Evening Programs

Karen Ahlers

Karen Ahlers is a grassroots environmental activist known for her tenacious defense of Florida waters. She has worked independently for the past two years to protect Silver Springs and the Ocklawaha River from feared devastation the Adena Springs Ranch may bring. Karen served nine years as president of the Putnam County Environmental Council and now, in addition to her work as an independent citizen activist, serves as Executive Director for Florida Defenders of the Environment. She is the recipient of several awards including Florida Wildlife Federation's Conservationist of the Year, Florida Sierra Club's Oak Leaf Award, Florida Defenders' Outstanding Defender of the Ocklawaha River and, most recently, the University of Florida Levin School of Law's annual Public Interest Environmental Award. She also served as a delegate to the Florida Water Congress in 2008.

Doug Alderson

Doug Alderson is currently the assistant bureau chief for Florida's Office of Greenways and Trails. In 2007, he finished a three-year project scouting the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, a 1,500-plus mile sea kayaking trail around the entire state. He has authored several books, including Wild Florida Waters, Simon's Wondrous Garden and Other Stories, The Great Florida Seminole Trail, Waters Less Traveled: Exploring Florida's Big Bend Coast, New Dawn for the Kissimmee River: Orlando to Okeechobee by Kayak, Encounters with Florida's Endangered Wildlife. Additionally, his articles and photographs have been featured in magazines such as Sea Kayaker, Coast and Kayak, Wildlife Conservation, American Forests, Sierra, and Mother Earth News. He has won several state and national awards for his books and magazine features.

Daniel Alvarez

Daniel Alvarez After graduating from the University of Florida, Daniel Alvarez stepped on the Appalachian Trail and wound up walking from Georgia to Maine. He then skipped out of the last semester of Yale Law School to start the Pacific Crest Trail, hiked 200 miles, flew back for exams, then continued north until he hit Canada. After a stint as a lawyer, he grabbed his backpack again and hiked the Continental Divide and Hayduke Trails, then got the idea to kayak 4,000 miles from the northern tip of Minnesota to Key West. When he got to the end, he had no idea what to do next so he decided to paddle back. He still has no idea what he will do next, but is pretty sure it won't be working for a corporate law firm. Stories, photos, and videos of his adventures can be found at www.predictablylost.com

Lars Andersen

Lars Andersen, outfitter and paddling guide from High Springs, presents us with a pictorial preview of the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail. Lars leads most of the tours provided by Adventure Outpost, a North Florida outfitter. He is author of the North Florida Adventure, an educational audio cassette, self-guided tour of north Florida, and Paynes Prairie: A history of the Great Savanna. His Paddlers Guide to the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail compiles a lifetime of experiences and understanding of the area's cultural and natural history.

Katherine Archer

Katherine Archer visited Florida in 2002 and never left. In her own words, "I have and ongoing love affair with Wild Florida." A manatee fanatic long before she ever met one, Katherine wrote her first mandolin tune "Manatee Waltz" after her first encounters with the graceful water muse in Titusville. Katherine is a dynamic live performer, creating an intimate and powerful bond with her audience. With her trademark wry between-song humor, she weaves a musical journey through love, laughter, and tears. She is active in conservation efforts and performs regularly in St. Augustine and all over Florida.

Cynthia Barnett

Cynthia Barnettis an award-winning environmental journalist who has reported on water and climate change around the world. Her latest book is Rain: A Natural and Cultural History, longlisted for the National Book Award and a finalist for the 2016 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Barnett is also the author of Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water Crisis, which articulates a water ethic for America. Blue Revolution was named by The Boston Globe as one of the top 10 science books of 2011. Her first book, Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S., won the gold medal for best nonfiction in the Florida Book Awards and was named by The St. Petersburg Times as one of the top 10 books that every Floridian should read. Barnett has written for National Geographic magazine, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Discover magazine, Salon, Politico, Orion, Ensia and many other publications.

