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Festival Speakers And Guides

Meet the Experts

Below are speakers and presenters who will be presenting at the 2024 Whooping Crane Festival!

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Ben Horstmann serves as the Regional Interpretive Specialist for South Texas State Parks. His addiction to birding was a direct result of moving to the Coastal...

Isidro Montemayor, Jr. is a Valley native from La Paloma, Texas who has enjoyed nature his entire life. Throughout his adult career, Isidro has been a Park Ranger...

Kristina Alexander is the Endowed Chair for Marine Policy and Law at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies. She has practiced natural resource law for...

Jennifer Leigh Warner is an award winning wildlife, landscape and conservation photographer living in Central Texas and specializes in creating meaningful images that...

Jace Tunnell is the director of community engagement at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. His...

Gene Blacklock is a student of Natural History.  He was born in Austin, Texas 1942. Blacklock earned a BS degree from Texas A &M University in 1970 (University...

Tony Clements was raised in Baltimore Maryland and spent 8 years in the USAF while stationed in Florida, England, and San Antonio, Texas before moving to Corpus Christi...

David Sikes is a product of a Catholic and Cajun upbringing. He grew up fishing, hunting and camping in the Bayou Teche area of South Louisiana. He is an Eagle Scout with...

Clay Taylor grew up in Connecticut and started photography back in the 1970s, when all cameras shot film and all camera settings were Manual. Auto racing and birds became...

Chris Corpus, Director of Conservation Chris Corpus oversees the Dallas Zoo’s strategy for conservation, with a particular focus on supporting community-based...

Ruth Hoyt is a full-time professional nature photographer, writer, public speaker, workshop leader, coach, and consultant with more than 30 years' experience teaching...

A Marine Biologist at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute for more than 35 years, Joan retired in 2013 as a Professor Emerita of Marine Science. She Grew up...

Dr. Dale Gawlik, Endowed Chair for Conservation and Biodiversity, Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Dr. Gawlik...

Carter Crouch, Director of Gulf Coast Programs for the International Crane Foundation. Carter Crouch is the Director of the Gulf Coast Programs for the International...

Anne Lacy, Senior Manager–North America Program Anne grew up in Madison, leaving to attend college in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. She received a B.A. in Psychology...

David Newstead, Director of Coastal Bird Program Dr. David Newstead began his career in bird conservation with the Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program 20 years...

Sara grew up and went to school in Charlottesville, Virginia, studying biology at the University of Virginia.  She never laid eyes on a crane, or at least...

Dr. Liz Smith, North America Program Director, International Crane Foundation Dr. Liz Smith is a native Texan and received her B.S. and M.S. degrees at Corpus Christi...

Born and raised in Texas, Scott Holt retired from a 35 year career as a Research Scientist at the University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute here in Port...

Mikael Behrens has been an avid birder and amateur naturalist since the early 1990s. He lives in Austin but is originally from Port Aransas and returns there often...

In 1973, when cranes were in a perilous situation and many were on the brink of extinction, George Archibald, along with fellow graduate student Ron Sauey, established...