2016-2017 PGAS Officers and Board of Directors

Below is more information about each Board member.

Lisa Bierer-Garrett

Hello, I am Lisa Bierer-Garrett, a local Naturalist and nature writer. I recently joined the PGAS Board to serve on local conservation issues and help with Outreach. I have been a long time Audubon member.  I have been a birder since I was a teenager growing up outside of Pittsburgh PA, when I first learned that there were other types of ducks besides Mallards! I was hooked seeing wood ducks and proceeded to photograph and explore the world of birds.

As a Park Naturalist, I have worked at many local parks and nature centers and have become a familiar face from my many wildlife programs at local schools and libraries.  I loved working with DNR's Scales & Tales programming with birds of prey, teaching folks about hawks, owls  and falcons. I have handled raptors for about 20 years as a naturalist as well as snakes, turtles and a variety of interesting wildlife critters. In early 2016, I earned my certification as a Maryland Master Naturalist with American Chestnut Land Trust as my sponsor site in Calvert County.

I currently work at Patuxent River Park in Upper Marlboro, MD where I often take visitors out on our the Patuxent River pontoon boat to learn about our Osprey Research and Wild Rice restoration projects. I am an active butterfly and monarch researcher participating in Monarch tagging, Annual Butterfly counts, as well as Bird counts and Project Feeder Watch.

When I am not working, I contribute a column called In The Wild to the local paper, Chesapeake Current. I am very active with the DC Environmental Film Fest in the Nation’s Capital, screening potential films and coordinating a slate of films annually for the Patuxent National Wildlife Visitor Center each March.

I live in North Beach, MD down in Calvert County to be near the Bay. My husband is a MNCPPC Park Ranger and a talented musician. We have a menagerie of rescue pets including a Cockatoo, Chinchilla, and a newly adopted Chihuahua.  We love to travel and have been to many US, Canadian and overseas adventures such as Iceland, Scottish Highlands, UK, and Costa Rica. Locally I like to bird with members of PGAS and as well as Anne Arundel Bird Club (MOS).

Maureen Blades

I’ve always been curious about the natural world.  My parents nurtured it.  Born in Springfield, MA, I remember burying dead birds fallen on our lawn.  As an adult, I made the tie to the DDT the city sprayed on our elm trees.  Our house in West Springfield was filled with fruit trees, shrubs, a garden, blueberry bushes – which drew birds.  My first “field guide” was a book of Audubon’s bird paintings.  If a painting wasn’t in it, we didn’t ID the bird.  I grew up catching lightning bugs, mucking about in creeks, collecting tadpoles at the local pond. 

After college, a call-in radio show about birds was a regular listening date in Baltimore.  The first thing hung at our Bowie house was a bird feeder.  In 1972, I met Carol Beyna at a program of the new Prince George’s Audubon Society, enjoying field trips led by Luther Goldman.  When our sons were in kindergarten, we were birding.  We monitored 2 bluebird nest box trails, traded officer spots, coordinated programs/publicity, arranged an ornithology course with Don Messersmith, and walked RR tracks for the Bowie CBC.  As The Roving Reporter, I wrote newsletter articles.  Even then, I couldn’t write short!

My 18-year career with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission started at Watkins Nature Center, ending within the Division of Natural and Historical Resources at Billingsley.  I was asked if PGAS would help them clean up an illegal dump site.  That partnership continues to this day, leading bird walks at what became the Fran Uhler Natural Area in 1987, as well as at other parks, and co-sponsoring our birding festival at Lake Artemesia.  An informal Luther Committee worked with M-NCPPC to help create the Luther Goldman Birding Trail at the lake.  As Past-President, I worked with PGAS members planting a Monarch waystation there, and am proud of the butterfly bench dedicated to Luther overlooking it.  Fledging seven Carolina Chickadees our first summer in the Smithsonian’s Nest Watch program was a treat.  This February, another was a tour of the Smithsonian’s renowned bird collection I organized. 

I continue to grow as newsletter editor, publicity coordinator, birder, and person.  Have binoculars, will travel - yet I never tire of backyard birds. Today, dozens of field guides line the shelves, I refilled five feeders, refreshed the bird bath, and watched a female Downy on my finch seed feeder.  It’s hard to get projects done when birds beckon!

Ken Cohen

I am a retired lawyer and a recent transplant (2014) to Prince Georges County.  During my early years in practice as a Federal Prosecutor for the Western District of New York I enforced the Migratory Bird Treaty Act with both corporate and individual prosecutions.  

