As we enter our sixth symposium year, we are honored to include the addition of several professionals to advise on topics of ecology, biodiversity, sustainability and design for the symposium.
John Barber has served on the board of the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes for ten years, including two terms as Board President. He is on the board of the Ohio Bluebird Society and the New England Wild Flower Society in Framingham, MA. He is co-founder and co-director of the Friends of Lower Lake, a program of the Doan Brook Watershed Partnership.
John has been involved in citizen science for over fifty years, focusing on green space preservation, the recovery of Peregrine Falcon populations and the continuing recovery of the Eastern Bluebird. He is passionate about fostering biodiversity in our backyards and the Earth.
Becky Donaldson is the Mentor Marsh Naturalist and has worked for the Natural Areas Division of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for ten years. Mentor Marsh is one of the largest natural marshes and was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1966 for being one of the most species rich sites on the Great Lakes Shoreline.
Becky completed a yearlong Volunteer Pollinator Specialists training from OSU/Wooster in 2018. She obtained her degree in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University and attributes her love of the outdoors to growing up on a dairy farm where, after chores, she hurried to play in the creek.
Denise Ellsworth is the program director for the Honey Bee and Native Pollinator Education Program at the Ohio State Bee Lab in the Ohio State University’s Department of Entomology. Her areas of emphasis include bee health and integration pest management, pollinator identification, conservation and habitat enhancement, and plant and insect phenology. She also teaches farmers, gardeners and master gardeners across the state about the important role of pollinators and plants in sustainable gardening practices.
Every year Denise organizes speakers and programs for a rich, informative year of Volunteer Pollinator Specialists training for professionals and master gardeners.
Ann Rzepka Budziak is the Director of Arboretum Horticulture at Holden Forests and Gardens. In addition to regular garden maintenance, she collects and propagates seed for use within the garden and collaborates on projects that benefit pollinators and help maintain Holden’s commitment to the preservation of rare and endangered plant species. Ann is passionate about horticulture, sustainability, the mission of the Holden Forests and Gardens. and creating a culture that fosters lifelong enthusiasm and appreciation for our natural environment.