Her tracking practice is to walk various transects in the Green Mountain National Forest in the mornings with one of the dogs before settling in to write or draw in the art room. Curious to learn more outside of books, she studied tracking in a 6-month course with Sue Morse of Keeping Track. Chrystal also trained with her (now retired) dog Juno at blood tracking for recovery of wounded deer during hunting season. She grew up in Grafton, Mass, and has come a long way from the little girl reading on a tuffet between the roots of a tree by a tiny stream amid the barberry and skunk cabbage of her backyard wetland.

Andy Dobos

Andy Dobos has 20 years experience mentoring people in wilderness skills including Wildlife Tracking. He has a Level 3 Track and Sign Certification from Cybertarcker Conservation and has studied with many gifted trackers that often attend this very conference. You can find out more at his website forestwolfprograms.com

Kai Pratt

Kai Pratt is a long-time nature educator and dedicated tracker. He is passionate about facilitating human interaction with the more-than-human world, and sees wildlife tracking as an exceptional art/science of deep connection. He is currently completing a master’s degree in social work, which he hopes to place alongside his outdoor experience in providing opportunities for human healing through the natural world. Kai has Level III Track & Sign Certifications in Western Washington and Southern Maine. He lives with his partner and a small community of folks on a small farmstead in Western/Central Massachusetts, and can often be found imitating birds, carving spoons, geeking out about animal sightings, or tending the garden.

Jonathan Shapiro

Jonathan believes that a deep and accurate understanding of the more-than-human world is necessary for us to be healthy, both culturally and individually. Through the Fox Paw School, he teaches long-term tracking, naturalist, and foraging programs. He holds a Specialist certification in Track and Sign.

Zephyr Hoffman

Zephyr Hoffman grew up in New York City, but began regular outdoor education classes in Long Island and then southern Connecticut throughout his childhood. He has been teaching in the outdoor education field for over 12 years and has been teaching and tracking intentionally for the last 7 years in southern Maine. In addition to tracking, he loves carving, foraging, and just about anything to do with trees. He’s found there’s a whole world of comfort and peace in nature for anyone who knows their wild neighbors and has the tools to be comfortable. So he loves to share those things with anyone who wants to learn, because nature is for everyone.

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