Field Seminar Instructors
The Mono Lake Committee works with field leaders who have received high ratings from past seminar participants. Our instructors are experts in their fields, and bring enthusiasm and a unique perspective on the Mono Basin.
Santiago Escruceria is a Colombian-born American citizen residing in California for the past 30 years. He has taught environmental education, in Spanish and English, for the past 17 years, 12 of which he has spent with the Mono Lake Committee. At Mono Lake he manages an outdoor education program for Los Angeles inner-city youth. Santiago is an avid birder, leading bird walks in Colombia during the winter and walks for school groups and the public in the Mono Basin during the summer.
David Gubernick is a nationally published and award-winning nature photographer and workshop leader. Some of his exhibition prints can be seen at Gallery Sur in Carmel and the Ventana Inn & Spa in Big Sur. He provides fine art prints and stock images for the advertising, corporate, editorial, and home décor markets. His first photography book, Wildflowers of Monterey County, was published in 2002 and has been a best-seller, garnering rave reviews.
John Harris is a Professor of Biology at Mills College whose interest in Mono's mammals began in 1975 while working as an undergraduate assistant in a study of chipmunks. He went on to study
small mammals on Mono Lake's dunes as a graduate student and has worked on small mammals in the Sierra Nevada, San Joaquin Valley, and Mojave Desert of California.
Hannah Hinchman has written and taught on the subject of illuminated field journals since the mid-80s. Her book A Trail Through Leaves: The Journal as a Path to Place is used as a text in environmental studies programs. Her visual journal about Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front, Little Things in a Big Country, won the Mountains & Plains Booksellers Award in 2005.
Allison Horst is an avid plein air oil painter known for her ability to capture California's landscapes from the shores of the Central Coast to the peaks of the Sierra Nevada. She is an award-winning member of the Santa Barbara Artist Association and Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment (S.C.A.P.E.), and has shown her work in exhibits and galleries throughout the state.
Ann Howald was trained as a plant ecologist. She is a consulting botanist who focuses on rare plant surveys and conservation issues. Ann is also an active volunteer for the California Native Plant Society. She lives in Sonoma, and spends some of each summer studying plants in the Eastern Sierra. Ann's enthusiastic and personal teaching style make for very popular seminars; participants return again and again to learn about plants with Ann.
Richard Knepp is a veteran photographer and former resident of the Mono Basin. Rick has explored digital, color transparency, infrared, and zone system image making and printing. Working primarily with a 4x5 field camera, his first love remains black-and-white study of the land. He has studied with master printers John Sexton and Jim Stimson, teaches digital camera practices, photographic seeing and darkroom techniques, and directs and assists at workshops around the Pacific Southwest.
Lucy Parker is a descendant of the Yosemite Miwok, Mono Lake Kutzadika'a, and Kayasha Pomo peoples. She learned traditional handiwork from her mother, a master basket weaver, and passes on some of her knowledge in classes for the Mono Lake Committee, Yosemite Conservancy, Pt. Reyes Field Seminars, and many other venues around California.
Julia Parker is Lucy's mother and has dedicated her life to learning and teaching basketry as well as continuing the traditions of her people. She is one of the famous basket weavers of California, and the only weaver still practicing who was taught by women who wove in the early 20th century. Julia works as a cultural demonstrator in Yosemite National Park, and was named as a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2007.
Greg Reis has been the Mono Lake Committee's Information Specialist since 1995 And is the perfect guide for unraveling the Mono Basin's complex and fascinating plumbing. He has extensive experience in Mono Basin hydrology and restoration and keeps close track of Mono Basin water management. Greg's thoughtful, patient teaching style suits such a complicated subject well, and participants return to learn from him again and again.
Ane Carla Rovetta is a landscape painter known for her realistic depiction of our golden western lands. Her formal training was as a zoologist, and like the artisans of the European Renaissance, she is committed to the practice of art and science as kindred disciplines. Ane Carla has spent most of her adult life unifying the two in paintings, handmade art materials, and lively public performances. Her enthusiasm, humor, and care with her students bring many participants back for more of her classes.
Dave Shuford is an expert birder, avid naturalist and teacher, and a full-time ornithologist with PRBO Conservation Science's Wetlands Ecology Division. Dave's bird research has included over 16 years studying the ecology of Mono Lake's California gull colony and five years compiling an atlas of breeding birds in the Glass Mountain area. He regularly teaches classes with the Mono Lake Committee and at the Sierra Nevada Field Campus at Yuba Pass.
Steve Shunk started birding in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989 and moved to Sisters, Oregon, in 1997,
where he has studied the ecology of western forests for the last 14 years. Steve co‐founded the
East Cascades Bird Conservancy and served as its first president, and he now lectures and leads
birding tours across the continent. Steve recently completed the Peterson Reference Guide to
Woodpeckers of North America.
Greg Stock is the first‐ever Yosemite National Park geologist. He has a BS in geology from Humboldt State University and a PhD in earth sciences from UC Santa Cruz. A lifelong resident of the Sierra Nevada, Greg has studied and interpreted the geology of the Sierra Nevada for over 12 years. He has authored or co‐authored over 50 papers and abstracts on Sierra Nevada geology, and is co‐author of the book Geology Underfoot in Yosemite National Park.
John Wehausen has studied bighorn sheep intensively for over 30 years as a wildlife ecologist with the White Mountain Research Station in Bishop. He is the president of the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Foundation, and makes his living entirely as an independent research biologist working on bighorn sheep inhabiting the high mountains and deserts of California.
Stuart Wilkinson is a long-time Mono Lake paddling guide and veteran kayaker. He and his wife Sue own and operate Caldera Kayaks, and have been operating on Mono Lake for about 15 years. When he's not kayaking, Stuart assists with the monitoring of Long Valley Caldera for the US Geological Survey.
David Wimpfheimer has been educating and interpreting birds and the natural history of California for over 25 years. His connection with and love for Mono Lake started with educational work for the Mono Lake Committee in 1983 and continued as he rode in 11 Mono Lake Bike-A-Thons. He has worked with groups such as the Smithsonian, Point Reyes Field Seminars, the Oceanic Society, Wild Wings, and Elderhostel. David's seasoned focus and knowledge make for enjoyable and educational outings.
Richard Potashin, aka "Alkali Aspenowza," is a longtime Eastern Sierra resident and past Mono Lake Committee intern and canoe guide who has been discovering and documenting aspen carvings for many years. Nancy Hadlock has been a naturalist, interpreter and educator for the National Park Service and US Forest Service for over 30 years. She has also been studying Basque culture for many years, taking classes at the University of Nevada's Basque Study Center. She and Richard claim to have the largest Basque resource library in the Eastern Sierra!