Big Cypress Bluegrass

Big Cypress Bluegrass is a traditional bluegrass band that began in 2006 with four members: Randy Slaughter on guitar and vocals, Kim Hiersoux on mandolin and vocals, Alan Everett on banjo, and Eric Daniels on bass. In 2007, Randy Lewis joined the group on mandolin and vocals. Big Cypress has played in the tri-county area of Dixie, Levy and Gilchrist Counties, Florida since 2005. They provide their own special sound of bluegrass to area events, schools, and local charities. They have been invited to play the past two years at the Perry Bluegrass Festival in Perry, Florida.

Sheena Brook

Sheena Brook is a singer songwriter with the ability to draw in her audience with her captivating voice and charisma. She has played all over southwest Florida with her unique mix of genres and styles. She has opened for artists like Gloriana, Josh Turner, and Kristian Bush with her original music.

Bill & Mary Burnham

Call them crazy, but Bill and Mary Burnham always thought work should be fun. For 15 years, these guide-book authors and kayak guides have combined the things they love — writing, hiking, paddling, and photography. Authors of Florida Keys Paddling Atlas and Knack Kayaking for Everyone, these American Canoe Association (ACA) instructors operate a kayak shop on Virginia's eastern shore in the summer and run Florida Keys trips in the winter, ranging from easy overnights to the annual 10-day Key Largo to Key West bucket-list trip of a lifetime.

Matthew Dunn

Matthew Dunn is Executive Director for Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches, the tourism information source for visitors to and the citizens of Flagler County, Florida. As the County's official destination marketing organization, the mission of PCFB is to contribute to the economic well-being of Flagler County and its citizens through the solicitation and servicing of group-related business, to promote the County as a first-class visitor destination, and to enhance Flagler County's brand and reputation. Matthew's past and present list of clients includes the PGA TOUR, ESPN, USA Crits, the Sports Management Research Institute, Team Florida Lacrosse, Reebok Spartan Race, Bassmaster, Florida Youth Soccer Association, UANA Pan American Masters Championships, and the Florida Bicycle Racing Association.

Bing Futch

Bing Futch has been playing Appalachian mountain dulcimer since 1986 and is one of the most high-profile performers of this uniquely American instrument today. He was a founding member of techno-punk trio Crazed Bunnyz, which enjoyed moderate success in the underground music scene with college radio and international airplay in the mid to late 80's. In 1999, he founded Americana band Mohave, a free-wheeling, good-timing collective of musicians that has performed at numerous festivals and county fairs, played to audiences at venues such as Hard Rock Live Orlando and the House Of Blues at Walt Disney World, and opened for national acts Molly Hatchett, Subject to Change, St. Somewhere, Wrong and The Crests, all while keeping the dulcimer front and center. Over the years, Futch has also worked steadily as a composer of music for film, television, theater, commercials, and themed attractions.

Willie Green

Willie Green is a Delta style bluesman. Born in Montgomery, Alabama in the early 1930s, he worked many years with a rural share crop family. Green learned the blues early on in his teens when he would hitch hike or hop a freight train to town to hear the old blues masters in the juke joints. He is self taught on both harmonica and guitar. Green has opened shows for John Hammond, Jr. (who calls him "the real deal"), Tommy Castro, Charlie Musselwhite, Maria Muldaur, John Lee Hooker, Jr., James Cotten, Eddie Kirkland, Joey Gillmore, JJ Grey (MOFRO), and many others including an outdoor opener at Veterans Coloseum for Eric Clapton. He now resides in Ocala, Florida and plays regularly at the Yearling Restaurant in Cross Creek.

Frank Gromling

Frank Gromling is an author, publisher, adventurer, conservationist, and entrepreneur. His active life has taken him to five continents. Obtaining his first boat at age ten, he has spent all but six years living, working and relaxing on or near oceans. Since 2000, Frank has been part of a unique research project with North Atlantic right whales. As project assistant, he organized and trained survey teams, established research protocols, supervised hundreds of volunteers, worked offshore on research vessels in US and Canadian waters, documented whale sightings, videotaped whale activity, and assisted with underwater whale vocalization recordings. He has conducted research on land, from boats, and in aircraft.