I have been a bird watcher for over 50 years, primarily in the United States, and maintain life, state, and country lists as well as a yearly list.  I have been an active participant in Christmas counts and other bird censuses for over 25 years.  My first instructor was Donald Messersmith.   Harold Axtel, Robert Anderle, Richard Brownstein and William Vaugh also contributed to my education.  In the early 90s I taught an adult education ornithology class at the Buffalo Museum of Science and also led overnight field trips along both the north and south shores of Lake Erie. 

I have been a member of the Buffalo Ornithological Society and the Audubon Society for over 40 years.  The Buffalo Ornithological Society elected me to its board and also appointed me to several of its committees.  I rejoined the Audubon Society after relocating to Maryland.  During my tenure as president I hope to induce more of our members to participate in chapter activities and to assure our chapter supports the objectives of the National Audubon Society in continuing the enforcement of the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and government regulations protecting the environment.

Jeannine Dorothy

I started birding after college, when I began to travel.  I love ALL animal watching, but birds are the easiest to find.

I am an entomologist & have worked for the Md Dept of Agriculture for 35 years.  I also work on weekends at a historic mansion in Bowie (Bel Air), and play guitar in a colonial music group.

I have volunteered since 1979 at various places:  Smithsonian Insect Zoo, National Zoo (Reptile House mostly), Watkins Park, Patuxent Research Refuge and Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) – doing interpretation and leading nature/bird walks.  I became a certified Master Naturalist this year, after taking classes at ANS last fall

Claudia Ferguson

A native of Cuba, my life-long passion for nature, wildlife, birds, and bird migration started during early childhood while playing outdoors in tropical Cuba, then later exploring Patagonia when my family moved to Argentina. Having lived in five countries and travelled to many places around the world, I certainly can relate to migratory birds.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy from the University of Cuyo, Argentina, and earned a Master’s degree in Agriculture Sciences from the University of Costa Rica. I worked for agriculture research institutions in Panama and Costa Rica.

In 1989, I migrated to the United States. During my career, I worked five years for the Florida Department of Agriculture’s quarantine programs. Since 1996, I have been working with USDA-Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on plant health regulatory issues related to international trade, and I have been involved in domestic programs for the eradication of invasive species. I have comprehensive knowledge of agriculture quarantine program operations, principles, pertinent regulations, policies and procedures. This includes an in-depth understanding of plant health programs, their organizational structures and interrelationships. As a subject matter expert, I have been asked to represent APHIS at national conferences, meetings with a diversity of stakeholders, and to participate at bilateral meetings with foreign National Plant Protection Organizations.

Since I became a homeowner, I have enjoyed bird feeders in the backyard. I currently lives in Hyattsville, MD and my home is a National Wildlife Federation Certified Habitat for providing the four basic elements needed for wildlife to thrive: food, water, cover and a place to raise young. My second home is located in Pompano Beach, FL where I enjoy watching marine birds during long walks on the beach. I have been a Prince Georges Audubon Society member for several years.

Lynette Fullerton

I grew up with a love for nature that was instilled in me by my family and my years in Girl Scouts. But it wasn’t until after college that I began to realize that it was something that needed to be a big part of my life. I started volunteering at Jug Bay Wetland Sanctuary not long after college and quickly found myself involved in anything they’d let me do – water quality testing, reptile and amphibian surveys, assisting with the bird banding (even calling in ‘sick’ a few times when the need to be outside got overwhelming), fish surveys, leading canoe trips.

A lifelong learner, I have taken several classes in the Audubon Naturalist Society’s Natural History Field Studies certificate program. In 2013 I became a certified Maryland Master Naturalist and have maintained certification with volunteer hours and continuing education.

I love to travel, and most of my trips tend to have some natural history slant to them – favorites include my many trips to the Everglades, a trip to Costa Rica to help with a hummingbird banding project, traveling to Michoacan, Mexico to see the monarchs in their wintering grounds, and a Jamaican adventure that could have gone badly so many times but never quite did!

