Ron's ethic and interest in nature was first kindled as a child in the dune country along the southeast shores of Lake Michigan. He attended Michigan State University and in 1970 and graduated with a B.S. in Limnology and Fisheries Biology. He was subsequently accepted into graduate school at Central Michigan University where he earned a M.S. in Aquatic Ecology (Biology) in 1975. While in graduate school, Ron was appointed the first Director of the CMU Elk River Aquatic Ecology Field Lab. He moved to Minnesota in 1975 where he was subsequently employed for 14 years as a Research Scientist and Director of the Surveys and Review Unit for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. In 1989 he accepted the position as the first Director of the St. Croix Watershed Research Station, a new environmental research facility owned and operated by the Science Museum of Minnesota. In 1999, Ron accepted a promotion to become Head of the Science Division for the Museum in St. Paul. In 2006 he was appointed as the third Director of the Lee and Rose Nature Center. Ron has over 32 years experience in field research and directing natural history based programs. His special interests include paleoecology, aquatic ecosystems, geology, and promoting the development of a public appreciation for nature.
Julie began working at Warner Nature Center in 2005 after moving to Minnesota from Chicago, Illinois. She earned a bachelor's degree in Public Policy/Environmental Science and Management from Indiana University and a master's degree in Environmental Studies from University of Illinois at Springfield. Julie brings a variety of experiences from the environmental policy and education fields to Warner Nature Center, including state and local government, international non-profits, nature centers, science museums, and environmental corporations. Julie coordinates all education programs at the nature center, including the volunteer and internship programs. Julie enjoys spending time reading, kayaking, birding and traveling with her husband and daughters.
Kirk Carter Mona
Outreach Coordinator/Interpretive Naturalist
Kirk has over ten years experience working outdoor education programs and began at Warner Nature Center in 2001. He has outdoor program management training from the University of Minnesota as well as a bachelor's degree in Youth Development and Environmental Studies. Kirk's past work experience includes time at Tamarack Nature Center, YMCA Camp Ihduhapi, The Girl Scout Council of Greater Minneapolis, Underwater World and St. Louis Park Schools. Kirk develops and delivers scout, off-site classroom visits, after-school clubs and park programs for Warner. He also developed many popular summer camps including Ultimate Survival, Fossils to Feathers, Canoe and River Challenge and Cryptozoology. Kirk's special areas of interest include astronomy, birds and youth development.
Interpretive Naturalist/Collections Coordinator
After graduating from the University of Georgia with degrees in English and Ecology, Kelly began her foray into environmental education teaching at Rock Eagle 4-H Center in central Georgia. Feeling the need to experience a real winter, she decided to move to north of the 45th parallel and become a graduate naturalist at Wolf Ridge ELC. The first northern Minnesota winter was an adventure and solidified her passion for teaching outside, no matter the climate. Kelly spent a year at Carpenter Nature Center working as a member of AmeriCorps. She then returned to the North Shore for a second year at Wolf Ridge. With three Minnesota winters under her belt, she is really looking forward to cross country ski season. If not having adventures geocaching, or watching college football during the fall, you'll be likely to find Kelly knitting or running, but never both at once as it is too dangerous. Kelly is really excited about joining the Warner team and having the opportunity to work with the raptors and continue teaching!
Interpretive Naturalist/Exhibits Coordinator
Kathy has been a naturalist at Warner Nature Center since 1995. She has a B.S. in Natural Resource Management/Environmental Education and Interpretation from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Kathy worked as a park ranger for the National Park Service for 13 years before coming to Warner Nature Center. At Warner, she devotes part of her time to teaching environmental education classes and part of her time to exhibit design and development, and computer graphic design projects. Kathy's special areas of interest include kayaking, wilderness skills, backpacking, block printing, and mosaics.
Interpretive Naturalist/Avian Coordinator
Paul has over 10 years of experience working in outdoor and environmental education settings, he started at Warner Nature Center in September 2004. Between stints as an educator at Camp Olson YMCA, Wolf Ridge ELC, Fort Edmonton Park, and Quarry Hill Nature Center he has also worked as a biological technician on projects ranging from songbird surveys in the jack pine forests of WI, to root analysis of prairie plants in Alberta, Canada. At Warner, Paul is responsible for the bird banding program, raptor program and the natural history collection that Warner houses in the Trailside Museum. During the school year, Paul focuses on teaching and his avian duties. During the summer he teaches summer camps.