Magda Hiller

Magda Hiller's career as a musically diverse, intelligent performing songwriter has had her sharing the stage with Vangelis at London's Royal Alber Hall, & folk legend Odetta at the Ottawa Folk Festival. She's opened for or performed with acts as diverse as Bob Dylan, Chick Corea, Huey Lewis & The News, Dan Fogelberg, Al Dimeola, Richie Havens and Steve Forbert. Hiller has won "Best Acoustic Performer" and/or "Solo Act" awards for years from multiple Florida news publications. Hiller's music draws from fingerstyle guitar to jazz, blues, and country Americana, with rich earthy vocals.

Scott Jantz

Scott Jantz grew up sailing and canoeing the Great Lakes and rivers around Buffalo, NY. After a move to Jacksonville, FL, he became an avid sailboarder along the First Coast. High school and college years introduced him to scuba diving all around Florida and, later, kayaking our state's waterways. After many years of exploring Florida's springs around his North Central Florida home in Gainesville, he took the next step of entering the caves. Earning cave diver certification in 2009, Scott now has a couple hundred cave dives under his belt. He is drawn to exploring the inner beauty of our springs and their connection to Florida's fragile drinking water system.

Matt Keene

Matt Keene is an award-winning journalist and record-setting paddler based in St. Augustine, Florida. His writing, videography, and photography focus on environmental and social issues, particularly those affecting his home state of Florida. He has spent more than 13 months in a tent on various long-distance adventures, writing and raising awareness on wild areas, recreational opportunities and water and land conservation. Keene has hiked more than 3,500 miles, paddled more than 2,000, and holds the world record for being the first person to complete Florida's 1,515-mile-long Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail.

Robert Knight

Robert L. Knight, Ph.D. is an environmental scientist with more than 35 years of professional experience in Florida. He is the founder and director of the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute, a nonprofit program dedicated to supporting science and education necessary for restoration and wise management of Florida's artesian springs. Dr. Knight is an adjunct professor in the Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences at the University of Florida, where he teaches a graduate-level course on the ecology of springs. Dr. Knight is also currently active on restoration efforts for the Santa Fe River springs, Crystal River springs, Ichetucknee Springs, and Silver Springs, and is on the Board of Directors for both the Silver River Alliance and the Wakulla Springs Alliance, two citizen advocacy organizations.

Frank Lindamood

Frank Lindamood is the poster child for crafting authentic and traditional sound into new and original song. A resident of the flat woods of Sopchoppy, Florida, Lindamood is a life-long student of the likes of Leadbelly, Blind Lemon, and Jimmy Rogers. His songs ring with voices and voicings from the past. He's a bare-knuckled guitar player, a master of early 20th century banjo style, and a lucid but gritty bender of notes on his metal bodied resonator. His 2011 Gatorbone Records release, "Hewn From The Rock," is a solo masterpiece of original songs, whose no-overdubbing, no-pitch correcting, one-take production style salutes and honors the masters Lindamood has studied.

Annette Long

Annette Long moved from the Orlando area to Chiefland, Florida because she and her husband Mark spent so much time on the Suwannee River and in its springs. She's been a cave diver since 1989 and has watched the springs and rivers in North Central Florida change significantly over the last two decades. She became a serious environmental activist when she "discovered that it was not against the rules for a business or farm to completely wreck a first magnitude spring – even one that is the center piece of a Florida State Park." Annette got involved with Save Our Suwannee over 12 years ago and has served as its president on and off for about five years. She combines her love of boating, paddling, diving, photography, and science with a desire to change a system that won't move forward to protect our precious springs, lakes, rivers and estuaries.

