Our Team – Old Version

Below are brief personal profiles of the primary contributors to The Miracle of Nature effort. Note that we will be periodically adding to this list as we bring guest bloggers and others on board to help with our effort:

Lang Elliott

Lang Elliott

Lang Elliott

My 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. Some of my work can be seen here, including several titles co-authored with other members of our team! I have also launched a website called The Music of Nature, 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!

If you’re interested in learning more about me, check out langelliott.com!

Carl Gerhardt

Carl Gerhardt

Carl Gerhardt

Hi, 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 a productive and exciting collaboration with Lang and the rest of the Miracle of Nature team.

Marie Read

Marie Read

Marie Read

Hello, I’m Marie and I’m a wildlife photographer and nature writer. 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.

Since I started working with Lang in the early 1990s, my appreciation for bird sounds has grown considerably. I’m thrilled to be part of the Miracle of Nature team, and I’m looking forward to sharing some of my best photos on the website. You can see more of my work at www.marieread.com.

Wil Hershberger

Wil Hershberger

Wil Hershberger

My name is Wil and I am 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.

I met Lang in 1999 at an artist’s party. From there 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.

Having witnessed the explosive human population growth over the last few decades has increased my desire to capture and share the wonders of nature with others in hopes that they too will find our natural world worth protecting. Reveling in the wonders that are around us rather than lamenting the things that aren’t there … Wow, that sounds a lot like the Nature Study Ideal and I couldn’t be happier working with Lang and the Miracle of Nature team to bring compelling audio, video and personal reflections to our visitors.

photo of Beth Bannister

Beth Bannister

Beth Bannister

Hi! 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.

Bob McGuire

Bob McGuire

Bob McGuire

Hi 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 Mack

Ted Mack

Ted Mack

I’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.

Lang encouraged me to attend the first natural sound recording workshop at Cornell, and in 1986 we began doing recording trips in this country with a later trip to Peru. In 1996 I took a six month sabbatical from Paul Smith’s College (where I was the librarian) in order to record natural sounds from the prairies to Florida and the Gaspe with Lang. Occasionally we were together but more often in different states. We had no cell phones so we communicated through a third party as we crossed species off our “hit list”.

I am quite excited to join the Miracle of Nature team. While my specialty is nature recording, I plan to help Lang and the rest of the crew in whatever way I can … I am very good at homing-in on the little miracles of nature that unfold during all seasons in my surroundings!