Hello everyone!

Welcome back to the BI blog. A new year has come and gone, and a new group of environmental educators have transitioned into the crests and troughs of island life. My name is Katie Savannah, and I will be sharing our experiences as naturalists with you this year. Things have been busy as usual here on our sweet island; what with exploring the salt marsh, caring for our many critters, and teaching countless groups of amazing kids, we’ve been hard at work! On that note, I am pleased to introduce our family of naturalists for the 2016-2017 year (ordered as pictured)!

 

  • Barrier Island 2016-2017

    Barrier Island 2016-2017

  • Bethany Gestring

    Bethany Gestring

  • A.K.

    A.K.

  • Emma Wells

    Emma Wells

  • Darien Lozon

    Darien Lozon

  • Grace Anne Martin

    Grace Anne Martin

  • Brice Maruna

    Brice Maruna

  • Walker Dillard

    Walker Dillard

  • Anna MacGregor

    Anna MacGregor

  • Laura Zuraw

    Laura Zuraw

  • Andrew Bailey

    Andrew Bailey

  • Will Skrobola

    Will Skrobola

  • Lydia Padgel

    Lydia Padgel

 

      Bethany Gestring

  • Hometown: Mafikeng, South Africa/ Anderson, USA
  • College and Major: Anderson University, Elementary Education
  • If you could be a vegetable, which one would it be and why? Broccoli, because they look like cute, little trees!
  • Favorite place you’ve visited. Victoria Falls in Zambia, Africa
  • Best animal encounter you’ve had: Branding goats & milking camels at a camel farm.

      A.K. 

  • Hometown:  Greenville, SC
  • What vegetable?  A cucumber. I’ve heard they’re pretty cool.
  • Favorite Visited Place:  Moab, UT (for mountain biking, hiking, and rappelling).
  • Best animal encounter:  Years ago I head a group of Barred Owls in my backyard, so my dad and I built them a nest box. They never came but just last spring we saw a little tiny Screech Owl that had moved in.

      Emma Wells

  • Hometown: Ellijay, Georgia
  • College and Major:  Berry College, Biology Major
  • If you could be a vegetable, which one would it be and why? I would be a zucchini grown in my Pawpaw’s garden. Why? Because it’s grown with love, and you can do so many things with them! You can fry them, grill them, and bake them into muffins and breads!
  • Favorite place you’ve visited: My favorite place I’ve ever visited is South Dakota! I loved the Badlands, and Mount Rushmore!
  • Best animal encounter you’ve had: I got to hold a koala when I was in Australia.

      Darien Lozon

  • Hometown: Cedar Springs, MI
  • College and Major: Cornerstone University; Environmental Biology major with a General Science minor
  • If you could be a vegetable, which one would it be and why? If I could be a vegetable, I’d probably be a sweet potato for reasons I cannot explain.
  • Favorite place you’ve visited: My favorite place I’ve visited is Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. The ecosystem is so unique, and there is an overabundance of really cool plants and animals there!
  • Best animal encounter you’ve had: I really enjoy watching the elk rut in northern lower Michigan. Their bugles are so pretty, they give me goosebumps every time. And you don’t realize how big they are until you see their hoof prints in the soil. They’re bigger than my hand!

       Grace Anne Martin

  • Hometown: Spartanburg, SC
  • College and Major: Centre College, Biology Major, Chemistry Minor
  • If you could be a vegetable, which one would it be and why? A tomato, which technically is a fruit due to it having seeds. They go into ketchup, pizza, spaghetti, soup, and my favorite, a summer, homegrown tomato sandwich with Duke’s Mayonnaise.
  • Favorite place you’ve visited: Jökulsárlón, a glacier lagoon in Iceland. I still get teary-eyed looking at pictures. Its beauty took my breath away.
  • Best animal encounter you’ve had: This past summer, my mom and I went Orca whale watching off the San Juan Islands in Washington. A male orca with a six-foot tall dorsal fin swam about 10 feet away from the boat and then it swam underneath us. I was able to also see a six-month old calf that breached (jumped fully out of the water) twice.

