This year’s AMI conference will welcome two inspirational keynote speakers-Grady Manus (AMI founding member and past president) and Chip Taylor, Founder of Monarch Watch. The conference committee is honored that both of these men will join us at Cuivre River State Park for the 2016 AMI workshop. Chip Taylor will provide the kickoff keynote with his presentation, “Monarch Butterflies: From Decline to Recovery”, and Grady Manus will provide a banquet keynote with a special message to AMI members and guests. As an added bonus, both speakers are providing a concurrent session during the conference. To register for the conference, click on the “Conference” tab at the top of the page. One-day registration is available, and each speaker is also providing a session at the workshop! For those unfamiliar with our keynote speakers, here are their bios:
Dr. Chip Taylor, PHD-Founder of Monarch Watch
Trained as an insect ecologist, Dr. Chip Taylor has published papers on species assemblages, hybridization, reproductive biology, population dynamics and plant demographics and pollination. Starting in 1974, Chip Taylor established research sites and directed students studying Neotropical African honey bees (killer bees) in French Guiana, Venezuela, and Mexico. In 1992, Taylor founded Monarch Watch, an outreach program focused on education, research and conservation relative to monarch butterflies. Since then, Monarch Watch has enlisted the help of volunteers to tag monarchs during the fall migration. This program has produced many new insights into the dynamics of the monarch migration. In 2005 Monarch Watch created the Monarch Waystation program, in recognition that habitats for monarchs are declining at a rate of 6,000 acres a day in the United States. The goal of this program is to inspire the public, schools and others to create habitats for monarch butterflies and to assist Monarch Watch in educating the public about the decline in resources for monarchs, pollinators and all wildlife that share the same habitats.
Grady Manus, CIT, CIP
Grady Manus has been involved with the interpretation of both cultural and natural resources for most of his adult life, serving at public and private locations. He has been a historic site administrator, natural resource manager, project manager and director, and served a dual role as Chief of Interpretation and adjunct professor at the Historic Daniel Boone Home and Heritage Center in Defiance, Missouri, owned by Lindenwood University. He has been certified as an NAI interpretive trainer (CIT) since 2007 and also received his NAI certification in interpretive planning (CIP) in 2009. Grady received his MFA in writing from Lindenwood University in December 2011. He has had pieces accepted by Poetry Quarterly, Haiku Journal, Tanka Journal, Four and Twenty, and Three Line Poetry.
Grady and his wife Lynn Youngblood teach the CIG course and do special programming and consulting work through their company, Black-eyed Pea Interpretive Services. They live on twenty-four acres of wooded hills with their dog and two cats. When not working or writing, they love to spend their time admiring their granddaughters and grandson.