Janelle Long – Executive Director
Janelle Long began her career as the Executive Director at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in August 2007. She received her M.Ed. in Environmental Education at the University of Minnesota Duluth and a B.S. in Wildlife Management and Biology at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Her interest in ornithology and conservation biology began by assisting several Ph.D. students with their field research studying neotropical migrants and grassland birds. She continued to share her passion for birds in the field of environmental education working at several Audubon Centers and for the Bureau of Land Management’s Yaquina Head Oustanding Natural Area in OR. She enjoys bridging the bird conservation research, education, and stewardship components through her career with Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. Janelle resides in Duluth, MN with her husband and 3 children.
Karl Bardon – Count Director
Although Karl Bardon has traveled around the country doing various field projects with birds, his favorite jobs are those spent counting birds. The road to Hawk Ridge has included such diverse projects as radio-tracking eiders in the Arctic, studying trans-Gulf migration from an oil-platform off Louisiana, and nest searching for Tapaculos in the temperate rainforests of Chile. When it comes to counting birds, Karl’s specialty has been waterbirds, having spent many seasons as the waterbird counter at Whitefish Point, Michigan, and Cape May, New Jersey. But after witnessing the awesome migration through Veracruz, Mexico as an official hawk counter in 2006, he has decided raptors are pretty cool, too. Karl joined the Hawk Ridge Staff as a Counter in 2007 and is currently the Count Director.
Noel Larson – Operations Director
She comes to us from Washington West where she studied Oceanography at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Noel was a curator in Bellingham’s Marine Life Center and a naturalist on a Orca whale watching boat. Since moving to Duluth in 2014 she completed the Master Naturalist Training course at Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center. For 10 weeks this summer Noel had a wonderful time teaching at Hartley Nature Center as an Environmental Educator Intern. She wants to continue to learn more and more about all living things in her new home town, Duluth.
She loves SCUBA diving, XC skiing, birch bark basket making, reading books and discovering new places along the shore of Lake Superior.
Margie Menzies – Public Program Director
Margie Menzies: One part educator, two parts naturalist, and two parts bird nerd! Who says slow and steady wins the race? After years in the formal classroom, this educator has abandoned the indoors for the great outdoor classroom. Margie is the naturalist at Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center up the North Shore in Schroeder, MN during the summer. There where she provides programs, camps, and bird banding; returning to Duluth for mail, laundry and grocery shopping! During the rest of the year she is a freelance naturalist and education consultant working on a variety of projects. She has also worked at Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth. She has a BA from Bethel University, and a MA from University of St. Thomas. Providing naturalist programming for the general public furnishes many colorful and meaningful experiences with every day on the job. She loves birds, learning, and sharing the natural world with people of all ages. Margie joined the Hawk Ridge staff as a Naturalist in 2011 and is currently the Public Program Director.
Frank Nicoletti – Banding Director
Frank Nicoletti grew up in New York State along the Hudson River where he started watching raptors at the age of 11. His passion for raptors and other birds fueled him to work at various locations including Cape May and Sandy Hook NJ, Braddock Bay NY and in Israel. From 1984 until 1996 he traveled throughout the country and conducted various raptor related projects which included nesting surveys, tracking winter raptors and migration work. He arrived in Duluth in 1991 to count raptors and to witness the invasion of the Northern Goshawk and he conducted the count until 2005. After moving to Duluth permanently in the fall of 1996, he conducted the first spring count of raptors migrating north in Minnesota along the West Skyline Parkway of Duluth. Frank continues to study raptors and has been concentrating on boreal forest owls and managing raptor banding sites. He has published a number of papers on birds and has helped with many authors working on books and articles.
He lives just north of Duluth with his wife, Kate and dog Chester. Frank joined the Hawk Ridge staff in 2011 as the Banding Director.
