Our Team

Click photos below to view profiles of our growing list of contributors:

Lang Elliott

Wil Hershberger

Beth Bannister

Carl Gerhardt

Marie Read

Bob McGuire

Ted Mack

Siobhan McClory

Drew Fulton

Laura Kammermeier

Melissa Groo

Lisa Rainsong

Lang ElliottMy name is Lang and I am the founder and director of old-miracle.mystagingwebsite.com. I am also a nature sound recordist, photographer, videographer, author, designer, pseudo-webmaster, all-round-good-guy, etc.

For the last twenty years, as the sole proprietor of NatureSound Studio (now called The Music of Nature), I’ve produced numerous books and compact discs celebrating the songs and calls of birds, frogs, insects, and mammals. To learn more about my work, check out my brief biography, which includes descriptions of several titles co-authored with other members of our team! I have also launched musicofnature.com, where you can purchase a growing collection of pure nature ambient recordings, available as digital downloads and compact discs (20% of the profits go toward funding old-miracle.mystagingwebsite.com).

I’ve always told myself that when I turned sixty-five, I would stop specializing in nature sounds and instead embrace all of nature, especially nature near at hand … the simple miracles that abound in our surroundings. So here I am doing just that, totally up to my neck in nature’s primordial soup, intent on recovering my childhood sense of wonder as I roam about collecting high definition video and sound recordings that will make our web site rock!

Wil HershbergerHello, I’m Wil, a nature photographer, videographer, and sound recordist. I own and operate Nature Images and Sounds, LLC with my wife Donna.

I have been interested in the natural world most of my life. Growing up in a rural community in the Mid-Atlantic area afforded me plentiful opportunities to explore the wonders of nature during my formative years.

Lang and I have been all over the eastern half of the US searching for sounds, especially the songs of insects. We published a book from those adventures, The Songs of Insects (now out-of-print, but still available), featuring 77 species and their wonderful stories. The material of the book is also available as an iBook.

I have been teaching natural history topics to groups for nearly 30 years. There is nothing like sharing the magic of the natural world with people and seeing there faces when they see something for the first time in their lives.

Beth BannisterHi! My name is Beth, and I have been sharing my passions for nature, photography and community involvement with youth for 22 years. My personal early nature educators were the woods, fields, farms and waters in Western NY, along with the family and friends who brought me there. I have taken classes at Tom Brown’s Wilderness School, learned tracking with Sue Morse and Paul Rezendes and studied the Art of Mentoring and Kamana with Jon Young at the Wilderness Awareness School.

I am currently working for Cornell University’s Cooperative Extension unit, where I organize after-school programs that involve exploring nature in the beautiful countryside surrounding Ithaca, New York. I am deeply interested in all aspects of natural history. For years, I have been enthusiastically working with Lang as an assistant in sound recording and capturing photos and videos, as well as with office work. So you can imagine that I am quite excited to join the Miracle of Nature team and busy myself scheming ways to connect youth and families to the beauty and wonder of nature.

Carl GerhardtHi, I’m Carl. I grew up in Savannah, Georgia and became a nature lover through an early interest in reptiles and amphibians. I still live my childhood dreams as a university professor who teaches animal behavior and herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians).

My research in acoustic communication in frogs, which has taken me to Australia, South and Central America, and Europe, has led to new discoveries about the evolution of communication and some of the underlying mechanisms. For more information about my academic work, check out my University of Missouri faculty home page and Acoustic Communication in Insects and Anurans, a scientific book I coauthored in 2002 with biologist Franz Huber.

My sound recordings of frogs and toads and a common friend and mentor, Dean Metter (who taught herpetology at Missouri before me), led to my initial connection to Lang and ultimately to our coauthoring of The Frogs and Toads of North America, a popular book published in 2009. I am interested in all kinds of animals and I love photographing them, but the ability of video to capture both behavior and sounds has made high definition video my primary focus. I look forward to contributing to the Miracle of Nature effort, and sharing my deep love of the outdoors.

Marie ReadHello, I’m Marie and I’m a wildlife photographer and nature writer. Please visit my website,marieread.com, to view samples of my work.

I’ve loved birds and nature in general ever since I was a little girl growing up in the English countryside, but it wasn’t until I began studying birds more than 25 years ago in East Africa that I became interested in bird behavior. Birds are really cool creatures with fascinating lives, and my main goal in life is to photograph them doing their thing! I’ve traveled throughout the world in search of beautiful birds to photograph, but many of my most compelling images come from my own backyard and within a couple of miles of my home near Ithaca, New York.

I’m thrilled to be part of the Miracle of Nature team, and I’m looking forward to sharing some of my best photos and videos on the website.

Bob McGuireHi neighbor!—(after appearing on “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,” I am allowed to say that). My name is Bob. Following my careers as a classroom teacher, artist, and welder, I have settled into the role of field biologist and nature sound recordist.

I am happiest of all outdoors, whether sailing, skiing, hiking, cycling, or counting birds. My wife got me into birding a decade ago, and now I wonder why I waited so long. I am especially interested in the variety of songs and calls associated with bird behavior and look forward to featuring the best of my field recordings and photographs on the Miracle of Nature web site.

