Associate Professor and Extension Wildlife Specialist
Iowa State University
Adam Janke is an Associate Professor and the statewide wildlife extension specialist for Iowa State University based in Ames, Iowa. He does research and extension programming on wildlife habitat and wildlife conservation issues in Iowa and throughout the agricultural landscapes of the Midwest, working primarily with gamebirds. He earned a B.S. from Purdue University, a M.S. from Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. from South Dakota State University, all in wildlife. He is also certified as an Associate Wildlife Biologist with The Wildlife Society and serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Wildlife Management. He is a life-long hunter and enjoys spending time afield with his black lab Abby or time alone in the deer stand or turkey woods during the hunting seasons. Between seasons, he bides his time with golf, woodworking, and hockey among other hobbies in anticipation of the return of fall.
Texas Game Warden (Retired)
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Texas Game Warden July 1988-August 2019. Stationed on the lower Texas coast. Firearms Instructor, Hunter Education Instructor, Marine Safety Enforcement Officer Instructor. I have been hunting creeks and fishing since a child with my grandpa and father. I enjoy migratory game bird and waterfowl hunting. I also enjoy cooking. Married to Jill Flores. We have 27 year old twins. A speech pathologist and wildlife biologist. My family and I take every opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. Living on the coast provides almost all season opportunities to fish and hunt. I have been able to pass on my knowledge to CLFT workshop students as to the roles of law enforcement in regards to wildlife conservation. I also provide preparation and cooking information of wild game meals for CLFT programs. Retired and living the dream. Enjoying organizing and assisting with youth hunting opportunities and summer wildlife programs.
Wildlife Interpretive Specialist/ GA Project WILD assistant coordinator
GA Department of Natural Resources- Wildlife Resources Division
Amber Barrow has been working for the Department of Natural Resources since 2011 as an environmental educator at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield, GA. She also is a hunter education instructor who teaches at day programs and overnight youth hunting events. She has a bachelor's degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Berry College. Amber grew up fishing with her family but started out learning about hunting at the age of 14. Her grandfather taught her about small game hunting for rabbits and squirrels. Later in college, her boyfriend (later to be husband) taught her about falconry and using hawks and other birds of prey to hunt squirrels, rabbits, and other small game. She fell in love with sport and continues to learn more each and every day about the hunting and its history. She loves to cook all kinds of wild game recipes and loves trying new things while outdoors. She currently goes small game and bird hunting with her husband, loves fly fishing and is licensed falconer in Georgia. She currently flies 3 harris hawks.
Prof.
Purdue University
Andrew DeWoody is a professor in the Dept. of Forestry & Natural Resources at Purdue University. He is a long-time hunter and has been involved with CLfT for nearly a decade. Most recently (2017), he helped teach CLfT's first annual "Hunting for Conservation" workshop in Texas.
Deputy Refuge Manager
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Anna has worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 2009, and her journey has brought her from D.C., to the Pacific Northwest, to the rocky coast of Maine and now to an ecologically diverse wildlife refuge complex in the tri-state area of northern NJ, southeast PA, and southeast NY known as the Lenape National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Anna lives with her husband Kyle, their two young sons and bird dog Burly on a blueberry farm in Sussex, NJ.
Assistant Professor of Research
Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute
Bill has an M.S. in Wildlife Science from Utah State University. He worked for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources for 36 years as a biologist, wildlife manager, coordinator, wildlife section chief and assistant director. He now enjoys the wonders of the world on a daily basis with his family while on the road and from the porch.
President
Bob Byrne Consulting
Currently, Bob is owner of Bob Byrne Consulting, a conservation consulting firm specializing in finding innovative solutions to conservation issues through strategic planning, programmatic reviews, evaluations, group facilitation and literature reviews.

Prior to forming his own company, Bob spent 30+ years in conservation where he worked for three state wildlife agencies, two conservation NGOs and a conservation-communications consulting firm.

Being an avid hunter and angler, Bob has a deep concern about passing on our hunting and fishing heritage on to future generations, and has focused much of his recent efforts on this task.

Some of his most recent projects include:

➢ Assisted The Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports (CHASS) and the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) develop the National Hunting and Shooting Sports Action Plan that is being used as the framework to improve recruitment, retention and re-activation (R3) programs for hunting and the shooting sports.

➢ Assisted the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and the Aquatic resources Education Association (AREA) develop a strategic plan for angler recruitment, retention and re-activation programs.

➢ Developed Environmental Stewardship Plans for 17 outdoor shooting ranges operated by the Wildlife Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Bob can be reached at bobbyrne2018@gmail.com or 540-937-2139.
Professor and Department Chair
Brigham Young University
Brock is a professor of Wildlife Ecology in the Department of Plant and Wildlife Sciences at Brigham Young University. His current research is focused on population and community ecology of mammals, conservation of mammals, and behavior of mammals. Current projects include population ecology of mule deer, resources selection and movements of elk, interactions between feral (a.k.a. wild) horses and native wildlife, reintroduction ecology of river otters, distribution and conservation of kit fox, population ecology of mouflon sheep in Hawaii, and community ecology of desert small mammals.

Brock is married and has four children and one grandchild. He loves spending time with them, especially when it involves the outdoors.