Clinton Nienhaus – Education Director
I grew up in a small southern Minnesota town called Winnebago. Much of my free time as a youngster was spent playing outside, whether it was baseball or fishing the Blue Earth River. My interest in birds started with observing a yellow-headed blackbird at my grandmother’s farm when I was young, alongside my affinity for nature and the outdoors. From my hometown, I headed to the southeastern part of the state to attend St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona. I graduated from there in 2013 with a degree in Environmental Biology and completed a thesis on population dynamics of a group of fishes called buffalo. While at St. Mary’s I got an opportunity to work with education birds and my experiences with them solidified my interest in birds and particularly educating the public about them! Currently, I am a graduate student at the University of Minnesota-Duluth pursuing a Masters in Environmental Education. Previously I have worked in prairie restorations in southwestern Wisconsin, as the summer naturalist at Tettegouche State Park, and most recently at the Lake Superior Zoo. Clinton joined the Hawk Ridge staff as the Count Interpreter in 2014. This year, thanks to a grant from the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation, he is serving as the Education Director for Hawk Ridge and Head Naturalist for Friends of Sax-Zim Bog.
Shannon Deputy – Education Trainee
Shannon is a Los Angeles native who recently graduated from Humboldt State University with a Bachelors degree in Zoology. She fell in love with raptors during her time volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation center where she would assist the veterinarian with injured birds. She has spent some time as a biological research assistant in Colorado doing wet meadow bird surveys. She enjoys exploring the outdoors, traveling, and being an advocate for women’s rights. Shannon is an Education Trainee with Hawk Ridge this fall season and is looking forward to the opportunity of sharing her knowledge of raptors and how to identify them in flight with school students and the public. She is equally excited to be learning more about raptors and other migrating birds from Hawk Ridge’s experienced staff and visiting birders. Shannon hopes to one day become a biology teacher.
Miranda Durbin – Bander
Miranda Durbin has lived in Duluth most of her life, growing up right below Hawk Ridge. She got her BS in Fisheries and Wildlife, with a specialization in Wildlife at the University of Minnesota. Her love of birds didn’t begin in earnest until an ornithology class and an internship at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Roseville helping in the avian nursery. After some traveling and time away from Duluth, she moved back in 2011 and began volunteering at Hawk Ridge during the 2012 fall season. She started volunteering in the banding station in 2013 and this will be her second year on staff as the Raptor Bander at Hawk Ridge.
Caitlin Johnson – Naturalist Sub
Caitlin grew up in St. Cloud, MN along the Mississippi River and spent most of her childhood playing outdoors in her neighborhood. Her love of the natural world led her to pursue a degree in Outdoor and Environmental Education from the University of Minnesota Duluth. While attending UMD Caitlin knew she liked birds but it wasn’t until, while working for Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, she was a handler of a Great Horned Owl and discovered her passion for birds of prey. Caitlin first came to Hawk Ridge as a volunteer at the overlook in 2010 and volunteered with Frank, banding raptors in the 2013 season. This is her 4th season as a naturalist at the ridge.
Caitlin enjoys teaching people about raptors and inspiring them to love birds as much as she does. She is currently going to school to attain her Masters in Education at the College of St. Scholastica and also teaches preschool at Hartley Nature Preschool in Duluth.
Anna Kennedy – Banding Trainee
Anna is originally from Half Moon Bay, California, just south of San Francisco. She received her BS in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology from the University of California, Davis. Prior to this traineeship, her bird experience has been in California, including point counting in tidal marshes around San Francisco Bay, nest searching in montane meadows of the Northern Sierra Nevada, and banding passerines in the Point Reyes National Seashore. Anna is really excited to learn about raptor banding and migration while working with the amazing staff and volunteers at Hawk Ridge, and she is eager to see many new bird species!
Julia Janson – Education Trainee
Julia Janson hails from Lebanon, New Hampshire. Her interest and passion for birds began at an early age. In 2014, she finally began working with birds of prey at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science where she served as an education docent. The following year, she graduated from Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire with a B.A. in English and a B.S. in Environmental Studies. Since graduation, Julia has worked for federal entities such as the National Park Service in Arizona and US Fish and Wildlife Service in New York. Now, she had decided to continue her interest in wildlife through working with non-governmental non-profits like Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. Julia is also an avid writer who enjoys reading science fiction and fantasy.
Alex Lamoreaux – Counter
Alex has spent many seasons in the field working closely with such charismatic birds as the Peregrine Falcon, American Kestrel, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Whimbrel, Flammulated Owl, Crested Caracara, and more! Alex is also a seasoned bird migration counter, with experience at sites from New York to Belize, and many places in-between. He also enjoys the opportunity to share his passion for nature through his wildlife photography. Alex plans to continue with migration research in the future. He was the Bird Migration Counter at Hawk Ridge in 2015 and has returned for another exciting season to help document the 2016 fall migration at Hawk Ridge.
