Gardening tools and watering can in a basket.

Arboretum & Audubon:
A Day of Birding Walks and Workshops

Saturday, May 18, 2019  7 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska MN

Advance registration is CLOSED.
Same-Day walk-ins will be available!
$99 member/$119 non-member, includes choice of sessions, morning coffee/snack, lunch & Arboretum admission

About Birding Day    

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Presenter Bios 

Featured Presenters


Jim Gilbert

Jim Gilbert is a home-grown Minnesota naturalist. He's well-known throughout the state and shares his extensive experience and knowledge via speaking events, radio shows and newspaper columns. His Phenology is a favorite Minnesotans. The publication tracks the arrival and departure of birds, blooming dates of plants, and other interesting notes of local flora and fauna.

Jim hosts the "Nature Notes" program on WCCO 830 AM and is the former Executive Director of the Linnaeus Arboretum and former Naturalist at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. He's also the author of Jim Gilbert's Nature Notebook, and Through Minnesota's Seasons with Jim Gilbert. Jim has been associated with the Freshwater Society and has provided the phenology information for the Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar since 1977. He has also contributed to All Seasons' member newsletter, Bird's- Eye View, for over a decade.

John Rowden

John Rowden has been working in avian conservation for 20 years, for the past 10 with Audubon. He joined New York City Audubon in 2009 to direct citizen science and outreach for the chapter throughout the city. In 2013 he transitioned to the National Audubon Society, first working on the Toyota TogetherGreen program that supported Audubon's community-based conservation efforts nationwide before becoming Audubon's Director of Community Conservation in 2016. His work at Audubon has focused on protecting birds by engaging new audiences in Audubon's conservation efforts, personally and through Audubon's extensive national network. He earned his PhD in Zoology from Duke University.

Matt Schuth

Having been associated with the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum since 1982 has given me the opportunity to work at a variety of tasks including managing the maple syrup production, working on wetland projects with graduate students, and helping to prepare and maintain research plots. I have set up bluebird trails, wood duck houses, and osprey nests, and recorded sightings of bird, mammal, and butterfly species for the Arboretum. I continue to write about the natural world for the Arboretum Magazine and do many nature walks and talks.
Author of Nature at Our Doorstep

Stan Tekiela

Naturalist, wildlife photographer and writer Stan Tekiela is the originator of the popular state-specific field guides such as Birds of (state name) Field Guide, Wildflowers of (state name), and Trees of (state name). Over the past three decades Stan has authored more than 130 field guides, nature appreciation books and wildlife audio CDs for nearly every state in the nation, presenting many species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, trees, wildflowers and cacti.

Holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural History from the University of Minnesota and as an active professional naturalist for more than 25 years, Stan studies and photographs wildlife throughout the United States and has received various national and regional awards for his books and photographs.

Also a well-known columnist and radio personality, his syndicated column appears in over 20 newspapers and his wildlife programs are broadcast on a number of Midwest radio stations. He is a member of the North American Nature Photography Association and Canon Professional Services along with many other professional organizations.

Alan Branhagen

Alan Branhagen is Director of Operations at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and previously held the position of Director of Horticulture at Powell Gardens, Kansas City's botanical garden. Alan is a naturalist and plantsman specializing in botany, butterflies, and birds, utilizing his background in garden design and management. He is currently creating and restoring a 2.5 acre natural garden around his home overlooking the Minnesota River Valley in Chaska where he has observed 120 species of birds in less than 2 years.

He is author of 

  • Native Plants of the Midwest: A Comprehensive Guide to the Best 500 Species for the Garden
  • The Gardener's Butterfly Book
Presenters and Walk Guides

Mike Billington

Mike Billington

Mike Billington is the Education Program Manager at The Raptor Center (TRC). During his 11 year tenure at TRC he has presented over a 1,300 live raptor programs, trained nearly 50 different raptors comprising of 13 different species, and he has taught the science of behavior, training and raptor care and management to numerous staff, volunteers, and visiting professionals. He is a former Board member for the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators (IAATE) were he chaired the Education Committee and helped write questions for the certification exam to be a Certified Professional Bird Trainer. Before joining TRC, he trained as an interpretive naturalist at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in northern Minnesota and he taught environmental education for two years as a guest naturalist in Argentina.

Don Curle

Don is a local photographer specializing in wildlife photography. His photos are regularly used on the Arboretum's social media pages and posted in the lobby at the Arboretum. He studied photography and graphic design at M.C.A.D and recently retired from a 40+ year career in the Printing Industry. He is a longtime member and visitor to the Arboretum starting in the 1960s. He has great respect for the Arboretum and the wildlife on the property and will discuss some of that during his presentation of photos taken out here at the Arboretum.

Amy Simso Dean with a group of birding kids

Amy Simso Dean

Founder of MYBirdClub (Minnesota Youth Bird Club), Amy is a birder and parent passionate about connecting with kids' natural curiosity about birds and nature. MYBirdClub is an after school club that engages elementary students in birding.

Julie Brophy

As a science writer with Journey North, a K-12 online education program, Julie engaged thousands of students and teachers in learning about the seasonal migration of birds and other species. A passionate local birder herself, Julie has worked with Matt Schuth at the Arboretum for years, and currently supports MYBirdClub as an instructor.

Wild Birds Unlimited - St Paul logo

Teresa Grimm

Teresa is the Manager of the Wild Birds Unlimited - St Paul store.

More details coming soon!

Carlyn Iverson

Carlyn Iverson

Data Visualizer for NOAA: National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Using data from scientists, satellite photography and other global imagery, I create visual presentations including animations, video work, gifs, infographics, and processed photos. You can see the work at


Gardening tools and watering can in a basket.

Tammi Mercer

Interpretive Naturalist at Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden

More details coming soon!


Erica Robinson

Erica Robinson

Erica has always had a strong passion for both photography and travel, but once merging the two together is where she found her true passion. After studying photography in college her first adventure was working as a photographer for a cruise line out on the ships. Trying to pursue a different genre she then worked with talented Boston wedding photographers while learning the technical side working for a local camera store. Photography is an incredible tool that allows us to stop a moment and relive it every time we look at that image. She genuinely enjoys teaching others how to capture that moment, to relive it over and over again.

Gregg Severson

Gregg Severson

I'm a birding guide based in Minneapolis. I've watching birds for a long time, but after I started eBirding in 2013, things really took off and I've been pretty hardcore since then. For my day job, I work as an Attorney Editor for Thomson Reuters (the new form of the old West Publishing company), but I'd rather just talk about birds.

Most of my personal birding in Minnesota is done by bike and transit. I don't own a car at the moment, primarily for environmental reasons, but I love to bike, so that is how I get around. If you are interested in birding but want to minimize your environmental footprints, bike birding is a great alternative to using a private car! In 2019, I am doing a green big year, where the only birds that count will be ones I see by biking, walking, and canoeing from my home.

I help to run a group called Minnesota Global Birders, which meets monthly to share and learn about international birding travel.
Learn more about Gregg

Gardening tools and watering can in a basket.

Steve Weston

Steve has been birding since his youth, and has led bird hikes and lectured on birds for over 20 years. While ornithology has been his primary area of study, Steve considers himself a naturalist and focuses on plants, insects, and animals as well. Steve has recently been surveying wetlands, frogs, Sandhill Cranes, and breeding birds, and is the Minnesota state coordinator of the Audubon Christmas Bird Counts.


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