Taylor Abbott has become an avid birder after begrudgingly being roped in by a family member. He's been traveling the U.S. ever since looking for birds, visiting each of the 50 states. Taylor has a Zoology degree from North Carolina State University, and currently teaches science in Layton, Utah.
John Bellmon is a life-long birder. He helped organize the 1st Ogden Christmas Bird Count 30 years ago. He is founding president of the Wasatch Audubon Ogden Chapter-1981, and founding chairman of the Audubon Council of Utah-1985. He served on the board of Directors of the National Audubon Society as representative of the Rocky Mountain Region from 1998-2004.
is the Park Naturalist at Rock Cliff State Park. She is also a volunteer for HawkWatch International
and serves on the Utah Society for Environmental Education Executive Committee.
is owner of the Wild About Birds Nature Center
in Layton, Utah. He also guides birding tours to Deseret Ranch. Billy was recently hired as the new Eccles Wildlife Education Center Coordinator.
Annette Hansen after years of serving as a dedicated volunteer, Annette Hansen joined the HawkWatch International (HWI) staff as an Educator in 2016. Annette presents in high school biology classes across the state, helping to reinforce STEM concepts and a passion for raptors and our shared environment. She also provides local community programs and assists with HWI research projects whenever possible. Prior to joining HWI, Annette studied biology at Portland State University. Although she started birding late in life, Annette loves identifying, discussing, and watching birds. She believes in the need for everyone to be conservationists of our planet and its resources.
Mike Hearell has grown up as an avid waterfowler and has a passion for learning about and finding ducks. This background was easily converted to the world of birding.
Jim Van Leeuwen assists John Luft with the Great Salt Lake boat tours.
John Luft graduated from Kansas State University with a B.S. in Wildlife Biology. He has worked for DWR since 1994 at Ogden Bay WMA and Farmington Bay WMA as assistant superintendent. He is now the Project Coordinator for the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Project.
Tom Matthewson is a wildlife photographer from Davis County Utah.
started carrying a bird guide on her runs down the Provo River Trail to Utah Lake after noticing birds she didn’t recognize. The spark was ignited, and she has incorporated bird ecology into her environmental education work at Red Butte Garden
, the Natural History Museum of Utah
and FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake
. She currently heads the volunteer, education and outreach programs for the Utah Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and serves on the education committee of Great Salt Lake Audubon.
Terri Pope has worked as a biologist for the Division of Wildlife Resources since 2012. She is currently the Sensitive Species Biologist in the Central Region. Terri earned her Master's degree from Northern Arizona University and Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. Her research focused on how differences in habitat conditions affect avian behavior.
Dickson Smith graduated from high school in Louisiana and attended USU. He's lived in Florida, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Wyoming, Montana, Alaska and Utah. Dickson has always had a love for the outdoors and especially for birds - "I envied them that they could fly and I couldn't. I remember as a boy running across the front yard flapping my arms trying to take off and fly." Dickson's cousin introduced him to birding when he was 6 living in Oklahoma, showing him a pair of nesting Killdeer and how they did the broken wing routine. He was hooked. He started photographing birds years later while a police officer in Alaska. Dickson also enjoyed falconry - " I loved the relationship of being able to be a part of a hunting partnership with a hawk or a falcon." He still lives in Utah and enjoys the beauty the outdoors has to offer.
graduated from Weber State University in 2006 with a bachelors in zoology. While there he discovered his love for birds while taking an ornithology class and began working for the Avian Ecology Lab
. In 2009, after 4 years with AEL, he was hired by UDWR
as a biologist on the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program.