Dave Johnson has been the site manager at Warner since 2005. Better known to locals as Davey, he has lived in the St. Croix Valley all his life. He's married with two daughters and says that being hired to work at Warner was exciting as it has all the things needed for family fun. Dave is the perfect fit for a site manager as it is the outdoors he enjoys most. Even though he's often out in the woods he says that staff and volunteers make Warner feel like family. He already has lots of fun memories. Away from work, he enjoys remodeling old houses, hunting and fishing and going to the family cabin.
Rosanne comes to Warner nature Center with over 15 years of administrative experience working at the American Composers Forum, Wilder Forest and in hospital scheduling. Coordination has always appealed to her and she applies her experience to the support of staff and programs at Warner. She's always lived a life in appreciation and respect of the environment and has never forgotten her first encounter with an owl one early snowy winter morning while cross country skiing as a child. She looks forward to supporting the programs for the school groups as the children learn and explore at Warner creating their own memories.
Ruth first started as a Trail Guide Volunteer at Warner and became interested in Warner's programs and its many talented volunteers. She joined the staff in the spring of 2012 to help with the coordination of the volunteer program. Ruth has many years of experience connecting volunteers and learners of all ages to the natural world through her work at various nature centers, camps, colleges, and community environmental education programs. She was the volunteer coordinator at a regional education center for the Audubon Society in Ohio and remembers fondly the many gifts and talents those volunteers shared and is excited to be a part of the same enriching experience at Warner. While in Ohio working at a small college, one her favorite activities was assisting with biology field programs to Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota where she helped introduce many students to the ecology of the Northwoods. Ruth is now happy to be living above the 45th parallel, and when not at Warner she is training or competing in dog agility, or possibly digging in the dirt, playing in the snow, hiking at a park, or finding time to run up to the BWCA or the North Shore.
Family Program Coordinator
Growing up camping and exploring the North Woods, Anne has always had a passion and respect for the outdoors and the environment. Since graduating from Colby College with a degree in history/environmental studies, Anne has spent the past eight years devoted to inspiring youth to appreciate and enjoy the natural word around us. She has worked with families and youth in Washington State, Colorado, and North Carolina in a variety of child care fields including environmental education, pre-school, afterschool, summer camps, ski-school, and teen clubs. Anne develops and teaches the family programs at Warner. When Anne is not busy at work or being a mom, she enjoys camping, hiking, reading, and canoeing/kayaking.
Natural History Instructor
Monica joined Warner Nature Center in September 2011 as a school program and summer camp instructor. Monica studied Ecology and Communications at Winona State University. She has worked at Dodge Nature Center in West Saint Paul and Lowry Nature Center in Victoria, where she enjoyed sharing her excitement for invertebrates with students and families. When she's not hiking around with school groups or helping with events, she enjoys reading, drinking tea, and making pasta.
Natural History Instructor
Bekah has been a naturalist with Warner Nature Center since 2004. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota and is currently working on a Master's degree in Natural Science and Environmental Education from Hamline University. Before working for WNC, Bekah was the Youth Volunteer Coordinator at Minnesota Children's Museum in downtown St. Paul. Bekah is one of the naturalists children see when they come to WNC for a school field trip. She also delivers off-site programs at schools and local parks, and on-site scout and public programs. In addition to teaching, Bekah cares for the live captive animals that reside at WNC. Bekah's special areas of interest include nature photography, animal care, and child development.
Natural History Instructor
Geoff began his outdoor career right here at Warner in the summer of 1989 as the animal caretaker/groundskeeper after completing his B.S. in Renewable Natural Resources from the University of Arizona. He has worked on a part-time basis almost every year since, teaching mostly during the summer program at the nature center. He has also developed and taught programs for the Girl Scouts and the Edina Public Schools. During the school year, Geoff can be found leading groups for the Saint Paul Public Schools program at Valley Branch. Fishing is a past time favorite, along with playing sports (especially hockey) with his son.
Natural History Instructor
Megan's greatest love is nature and she has thirty years of experience as an interpretive naturalist. She was the Director Naturalist at Maplewood Nature Center for three years followed by 15 years as the Director Naturalist at Tamarack Nature Center with Ramsey County Parks and Recreation. Withdrawing from full time service for family, Megan shifted to Warner Nature Center as a part time interpretive naturalist in 1997. She has taught school groups, scouts, public programs, and birthday parties on many topics. Megan has a Landscape Architect degree from the University of Minnesota specializing in parks and recreation. Megan and her husband Chuck operate Balsam Tree and Shrub Care, a local tree care company. She enjoys spending time canoeing, sailing, skiing, hunting, and many other outdoor activities.