Annabelle Lyn

The Adventures of Annabelle Lyn is a talented trio of swooning, crooning ladies from Tallahassee, FL. Kathryn Belle Long, Elizabeth Fravel and Holly Riley are multi-instrumentalists who have been playing, singing, writing and performing for the vast majority of their lives. Brought together by their common love of acoustic music, they have been entertaining audiences around the Southeast for years at venues such as: Spirit of the Suwannee, Florida Folk Fest, City of Tallahassee events, theatres, weddings, restaurants, listening rooms and parties. Many of their shows are themed with different adventure ideas including: The Wizard of Oz, The Siren Song, The Old Time Train Heist, American Woman, Taking It To The Street, Saving the Farm and A Walk on the Wild Side. Their shows are packed with heartfelt original songs, traditional tunes and crowd-pleasing covers sure to reach the ears, hearts and souls of listeners. The Adventures of Annabelle Lyn is currently working with Log Cabin Studios as they record their first studio album to be released Spring 2016.

Rod MacDonald

Rod MacDonald has performed publicly for more than 40 years, and released 14 albums in the U.S. and Europe. He is considered a folk singer although his music transcends the typical folk genre, straying into rock, pop, country, light jazz, and blues. Regarded as a prolific songwriter and a gifted singer, MacDonald's music embraces his obvious passion and personal commitment to communicating political and social events that effect and shape our world's societies. Since 2006, he has also served as an instructor for Florida Atlantic University's Lifelong Learning Center, conducting a lecture and performance series.

Mary Mangiapia

To celebrate earning a Master's degree in biology, Mary Mangiapia began a kayak expedition around the state of Florida. Over 1,500 miles later, Mangiapia became the first woman thru-paddler and the 14th person overall to complete the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail. The Florida native and veteran of several Watertribe races, including the 62-mile Ultra Marathon and the 300-mile Everglades Challenge, has been paddling since the age of nine. She has plans for future kayaking trips and hopes to inspire others to go on their own adventures.

Whitey Markle

Whitey Markle has been a fixture on the Florida music scene for over 30 years. His style of music, known as "Swampgrass," is a mixture of bluegrass, folk and country with a taste of old fashioned Florida Cracker thrown in for good measure. Whitey Markle and the Swamprooters have released two CD's, Cracker Blue and Hog Wild. Whitey has also written a book about his experiences in Florida called Whitey Markle's Recipes with Tales and Tunes.

Dr. Erich Marzolf

Dr. Marzolf joined the Suwannee River Water Management District in October 2012 as the Director of the Water Resources Division, where he oversees hydrologic, water quality, biological data collection and management, and GIS programs. Prior to joining the Suwannee District, he was a limnologist at the St. Johns River Water Management District for 18 years, working on lake, river, wetland, and spring restoration projects.

Robert Mattson

Rob is a Senior Environmental Scientist and has been employed at the St. Johns River Water Management District for ten years, after serving 17 years with the Suwannee River Water Management District. He leads the Biology Work Group in the Springs Protection Initiative Science program. Rob earned a Bachelor's degree in biology and a Master's degree in zoology from the University of South Florida. He is also an adjunct instructor in Environmental Science at St. Johns River State College. On his own time, he has become a serious student of naval history of the American Civil War and has authored and published a book on the Civil War Navy in Florida.

Rich Mistretta

Rich Mistretta is a well known and respected fixture in the Polk County music scene for over 30 years. Having played with blues, country, rock, top-40 new wave, disco, and acoustic bands through the decades, his solo acoustic performances blends a bit of all the above with pub-like presence and enthusiasm. Musical influences from David Gilmore, the Beatles, and Eric Clapton are evident in his style. Being a founding member and lead guitarist of the popular Sofa Kings band keeps Rich's music calendar rather full, however he eagerly makes room for solo performances, as he finds the one-on-one interaction of solo work is a much greater thrill for him.

Lucky Mud

From yodeling to rhythmic drumbeats, from soft, sweet harmonies to rootsy, wicked, belt-it-out swamp sounds, Lucky Mud makes "Mud Music!" Their latest release is PRIDE, and their music has taken them from yearly tours of Ireland and the British Isles, from Nova Scotia to Texas, and the main stages of the Florida Folk and Will McLean Festivals.