Alan Moss – Owl Bander
Alan Moss grew up in a small town in the Florida panhandle. Although he has had an interest in ecology and birds in particular most of his life, he did not seriously consider it as a career path until he was in college. As his college courses reawakened his intellectual interest in ecology, he also became a passionate birder. After graduating from Florida State University in 2012, he has been working with birds on seasonal field jobs in locations throughout the US. One of his favorite field activities is banding birds, which is what has landed him at Hawk Ridge for this fall as one of the banding trainees in 2015. He is back this year as the Hawk Ridge Owl Bander and excited to experience fall migration again at Hawk Ridge.
Allie Quick – Naturalist
Allie grew up in Superior, Wisconsin and graduated from UW-Superior with a major in Biology, minor in Earth Science, and a certification in Information Technology Systems. Allie enjoys outdoor activities such as fishing, camping, canoeing, snowboarding, and bird watching. Her passion for birds (primarily raptors) started after she took an Ornithology class at UWS. She also was a biology tutor at UWS, which grew her passion for teaching. She hopes to pursue a career as an Environmental or Wildlife Biologist. Allie is returning for her third fall season as a Naturalist at Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory.
Allie Pesano – Banding Trainee
Growing up in the suburbs outside of Syracuse, NY, Allie never imagined she would find herself attending Unity College, a small environmental college located in rural Maine. Nevertheless, she fit into the natural world perfectly, exploring new hobbies such as hiking, canoeing, and rock climbing. In the spring of 2015 Allie graduated with a B.S. in Wildlife Biology, having worked various field jobs before and after graduating. After spending an exciting first field season studying Maine black bears, she discovered a passion for birds while taking different classes at school. Since then, Allie has monitored breeding Piping Plovers and Least Terns with USFWS, studied population demographics of Ammodramus Sparrows in southern Maine and NYC, banded birds during fall migration at the Rio Mesa banding station in Utah, and recovered geolocators from Vermivora warblers across North America. While at Hawk Ridge, Allie really looks forward to becoming a skilled and diversified bander, as well as learning as much as she can about avian ecology.
John Richardson – Count Interpreter
John Richardson hails from East Yorkshire in the UK, but has called Northern Minnesota home for the last 19 years. Enjoying his life-long passion for birds John is excited to be spending the fall up at Hawk Ridge on a daily basis as the fall Count Interpreter. After moving to Duluth a year ago with his wife and 3 boys, this will be John’s first return to the workforce for 6 years having been a stay-at-home-father. All 3 boys will be in school this fall, so he is looking forward to a slight change of pace!
Amy West – Count Trainee
Amy West is from Omaha, Nebraska. She received her bachelor’s degree in environmental science in English from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. Amy has long been a lover of birds. During her undergraduate, she had the opportunity to conduct an independent study on grassland birds, discover the world of birding, and build a passion for protecting the natural world. These experiences led her to want to pursue career opportunities in ornithology. By studying birds, she hopes to share her love of nature and encourage others to do there part in protecting it. This past summer her love of birds led her to work with the University of Illinois to study Dickcissel behavior and conduct prairie bird surveys. As the Hawk Ridge count trainee, she looks forward to seeing a great diversity of species, expanding her knowledge of birds, and working with the amazing staff at Hawk Ridge.
Emily Wilmoth – Naturalist
Emily Wilmoth is new to the Duluth area and is thrilled to have the opportunity to work at Hawk Ridge as a fall Naturalist. She grew up near Milwaukee, Wisconsin and earned her B.A. in Conservation Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013. She spent the past few years traveling all over the country doing field research and environmental education work. She tracked Greater Sage-grouse in Nevada, conducted grassland bird surveys in Missouri, and banded owls in Michigan. As much as she enjoys working in the field, her true passion is connecting children to the outdoors. She has worked as a naturalist and educator for several different organizations including nature centers and bird observatories. She traveled to the Russian Far East over the summer on a grant from the International Crane Foundation to teach science lessons to Russian youth. Emily is currently pursuing her Master’s in Environmental Education at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.