Crane Festival


Main Speakers:

Richard Beilfuss, Ph.D

Richard Beilfuss is the president and CEO of the International Crane Foundation (ICF). He joined ICF in 1988 while conducting his graduate research on the restoration of important crane sites in Vietnam and Mozambique. From 1992 until 2005, he developed and directed the ICF Africa Program, spearheading long-term efforts to restore the water-stressed Zambezi River Basin for people and wildlife, and contributing to wetland conservation efforts and capacity building in more than a dozen African countries. From 2005 to 2009, Beilfuss lived with his family in Mozambique, where he served as the director of scientific services for Gorongosa National Park. Beilfuss is a leader in the emerging field of environmental flows, which focuses on managing water flows to sustain rivers, wetlands, and the human livelihoods and well-being that depend on these ecosystems. He serves as a senior advisor to the World Wildlife Fund, as an affiliate of the Natural Heritage Institute on water issues, and as an adjunct professor in the College of Engineering of UW-Madison.

Noppadol Paothong

Noppadol Paothong is a nature/conservation photographer who focuses on documenting rare and endangered species. For over a decade, he has worked primarily on grassland grouse and their fragile habitat.

He is a staff wildlife photographer with the Missouri Department of Conservation and contributes his images and stories to its publication, Missouri ConservationistXplor, and many others. With a monthly circulation of over 500,000, the Missouri Conservationist is known as one of the largest and high quality state conservation magazines.

Concurrent Session Speakers

Dave Baasch – Director of Biological and Ecological Services, Platte River Recovery Implementation Program

Dave is in charge of directing adaptive management research on threatened and endangered species, including the iconic Whooping Crane, along the central Platte River in Nebraska. He received a doctorate degree in natural resource sciences from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2008. 

Andy Caven – Lead Biologist, The Crane Trust

Andy began working for the Crane Trust in 2015. One of his many responsibilities is conducting aerial crane surveys and is currently in his 4th year of conducting these surveys. Andy received his Master’s Degrees from the University of Georgia and Washington State University and has a background in long-term research and natural history.   

Patrick Farrell – Statistical Ecologist, Platte River Recovery Implementation Program

Patrick Farrell currently serves as a statistical ecologist for the PRRIP and performs statistical modeling and other analysis tasks in support of adaptive management research on several species of interest along the central Platte River in Nebraska. He received a Master of Science degree in wildlife science from Auburn University in 2015 and received a graduate certification of data analysis from Colorado State in 2017.

Alison Holloran – VP and Executive Director, Audubon Rockies

Anne Lacey – Crane Research Coordinator, International Crane Foundation

After Anne completed her graduate program in biology at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, she accepted a full-time position at ICF as a research associate in the Field Ecology Department, working on an on-going, long-term study of Sandhill Cranes. More recently she began working with the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership, of which ICF is an active member, to also study the ecology of the newly reintroduced Whooping Cranes in Wisconsin.

Erv Nichols and Sandra Noll

Erv Nichols and Sandra Noll travel extensively as lecturers and volunteers sharing their skills as naturalists, photographers and interpretive guides in a wide variety of national parks, U.S. Fish and Wildlife refuges, Audubon centers, etc. Whether teaching from a viewing deck or lecture hall, or leading bird walks, night hikes, or canoe excursions, their passion connects people with our nation’s special landscapes and wildlife. Sandra and Erv are regular volunteers during Audubon’s Nebraska Crane Festival.

Rachel K. Owen – Ph.D. Candidate, School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri; and Science-to-Action Fellow, National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey

Rachel is a fourth-year doctoral candidate studying wetland soil ecology. She previously received a master’s degree in plant science from South Dakota State University and bachelor’s degrees in agronomy and global resource systems from Iowa State University. She is interested in working on research at the intersection of agricultural and natural ecosystems, and hopes to pursue a career in natural resource and conservation policy upon completion of her Ph.D.

Andrew Pierson – Director of Conservation, Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary

Andrew is responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of Rowe’s conservation program. He received his B.S. in biological sciences, and has a strong background with at-risk wildlife through past employment with the U.S. Forest Service, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Jason St. Sauver – Community Education Director, Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center

Jason has worked for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and was the education manager and interim center director at the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center in San Antonio, TX, where he worked with people of all ages to share his love of nature.

He has spent over ten years educating youth on a variety of subjects from theater to wetland ecology, immersing students into the world of science, conservation, and environmental education with Audubon. A self-proclaimed “Birdnerd,” St. Sauver is also an avid birder.

Justin Stokes

Bill Taddicken – Director, Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary

Bill leads and oversees all Rowe Sanctuary programs on the 2,400-acre sanctuary and has worked extensively on conservation of the Platte River for Sandhill Cranes, Whooping Cranes, and other wildlife. Previous positions included assistant director and director of conservation. Bill has a B.S. in wildlife biology.

Call for Presentations

If you would like to be considered to be among the speakers at the 2018 crane festival, please fill out the form below and return to us.

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