Patchwork is five women who like to play everything from original Florida folk, country, and bluegrass to forties swing and rhythm & blues, all on acoustic instruments. Featuring award-winning banjoist and fiddler Tammy Murray, the band hails from Gainesville, Florida, and performs at concerts, festivals, schools, clubs and parties throughout the state. They've even been known to call a square dance or two. They are a favorite at the Florida Folk Festival, where they have graced the main stage for over ten years. With the extraordinary harmonies and sisterly rapport that can only come from years of singing together, Patchwork's performances are a delight to see and hear. They bring a spirit of camaraderie and fun to all their appearances, along with the professional ease of fifteen years of playing together. For music that makes people feel like kickin' up their heels while managing to impart a little bit of history and education at the same time, Patchwork is an unbeatable combination.

Grant Peeples

Grant Peeples "I'm a vegetarian that watches NASCAR, a tree-hugger that keeps a gun under the car seat." So goes the introspection of Grant Peeples. This finger-in-your-eye styled songwriter, seventh generation Floridian and former ex-patriot, began his improbable touring career ("from Hell's Angels biker bars to Unitarian Churches") on his 50th birthday. "It's never too late to change your major," he says. His latest release, Punishing the Myth, produced by the legendary Gurf Morlix, has garnered critical acclaim and top rankings on the Folk, Roots and Americana radio charts. John Conquest, of Third Coast Music Magazine says "Grant Peeples is the only songwriter I have ever called 'ruthless.'"

Bill & Eli Perras

Bill and Eli Perras are performers of original, inspired, acoustic folk and blues from Deland, Florida. The many inspired lyrics interpreted by Eli, combined with Bill's bluesy finger-style guitar playing create a very uniquely modern take on true Americana music in its purest form. Receiving much recognition for their tightly woven musical creativity, and having shared the stage with many nationally recognized entertainers, they humbly remain true to their personal values. They speak out with strong heartfelt lyrics accompanied by soulful genuine pentatonic rhythms against social injustices, corporate greed, and daily follies in everyday life. They can grip your heart, search your soul, change a mindset, or softly strike a funny bone, all the while leaving the audience with a sentiment for the common good we desire in all mankind. Bill & Eli are regulars at the many Florida folk music venues and festivals and frequently travel the country sharing their music beyond the Sunshine State.

Greg Pflug

Greg Pflug has dedicated his life to the constant pursuit of outdoor adventures. He began this pursuit by thru-hiking the Appalachian trail, the Florida trail, and taking a summer to backpack 1900 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Shortly afterwards he discovered paddling. Greg has led hundreds of week-long paddling adventures from Alaska to New Zealand. He has worked as an outings leader for the National Sierra Club, Outward Bound, Into the Outdoors, and The State of Florida. Greg Currently owns and leads tours for Adventures in Florida and the Florida Canoe/Kayak Meet Up. He is also an elected board member on the Seminole County Tourism Development Committee. Greg spends an average of 30 weeks per year in the seat of a kayak.

Stephen Robitaille

Stephen Robitaille is President of the Board of Florida Defenders of the Environment. He has worked with FDE in various capacities dating back to 1981 when he produced the PBS documentary, Seven Ways to Kill the Suwannee, after being inspired by a talk given by Helen Hood, who headed FDE's Suwannee River Coalition. He later produced Archie Carr: In Praise of Wild Florida (1987, also in conjunction with FDE. Robitaille is an Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker and a full-time member of the English faculty at Santa Fe Community College, where he also teaches courses on media studies.

Tom Shed

Tom Shed presents "history, humor and the human condition" in an exciting evening of music. The Florida native, singer, and songwriter has written and played music for over 35 years. Shed performs at concerts and folk festivals across the US, including the Florida Folk Festival, Will McLean Festival, Gamble Rogers Festival, and Ravine Gardens Festival. Performing on guitar and banjo throughout the US, Canada, the Caribbean, New Zealand and Australia for many years gives him his unique perspective of life, love and truth. Shed has written and performed sound tracks for several films for television including Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and the award winning Archie Carr: A Naturalist in Florida. He sings humorous songs about alien abduction, experiencing unique southern hospitality while traveling, motor home mayhem on Florida's highways, and learning to appreciate your grandmother. Shed's music looks at questions facing all of us as we go through life: a questionnaire for marriage, the many faces of fear, dreaming of lost opportunities, and love at first sight.