Brock is an avid hunter and spends many days each year pursuing everything from gamble's quail (with his springer spaniel named Boone) to elk. He loves to bow hunt and his ultimate passion is to chase high country mule deer.
Lead Instructor/ R3 Program Lead
Montana Master Hunter Program (Contractor for)
Bruce was a career fisheries biologist and manager, after working for state fish & wildlife agencies in Ohio and Idaho, he worked the bulk of his carrer at Montana Fish Willdife & Parks, where he was the Chief of Fisheries. Since his retirement from MFWP, he worked as the R3 Program Manager at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and now as a contract Lead Instructor and R3 Program Lead for One Montana's Master Hunter Program.
Hunting and Shooting Education Specialist
Georgia DNR
Program Manager of Trapping Policy, Furbearer Research and Human-Wildlife Conflicts
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
Wildlife Biologist, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, Northeast Region
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Chris is currently a Wildlife Biologist with the USFWS Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Program in the Northeast Region. Previously, he served as the Regional Chief of Hunting & Fishing (2017-19) and Migratory Game Bird Biologist for the USFWS, Northeast Region (2006-17), working with State and Federal partners in the U.S. & Canada to support science-based conservation and harvest management of migratory game birds. From 1996-2006, Chris served as a Wetland Wildlife and Furbearer Biologist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW), where he developed research, monitoring and public communication programs to improve furbearer management within the State. He also served as the State Coordinator in the testing and development of Best Management Practices for Furbearer Traps and Trapping in the U.S. His efforts also led to the first regulated trapping season for river otters in Ohio following their successful reintroduction in the early 1980’s, built around strong science and communication efforts within the agency, and more importantly, with the public. Prior to working with ODOW, he was employed as a Wildlife Research Biologist with the MO Dept. of Conservation and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Wildlife Services, and Wildlife Technician with the U.S.G.S., Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Station. Chris is also a volunteer Trapper Education instructor with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Hunter Education Program.
Big Game and Wildlife Migration Specialist
Bureau of Land Management
As a young child Daryl followed in his Dad’s footsteps as they set off on hunting and fishing adventures in Western New York, just south of Lake Erie. Knowing that he wanted to live those special times as an adult, Daryl knew from a young age that his life’s calling was to be a wildlife biologist. Graduating with a B.S. in Forest Biology from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Daryl soon fell into the world of big game management. His first wildlife-related job was raising orphaned and injured black bear cubs brought to him by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. His job was to fatten them up and get them ready for release and a smooth return to the wild. After a great deal of success working with black bears, Daryl was hired by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency where he quickly moved up and in 2004, he became the state’s Big Game Program Coordinator and ultimately the Chief of Wildlife and Forestry. In 2015, Daryl made the move West to fulfill a childhood dream of living and working in the Rockies. Following a brief stint with the U.S. Forest Service in New Mexico, Daryl now serves as the Big Game Specialist for the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management. He now resides in the outskirts of Salt Lake City, Utah with his wife and two boys and routinely watches deer, elk, and pronghorn from his backyard deck.
Assistant Professor
Utah State University
Dave is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University (USU), Logan, UT. Dave's appointment consists of Extension and research responsibilities, where the majority of work is focused on wildlife and rangeland issues with an emphasis on grouse conservation. He completed his BS, MS, and PhD degrees at USU, where his graduate work focused on sage-grouse. Following some post-doctoral work he joined the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism as the Upland Game Specialist managing statewide populations of pheasants, quail, prairie-chickens, and turkeys. He grew up in Bismarck, North Dakota, where he spent many days studying "the impact of high speed spherical lead objects and canine pursuit on the mortality rates of upland game birds." His love for hunting is kept alive by his German Shorthaired Pointers who he tried to get out hunting and conducting research with as often as possible. Dave also has a lovely wife and 3 young daughters who keep him on his toes and grounded. He appreciates those who have not been exposed to hunting but who want to understand the role hunting plays in conservation. He's especially aware and thankful for the rich history hunters have contributed to North American wildlife conservation.
Director
CLfT
Prior to coming to CLfT, David was a Captain with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division where he served for 27 1/2 years in a variety of positions including Field Officer, Environmental Investigator, Homeland Security Coordinator, Training Administrator and the Education and Training Section Commander. David has held a number of instructor certifications and specialties that included: ILETB Master Instructor, Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor (Handgun, Shotgun and Patrol Rifle), 4H Shooting Sports Shotgun Instructor, Muzzleloading Rifle, Range Safety Officer, Indiana and Illinois Hunter Education Instructor and Indiana Trapper Education Instructor. David is a 1980 graduate of Vincennes University with an Associate of Science degree in Conservation Law Enforcement and a graduate of the 191st Session of the FBI National Academy. He served three terms as president of the Association of Natural Resource Enforcement Trainers (ANRET)(now a subcommittee of NAWEOA). David served as Secretary of the International Hunter Education Association, IHEA from 2009 to 2011. David has remained active in law enforcement by serving with the Mason County Sheriff's Marine Patrol Division and in 2021 he became NASBLA's 1st Certified Recreational Boating Professional (CRBP) in the Nation.
Consultant
Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
Diane Eggeman was born and raised in Missouri, where she developed a love of the outdoors as a child. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from the University of Missouri and a Master’s degree from the University of Maine in Wildlife Biology. Diane retired in 2018 from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, where she worked from 1986-2018. She spent more than 20 years managing waterfowl and waterfowl hunting. In 2008, Diane became director of the Division of Hunting and Game Management. In this role, she became passionate about providing the public-trust benefits of wildlife management and conservation, including hunting and other recreation, for Florida’s citizens. Currently, Diane holds a part-time position under contract with Ducks Unlimited, Inc., serving as Integration Coordinator for the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP). Diane is a Fellow of the National Conservation Leadership Institute. Diane and her family are avid hunters and anglers and spend much of their free time outdoors.

Conservation Officer, Retired (01/24/2019)
Formally with Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources, Law Enforcement Bureau
Joli began her career in conservation by volunteering and working seasonal positions in Colorado with the Student Conservation Association, the NPS, USFWS, and the Iowa Conservation Commission while attending and after graduation from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. In 1989, Joli left Colorado to return home to the Midwest to start her 3-decade career as an Iowa Conservation Officer. In 1999, she expanded her role as a law enforcement (LE) trainer with the IDNR, accepting the new position of Training Coordinator and eventually becoming Supervisor of Licensing and Training for fifteen years. Coming full circle, Joli worked her final years back in the field.
Joli’s passions have evolved from LE training and “education through enforcement” to introducing new audiences to conservation and natural resources recreation and appreciation through programs including Outdoor Journey for Girls and Becoming an Outdoors Woman. She also enjoys working with Iowa State University (ISU) in outdoor skills programming, Hunter Education, class presentations, and presenting for over two decades with the Program for Women in Science and Engineering.
Joli enjoys trailrunning, bicycling, and paddling with her partner and dogs. She finds great joy and deep value in bird hunting (especially behind her late, beloved springer, Abbey), firearm and bow hunting deer from a treestand, and sitting in the spring woods calling turkeys. She is excited to spend more time doing all of that--and CLfT!
Program Manager, Education & Outreach
Pheasants Forever
Past Chairman, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board
Rob has been involved with CLfT since 2008 and continues to find it motivating, challenging and extremely satisfying. He has served on both the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board (Chairman) and the F&W Advisory Committee. A "student" of public regulation, he believes in the regulatory process works when all of the "players" understand and fulfill their obligations. Also, a current Trustee and President of the Barre Fish and Game Club, the largest private shooting and hunting club in Vermont. Other relevant credentials include Hunter Education Instructor (30 years), Range Safety Officer, NRA certified Shotgun Instructor and have conducted many education shooting programs for kids and women. Rob grew up in a hunting and fishing culture in Minnesota.
After graduating from college in Biology, he took a position as the Minnesota "Research Co-coordinator for Scientific and Natural Areas" . After 3 years, he when back to school and became a Chiropractic Physician, moved to Vermont and has been in private practice since 1983. He owns and manages a 50 acre wood lot and spends as much time as possible outdoors.
Game Division Manager
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Anis is the current Game Division Manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. He holds a M.S. in Wildlife Management from Utah State University. He suffers from wander lust and has held wildlife positions in 4 state wildlife agencies and 1 private ranch. His experience spans a diverse geography and taxonomy. He has managed large ungulates, birds and carnivores in Utah, Idaho, Arizona and Washington. His career started researching rangeland treatments on sagebrush steppe habitat. He started hunting with his uncle in the woods of Maine as a young adult. He enjoys hunting, fishing and anything that gets him outside.
Program Director and Instructor
University of Missouri
Thirty year career with Missouri Department of Conservation as researcher, administrator and outreach programs chief.

Outreach Programs Chief, Missouri Department of Conservation, January 2004-December 2009
Wildlife Research Supervisor, Missouri Department of Conservation, January 1999-December 2004
Wildlife Research Biologist (wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, forest ecology, agricultural systems), Missouri Department of Conservation, August 1985-December 1998
Wildlife Biologist, Missouri Department of Conservation, January 1979-July 1985
As a Wildlife Research Biologist Mr. Kurzejeski has significant experience in designing and conducting research, often working closely with collaborators at the University of Missouri. His research included work on population dynamics of galliforms; impacts of Federal Farm programs on plant and animal species; influences of forest management on terrestrial and aquatic systems; and measuring the attitudes and preferences of resource user groups. During his career with the Department of Conservation his work involved both the biological and social sides of natural resource management. He led many agency-wide communication efforts aimed at gleaning public input from Missouri citizens. He supervised staff responsible for the development of hunting regulations and worked closely with all aspects of regulatory process.

