Amazon Special Guest Lecturers

James Karr

May 1, 2015

James Karr is Professor Emeritus of Aquatic Sciences and Biology, and formerly the Adjunct Professor of Civil Engineering, Environmental Health, and Public Affairs, and the Director of the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Washington. He specializes in tropical ecology, ornithology, stream ecology, and environmental policy and has done extensive field work in Central and South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and New Guinea. In the 1980s he developed a biologically-based way to evaluate the quality of water resources, called the Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI), which is a tool now used all over the world. He has a B.S. from Iowa State University and Masters and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. He has also taught at Purdue, University of Illinois, and Virginia Tech and is the author of more than 300 scientific papers and monographs. 

Mark Garland

July 10, 2015

Mark S. Garland is a naturalist who has taught hundreds of classes, led thousands of field trips, and served as guide or study leader for over 200 tours to destinations on 4 continents. His 30-year career has included positions with the National Park Service and two Audubon Societies. He now runs his own business, planning and conducting nature education programs for a variety of organizations. He is an award-winning writer and for 15 years has served as Nature Editor for the Metro Connection radio program on WAMU, a public radio station in Washington, DC. His interest in nature extends to all subjects, but birds are a particular interest, and birds are a major focus of many of his tours and classes. He has twice captained a winning team in the World Series of Birding.

Nina Zitani

August 21, 2015

Dr. Nina Zitani bonded with nature as a young child growing up in a small historic New Jersey town with giant trees and lots of bugs.  During her first field season as an entomology graduate student she fell in love with tropical forests and their myriad creatures at the Área de Conservación Guanacaste in Costa Rica. After working throughout Costa Rica for nearly a decade, she began teaching a field course in the upper Amazon basin of Ecuador.  She holds a Master of Science and Doctorate in systematic entomology from the University of Wyoming.  Her published research includes discovering 15 new insect species of Costa Rica.  Other scientists have named six new insect species in her honor.  Currently she resides in London, Ontario where she is an advocate for the conservation of biodiversity both locally and globally.  In 2011 she launched a popular website about biodiversity gardening, or gardening to restore biodiversity using 100% native plants.  Monarch butterflies, Giant Swallowtails, and pollinators of all shapes and sizes frequent her family’s garden each year.  She has been teaching people of all ages for nearly 25 years, and is a part-time Assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario.  “Dr. Z”, as she is known to her students, relishes any opportunity to show scientists and non-scientists alike the astonishing biodiversity – plants, fungi and animals of all sorts – found in Neotropical forests.