Tessa Skiles

Tessa has spent her entire life around the springs and is driven by a strong passion to preserve and protect them so that future generations can enjoy them as much as she does. Tessa has a degree in Drafting and Design Technologies and a background in GIS mapping, marketing, event coordination, film, and photography. On her free time, she enjoys free-diving and nature photography. Both work and hobbies often take her to springs all over Florida, but she also enjoys traveling to discover new places and photographing all of nature's wonders, above and below water.

Sarah Mac Band

Sarah Mac Band Claire, Charlie, and Sarah Mac joined together in early 2005 aspiring to create original music that blended the unique styles that each brought to the group. The Sarah Mac Band offers an engaging combination of blues, jazz, and acoustic rock that has been classified as both Americana and Alternative. The band simply describes the sound as "jazzy, bluesy rock with a healthy dose of soul."

Mark Smith

For 17 years, Mark Smith has made Florida resonate in new ways for longtime residents and visitors alike. While his musical style reflects influences from country, rock, blues, and even pop, it's his lyrics that bring people closer to the mystical and complex place called Florida, and in doing so, closer to themselves. A regular at Florida's major folk festivals, Smith has enjoyed significant commercial and public radio airplay and has shared the stage with prominent regional and national artists.

Kathy Stark

A Jacksonville native and resident, Kathy Stark specializes in watercolor and oil painting. Her favorite subject matter is her natural Florida surroundings which she explores by hiking, kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking and dog walking. She recently completed a series of large even monumental watercolors of her area's amazing wild park system for her book and traveling exhibit titled The Wilderness of North Florida's Parks. A unique blend of art and education, the family friendly book and exhibit serves as a tribute and guide to the great unspoiled stretches of the North Florida region.

Raiford Starke

Colin Kenny is proud of his real name, but got stuck with the gallows humor of "Raiford Starke" long ago, branded by prison walls without ever having walked through their gates. At the turn of the century, Colin Kenny cut his first solo album as Raiford Starke, recorded in the Big Cypress swamp He's been selling Speak Me at his shows ever since, pressing a hundred at a time and moving thousands over the years with "Girl From Immokolee" becoming an underground country hit and veritable anthem of the region, so much so that in 2013 Raiford Starke has made a new video for the song and revived Big Cypress Records to finally release it online. Right now Raiford Starke is playing at some glitzy tribal casino or Joanie's Blue Crab shack in Ochopee. He's performing original music and renditions from a muddy American songbook. If it doesn't come out on Big Cypress Records or thereabouts, you'll have to travel through Florida's backwaters to hear it, because the man doesn't emerge too often. (--by John Stacey for Big Cypress Records).

Mac Stone

A Florida native, photographer Mac Stone spent his childhood exploring the swamps, prairies, and springs of North Central Florida. Over the years his photography has brought him from the wilds of the Amazon rainforest to the ranches of Wyoming, but he always finds his way back to his home state. He has lived in the Florida Keys working with the National Audubon Society helping to promote Everglades restoration efforts. Stone's projects are focused around the fragile Florida Bay ecosystem and the wildernesses surrounding the southern Everglades. Recently with a grant from Disney he produced a multimedia website, RestoreFloridaBay.com, highlighting the research of Audubon's Tavernier Science center in the imperiled River of Grass watershed.

Ken Sulak

Ken Sulak, Ph.D. is a research fish biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Gainesville, Florida. He is lead scientist for the Coastal Ecology and Conservation Research Group and leader of the Sturgeon Quest project aimed at developing scientific knowledge of the life history, population biology, and habitat requirements of the Gulf sturgeon in the Suwannee and other Gulf Coast rivers. Dr. Sulak has degrees in biology and marine science from Harvard University and the University of Miami School of Marine Science. He has 30+ years of experience in marine, estuarine and anadromous fish research and conservation biology. He has published extensively on fish community ecology, population biology, and endangered sturgeon life history and conservation biology. Dr. Sulak is involved in the scientific basis for conserving Florida's living and water resources.


