Programs & Events

Hummingbird Featured Speakers

Learn more about our panel of experts who will be featured at this year's 17th annual festival!
Terry L. Vandeventer Photo: Curt Hart
Programs & Events

Hummingbird Featured Speakers

Learn more about our panel of experts who will be featured at this year's 17th annual festival!

Dr. Douglas Tallamy

Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 84 research publications and has taught Insect Taxonomy, Behavioral Ecology, Humans and Nature, Insect Ecology, and other courses for 34 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His book Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens was published by Timber Press in 2007 and was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers' Association. The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014. Among his awards are the Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation and the Tom Dodd, Jr. Award of Excellence.

Southeastern Avian Research (SEAR)

Southeastern Avian Research (SEAR) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was established to promote the conservation and preservation of hummingbirds and other neotropical migrants through scientific study and education.  Located in Clarksville, Tennessee and under the leadership of HBSG crew member Cynthia Routledge, SEAR’s current projects include an ongoing winter hummingbird banding study, a hummingbird migration banding study and participation in MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship), a collaborative continent-wide breeding bird study that has been ongoing since 1989.

Southeastern Avian Research is delighted to have been invited to participate for a second straight year in the Hummingbird Migration & Nature Celebration, and honored to be able to continue the great tradition of hummingbird education and banding established by Bob and Martha Sargent and the Hummingbird Study Group. The SEAR team will be banding hummingbirds at two separate tents all three days of the festival.

Rob Mies, Organization for Bat Conservation

Rob Mies is a conservation biologist, bat expert, author, and Director of the Organization for Bat Conservation. He has appeared on many television shows including The Ellen Degeneres Show, The Today Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and Martha Stewart. Rob is the co-author of the first field guide to the bats of the United States and Canada, “Stokes Beginners Guide to Bats.” His research includes work with the endangered Indiana Bat of the United States, endangered Rodrigues Fruit Bat in the Indian Ocean, and the threatened Spectacled Flying Fox Bat in Australia.

Bob Tarter 

Bob Tarter received his degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Science from the University of Illionois, Urbana-Champaign. Bob Tarter worked for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for several years as a wildlife biologist and later with Ducks Unlimited and their waterfowl research program in North Dakota. Bob incorporated the Natural History Educational Company of the Midsouth (NHECM) to educate children about the natural world and reach out to others who may never have an opportunity to view and learn about these animals up close.

Shawna Adams 

Joining Natural History Education Company of the Midsouth (NHECM) in the Summer of 2015, Shawna Adams has been a teacher for 11 years for general science, biology and chemistry courses for grades 7-12 in West Tennessee.  She has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Biology, from Murray State University and also has worked as a vet tech for almost ten years.  She is passionate about the need to educate the younger generation about the natural world and practices this passion already with many “classroom pets” in her Bradford Elementary school room.  She has seen first hand how children (& adults) can learn and appreciate animals more by experiencing them up close.    

Deb Waz

The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science has four Outreach Educators that cover the state.  Deb Waz is the educator for north Mississippi, Jackie Henne-Kerr covers the delta/central region, Jessica Eaves the southeast and Sabrina Cummings the southwest. They travel their regions visiting schools, community groups, festivals, etc. informing the public about wildlife and endangered species in Mississippi. Each educator is a Project WET and Project WILD facilitator, helping teachers learn how to integrate wildlife and water education into their classroom. Their coworkers include an American alligator, snake, and turtles.

Heather Gallagher

Heather Gallagher is a naturalist and hummingbird bander at Warner Park Nature Center in Nashville. An honored Tennessee State Environmental Educator (2011), Heather supervises the education programming and oversees many projects, including historic structures and cemeteries in Warner Parks. She lives in Burns, Tennessee, outside of Nashville with her husband Kris and 4 dogs. 

Terry Vandeventer

Terry Vandeventer is the owner of The Living Reptile Museum Educational Productions, he regularly lectures at professional symposia across the United States and in several foreign countries.  A popular personality on television and radio call-in shows, Terry Vandeventer is also the author of numerous scientific and popular publications on snakes.  Formerly in charge of the Jackson Zoo Reptile Department, he now serves as Herpetology Field Associate with the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.

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