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.
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.
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.
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.
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.