2023 Conference Speakers

Dr. Jeff Hoyer Jeff has a B.S. in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Ph. D. in Biology from Northwestern University and a Masters degree in Secondary Education from Northwestern University. He has spent the last 30 years teaching biology and environmental science at Deerfield High School and as an ecological restoration volunteer of the Chicago River, and in prairies and woodlands in area nature preserves. Jeff designed, built, and maintains one of the best outdoor classrooms in the country at Deerfield High School. The goal of the outdoor classroom is to get more students and teachers exposed to native plants and animals. 

Ed CollinsEd’s career spans thirty seven years with McHenry County Conservation District where he currently serves as the Director of Land Preservation and Natural Resources, administering restoration and land preservation efforts on 26,000 acres of open space. During that time, he has been involved in a number of interesting projects including the re-meandering of Nippersink Creek in Glacial Park, the development of the first comprehensive spatial mapping of oak loss in the region and most recently playing an instrumental role in the creation of the Hackmatack National Wildflife Refuge. He has been involved in the planning and implementation of wetland communities on several thousand acres including marshes, sedge meadows and wet prairies. Ed teaches across the region including classes in Forensic Ecology and Ecological Spirituality. His hobbies include collection drain tile memorabilia, constructing stone labyrinths and working as a trainded hypnotist.

Kelly Cartwright, PhDKelly is a Biology Professor at the College of Lake County in Illinois and an adjunct faculty member in the graduate program at Prescott College in Arizona. She teaches Environmental and General Biology, Botany, Sustainability and Advanced Research Methods, and serves as a thesis/dissertation plan advisor. Kelly holds degrees in Wildlife Science, Biology and Sustainability Education. Her research focuses on people’s relationships with land and nature, and she enjoys wildfife gardening, birding, photography and is an advocate for holistic sustainability.

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