Committee Bios


Begier175x175.jpgMike Begier

Michael J. Begier (Bee jur) is a wildlife biologist and the National Coordinator of the Airport Wildlife Hazards Program in Washington D.C.  He works for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services Program, United States Department of Agriculture. Mike provides liaison to the Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Defense (DoD), the Air National Guard (ANG), the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) and the aviation industry at large.  A key role is to provide support to the Wildlife Services program that mitigates wildlife hazards to aviation.  His office manages the FAA National Wildlife Strike Database and works closely with the FAA and the USDA WS National Wildlife Research Center on guiding applied research activities designed to mitigate wildlife hazards at airports.  Additionally, he serves as the program liaison to the DoD Partners in Flight BASH working group and the DoD Armed Forces Pest Management Board. Mike earned his college education from the State University of New York at Cobleskill and Plattsburgh, his Masters of Science degree at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse.



Brammel175x175.jpgSarah Brammell

Sarah is an FAA Qualified Airport Wildlife Biologist with over 15 years of environmental planning, permitting, compliance and assessment experience.  She has conducted wildlife hazard services throughout the country and internationally.  Sarah has a B.A. in Biology and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration in Environmental Policy.  She was previously the senior manager for Lee County Port Authority where she oversaw planning and environmental compliance for Southwest Florida International and Page Field General Aviation airports.  She has worked for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Lee County Parks and Recreation Land Stewardship, and as a Watershed Specialist.  Sarah is a National Rifle Association Certified Firearms Safety Instructor. Currently, she is the Co-Chair of the Airport Council International North America Natural Resources Committee and was previously the Chair of the Florida Airport Council’s Environmental Committee.



Weller-175x175.jpgJohn Weller

John assumed the role of National Wildlife Biologist for the FAA in 2009.  His responsibilities include the development and oversight of national strategies, regulations and guidance regarding wildlife hazards on and within the vicinity of airports which affect aircraft safety or impact airport development and land use.  He provides oversight to the National Wildlife Strike Database, cooperative partnerships, outreach, and research targeting hazardous wildlife and mitigation techniques.  Prior experience includes 28 years of wildlife conservation and conflict management, endangered species restoration and research for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service and the USDA/ APHIS/ Wildlife Services, as well as state and county conservation agencies, and a nonprofit research center.  John has a BS in Forestry from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and an MS of Environmental Biology from the University of Southern Mississippi studying predator/ prey relationships.



Ostrom175x175.jpgJohn Ostrom

As the Manager of the Metropolitan Airports Commission’s Airside Operations Department at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), John is responsible for a variety of MSP’s operational programs including Wildlife Hazards Management, Runway Safety, Self-inspection, Winter Operations and Airport Certification. John has been with the Operations Department for the past twenty-eight years and has developed and instructed numerous airport training courses including AAAE’s Airport Wildlife Techniques, Manager’s and Trainer’s Courses for both national and international airport and wildlife management professionals. John has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Winona State University and a Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas. He is a member of the Association for Training Development, The Wildlife Society and is a Certified Member of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). John has served on numerous committees and review panels. In 2011, John was awarded the FAA Great Lakes Region’s Partner Award for his work with airports and wildlife management training.



Demers-175x175.jpgChris Demers

Chris Demers works in the Pratt & Whitney Flight Safety Office as an accident and incident investigator, providing day-to-day oversight of flight safety issues and performing accident and incident investigations. Chris also shares responsibility for developing, implementing and managing a pro-active safety management culture within Pratt and Whitney. Chris manages the bird ingestion database for Pratt & Whitney, and participates in industry activities dedicating to reducing the threat of bird strike hazards to aircraft and engines.

 

 



Craig Quick

Bio and Photo forthcoming!

 

 

 

 



Kim Owen

Kim Owen (MSEE, BSEE University of Washington, MSTM Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University) is an Airplane Safety Engineer with The Boeing Company where she works in the Airplane Safety Airplane Development group. Her responsibilities include airplane level safety requirements, systems separation requirements, and safety assessment for airplane threats, including bird strike, windmilling, and others. In her previous position as a Maintenance Programs Engineer, Kim performed analysis on new airplane designs to ensure protection from Lightning/HIRF events.

 

 

 

 



Tahereh Behbehani

Bio and Photo forthcoming!

 

 

 

 



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Atwell175x175.jpgNick Atwell

Nick began working for the Port of Portland dealing with Aviation Wildlife in 1998 and then moved onto the Natural Resources Department in 1999. There he worked as a Natural Resources Specialist which required being a Wildlife Biologist & Wetland Scientist. Nick’s current responsibilities at PDX include managing a full-time proactive/science based aviation wildlife management program, conducting research into new wildlife deterrents, and making habitat modification recommendations while focusing on environmental policy/regulations. He is a certified Wetland Scientist & Aviation Wildlife Biologist with degrees in Natural Resources and Organismal Biology.

 



Jeff Turner

Bio and photo forthcoming!

 

 

 

 



Johnny Metcalf 

Native of Dayton Ohio, and graduate of the University of Cincinnati, (B.S. Biological Chemistry), Johnny was employed with the Ohio Department of Environmental Protection in the division of Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment, before assuming a position with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Marine Patrol as a sworn law enforcement officer. He moved to Florida to take a position with the Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission as the project leader for the Central Florida Urban Fisheries Project. In this capacity he became acquainted with Orlando International Airport and the issues of airport / wildlife conflicts. Johnny joined the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority in 2000 as their Wildlife Biologist and has been on a perpetual learning curve ever since.



Jay Higgins
Bio and photo forthcoming!

