The cadre of impassioned and informed professionals who serve as our workshop leaders will inspire you. They are knowledgeable and eager to share
the fascinating aspects of the rainforest that motivate their own personal interests.
the fascinating aspects of the rainforest that motivate their own personal interests.
Director of Education & Communications
Norfolk Botanical Gardens; Norfolk, Virginia
Donna Krabill has a B.A. from the University of Florida in Elementary Education with additional certification in music (a professional harpist), early childhood, and emotionally handicapped education. Her Master's in Curriculum and Instruction, through National-Louis University focused onstudent field studies at the canopy walkway site at Myakka River State Park in Sarasota, Florida. During her 17 years as a classroom teacher, she was selected as one of six teachers
internationally to participate in the JASON Project expedition to the Peruvian Amazon with Dr. Robert Ballard for JASON X. More recently, as Director of Education for Selby Botanical Gardens, she was widely acclaimed for an
outstanding poison dart frog exhibit of nearly 100 frogs. For over 9 years at Selby, Donna shared her enthusiasm for plants through the development of curricula for school field trips, summer camps, distance learning, special events for children, and was a regular member of the Amazon Workshop faculty. She uses inspirational moments on the canopy walkway to bring vision to her current role at Norfolk Botanical Garden where she directs a staff responsible for all of the education programs, interpretation, exhibits, volunteers, public relations, marketing, and community outreach.
DR. MARGARET LOWMAN
Chief of Science and Sustainability
California Academy of Sciences; San Francisco, California
Dr. Meg Lowman received a B.A. with honors in biology and environmental studies from Williams College, an M.S.
in ecology from AberdeenUniversity, and a Ph.D. in botany from the University of Sydney. Dr. Lowman is a pioneer in canopy ecology, particularly in the study of herbivory and plant-insect relationships. Her research spans over 30 years in Australia, Peru, Africa, the Americas, and the South Pacific using different research techniques including ropes, walkways, hot air balloons and construction cranes and is documented on her website http://www.canopymeg.com.
She has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications, and her first book, “Life in the Treetops,” received a cover
review in the New York Times Sunday Book Review. Prior to her position at the California Academy of Sciences, Dr. Lowman served as Director of the Nature Research Center at the NC Museum of Natural Science in Raleigh, NC. She also currently Vice President of the Ecological Society of America; Executive Director of TREE Foundation; on the Board of Directors for The Explorers Club; and Climate Change Adviser to Alex Sink, CFO of the Florida Cabinet. Prior, Dr. Lowman was Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies and Director of Environmental Initiatives at New College of Florida in Sarasota, Florida. She also served as Director of Research and Conservation and then Chief Executive Officer of Selby Botanical Gardens. Before joining Selby, she was a professor in Biology and Environmental Studies at Williams College, Massachusetts where she pioneered several aspects of temperate forest canopy research and built the first canopy walkway in North America in an oak-maple forest where she and her students studied canopy insects, plants and small mammals. She co-chaired the first and second International Conferences on Forest Canopies in 1994 and 1998 and she received the Achievements in Canopy Ecology award from her peers at the 5th International Canopy Conference in Bangalore, India. in 2009. Dr. Lowman was chief scientist for the JASON X expedition to the Amazon and has been involved with other rainforest expeditions sponsored by the JASON Foundation for Education.
DR. STEPHEN R. MADIGOSKY
Professor of Biology/Environmental Science
Widener University; Chester Pennsylvania
Director of Research; Amazon Conservatory of Tropical Studies (ACTS); Iquitos, Peru
Dr. Madigosky received his undergraduate degree in Natural resources Conservation from the University of Connecticut. He received his Masters and Doctorate degrees from Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana in
Resource Conservation, Biology, and Science Education. While in Indiana, Professor Madigosky conducted research at Indiana University in the Department of Paleobotany, studying the ecological habitats of ancient environments using
plant spore systematics. Dr. Madigosky currently holds a joint appointment in the Departments of biology/Environmental Science and Center for Education at Widener University. Aspects of tropical biology and conservation have been his focus for nearly two decades. As a researcher, he has been investigating the biochemical dynamics of select compounds in tropical plants and animals. The crux of his work centers on understanding how organisms obtain chemical protection from their diets. He also has been involved in trace metal research at the Louisiana State University Center for Excellence in Cancer Research. Most recently, he has been compiling a detailed climatic profile of the forest near the ACTS. He has obtained nearly one million dollars in grants over the past decade to support his research efforts along with educational programs to increase science literacy among K-16 teachers and students.
Curator, Invertebrates, Reptiles, and Amphibians
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden; Cincinnati, Ohio
Randy Morgan holds an M.S. in entomology from the University of Wisconsin. Mr. Morgan has a broad area of responsibility overseeing the Reptile and Amphibian exhibits as well as Invertebrates at the Cincinnati Zoo. Well known
among zoo professionals, he has a long career and many professional contributions to research, conservation biology, education, and the development of display methods. He maintains and breeds a diverse collection of live arthropods, predominantly insects, and a small menagerie of insectivorous vertebrates and uses these to create naturalistic public education displays at the Cincinnati Zoo. In 2003, his work managing a Leaf-Cutting Ant Colony earned the Zoo a Significant Achievement Award issued by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. This recognition was proceeded by other awards in 1999 for Bullet Ants, in 2000 for the long-term propagation of the Peruvian Fire Stick, and two
in 2001 for the long-term propagation and captive management of the Giant Water Bug. Mr. Morgan's fascination with insects is contagious! He dispels the common fears about these creatures, as he comments that insects are by far the
safest and least dangerous animals to work with in the zoo. Mr. Morgan led the JASON XV team of scientists in February, 2003 during their Rainforests at the Crossroads expedition to Panama and served as a JASON X researcher in the Amazon in March, 1999.