Orion-The Hunters'Institute
Eric is a retired Vermont Game Warden and Hunter Education Coordinator. His is the past executive director of the International Hunter Education Association and Orion-the Hunter's Institute. He currently serves on numerous boards including Orion, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA) and Lamoille River Paddlers Trail. An avid hunter and owner of an eager Brittany bird dog, he has a hard time finding time to do all the wilderness canoe trips, fishing trips to Montana and in Vermont, and the hikes in Norway that he would like to do. Eric has introduced hundreds of folks to the joys of the outdoors thru hunting, fishing and tripping, and touched thousands thru teaching, talks and writing. He is currently coordinating an ethics column in the BHA Outdoor Journal.
Chair and Professor of Biology
Carlow University
Professor Emeritus of Wildlife Resources
Pennsylvania State University
Gary grew up in West Virginia and received degrees from West Virginia University, Clemson University and Colorado State University. He has lived, hunted and fished in seven states and has hunted in North Carolina with the same group of friends for more than 30 years. Gary cofounded the North Carolina Fur, Fish and Game Rendezvous, a natural resources youth summer camp, and team-taught the shooting sports component of the program for eight years. He is an instructor for wildlife ecology and shooting sports at the American Wilderness Leadership Schools. His current interests include wildlife damage management, shooting sports, natural resources public relations, human dimensions and environmental education. He taught Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation and Natural Resources Public Relations at Penn State and North Carolina State University. Gary is now an Emeritus Professor of Wildlife Resources at Penn State University. He was on the original planning for CLfT. jgs9@psu.edu
Director, Division of Hunting and Game Management
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Executive Secretary
Northeast Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
Gordon retired as Chief Wildlife Biologist for the State of New York in 2015 following a 35 year career as a wildlife biologist with New York, and now serves with the Northeast Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies as Executive Secretary. Gordon is also very active on various committees of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. An enthusiastic deer and turkey hunter, Gordon especially enjoys taking novice hunters afield, and teaching about our trapping and hunting heritage during the CLfT workshops.
Professor Emeritus of Wildlife Biology
Purdue University
I taught at Purdue University in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources of 35 years, teaching several courses, including Habitat Management and Wildlife Techniques. Research interests were broad, and included white-tailed deer food relationships and avian breeding biology.
I have taught participants at Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow workshops since shortly after its inception, and try to bring my broad background and eclectic interests to the program.
Grassland/Wetland Coordinator
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Heather currently works for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks as the Grassland/Wetland Coordinator for the state. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Trent University and her M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Mississippi State University. She grew up in Northern Ontario where she spent most of her time outdoors. She spends a good portion of her spare time hunting turkey, waterfowl, upland birds and big game and training her bird dog Riggs.
Educator and Instructor
Massachusetts Div. of Fisheries & Wildlife
Henry has a 13 yr background as an educator and instructor with multiple state and federal agencies as well NGOs toward hunting and trapping.

Also nearly 30 yrs as a professional advisor and consultant to commercial markets and federal government specializing in small-arms & ammunition.

Cervid Biologist
Missouri Department of Conservation
Aaron grew up spending some time camping and fishing, but it wasn't until high school that he discovered hunting. That discovery played a pivotal role in starting the fire that got him interested in conservation as a career. He received his B.S. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his M.S. from the University of Kentucky studying the physiological effects of translocation on elk. He has been the Cervid Biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation since 2016 helping to conserve the state's deer and elk population. He has been an instructor with CLfT since 2009 and enjoys the opportunities to work and interact with the diverse array of participants and instructors at each workshop.
Conservation Officer
Idaho Department of Fish and Game
Jacob Berl is a Conservation Officer with Idaho Department of Fish and Game. He earned a B.S. from Humboldt State University, M.S. from West Virginia University, and Ph.D. from Purdue University. Jacob enjoys hunting, fishing, and traveling as much as possible.
Extension Senior Wildlife Outreach Specialist
University of Wisconsin - Madison, Dept. of Forest & Wildlife Ecology
Jamie Nack has been a CLfT instructor since 2007. She received a B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in Wildlife and Biology and a M.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Jamie considers herself very fortunate to have a father who was always willing to take his daughter hunting. The time spent and lessons learned helped instill a love for the outdoors at an early age, developed a passion for hunting, led to a career in wildlife management and nurtured a conservation mindset. Over the past 25+ years, Jamie has hunted deer, bear, bobcat, turkeys, rabbits, waterfowl, upland birds, fox and coyote. She is a member of numerous conservation organizations, including The Wildlife Society (state, section and national). Jamie resides in Columbus, Wisconsin with her husband, two daughters and three hunting dogs. Family time is often spent outdoors hunting, fishing, training dogs, gardening and exploring.
District Wildlife Manager
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Jerrie McKee is a District Wildlife Manager (wildlife officer) for Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). Enforcing wildlife laws and educating Colorado’s citizens about their diverse wildlife neighbors - and encouraging them to live responsibly amongst them - is where the majority of her time is spent.

Jerrie is a Colorado native and graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Natural Resources Management with a minor in Wildlife Biology. After marrying in 1995, her husband’s military career took them to Washington State for a short period where she earned a Master’s Degree in Business Management. Her husband then took a law enforcement position and they returned to Colorado where they had two beautiful children.

Jerrie is the youngest of seven and fondly recalls many fishing experiences and big game hunting trips with her parents. Jerrie worked in the natural resources field in varying capacities before accepting a position with CPW as an officer in 1999. Her children’s scouting and sporting events keep the family busy as well as their excursions out fishing, hunting, camping, climbing, boating and participating in adventure races.
Extension Wildlife Specialist
Purdue University
Jarred Brooke is an Extension Wildlife Specialist with Purdue University. His hunting and wildlife conservation journey started by chasing northern bobwhite and ring-necked pheasants behind his family's Weimaraners in the farm country of Indiana. His passion for hunting and wildlife conservation led him to Purdue University where he graduated with a BS in Wildlife Science. Building on his love of upland gamebirds, Jarred completed an MS in Wildlife Management at the University of Tennessee where he conducted research on the ecology of northern bobwhite on reclaimed surface coal mines. Jarred completed a brief stint in Kentucky working for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and Natural Resources Conservation Service as a Farm Bill Biologist before returning to his alma mater in 2016. As an Extension Specialist, Jarred works with landowners, land managers, and various state and federal agencies to provide resources related to applied habitat management - with a focus on game species. Jarred also teaches a course at Purdue University on the role of consumptive use in wildlife conservation. Jarred has been an instructor with CLfT since 2018.
Retired
John retired from the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) in October 2014 as Outdoor Education Coordinator, where he administered the agency’s statewide Hunter Education and Aquatic Education programs. John served as OEC from 2006-14 and in NDOW’s Conservation Education Division since 1998, after beginning his career with NDOW’s Fisheries Division at the Lake Mead Fish Hatchery outside Las Vegas. Shortly before retiring from state service John completed training to become a Certified Public Manager.

Shortly after retiring, John served a year (2015-16) as Interim Executive Director of the International Hunter Education Association-USA (IHEA-USA) - a non-profit dedicated to training hunters to be safe, ethical and legal - while leading the search for permanent ED. John also served IHEA-USA as Executive Board President, Region 1 Representative (15 western states), Past-Presidents Committee Chair and Nominations and Awards Committee Chair.

John grew up hunting and fishing in western Pennsylvania before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force after high school. He was stationed at Nellis AFB his entire USAF career before settling in Las Vegas. John has two children; Sean, Las Vegas and Katie, Reno. Sean graduated from UNLV (Rebel) and Katie UNR (Wolfpack), making for a good intra-family rivalry.