Since 1992, Lee Hunter and Arvid Smith of Tammerlin have been placing their own stamp on folk/roots music. Always aiming to convey their passion for the story is the magic of their. What you'll hear is exceptional musicianship accompanying clever original songs and traditional tunes pulled from the roots of American music—a little bit folk, pop, country, old time, British Isles, and blues with some world music flavorings. Dirty Linen Magazine has described the duo as "captivating" and "one of the best kept secrets in America."

Dr. Laura Tiu

Dr. Tiu is a Marine Science Extension Agent with the University of Florida Sea Grant. Her areas of expertise include technology transfer, industry development, and environmental education. She works in Okaloosa and Walton Counties on a variety of projects. Her signature project is the development of an Aquaponics Community of Practice, a group of individuals learning together in the Panhandle. She is also working on a micro-plastic awareness project, a barotrauma research effort with the Destin Charter Boat captains, and a series of environmental awareness eco-tours with Panhandle Outdoor Live groups.

Margaret Ross Tolbert

Margaret Ross Tolbert is an artist based in Gainesville, Florida. Over the last twenty years she has executed series of paintings, drawings, and lithographs from studios in the US, France, and Turkey. Her commissions include projects for series of paintings with residencies in Turkey, Azerbaijan and Oman, enabling her to continue research for her series Doors and study of language and dance from the regions of the ancient trade routes. Another continuing focus is the springs of North Florida, whose paradisiacal presence provide a sense of ideal destination and the exotic in the here-and-now that counterpoints the sense of passage, time and journey implicit in the Door paintings. Solo exhibits include AQUIFERious, at Lemieux Galleries, New Orleans and Orlando Springs for the Orlando International Airport.

Mickey Thomason

Mickey Thomason earned a Bachelor's degree in Parks and Recreation from the University of Florida in 1990 and has been a parks and recreation professional since 1994 with the Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Greenways and Trails. He has also pursued graduate coursework in fisheries management, limnology, aquatic plant sciences and others at UF and served as a wilderness guide for at risk youth in Marion County. Thomason was one of the first employees hired on the Cross Florida Greenway when it was created out of the former Cross Florida Barge Canal project in the early 1990s and has worked in numerous positions during his career, from an OPS Ranger to his current position as Park Manager over the 70,000+ acre Cross Florida Greenway.

Dan Tonsmeire

Dan Tonsmeire has served both as Apalachicola Riverkeeper and as the organization's Executive Director since May of 2010. He began his tenure with Apalachicola Riverkeeper in 2004. Tonsmeire is passionately committed to saving not only the Apalachicola River, which is truly an American treasure, but to protecting and restoring the Apalachicola Bay, one of the last great estuaries left in America. Previously, Tonsmeire served as principal coordinator for the development and implementation of the Northwest Florida Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) program for the Northwest Florida Water Management District. Before that, he was the resident manager of a 1,250-acre Wilderness Preserve on Dog Island, Florida where he facilitated and coordinated research and program development for the Nature Conservancy. He graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Civil Engineering and currently holds a United States Coast Guard Ocean Operator's license.

Katie Tripp

Katie Tripp, Ph.D. is Director of Science and Conservation for the Save the Manatee Club. She received her Bachelor's degree from Eckerd College in Marine Science and her Ph.D. in Veterinary Medical Sciences from the University of Florida, where she conducted research on manatee physiology. She has worked as a manatee consultant for one of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Projects and as a biologist with FWC's Marine Mammal Pathobiology Lab, where she assisted with manatee necropies, carcass salvage, marine mammal rescues, and various research projects. Among her many honors, Katie was chosen as the Florida League of Conservation Voters' Betsy Wood Fellow and was a Ford Foundation and Morris K. Udall Scholar. At the 2008 Marine Mammal Health Conference organized by the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine and others, she received the Reep-Bonde Florida Manatee Biology and Conservation Award for her research that furthered the basic knowledge of fundamental manatee biology.