      Brice Maruna

  • Hometown:  San Diego, CA
  • College and Major:  San Diego State University, Sustainability Major
  • If you could be a vegetable, which one would it be and why? Potatoes, “boil em, mash em, stick em in a stew”
  • Favorite place you’ve visited: Mineral King, Sequoia National Forest
  • Best animal encounter you’ve had: I love to swim with sea lions – they are so playful and friendly.

      Walker Dillard

  • Hometown:  Charleston, SC
  • College and Major: Winthrop University, Theater Tech Major
  • If you could be a vegetable, which one would it be and why? Onions, because much like myself they are layered.
  • Favorite place you’ve visited:  Cape Canaveral to see the Space Shuttle Atlantis blast off for the last time. RIP NASA.
  • Best animal encounter you’ve had: A manatee in the estuary out here. I got to walk next to it!

      Anna MacGregor

  • Hometown:  Cheraw, SC
  • College and Major:  Presbyterian College, Biology major
  • If you could be a vegetable, which one would it be and why? If I were a vegetable, I would be a cucumber because of my love for Larry the Cumcumber from Veggietales.
  • Favorite place you’ve visited. Disney world! (I’m a huge Disney fan)
  • Best animal encounter you’ve had.  I got to feed giraffes out of my hands

      Laura Zuraw

  • Hometown:  Charleston, SC
  • College and Major:  North Carolina State University, Biology Major
  • If you could be a vegetable, which one would it be and why? I would be a carrot because its one of the few vegetables I liked growing up.
  • Favorite place you’ve visited: Rome, Italy
  • Best animal encounter you’ve had:  I was running in Texas and almost tripped over an armadillo.  I had been waiting to see one for days!

      Katie Savannah Amos

  • Hometown: Sebring, Florida
  • College and Major: Appalachian State University, Accounting
  • Vegetable: If I could be any vegetable, I would be okra. Raw, pickled, or fried, it’s always delicious!
  • Favorite Place Visited: Nashville, TN
  • Best Animal Encounter: One summer along the waters of the Florida Intracoastal waterway, a curious family of manatees swam up to our dock for a drink of hose water. They had a calf with them, and wanted a safe place to rest. I was actually able to get in the water and swim with them…the calf even swam right through my legs! It was the closest I’ve ever gotten to nature, and I will forever be grateful for that experience.

      Carrie Deese

  • Hometown:  Bowdon, Georgia
  • College and Major:  Shorter University, Journalism
  • If you could be a vegetable, which one would it be and why? A pepper, Some peppers are sweet, and some are spicy. I am sweet, but can also be crazy too.
  • Favorite place you’ve visited. Indonesia
  • Best animal encounter you’ve had. I held a shark once, swam with manatees, and I’ve held a baby bear!

      Andrew Bailey

  • Hometown:  Rockmart, Georgia
  • College:  Shorter University
  • Vegetable?  Pickles because they carry nickels
  • Favorite place visited:  Pacifica, CA
  • Best Animal Encounter:  I hiked down a cliff in Morro Bay, California to observe a colony of Sea Otters.

      Will Skrobola

  • Hometown:  Reidsville, NC
  • College and Major: Clemson University, Marketing Major
  • If you could be a vegetable, which one would it be and why? Tomato, cause I’m not really a veggie kinda guy.
  • Favorite place you’ve visited: Key West, Florida
  • Best animal encounter you’ve had: Clemson, SC Squirrels.  They’re just as weird as they come.

       Lydia Padgel 

  • Hometown: El Paso, Texas
  • College and Major: Hope College, Biology major and Writing minor
  • If you could be a vegetable, which one would it be and why? Carrot. They can be tough, or soft, or sweat, or savory depending on how you prepare them. Also, that was what Gilbert called Anne of Green Gables. 
  • Favorite place you’ve visited: Koyasan, Japan. Beautiful place.
  • Best animal encounter you’ve had: When I was on a night hike during my study abroad semester in Costa Rica I almost ran into a hummingbird sleeping on a low branch near the trail. It had all its feathers puffed out to keep it warm on the wet night and you could see its little heart beating.