John’s interests/hobbies include hunting, fishing, travel, classic car restoration, gardening, wine, cooking, politics and numerous other outdoor sports.
Chief, Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units
U.S. Geological Survey
I am Chief of the USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units, a network of 40 research units in 38 states at major universities. I was Chief of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration for the Northeast Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service previously. I am also Adjunct Associate Professor of Wildlife Conservation at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Michigan State University, and Andres Bello University in Santiago, Chile. I am a Certified Wildlife Biologist and Past President and Fellow of The Wildlife Society. I am a Professional Member of the Boone and Crockett Club, Life Member of International Hunter Education Association and Senior Specialist in the Fulbright Scholar Program. I am a member of the IUCN Otter Specialist and Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Groups, serve on the Board of Directors of the National Conservation Leadership Institute, and represent USGS on the Wilderness Policy Council. I advise MS and PhD students studying carnivores, ungulates, and human dimensions, and have worked in Africa, Canada, Chile, Peru, and the US. I'm Associate Editor of Human Dimensions of Wildlife journal, Science and Education Editor for Fair Chase, and teach graduate courses in Wildlife Conservation and Human Dimensions of Wildlife Conservation. I teach Hunter and Trapper Education in Massachusetts, and have hunted most of my life, feeling most alive and connected to nature when doing so. My trophies are wild game meals I serve to friends and family.
Southwestern Regional Wildlife Ecologist
USDA Forest Service
Karl grew up tromping around the hills and rivers outside his family home’s back door in rural northern Michigan. Throughout high school and college he funded his extracurricular adventures working as a first mate on a salmon boat, a fly fishing, canoeing, and hunting outfitter and guide, and as a professional consultant during the development of wildlife management and research programs. Karl’s interest in nature, conservation, wildlife, and protected area management led him to study the role of nature reserves in harboring large carnivores in southwestern China for his PhD in Wildlife Ecology, which he completed in 2011 through a joint appointment with the University of Wisconsin – Madison and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. These experiences fostered a deeper and more informed appreciation for America’s public lands system and inspired him to pursue a career with the United States Forest Service. Karl’s professional interests include ecological research, applying science to natural resource management, and promoting personal connections between people and the natural world. He has taught about the relationships among humans, wild land, and wildlife in the U.S. and abroad, and has developed and hosted international conservation workshops for global business leaders, conservationists, and political leaders. In his free time Karl, his wife, and their daughter enjoy exploring wild spots off the beaten path with their bird dogs, fly rods, and backpacks.
Visiting Assistant Professor
The Ohio State University
I work as a wildlife ecologist in The Ohio State University’s Terrestrial Wildlife Ecology Laboratory. As a faculty member in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, I have a split research and teaching appointment. Research interests include outdoor recreation participation and access, game species population modeling and management, habitat and pollinator conservation on rights-of-way, and stewardship of private woodlands. I instruct Wildlife Ecology Methods, Wildlife Habitat Mgt, and senior Capstone courses. I serve on the state board for the Ohio Chapter of The Wildlife Society and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.
I start with my professional interests because they are fueled in large part from my personal passions. I have a traditional introduction to the outdoors from my father. He continues to be my best hunting buddy, and my daughters accompany me on many outdoor adventures as well. My interests center on public land hunting both in the East and out West with adventure-style backpack hunting as my true passion. In the last decade, I have broadened my pursuits to include fishing and foraging, always with an emphasis on putting food on the table and making memories with family and friends.
Director, Wildlife Policy & Communications
The Wildlife Society
Keith Norris is the Director of Wildlife Policy & Communications at The Wildlife Society, where he supports policies and advances communication efforts that inspire, empower, and enable wildlife professionals in science-based management and conservation of wildlife and their habitats. He holds a B.S. degree in Wildlife from Purdue University, a M.A. degree in Public Policy & Management from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, and a M.S. degree in Environment & Natural Resources – Wildlife and Fisheries at The Ohio State University. Keith is certified as an Associate Wildlife Biologist® and is an alumnus of the National Conservation Leadership Institute. His career has included positions in wildlife research, education, policy advocacy, leadership development, and program administration.
Regional Supervisor
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Aquatic Invasive Species Program Coordinator
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Kim Bogenschutz is the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Program Coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). She has developed and directed the IDNR AIS Program since its inception in 2000. Prior to her current position, she worked for the Minnesota DNR, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Iowa Department of Transportation, and IDNR in a variety of capacities including fisheries management, private lands restoration, environmental review and permitting, and nongame wildlife. Kim is vice-chair of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Invasive Species Committee, past chair of the Mississippi River Basin Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species, and is on the Board of Directors for the Midwest Invasive Plant Network. A native of Minnesota, Kim earned a BA in Biology from Gustavus Adolphus College and an MS in Fisheries Science from South Dakota State University. In addition to CLfT, she shares her love of the outdoors as an instructor for Outdoor Journey for Girls and Becoming an Iowa Outdoors Woman. Kim, her husband, Todd, and their daughter, Veronica Brooke, reside on 50 acres along the bluffs of the Des Moines River in Madrid, Iowa, with their two bird dogs. In addition to fishing, hunting, and boating, she enjoys attending her daughter’s dance and sports events, spending time at the family cabin in Minnesota, and coaching cheer and dance teams.
Executive Vice President
Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation
Kerry is executive vice president of the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation. He previously spent nearly three decades in journalism, mostly at the Chicago Tribune, where he specialized in national and foreign news. He has a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and is an avid bird hunter and clay target shooter.
State Director
USDA APHIS Wildlife Services
Kris grew up hunting, trapping and fishing in southern New York State, and continues her passion for those same activities in Mississippi. She has an A.A.S. in Biological Technology from SUNY Cobleskill, a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology from SUNY ESF, and a M.S. degree in Wildlife Management from Mississippi State University. She spent 8 years working for the U.S. Forest Service in a variety of positions and the rest of her current career with USDA APHIS Wildlife Services as the State Director for the Mississippi Program. She is an adjunct assistant professor at Mississippi State University teaching human wildlife conflict techniques. She is past president of the Mississippi Wildlife Federation and the Mississippi Chapter of TWS.
President/CEO
Leo Miranda LLC
Leopoldo “Leo” Miranda-Castro is the President, CEO and founder of Leo Miranda LLC (Est. 2023). Before that, he was the Southeast Regional Director of the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (2018-2022). He oversaw the work of approximately 1,300 federal employees in carrying out the Federal Government’s partnership role in conserving fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within 10 southeastern states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Leo began his work with the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a Private Lands biologist in his native Puerto Rico, later becoming the national coordinator for the private lands program and then supervisor of the Chesapeake Bay Field Office in Annapolis, MD. He then was selected as the Assistant Regional Director of the Southeast Region’s Ecological Services Program. An advocate of public-private conservation partnerships, he points to the success of the shade-grown coffee industry, sustainable timber production and protecting military bases buffer zones in conservation as examples of how government organizations and private landowners can work together to achieve real "win/win" outcomes for people and for wildlife.