DR. DAVID (DAVE) PEARSON
Research Professor, School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University
Dave’s research is focused on using the interaction of ecology, conservation, ecotourism and education to develop methods that promote sustainable use of biodiversity. He has cataloged forty-five years of research and teaching in tropical forests around the world. Dave’s current research concentrates on a small group of insects—tiger beetles—in tropical lowland rain forests around the world. He also works on international environmental education exchanges for graduate students and elementary teachers and students that promote critical thinking skills and appreciation of cultural diversity. He is also the author of 11 books including the Travellers’ Wildlife Guide: Peru.
D. C. RANDLE
Biology & Wildlife Management Instructor
St. Francis High School; Saint Francis Minnesota
D.C. Randle has a B.S. in Biology from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. He has Special Education Certification from St. Cloud State University and is currently working on his Masters of Education with a science emphasis in classroom
instruction at St. Marys University in Minneapolis, MN. Mr. Randle is currently on the Education Committee of the Ecological Society. Prior to his current work at St. Francis High School, Mr. Randle taught at-risk students at
Crossroads School in St. Francis. He was selected, as one of six teachers internationally, to participate in the JASON V expedition to the Belize with Dr. Robert Ballard. He has held numerous board and teacher advisory positions with
environmental and education organizations. He is an active fundraiser for several of the cultural exchange and assistance programs in the Amazon. Further, he has participated in ongoing herbivory and leaf-tagging research and as a Teacher Researcher with the Amazon Rainforest Workshop over the last several years.
DR. LINNEA SMITH
Independent Physician in the Amazon Rainforest
Dr. Linnea Smith¹s medical career has taken her from a successful group practice in Wisconsin to an independent practice in the Amazon rainforest with an almost total lack of modern amenities. Her skills in internal medicine have not only benefited the local Yagua and Ribereño people, but also strengthened the relationship she shares with them. Though the people of the region have their own shaman, they have become receptive to the complementary skills of Dr. Smith's Western medicine. We will visit Dr. Smith's clinic during our workshop week. Check her website http://www.amazonmedicalproject.org for background.
DR. MOLINA (MO) WALTERS
Clinical Associate Professor
Arizona State University's Mary Lou Fulton Teacher College; Pheonix AZ
Dr.Mo currently teaches elementary and secondary science method courses, supervises elementary and secondary pre-service teachers. She is the coordinator for the TEAMS secondary science program, is the lead advisor for STELLAR (a club for educators seeking professional development in science), creator of a number of other science outreach initiatives for educators, students and families in school districts in and around Phoenix and active in Arizona environmental education statewide. She is also the co-chair of the Professional Development and Teaching group for the North America Association for Environmental Education and formerly a member of the AZventure
Advisory Council for Arizona Foundation for Resources in Science Education.
DR. PHIL WITTMAN
Rainforest Canopy Ecologist
Canopy Quest; Orlando, Florida
Dr. Phil Wittman completed his doctorate degree at the University of Florida. Based in Orlando, Florida, Dr. Wittman is a rainforest canopy ecologist and canopy walkway consultant with Canopy Quest. As an active member of Canopy Construction Associates, he completes site surveys, designs and builds platforms and walkways in forest canopies around the world. For over 20 years, he has been involved in environmental assessments, field research and collection expeditions in the jungles of the tropics ranging from South America to Australia. Of special interest is his work in the upper Amazon of Northern Peru where he was: a guest researcher on “JASON X-Amazon Rain Forest” studying the contents of the many bromeliads found in the forest canopy; part of an Earthwatch project “Amazon Katydids” describing many new species; on assignment for the CDC; and involved in field research rearing rainforest caterpillars and studying of the life cycles of Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths). Dr. Wittman can be seen in the National Geographic Society’s documentary “Rain Forests: Heroes of the High Frontier.” He was also a Research Associate with Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida, where he was active locally in central Florida - assisting in prescribed fires with The Nature Conservancy and plant surveys with the Florida Native Plant Society and volunteering with the Sea Turtle Nest Protection Program of Canaveral National Seashore.
Amazon Workshops Staff
Director, Amazon Rainforest Workshops
Christa has a degree in biology with emphasis in science/environmental education from Purdue University. As a middle school science teacher in Bexley, Ohio, she first traveled to one of the first Amazon Rainforest Workshops for Educators in 1993. Nearly every other year since then she has teamed with other science specialists to lead groups of students and teachers in hands-on rainforest field study trips to the tropics. She also works as a free-lance science consultant to Pearson Education, contributing to educator in-service workshops and training materials focusing on STEM and Understanding by Design in the middle school classroom.