Florence Turcotte

Florence Turcotte is Associate University Librarian and Literary Manuscripts Archivist at the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida. She serves as the curator of the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Zora Neale Hurston Papers at UF. She also provides curatorial services for environmental collections, including the Records of the Florida Defenders of the Environment, the Florida Chapter of the Sierra Club, and H.T. Odum Papers. Flo is the author of the Arthur W. Thompson Award winning article entitled: "For this is an Enchanted Land: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and the Florida Environment," published in the Florida Historical Quarterly (90:4, Spring 2012). She also enjoys public outreach programs, book clubs, and, of course, birding and other outdoor activities.

Cheryl Watson & Watertown

Cheryl Watson and Watertown draws its music from the rootsy branches of Bluegrass and Americana, playing original compositions as well as their own inventive cover versions of songs. The band prides itself on strong vocals and creative instrumentals.

The Weeds of Eden

The Weeds of Eden have been performing together since 1994. They still pretty much get along most of the time. From Gainesville, Florida, the group plays shows ranging from small town festivals to Pagan weddings, circumcision ceremonies, dog wakes, street performances, foul smelling bars, and an endless string of political and bleeding heart fundraisers. The Weeds' sound is fundamentally folk-rock over a world beat foundation. In addition to the Weeds' original compositions, they cover hundreds of traditional, folk, R&B, Celtic, seasonal, and rock standards. The guys in the band particularly like cowboy and filthy pirate songs. The Weeds have appeared on the PBS television series "CD Highway" and several of their recordings are in the sound-track of the award-winning documentary Fish-Soup. The Weeds have played onstage with Rock Legend Bo Diddley and Nashville Singer Songwriter Pierce Pettis. More importantly, the band members collectively own 14 dogs.

Lon & Elisabeth Williamson

Lon and Elisabeth Williamson, musical partners and sweethearts for 35 years, are well known around the Sunshine State for their artistry as a duo, blending eloquent harmonies with accomplished musicianship. Add to that their dynamic repertoire of original, oldtime, jazz, swing, and bluegrass tunes and you have a show that you're not likely to soon forget. They are also members of The Gatorbone Trio with Gabe Valla, The Gatorbone Band with Gabe and Jason Thomas, and The Driftwoods with Gabe and Eric Searcy, based out of St. Augustine. When not on the road, the Williamsons spend time at their home in the Sandhills, where they write and record their own music as well as produce and record music of artists from all over the southeast.

Monica Woll

Monica married into Florida Bay Outfitters in May of 2000 when she and Frank had the Keys' first ever kayak wedding. Besides running the business, they also started Paradise Paddlers Club and pioneered the Florida Keys Paddling Trail. When Monica took a job as the Trails Specialist for the Overseas Heritage Trail for five years, she took an interest in Flagler's Overseas Railroad. She enjoys illuminating people that traverse the Keys, whether by kayak or bicycle, about the fascinating bridges that are reminders of this engineering wonder. She is also the Director of the Florida Keys and Everglades Region for the Florida Paddling Trails and a certified Florida Master Naturalist.

Rebecca Zapen

Violinist, vocalist, and songwriter Rebecca Zapen won Best Album & Song (cabaret genre) in the Just Plain Folks Awards 2009, receiving five nominations. A classically-trained violinist and versatile musician, Zapen was named Jacksonville's Musician of the Year in 2008. Career highlights include her performance as the musical guest on Public Radio International show Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?; original songs in a national promotion for Crocs Shoes; winning second place in the Bushman World Ukulele Video Contest, and her resulting endorsement with Bushman Music Works. Zapen was a Finalist in the 2007 Disc Makers, Independent Music World Series. Other highlights include appearances as jazz vocalist with the Hollywood Philharmonic Orchestra, and as the mandolin soloist in Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra's production of Mozart's opera Don Giovanni. She is an award-winning composer, earning the Silver Medal of Excellence for Best Use of Music in a Short Film at the 2008 Park City Film Music Festival. Her original songs appear in Look Both Ways, which won for Best Music in the 2009 San Francisco Seven Day Film Festival. As a session musician, Zapen has composed for and performed on recordings for soundtracks, television, public radio, theme parks, and various musical groups.