On any given weekend, you are likely to find Leo in a tree stand or by a river, hunting or fishing with his son, Pablo. Leo attributes much of their shared love of nature and commitment to conservation to the pursuit of these outdoor recreational pastimes, and hunting in particular.
Assistant Professor of Wildlife Habitat Ecology
Montana State University
Firearms and hunting safety instructor
NRA, Illinois & Texas Hunter ED, Texas Master Naturalist volunteer
Laura is a Certified NRA Shotgun,Rifle, Pistol, Personal protection in the Home, Personal Protection outside the Home, Conceal Carry instructor, and a Certified Volunteer Hunter Safety/Tree stand Instructor for both Illinois DNR and Texas Parks and Wildlife. A Texas Master Naturalist. Besides the shooting sports she enjoys teaching archery, fly fishing, cooking, beekeeping. She is a big and small game hunter, and has traveled extensively to hunt and fish. She is a Certified Master Gardener in Illinois and Florida, a beekeeper and a Nationally Certified Medical Technologist. Was an elected Trustee for the Village of Campton Hills, IL, former instructor at Country Garden Cuisine cooking school. In 2018 She transitioned to Texas. She is a member of Corpus Christi, Texas Pistol and Rifle club, NRA, Mid-Coast Chapter as a Master Naturalist, South Texas Beekeepers,and Sisters on the Fly.
Deer/Elk Coordinator
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Lindsey currently works for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks as the Deer/Elk Coordinator for the state. Lindsey received a B.S. in Ecology with an emphasis in Fish and Wildlife Management from Montana State University in 2010, a M.S. in Secondary Education from Black Hills State University in 2015, and most recently, finished her PhD from South Dakota State University where she researched Greater Sage-Grouse Breeding Ecology on the fringe of their range. Lindsey has been an instructor for CLfT since 2016. Hunting has been a big part of her life and culture since she was a child and she truly enjoys sharing her passion and knowledge about hunting with others.
Cooperative Mule Deer Biologist
Mule Deer Foundation
Project Leader
Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex
Marcia Pradines Long is the Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex Project Leader with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In this position, she has focused on strengthening relationships with the community, helping new audiences get engaged with the outdoors through programs like mentored hunts and partnerships, and finding the connections between people and wildlife that make conservation successful. She co-founded the First Shot mentored hunt program in 2018 with NWTF and MD DNR to help fill the gap she had personally experienced as an adult onset hunter who also needed help to get back out. She previously led the Division of Communications and Visitor Services for the National Wildlife Refuge System in the USFWS headquarters where she spearheaded the national Urban Wildlife Refuge Program.

She has a Masters degree in Wildlife Management from West Virginia University, and a BS in Biology from University of Pittsburgh. In her spare time she is an avid hunter, angler, and loves training her rescue dog Elsie. She also serves as a mentor for other women learning to hunt; Marcia has a strong desire to break down both the stereotypes and barriers for women and other minorities to get involved in the liberating and diverse world of outdoor sports.
Some Guy Who Cares About Various Things
Wildlife Management Institute
Matt Dunfee is the Director of Special Programs for the Wildlife Management Institute, a 101-year old, non-profit conservation organization dedicated to science-based, professional wildlife management. He serves as the Director of the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance, Co-Chair of the National Hunting and Shooting Sports Action Plan, and the Chair of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. In his current roles, Matt serves on numerous professional committees and boards including the AFWA Fish and Wildlife Health Committee, national and regional R3 Committees, the Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow Advisory Committee, and the International Hunter Education Association Standards and Research Committees. Following his leadership in developing evaluation toolkits, best practices, and strategic models for hunter and shooter R3 efforts, Matt has conducted dozens of multi-day training and information workshops for state and federal wildlife agency staff and administrators on R3 strategies, program development, evaluation, and best practices. He also makes great scrambled eggs.
CLfT Instructor- Hunter Education Instructor
Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
Michael Kolsun has been a volunteer Hunter Education instructor for the Vermont F&W department for 30 years and serves on the F&W board. He is certified in hunter, bow and trapper education and currently serves as a Chief Instructor. Growing up in a non hunting family, he was mentored into hunting in his early twenties. After all the help he received, the importance of 'paying it forward' lead him to becoming a certified instructor. Through networking in his local community, he now has a team of 12 instructors, teaching a hands on, interactive, experiential based class.
He has attended the Tom Brown Tracker School, learned to make primitive longbows with John McPherson, is an avid hand loader of ammunition and has spent time as a primitive rendezvous/fur trade era, muzzle loader competitor. Taking the hunt to a deeper level of satisfaction, which includes butchering and caring for ones harvested game, is a year round pursuit.
As an Endowment member of the NRA, he has instructor ratings in pistol and shotgun. After retirement from UPS, he has started Vermont Advanced Shooting Sports (V.A.S.S.), a post hunter education school, to facilitate the new shooter with limited mentoring opportunity.
Michael and his wife, Molly Cook, live on 38 acres in the Northeast Kingdom in Brighton, VT. They spend their time managing their land to sustain wildlife, hunting, fishing, shooting and enjoying the gifts that nature provides. Wild game meat in the freezer is their preferred diet.
Professor Emeritus
Utah State University
Michael L. Wolfe, grew up on Long Island, New York. He received a B.S. in Wildlife Management from Cornell University and a doctorate in Wildlife Science from the University of Göttingen, Germany. After a postdoctoral research position working on the Isle Royale moose/wolf project, he joined the faculty of the (USU) College of Natural Resources in 1970, where he taught a spectrum of terrestrial wildlife and natural resource courses, . Mike’s principal research interests were in the area of ungulate and carnivore ecology and management. He worked with several cervid species as well as bison, mountain goats and feral equids and led a 17-year study of cougars in Utah. He had a long working relationship with management agencies, including a two-year contract with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources as Mammals Program Coordinator. Mike has also lived and worked extensively abroad, including in the former Soviet Union, Australia and South America. These teaching and research assignments were under the auspices of various exchange programs including the Fulbright Commission, Organization of American States and the National Academy of Sciences. Currently, he is actively involved in wetland restoration on a conservation easement along the Bear River in northern Utah. Mike is a life-long hunter, but shares this avocation with other interests such as curling, nature photography and playing the concertina. He has been an instructor with the CLfT program since 2009.
Retired Wildlife Biologist
NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Mike was employed for over 36 years with the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation as a Wildlife Biologist and Environmental Educator. In that capacity, Mike worked on white-tailed deer, river otters, hunter and trapper education and summer environmental education camps. Mike has been working as an instructor for CLfT for 9 years. Taught undergraduates, graduate students and natural resources professionals in Vermont, Illinois, Arkansas and Georgia about conservation management. Participated in assessment of curricula. Love being part of the program and look forward to each and every workshop!
Retired
Idaho Dept Fish and Game
1961-70: BS Fish and Game Management, MS Wildlife Management, Oregon State University. Assistant in Veterinary Parasitology, Dept Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University. 1970-1996: Conservation Officer, Wildlife Research Biologist, Regional Wildlife Manager, Idaho Dept Fish and Game. 1996-present: Wildlife contract and consultant work, fly fishing and hunting guide.
Retired Wildlife Biologist (Natural Resource Specialist)
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Misty gained an appreciation for a variety of landscapes and all things outdoors early in life. Her father was a career Air Force man but always found time to take her hunting, fishing, or camping with the family whether they were stateside or overseas. This was time well spent as in doing so she found her passion which led to a career in Natural Resource Management.

She has been a member of The Wildlife Society for over 30 years. Having been taught the value of service/giving back she served as: President of the Southwest Section of The Wildlife Society, Board Member-at-Large and Secretary of the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Chair and member of countless committees and currently serves on TWS’ The Wildlife Professional Editorial Advisory Board. In 2009 Misty was awarded TWS’ Fellows Award and in 2018 she was awarded TCTWS’s Honorary Life Membership for Professional Achievements and Contributions to Wildlife Conservation.

