Vernon Laux “Bird News”
Vern Laux is a bird expert, butterfly enthusiast, international bird tour leader, educator, radio commentator, columnist and author who also happens to love to fish. Vern has birded extensively all over North America, living in Massachusetts, Arizona, and Alaska and has spent time birding in virtually every other state.
He has written thousands of newspaper columns about birds and the natural world appearing in the New York Times, the Cape Cod Times, the Martha’s Vineyard Times, Vineyard Gazette, and Nantucket’s Inquirer and Mirror, published magazine articles in a variety of magazines including Birder’s World, Birding and Nantucket Today, and authored the book Bird News-Vagrants And Visitors On A Peculiar Island.
Passionate about wildlife, especially birds and butterflies, his favorite group are shorebirds, fabulous globe-trotting migrants that fly to the “ends of the earth” twice annually. Vern was the ABC News “Person of the Week” with host Peter Jennings, the last Friday in August, 2004 after finding the rarest bird in the Americas so far this century a Red-footed Falcon. He lives on Nantucket and is the Resident Naturalist, Land Manager and Education Director for the Linda Loring Nature Foundation.
For more than 20 years, Peter Alden has designed and led birding and wildlife tours, safaris and cruises to over 100 countries. A pioneering explorer, Peter scouted and led the first hard-core birding eco-tours to many tropical and southern hemisphere countries. His interests have widened from his original field of ornithology to include all visible biodiversity, conservation issues, historical changes in the landscape, climate change and the invasive alien plant and animal crisis affecting us today.
He is the author of 15 books on North American and African wildlife published by Knopf, Houghton Mifflin, Harper Collins, the University of Arizona Press and others which have sold over 2,000,000 copies. Peter also organized the first Biodiversity Day with Harvard’s Edward O. Wilson in Concord and Lincoln, Mass. and held on July 4th 1998, commemorating the day Thoreau moved into his cabin at Walden Pond.
Diane Boretos “Track and Sign”
After completing her Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst C. Diane Boretos, began her career in natural resource protection in 1981 as a Conservation Commission member in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
She served as the Conservation Administrator in Barnstable during its rapid development in the mid 1980s, implementing the state Wetlands Protection Act Regulations, and the local Wetlands Protection By Law. Diane was an Assistant District Coordinator for Vermont’s Land Use Plan, Act 250, which regulated projects such as ski resort expansions, black bear habitant protection, water supply withdrawal wells and sub-division projects.
For six years Diane was a wetland biologist with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Wetlands where she specialized in the wildlife habitat regulations, under the state Wetland Protection Act Regulations 310CMR 10.00. She has provided expert testimony on behalf of towns and states on wetland and wildlife issues and has authored numerous articles on wetlands and wildlife.
She is co-author of Stackpole Books’s Bird Tracks and Sign and editor of Wetlands by Paul Rezendes. She has extensive experience dealing with protection of endangered species under state and federal regulations. Diane has been tracking wildlife in New England and in the Rocky Mountains for 15 years and has studied with master trackers such as Jim Halfpenny and Paul Rezendes.
Diane teaches wildlife tracking programs for adults throughout New England. She is a certified Professional Wetland Scientist and the principal biologist and founder of Call of the Wild Consulting and Environmental Services.