Karen Jackson

Nature has always provided me with pleasure and enjoyment. Birds have been my first love as a hobby since childhood. Growing up in Washington, D.C., I had the opportunity to go hiking every weekend as a child in Fort DuPont Park or Rock Creek Park.  Armored with my Golden field guide to birds gave me a head start. Travels to Europe and Africa allowed me to see many more new bird species. My most enjoyable trip was to Kenya in east Africa. While there, I also visited Amboseli National Park. That visit gave me my best birding experience. My next stop was to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and, from that point on, I have made birding my priority.  I got involved with conservation efforts when I noticed that many birds in the Washington metro area that were once abundant have declined. Today, I am a board member of the Prince George’s Audubon Society. I also volunteer at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History under Chris Milensky, Collections Manager of their bird research collections.  On a PGAS tour, we learned that after 35 years of data entry of over 600,000 specimens collected over the last 200 years, they were down to the last 90,000 records.  He said they could really use some help from local birding enthusiasts to get those entered in the next 5 years – and I have been helping ever since.

Beth Kantrowitz

I was born in Queens, New York and grew up there and in Nassau County on Long Island.  I attended Cornell University, majoring in biology.  Though I studied the
neurobiology of bird song and migration, I was not at the time a birder, and I was unfortunately completely unaware of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology in nearby Sapsucker Woods.

I moved to Maryland in 1990 to enter the first class of the graduate program in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology, where my Ecology professor was none other than Doug Gill, who turned me into a birder through class field trips to Cape May and Blackwater NWR.  I received my Master of Science Degree in 1992, and after working on the UM College Park campus for several years, returned to grad school to earn a Master of Public Policy degree focused on environmental policy.

My work history includes the Center for a Sustainable Economy, Defenders of Wildlife, Marine Conservation Biology Institute, and the Department of Commerce (NOAA Fisheries).  Since 2007 I have worked for the Environmental Law Institute. 

As a birder, I own a modest life list of 252 species and that's the only list I keep, with a note on where and when I first saw each.  I'm completely uninterested in any other type of list because birds recognize no barriers between counties and states and countries, and I'm far more interested in seeing a bird in it's typical habitat than as a storm-tossed rarity way too much gasoline is burned by birders rushing to see.  I have been a member of PGAS for nearly 15 years and on the Board for all but a year of that time, having served as President and now Vice President for a second term.  I created this website and have been the sole webmaster for over a decade.  Since the last election I have also been the Conservation Committee chair, focusing on national issues.

I live in Hyattsville with my dog Darwin.  As you can see from the photo, I am also a huge NY Mets fan (spring brings the return of both birds and baseball).  At night games, though, I look for Nighthawks.

Ikumi Kayama

I am the current Treasurer of PGAS. When not looking at and thinking about birds, I work as the founder and principal illustrator of Studio Kayama Medical & Scientific Illustration Services.

Birds have always fascinated me, but I'm pretty new to birding. Since no one in my family is a naturalist, I had the pleasure of discovering the world of birding and natural history on my own. It has been wonderful meeting and getting to know the PG Audubon members who are all so generous with their knowledge of birds. My interest in birds has lead me to be involved in citizen science and environmental research. One example is the Lights Out DC program where I go monitor DC neighborhoods early in the morning to find any birds that struck the building during migration season. Another is migratory bird research and bird banding. As a scientific illustrator, my job is to make science and nature more accessible and relevant to everyone. I look forward to combining my love of birds, scientific research, and accurate illustrations to introduce the importance of our environment.

When not birding, I work with surgeons and researchers to create educational illustrations on neurosurgery and orthopaedic surgery procedures. I was recently invited to NASA Goddard to illustrate their newest space telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope. My work has appeared internationally in juried shows, exhibits, textbooks, scientific journals, presentations, and websites. I also love giving talks and workshops on art, science, and scientific communication.

I look forward to meeting you in person at our monthly meetings or the bi-weekly bird walks at Lake Artemesia! You'll probably see me with my sketchbook. Until then, visit http://studiokayama.com for a virtual hello!

Kathleen Pape

bio coming soon

Teresa Watson

I have been watching birds most of my adult life.  When I moved to Beltsville, Maryland, in 1985, I was awakened the first morning by the wonderful sounds of birds.  It still makes me laugh to think about it.  I started buying more birding books, putting out food and water, and observing all the usual yard birds.  When I retired in 2008, I spent many hours walking my dog, Meghan, at Lake Artemesia.  I took my
binoculars along in case I saw something interesting.  There was a lot to look at.  It was on one of my walks that I met the late Helen Meleney, a fellow birder, who introduced me to the Prince George’s County Audubon chapter.  I admit I am really hooked on birding now and love spending time with anyone interested in birding. Come join us.


Questions or comments?  Contact the PGAS Webmaster at:  info@pgaudubon.org

last updated 11/27/2016