Misty is a certified Huntmaster with the Texas Youth Hunting Program, a Texas Hunter Education Instructor, an official Boone and Crockett Scorer, and an EMT.
Molly has been a CLfT instructor for a least a decade. She's also a Vermont Fish and Wildlife Chief Hunter Safety Education Instructor, a Hunter Safety and Bow Hunter Safety Instructor, an NRA Shotgun Certified Instructor, a Vermont Fish and Wildlife Conservation Group board member and active with Back Country Hunters and Anglers. Molly has worn many hats in her work life -- dairy farmer, carpenter, graphic designer and family practice nurse . She currently creates custom western hats and leather goods.
North Texas Hunter Education Specialist
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
W. Kelly Mosley Environmental Professor/Extension Specialist
Alabama Cooperative Extension System/Auburn University
Mark D. Smith is a W. Kelly Mosley Environmental Professor/Extension Specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension Systems in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University. He received his B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife from Michigan State University and a M.S. in Wildlife Sciences and Ph.D. in Forest Resources from Mississippi State University. His extension activities focus on helping landowners and natural resource professionals reduce damage caused by wild pigs. Mark is an active member of The Wildlife Society, serving in various capacities at all levels (student chapter to national) and is also an Alabama Hunter Education instructor and 4-H Shooting Sports coach. Mark’s introduction to the shooting sports, hunting, and fishing began at the age of 6 on a 160-acre woodland in northern Michigan. These early childhood experiences in the woods with family and friends played a key role in developing his insatiable quest for adventure. Over the ensuing years, Mark has hunted and fished through much of the United States, 4 Canadian Provinces, and Africa. Despite these far-flung adventures, his true love is rabbit hunting with a pack of beagle hounds. Labeled a “Damn Yankee” by many (a northerner who visits the South and doesn’t leave), he has since developed an unshakeable addiction to saltwater fishing. Thus despite a having a relatively good paying job, he remains continuously broke.
Area Wildlife Biologist
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Noe is the Area Wildlife Biologist for USDA-NRCS in northeast Colorado. She works with farmers and ranchers to develop high quality wildlife habitat on privately owned lands.
Wildlife Management Biologist, Habitat Stamp Program Coordinator
Bureau of Land Management, Taos Field Office
Director of Conservation Operations, Western Wildlands
National Wild Turkey Federation
Patt Dorsey is a native Coloradoan and a graduate of “the” Colorado State University. She became a "member of the flock," joining the National Wild Turkey Federation in February of 2019. As the Director of Conservation Operations for the West Region, she supervises biologists and R3 coordinators in 9 Western States. She was drawn to the NWTF because working on forest and watershed health is an increasingly important and urgent issue and the NWTF is implementing on-the-ground solutions with local partners. Before that, she held several positions with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (Boulder district wildlife manager, Hunter Education Administrator, area wildlife manager in Durango and a member of the Director's staff -- Southwest Region Manager). She was recognized as Colorado's Shikar Safari Wildlife Officer of the Year in 2012, presented with the International Hunter Education Association Past President’s Award in 2004, the Jim Jones Outstanding Employee Award in 2000, Most Creative Idea Award in 2008, Teamwork Award and Most Positive Employee awards in 1995.

Patt is an avid outdoors person and naturalist. She enjoys hunting, fishing, writing, photography, gardening and beadwork (using roadkill porcupine quills).
Asst. professor of Wildlife Biology and Natural Resources Management
Grand Valley State University
Director of Outdoor Recreation & Habitat
Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation
Philip H Dietrich II, consultant and shooting instructor known for entertaining anyway legally and safely with a shotgun. Currently Director of Outdoor Recreation and Habitat at McGraw. He has managed Wing & Barrel Ranch located in Sonoma, Ca. catering to the heart of wine country. Prior at Five Star Plantation, the South’s Premier quail facility. And Before that he was the GM of Prospect Hall Shooting Club, a private hunting and shooting facility serving world class wing shooters of the Washington D.C. area. He is NSCA level II certified shooting instructor. Between coaching shooting and Dog handling, he loves being a slave to an age-old trade. He has a diversified professional background in land management, habitat & herd management along with shooting sports course layout and design. In addition, he was the Area Chairman of Eastern Panhandle of Ducks Unlimited when hosting the 2012 Federal Duck Stamp Vote. A graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia with a BS in Sports Management and a Business Minor. He was born and raised in Ohio where he was mentored by family and friends at an early age in the world of conservation through hunting and shooting sports. Phil enjoys hunting waterfowl, upland birds and anything with feathers using great dogs, the best shotguns with the finest of companions. He is committed to introducing educating and passing along the heritage and importance of hunting and shooting sports to the world of conservation.
Administrative Assistant (Project Lead at DJ Case and Associates)
CLfT
Professor, Plant & Wildlife Sciences
Brigham Young University
Wetland Habitat Biologist
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Randy is a Wetland Habitat Biologist within the Wildlife Division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Randy works with partners to deliver waterbird and wetland conservation in Michigan by securing funding, assisting with research, and co-administering a voluntary wetland restoration program with Michigan's Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. He is an Indiana native, but considers himself to be a Michigander by default since he spent the majority of his life on the water at his family’s lake cottage in Van Buren County. He was introduced to wildlife conservation by chasing cottontails and whitetails in the fields of the Midwest with his father and uncle. He continues to explore public lands across the United States each year in search of adventure, challenge, and food. Randy received his Bachelor’s degree at Purdue University, completed his Master’s degree at Ohio State University researching northern bobwhite, and obtained his Ph.D. at Michigan State University studying movements and demographics of mute swans. Randy began as an Intern with CLfT in 2009 and has been instructing at workshops since 2010.
Lands Operations Manager
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Retired
I am retired from The Longleaf Alliance where I served as President from 2012 until 2020. Prior to my stint with the Longleaf Alliance, I was Director of Agency Programs with the National Wild Turkey Federation where I managed wild turkey restoration across the US and Canada. I have a BS from NC State in Wildlife Biology and a MS from LSU in Marine Science. With 46 years of wildlife and conservation related experience, I have worked all over the US and Canada on projects as varied as waterfowl and wetlands research, wild turkey restoration, and habitat restoration of wetlands and longleaf pine forests. I grew up in North Carolina hunting with my father, brother and cousins. I have been hunting since before i can remember although I did not start carrying a gun until I was 10. I am married and have a daughter and son, both of whom are avid hunters. My passions are my family, hunting (specifically turkey) and habitat restoration on our family farm in Duplin County North Carolina.
Associate Professor
Ohio State University School of Environement and Natural Resources
Robert J. Gates is Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Management in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at Ohio State University. Bob grew up and began hunting with his father in east central Wisconsin, after which his family moved to the hunting paradise of eastern South Dakota, where he received his B.S. in Wildlife Science from South Dakota State University. Bob’s graduate degrees were from Montana State University (M.S.) and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (Ph.D.). Bob’s travels have provided many memorable hunting, fishing and other outdoors activities that he has shared with family and friends in 19 states/provinces in the U.S. and Canada. He is most proud of passing on the hunting and fishing traditions to his younger brother Dale, and to his sons Eric and Jared. Bob is an avid bird hunter who most enjoys hunting pheasants and prairie grouse over pointing dogs (especially Brittanys) and also hunts doves, waterfowl and big game. Bob has taught classes and conducted research with graduate students for nearly 30 years, first at Southern Illinois University, and currently at Ohio State University. His research interests are primarily focused on ecology and management of upland game birds, waterfowl and other wetlands-dependent wildlife, and conservation of wetlands and early successional habitats. He has been a member of The Wildlife Society (TWS) for more than 30 years, serving as state chapter president in Illinois and Ohio, and President
Professor and Director, Institute for Water Resources Science and Technology (Retired)
Texas A&M University in San Antonio
RUDOLPH “RUDY” ROSEN, Ph.D., is a former Executive Director of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, where he served in the cabinet for the environment of two governors, and former director of the Division of Wildlife, Fisheries and Coastal Resources for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Rudy recently retired as Professor and Director of the Institute for Water Resources Science and Technology at Texas A&M University in San Antonio, as a Fellow of The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, and as Research Associate at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. He also served in international, national, and regional top executive leadership positions in the National Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited, and Safari Club International and its foundation. Rudy has served on over 130 nonprofit and government national and international boards, commissions and committees on fish and wildlife management, and has written over 500 articles, blogs and presentations on organizations, natural resources conservation, policy, and fundraising for conservation. He has often appeared before the US Congress and state legislative bodies to testify on wildlife and fish resource conservation matters.
Director - Retired
GA Wildlife Resources Division
Rusty Garrison served as the Director of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division from 2016-2020.
Rusty was with DNR for 20 years having served most recently as the manager of the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield, Georgia. He served in numerous other capacities, including Assistant Chief of Game Management, State Coordinator of Project WILD, and Chief of the DNR Mountain Search and Rescue Team. Before his career with DNR, Rusty worked for the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service for nearly nine years.
Rusty has served as a CLfT instructor since 2012. He has assists with classes mostly at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Georgia; but also teaches at Max McGraw in Illinois and at facilities in Colorado and Idaho.
Rusty holds the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences and a Master of Science in Wildlife Biology, both from the University of Georgia. He is active in his local community, having previously volunteered as a fire fighter and first responder for his county EMS. Rusty has traveled to over 75 countries while on mission trips and remains active in his local church. He is married to his wife Sue, has three daughters, and is a proud grandfather.
Extension 4-H Natural Resource Specialist
Clemson University
Rick wears many different hats at Clemson University. He serves as the state's Extension 4-H Natural Resource Specialist with primary responsibilities of leading the state's 4-H shooting sports program. He also serves as coordinator for the University's shooting sports program which provides over 40+ hands-on classes for Clemson students which include shotgun, riflery, archery and hunting courses. Rick also manages the University owned shooting facility and serves as head coach for the competitive and highly successful Collegiate shotgun team. Rick has a BS and MS in wildlife management from Clemson University. He is married to his wonderful wife, Melody, for 20+ years and has two sons, age 19 and 22. Rick enjoys hunting and fishing with family and friends and in doing his part in the conservation of our wonderful natural resources. Rick brings his shooting education skills and his understanding of the role of hunters in conservation to the CLfT program.
Kelly R. Thompson Professor of Quail Research, Dept. Chair of Natural Sciences and Professor of Wildlife Management
Sul Ross State University/Borderlands Research Institute
Dr. Ryan S. Luna is a Research Scientist with Borderlands Research Institute, Chair of the Natural Sciences Department, and Professor of Wildlife Management at Sul Ross State University. He teaches curriculum associated with the Wildlife Management program, and is a faculty advisor to the Range and Wildlife Club. Ryan’s interests focus on habitat use and foraging ecology. His primary research pertains to game bird ecology and management, control techniques for feral hogs, and mule deer population characteristics and habitat use.

