Here and there through these eyes



If you have ever heard me speak of my time on the Kirtland’s Warbler Research and Training Program, you would know how much it meant for me as a scientist and how it has changed my life. Long story short, if it wasn’t for the Kirtland’s Warbler Research and Training Program, Alma and I would not have had #LeonardoDavis. So this past week in Ohio for Saving Birds Thru Habitat’s trip to Magee marsh with Ronald Brown Academy students, Dave Ewert and I reconnected. Leonardo seemed pretty impressed as well. Dave still continues to do lots of different things, but for myself and the students that went through the program, I think it’s safe to say he will always hold a special place for us.

Great to see you Dave!


Dave Ewert meets Leo
Dave Ewert meets Leonardo


Leaders are special people.
During a recent interview I was asked what I thought made someone a good leader and to think of the best boss I have had and what made that person a great boss.

The first to come to mind was Eleanor Garraway-Phillips, of course. In my short time (4 years?) at The Nature Conservancy, I got to see her take the tough stance on several issues and stand up for her employees in the face of government and political will. Not only is Eleanor well able to keep her cool under pressure, but she is one of the most sincerely passionate earth warriors I know. Most importantly, she would get to know her employees and support our personal as well as career goals. Throughout my time with TNC she also helped to encourage me to see balance and take time with family when I could. Though I feel she was sad to see me go, “E” was especially supportive of my decision to return to school for my PhD. Thank you E.

Earth Day planting at the Hub Art Gallery on New Providence 2011
Earth Day planting at the Hub Art Gallery on New Providence 2011

Now I am at Miami University and while the University has its issues with diversity, there are pockets where anyone can feel included, like the Center for American and World Cultures. Here, I get to work with Dr. Mary Jane Berman and Jacqueline Rioja Velarde, two amazing women with an unbelievable amount of energy. The center does an incredible amount of work, but these two ladies are especially great at recognizing the work of everyone involved. From undergraduate and graduate student workers to community members who publicize their events, they always give credit where credit is due. I think this is especially important.
Thank you Jacque and Mary Jane!
Mary Jane and Jacque

You ladies are all super awesome and one day I hope to be able to follow your example!


Think about ants. They cannot see the soaring birds, why would they need to? Their lives consist of the path in front of them, following the scent trail of their fellow ants. Yes, occasionally one of them will get distracted and venture off on a solo adventure. Mostly though, their perception limits their world.

Look around you. Think about the people who go through their lives following the paths of their parents, older brothers and sisters, this graduating class just like last year’s graduating class. Think about the people who are trapped in the same organization or the same job for years and decades. Think about the way they told you there was no success outside of their realm of perception. Think about the ants and soar.

Speaking to the youths


Today was my last day teaching Social Media Plus for the Institute for Learning in Retirement…for now.Since Fall 2014, I have taught the most enthusiastic students I have ever had how to get in touch and stay in touch with friends and family while sonsidering the social implications of their actions and their personal security. The students are 50 plus years young and my oldest was 93 years old.

I have not had any teaching experience this rewarding. The teaching for this program is voluntary and unpaid, but if you want to see what a true student can be, when someone is learning because they are interested in a topic and not for a grade or a job, share something with this group. you will not be disappointed.

Here is some info for Oxford area people interested in teaching for ILR.

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The Miami University Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) offers non-credit programming for seniors, age 50+. ILR is a member-driven, self-supporting program. All instructors, speakers, board and committee members are volunteer.

ILR offers classes in five locations: Oxford, Fairfield, Hamilton, Monroe and West Chester. Courses are offered in a variety of disciplines, including: literature, writing, science, nature, horticulture, genealogy, photography, technology, art, theater, music, current events, politics, health, nutrition, sports, geography, history and religion. Five-week semesters are held each fall and spring, with each course typically offered once per week for a period of 75 minutes. This format is flexible and can be altered depending upon the instructor’s needs.

To propose a course for the upcoming spring semester—dates are March 28 through April 29—simply complete the ILR online course proposal form here:<<< end copied text


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