Ted MackI’m Ted, a lifelong outdoors enthusiast. Nature has beckoned me since I was a kid catching butterflies, bumblebees, and other creatures in the back yard to scrutinize and release. Later on I had no binoculars but did acquire Eaton’s two-volume Birds of New York which got me out in search of birds.

My wife and I met Lang in 1969 when he was researching chipmunk behavior in the Adirondacks. Lang and I did some natural history excursions as far afield as Texas and in 1976 he got me involved with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife breeding bird surveys, two routes of which I still do. I attended the first natural sound recording workshop at Cornell, and in 1988 Lang and I began doing recording trips in this country with a later trip to Peru.

I am quite excited to join the Miracle of Nature team. While my specialty is nature recording, I plan to help out in whatever way I can. Since my childhood days, I have been very good at homing-in on the little miracles of nature that unfold in my surroundings. Thankfully, old-miracle.mystagingwebsite.com now gives me the opportunity to share my experiences with others.

Siobhan McClorySiobhan’s Description Coming Soon!

Drew FultonHi, I’m Drew and I’m a photographer and videographer with a passion for exploring the natural world. I’m an avid birder and lifelong naturalist and I bring that knowledge and experience to my photography and filmmaking. I like to go beyond simple aesthetics, crafting every image or video to be both visually stunning and tell a story about the subject.

My current project is Filming Florida, a documentation of my three year journey to tell the story of the natural landscape and biodiversity of my home state. It is a narrative of Florida’s wildlife and beauty, interwoven with my story of discovery and filmmaking.This is an unconventional and unique project, and it is my hope that you will visit my website, sign up for my newsletter and blog, and thereby join me on my journey as I dedicate the next three years of my life to exploration and storytelling.

Laura KammermeierMy name is Laura, and I’m a writer, birder, and wide-eyed traveler. I am also the creator and managing editor of sm” title=”link to Laura’s web site”>Nature Travel Network, a webzine committed to the art and science of birding travel. The content on the site showcases some of the best birding destinations in the world.

I find the process of nature discovery, that is, uncovering a simple biological being or fact for the first time, or still being amazed by it years later, incredibly motivating. I particularly like to photograph and write about birds…perhaps so that they may live free while their wildness lives inside of me. And I enjoy helping others to discover things on their own. Nature is awe. Nature is beauty. Nature is peace. When nature infuses a part of our everyday, we are better for it.

Currently, I earn the day’s bread by offering web and digital communications consulting to nature-oriented businesses. I also volunteer on the board of my local bird club (Rochester Birding Association), I am a founding secretary of the Ohio Ornithological Society, and I formerly worked with other bird-friendly people at Cornell Lab of Ornithology Project FeederWatch and Bird Watcher’s Digest.
I’m happy to be with other kindred spirits on Miracle of Nature’s team. I look forward to sharing vignettes about amazing birds and amazing places in the world.

Melissa Groo

Hello, My name is Melissa and my website is melissagroo.com. I’m am a nature photographer living in upstate New York. I worked for years at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, on elephant communication in their Bioacoustics Research Program, traveling to the deep rainforest of central Africa to study forest elephants in the wild. I remain involved in elephant research and conservation, working part-time for Kenya-based Save the Elephants. But these days you’ll usually find me out exploring woods, swamps, shorelines and open fields, trying to blend in, hoping to capture with my camera my favorite subject: wildlife.

Though I’ve always been drawn to animals and nature, my photography brings me deeper into that world, compelling me to visit places on the edge of wildness, and to sit quietly and observe. I am continually struck with wonder by the natural world and its profound mystery and complexity. In my photography, I primarily seek to capture the spirit or essence of a creature. It is my great wish that my images elicit a sense of awe and respect in the viewer, and that these emotions nourish the desire in all of us to protect these animals and their habitats.

I approach photography as fine art with the power to convey feeling and instruction. I am increasingly drawn to telling stories through my images, and to educating and exciting viewers about the natural world. I have a strong interest in conservation and ethical photography. Contact me with any project ideas, I am available for freelance and journalistic work.

Lisa Rainsong

Hi, I’m Lisa and I’m both a naturalist and a Music Theory professor at the Cleveland Institute of Music. An unusual combination? Perhaps, but I’m all about music – especially the earliest music on Earth.

Humans often forget that our music isn’t necessarily more important than that of any other species, and my educational passion is opening people’s ears and eyes to the songs of birds, crickets, katydids, and amphibians. As people become more familiar with our first musicians, I believe they will want to protect these beautiful singers and their concert stages.

When I’m not teaching in a conservatory classroom or performing as a professional soprano, I’m out in the field recording, photographing, and learning as much as I can about the flying and leaping musicians I love so much. I teach classes, present educational programs, lead hikes, and help people learn to recognize what they hear out in nature in any way I can.

I warmly invite you to follow my field discoveries, hear my recordings, and see my photos on my blog, Listening in Nature. I’m delighted to be a part of the Miracle of Nature team and look forward to contributing to this joyful, creative, and inspiring web site!