Prior to joining BRI, Ryan obtained a PhD at Texas State University. While at Texas State, he was a Doctoral NSF Fellow working in a GK-12 program. When not in middle school classrooms getting students interested in science, Ryan was working on his dissertation which focused on body size, rumen-reticulum functions, and dietary nutrition of white-tailed deer. Prior to his doctoral work, he earned an MS from the University of Texas at San Antonio. During this period he worked for the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio performing behavioral assays on Rhesus Macaques. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University, Ryan worked as a Game Warden for New Mexico Department of Game and Fish until he returned to Texas to begin his master’s and doctoral work.
Dendrologist-Retired
Purdue University
I taught Dendrology, native shrub, and herbaceous I.D. at Purdue University for 30 years in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources. My classes were taken by sophomores to Graduate students studying Wildlife and Forestry. My goal was always to impress upon students the value of understanding the importance of plant identification in managing habitat.
My role in Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow is to teach and educate our participants to the best of my ability about wildlife conservation in our country. Every single workshop is a treat and I look forward to next season.
President
Pedder Solutions
Samantha previously served as Director of Business Development and Operations for the Council to Advance Hunting and Shooting Sports; Manager of Outreach and Diversity for the National Shooting Sports Foundation; and the Hunting Outreach Specialist for the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Samantha has spent her career focusing on improving contemporary R3 practices through each of these organizations. Samantha holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Penn State University, a Master of Natural Resources from Utah State University and an Master of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. Samantha is an avid hunter and angler, and a novice trapper. More and more of her time afield is being dedicated to pursuing waterfowl, however, she still annually reserves a week to spend time with family and friends pursuing white-tailed deer during Pennsylvania's rifle season. In 2019 Samantha adopted Jack, a silver Labrador retriever, who is keen on waterfowl, pheasant, dove, and treats.
Professor, Extension Wildlife Specialist
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Hunting is one of the things that defines me. I hunt for food, family, friends, dogs, challenge, exercise, education, memories, treasures, and fun! Most often, I hunt grouse, woodcock, pheasants, quail, ducks, geese, deer, and elk, but I have had the opportunity to hunt a wider range of species from Alaska to Namibia and several places in between. My mother taught me how to hunt and I have been hunting with my father on the opening weekend of the Wisconsin deer hunting season for 51 years. I am trained and certified in a dozen ways regarding firearms and hunting and CLfT is one way that I enjoy sharing the world of hunting with students and beginning hunters.
Professor Emeritus, Extension Wildlife Specialist and former Chair of the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Scott resides on 12 acres of restored prairie in Oregon, Wisconsin. A native of New Hampshire, he earned an undergraduate degree from the University of New Hampshire and graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. He began hunting by following his father and grandfather around the mountains of northern New England in pursuit of deer and grouse. He has been hunting for more than 40 years for deer, wild turkeys, upland birds and waterfowl. Scott served as state leader of the Wisconsin 4-H Shooting Sports program for 13 years and is a certified instructor for rifle and shotgun. With the help of several colleagues and friends, he launched the Wisconsin Student Hunting Project in 1995, which received national recognition several years later; it is the model on which CLfT was based. Scott has taught many wild game cooking classes and enjoys promoting game utilization. He is very active in The Wildlife Society and belongs to numerous other conservation organizations.
Director of Conservation Programs, Northeast
Ducks Unlimited, Inc
I grew up in Northern Ontario, and spent most of my time outdoors. I complete my Masters in Wildlife Science at Mississippi State. I am currently the Director of Conservation Programs, in the northeast, with Ducks Unlimited, Inc, a 501-C-3 not for profit. I have extensive professional experience in wetland and waterfowl ecology have have worked for DU since 2010 successfully writing and delivering of on-the-ground conservation projects that restored and protected >20,000 acres of critical wetland habitat in the Northeast Atlantic Flyway. I help deliver our conservation programs in 12-states in the northeast where I am part of a conservation delivery team of biologists, engineers, and fund-raising staff that cooperate to meet the goals of conservation partners. In addition to my experiences with DU, my prior work history and partnerships are diverse throughout the Central, Mississippi and Atlantic Flyways and include Bird Studies Canada, Delta Waterfowl, Mississippi State University, USDA- NRCS, Long Point Waterfowl, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. I have worked with a multitude of federal, state, provincial, non-government, and corporate partners in the Atlantic Flyway.

I am an avid waterfowl, upland game, turkey and deer hunter and spend a lot of time in the field with two yellow labs and working on our hobby farm in central NY.



Executive Director
Wildlife Leadership Academy
Sara Mueller is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University for her B.S. (Schreyer Honors College, 2014), M.S. (2016) and Ph.D. (2023) in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. Sara's past research has focused on aquatic ecology ranging from community interactions with invasive species, metabarcoding eDNA samples for aquatic organisms, and Brook Trout morphology. Through her work, Sara advocates for the integration of knowledge between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems; and encourages collaboration and cooperation across respective disciplines. Sara was also adjunct faculty at Penn State Dubois teaching natural resources policy and animal identification. Now, Sara is the Executive Director of the Wildlife Leadership Academy and oversees its mission of engaging and empowering youth in the conservation space (wildlifeleadershipacademy.org).

