Charles Hagner became director of Bird City Wisconsin in 2018. He is the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of Wisconsin (Scott & Nix, 2019). From 2001 to 2017, he was the editor-in-chief of nationally distributed BirdWatching magazine. He is also the board chair of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, located in Port Washington. A Wisconsin native and an avid birder, Hagner is a member of the American Ornithological Society, Wilson Ornithological Society, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and Wisconsin Society for Ornithology.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Karen Etter Hale chairs the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative, a cooperative partnership of more than 180 organizations and agencies. She previously served for more than four years as chair of the Wisconsin Waterfowl Joint Venture, which led to the formation, in 1999, of WBCI. Karen is also the director of community relations for the Wisconsin Audubon Council. She has been a leading force in avian conservation in Wisconsin for more than three decades, including nearly 25 years as executive secretary of the Madison Audubon Society. Karen holds a degree in Wildlife Ecology from University of Wisconsin-Madison and has a lifelong interest in birds.
Bryan Lenz is chair of Bird City Wisconsin's Board of Directors and was the program's director from 2014 to 2018. Bryan is the Collisions Campaign Manager for American Bird Conservancy, a position he has held since 2018. He previously worked as Chief Scientist at the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory. He also sits on the Issues Committee of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative. Bryan was awarded his Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology from Tulane University, where he studied the impacts of cattle ranching on a community of primates in the central Amazon.
Kent Hall (Ph.D.) taught biology in the Biology Dept. at UW-Stevens Point for 30 years and is now retired. Kent is President of the Aldo Leopold Audubon Society and has coordinated their Bluebird Trail for 16 years. This trail has produced more bluebirds (63,000) than any other trail in Wisconsin and is likely the largest trail in the U.S. (1,378 boxes, 82 monitors, 6 counties). Kent served for 9 years as Vice-president and Coordinator of data collection and analysis for the Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin. He has been chief fund raiser for several conservation projects, including the Education Center at Mead State Wildlife Area, raising over $3 million. Kent is the force behind the Bird City applications for Plover and Stevens Point (High Flyer) and is a Life Member of WSO who surveyed 7 ½ priority blocks for the first Breeding Bird Atlas.
Stephen McCarthy is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Landscape Architecture. He has practiced landscape architecture for 40 years with a focus on large scale public natural resource based projects, native landscape restoration, and natural area preservation. For the last 17 years he has served as landscape architect for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and manages the Greenseams Program, which acquires, restores, and preserves wetlands, riparian corridors, and forested areas in four watersheds in the greater Milwaukee area.
Bill Mueller is the director of the Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory. Bill was conservation chair for the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology from 2002 to 2012, and is a member of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative Steering Committee, co-chairing its Issues Committee, and is on the leader team of the steering committee of the Midwest Migration Network. He also is project coordinator for the Milwaukee BIOME Project, a group of 12 regional scientists working on urban migratory stopover ecology. Bill completed his master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and did his graduate research on the biogeography and population decline of the Red-headed Woodpecker.
Lucas Olson is a conservation biologist for Wisconsin DNR. He is an urban wildlife habitat specialist and developed a habitat certification program for landowners, schools, businesses, and organizations. Lucas also organizes data and prepares master plans for the State Natural Areas Program and maps natural communities for the Natural Heritage Inventory Program. He earned a B.A. (2003) in wildlife ecology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he analyzed gray wolves diets in Wisconsin. Lucas has restored and managed Wisconsin plant communities working for Mississippi Valley Conservancy and WisCorps Inc. He has worked on a variety of wildlife research projects including the Cascade Carnivore Project, Urban Canid Project, and the Wisconsin Frog and Toad Survey.
Michael Reed is director of the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay, a world-class nature center that draws about 800,000 people a year. He represents the Wisconsin Audubon Council, having served on the board and been involved with conservation issues through NEW Audubon since 1987. Mike took the helm at Bay Beach in May 2011, succeeding retiring director Ty Baumann, who left after 40 years. Reed had been the sanctuary's curator, supervising care for over 4,000 animals admitted annually for rehabilitation, and has worked at Bay Beach for 25 years. He previously worked at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and has done field work throughout the U.S. and in Belize.
Carl Schwartz was the founding director of Bird City Wisconsin and subsequently chaired its steering committee for three years. He sits on the Board of Directors for the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory and the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology, editing WSO's monthly newsletter The Badger Birder. He serves on the steering committee for the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II and is program coordinator for the Noel J. Cutright Bird Club, past president of the Friends of the Cedarburg Bog, and a member of The Nature Conservancy, International Crane Foundation, Gathering Waters, and the Door County and Ozaukee Washington Land Trusts. Carl retired in 2009 as senior editor for national and international news at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where he had worked since graduating from the University of Illinois in 1971.
Andrew Struck is the far-sighted director of planning and parks for Ozaukee County, one of the inaugural Bird City communities, and has worked on numerous grant-funded projects of an environmental nature. He serves on Bird City's board as a municipal representative and a direct voice for the concerns of our recognized communities. Andrew is president of the Wisconsin Audubon Council and a board member of the Milwaukee Audubon Society. He was the president of Milwaukee Audubon when Bird City Wisconsin was founded, and he served five years as chair of the Bird City Steering Committee and nine years as its treasurer. Andrew is a member of numerous other boards and committees that work to protect and improve Wisconsin's environment.
Cait Williamson is director of conservation programs at the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, where she oversees programs focused on protecting Wisconsin’s public lands and waters, recovering threatened wildlife species, and supporting environmental education. Cait received her master’s degree in environmental conservation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. She is a founding member of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology and was on the steering committee for the North American Congress for Conservation Biology. Her work encompasses conservation science and planning, partnership development, and capacity building.