Chief Conservation Officer
Mule Deer Foundation
I am the Chief Conservation Officer for the Mule Deer Foundation and owner/principal of Beartooth Strategies, a private environmental consulting business focusing on public policy, public lands, energy development and conservation of fish and wildlife resources. Previous positions include Executive Director for the North American Grouse Partnership, Partner in Conservation First Enterprises, Senior Energy Advisor for The High Lonesome Ranch, Senior Policy Advisor for the Mule Deer Foundation, and Director for the TRCP Center for Responsible Energy Development. I spent 16 years working for the BLM and Forest Service as a wildlife specialist in Wyoming, New Mexico, and Oregon.. I earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Wyoming emphasizing on environmental policy and B. S. degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from the Pennsylvania State University. I am a TWS Certified Wildlife Biologist, TWS Fellow, Past President of the TWS WY Chapter, and the past Chair of the Editorial Advisory Board for The Wildlife Society’s magazine, The Wildlife Professional. I am former board member of the North American Grouse Partnership and I am a fellow of the National Conservation Leadership Institute. I reside in Red Lodge, Montana with wife, 2 kids, and 1 lab.
Hunter Education Coordinator
Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept
Steve Hall earned a BS in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University in 1981, and became a Colorado Hunter Education Instructor beginning in 1980 as part of his studies. Upon graduation, he was hired as Colorado Services Manager for the American Sportsman's Club for 2 1/2 years, and then worked for Colorado Division of Wildlife. In 1985, he was hired Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) in hunter education, then moved to Education (& Outreach) Director starting in 1988. While at TPW, Hall served as International Hunter Education Assn. (IHEA) president and as vice president and board member of the National Bowhunter Education Foundation for 12 years. He serves as ‘Huntmaster’ for the Texas Youth Hunting Program, which he helped start in 1996. He was inducted into both the IHEA and Texas Hunter Education Halls of Fame. After retiring in 2011, he served as executive director for two years with the Texas State Rifle Association and then as executive director for IHEA-USA for 2 ½ years. He returned to Texas Parks and Wildlife in August 2015 where he and his wife, Karen, of 36 years, chose to reside. They have a son, Ryan (wife Kelsey), and daughter, Sarah, and a new grandson, Keelan and granddaughter, Rylee. Steve is an avid bow hunter and fly fisherman and continues to volunteer to teach in many outdoor education programs.
Branch Manager - Certified Wildlife Biologist
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Tom Decker is the Branch Manager of the Communications, Analysis and Partnerships Branch for the US Fish & Wildlife Service - Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. Tom is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and has worked for USFWS for 10 years. Previously Tom worked for 15 years for Vermont Fish and Wildlife and 9 years for Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife holding several positions including Furbearer Biologist, Director of Wildlife, and Director of Operations. Tom is a life member of the American Society of Mammologists and a Professional Member of the Boone and Crocket Club. He has been a member of The Wildlife Society since 1988 and is a TWS Fellow and National Conservation Leadership Institute Fellow. Tom is a certified hunter education and trapper education instructor in Massachusetts and a hunting instructor in the Vermont 4-H Shooting Sports program. He is also a certified archery instructor in the National Archery in the Schools Program. Tom has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Worcester State University. He lives in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and spends much of his time gathering wild edibles and fishing, trapping and hunting moose, waterfowl, deer, grouse, pheasant, squirrels and turkeys.
Hunter Education Coordinator
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Tim is a 25-year employee of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Law Enforcement Division. Tim’s duties are the coordination of the department’s hunter education program. This program has expanded over the years to include many new and engaging educational programs such as Indiana’s - National Archery in the Schools Program. Tim was appointed the State Coordinator for this program in December of 2005. He is also the National Range Manager for the national archery tournaments hosted the National Archery in the Schools Program across the country. During Tim’s career, his involvement in the shooting sports and hunting has strengthened his abilities to lead the department’s outdoor education programs to a new level. With over 40 years of volunteering and working to promote outdoor activities. In 2018 Tim was inducted into the International Hunter Education Association – USA, Professional Hall of Fame Award while also receiving the Jim and Nancy Mahoney Hunter Education Heritage Award from the Indiana Hunter Education Association. Tim holds numerous training certifications from various organizations that promote and encourage the use of our great natural resources.
Associate Professor/Program Coordinator Natural Resources Conservation and Management
Paul Smith's College
Val grew up in a small town in Upstate NY and was an outdoors enthusiast at an early age. From the time she could say "zoologist", she knew she wanted to work with wildlife and conservation. She spent much of her time hunting and fishing with her family, who instilled an appreciation for wilderness in her and encouraged her love for wildlife. She completed her undergraduate at Cazenovia College, majoring in Environmental Studies. She then ventured to Murray State University for a Master's in Biology where she studied the impacts of roads on a population of copperheads in Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. She returned to the Northeast to Binghamton University for her PhD where she studied movement patterns and population structure of the eastern tiger salamander on Long Island. She then worked for 2 years at the Bronx Zoo as a Curatorial Fellow in the Herpetology Department and then spent a year working for the Wildlife Conservation Society studying bison in Montana. She taught at Green Mountain College, Keystone College, and Hocking College, and served as Wildlife Biology Program Director at each. She is now the program coordinator for Natural Resources Conservation and Management at Paul Smith's College. She is a certified Hunter's Safety Instructor for both archery and firearms. She has taught courses on Hunting History, Ethics, and Management, and Wild Game Preparation. She lives in NY with her husband, 2 kids, and 5 dogs.
Hunter Development Program Manager
GA-DNR Wildlife Resources Division
Walter Lane is the Hunter Development Program Manager for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GA-DNR). Walter has been a CLfT Instructor since 2009. He graduated from North Carolina State University in 1996 with a B.S. again in 1999 with a M.S. degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Science. He began working as a wildlife biologist with the GA-DNR in 1999 and worked on a habitat restoration project for northern bobwhite quail and other grassland songbirds. In 2001, Walter became the Project WILD Coordinator for Georgia and held that position for seven years before taking over as Program Manager of the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in 2007. Walter became the Hunter Development Program Manager for GA-DNR in 2010. Walter began hunting squirrels, doves, and deer with his uncles when he was a boy and has retained a passion for hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports. He began hunting waterfowl and turkeys after moving to Georgia in 1999. Walter has been married to a smokin' hot blonde from the NC Mountains for 12 years and they have two young boys who ensure there is never a dull moment in their lives.
Sergeant
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Conservation Enforcement Officer Sergeant, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Avid outdoorsman, education and outreach a passion.
Extension Professor
Mississippi State University
Dr. Wes Neal received his B.S in from Virginia Tech, and both his M.S. and Ph.D from North Carolina State University. He specializes in research on topics ranging from farm pond management to tropical fish ecology and management to sport fish genetic selection. Wes served as state Extension fisheries specialist in Arkansas for 4.5 years before joining the faculty at Mississippi State University in 2008 in the same role. He is an Extension Professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture at MSU. Wes is an avid angler and hunter, with a primary focus on connecting with nature and securing healthy natural meats for the freezer.
Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA)
Zachary E. Lowe is the Executive Director of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. He served as the Director of CLfT from 2009 to Aug 2021. He has a diverse professional background working within the disciplines of restoration ecology, research/extension, and conservation education. He holds a B.S. in Wildlife Science, a second in Fisheries and Aquatic Science, and a Ph.D. in Restoration Ecology from Purdue University where he maintains an Adjunct Faculty position within the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources. A native of the Midwest, Zach grew up as an avid outdoorsman and is passionate about hunting. He engages in trapping and fishing as the time and the seasons allow. Zach enjoys the culinary rewards of hunting and gardening and finds the preparation of game and local foods to be a year-round connection to the family’s seasonal harvest. Zach serves on The Wildlife Society's Editorial Advisory Board and assists with several national working groups dedicated to how hunting, angling, and trapping can ensure the future of conservation for the collective benefit of all things wild.