 

 

 

 



Sullivan175x175.jpgDan Sullivan

Dan is the Bird/wildlife Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) Team Chief for the U.S. Air Force (AF), stationed at the Air Force Safety Center (AFSEC), Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque, NM. He arrived at the AFSEC in July 2007. Prior to his current assignment, he worked for USDA-WS in the New York Office as a wildlife technician from 2001-2003, then as the airport biologist from 2003-2007. He conducted his studies at the University of Idaho in wildlife resources, and is a veteran of the United States Navy. Dan was raised in upstate NY and graduated from Hudson Falls High School.

 



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Weller-175x175.jpgJohn Weller

John assumed the role of National Wildlife Biologist for the FAA in 2009.  His responsibilities include the development and oversight of national strategies, regulations and guidance regarding wildlife hazards on and within the vicinity of airports which affect aircraft safety or impact airport development and land use.  He provides oversight to the National Wildlife Strike Database, cooperative partnerships, outreach, and research targeting hazardous wildlife and mitigation techniques.  Prior experience includes 28 years of wildlife conservation and conflict management, endangered species restoration and research for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service and the USDA/ APHIS/ Wildlife Services, as well as state and county conservation agencies, and a nonprofit research center.  John has a BS in Forestry from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and an MS of Environmental Biology from the University of Southern Mississippi studying predator/ prey relationships.



Ron Singletary
FAA

Bio and photo forthcoming!

 

 

 

 



Janny Siddens

Janny Siddens has served as a Part 139 Airport Certification and Safety Inspector (ACSI) for the FAA in the Southwest Region for almost 8 years. She is responsible for reviewing and approving wildlife hazard assessments (WHA) and wildlife hazard management plans (WHMP) for assigned Part 139 airports in the Southwest Region. She has been in the field of aviation for 20 years, serving in the U.S. Air Force for 12 years in Base Operations where she was in integral part of the service’s BASH Program, monitoring wildlife activity and appropriately adjusting the risk conditions.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Baldwin-Wallace College.

 



Cooke_new175x175Gary Cooke

Gary Cooke has more than 20 years of experience in aviation safety and has presented numerous papers on aviation safety and bird/wildlife strike prevention. As a pilot he has amassed over 15,000 hours of flying. He is a Captain and safety officer for a Fortune 20 corporate flight department, and a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Air Force Reserve, serving as a C-5 instructor pilot and Chief of flying safety for the 439th Airlift Wing at Westover Air Reserve Base in Massachusetts. Gary is an active member of the FAA Safety Team and sits on the National Business Aviation Association Safety Committee where he chairs the Bird Strike Working Group. Gary is a member of BSC-USA and their steering committee, and is a founding member of the World Bird Strike Association.



Dove175x175.jpgCarla Dove

Carla J. Dove is Program Manager of the Feather Identification Lab at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. Her expertise is in the specialized field of microscopic identification of feathers. Dr. Dove often collaborates with scientists in the fields of Anthropology, Ecology, and Evolutionary Biology, and has consulted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Law Enforcement Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Customs, the USDA Wildlife Services, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, and aircraft engine manufacturers. An author of numerous articles for both aviation and scientific publications, Dr. Dove has gained international media recognition for her work. She is an elected Fellow of the American Ornithologists’ Union, where she serves as Chair of the Archives Committee; Life Member of the Cooper Ornithological Society and the Wilson Ornithological Society. She was elected as a member of the Washington Biologists Field Club in 2007.



Jangelis-Cockpit_175x175Steve Jangelis

Captain Steve Jangelis is the Airport and Ground Environment Chairman for the Air Line Pilots Association, International in Washington, DC. He is also an Accident/Incident Investigator for the Delta Air Lines Master Executive Council Central Air Safety Committee in Atlanta, GA. Captain Jangelis flies the Boeing 717 and is based in New York City, NY. Captain Jangelis is rated on the Douglas DC-9, Boeing 727, and Boeing757/767. Prior experience includes working as an Airside Operations Lead at a Midwest airport. Captain Jangelis is the Industry Co-Chairman of the FAA’s Runway Safety Council and designated Pilot representative to the FAAs Research, Engineering and Development Advisory Committee (REDAC) subcommittee for Airports.



Brammel175x175.jpgSarah Brammell

Sarah is an FAA Qualified Airport Wildlife Biologist with over 15 years of environmental planning, permitting, compliance and assessment experience.  She has conducted wildlife hazard services throughout the country and internationally.  Sarah has a B.A. in Biology and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration in Environmental Policy.  She was previously the senior manager for Lee County Port Authority where she oversaw planning and environmental compliance for Southwest Florida International and Page Field General Aviation airports.  She has worked for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Lee County Parks and Recreation Land Stewardship, and as a Watershed Specialist.  Sarah is a National Rifle Association Certified Firearms Safety Instructor. Currently, she is the Co-Chair of the Airport Council International North America Natural Resources Committee and was previously the Chair of the Florida Airport Council’s Environmental Committee.



Barthel Joseph

Barthell is Vice President and Sales Manager for Reed-Joseph International Company, an importer and distributor of bird and wildlife control products. Barthell focuses much of his efforts on bird aircraft strike hazard issues and is responsible for sales and service of the company’s Scare Wars® System which is deployed on airfields world-wide. Barthell has worked closely with Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and has a great deal of knowledge and experience on issues related to bird and wildlife control pyrotechnics.

 



Rick Jones

Rick Jones is a Qualified Airport Wildlife Biologist and a certified wildlife biologist® with more than 13 years of wildlife hazard assessment and management experience. He has conducted wildlife hazard management services for airports nationwide and has provided assistance to airport managers; consultants; federal, state, and local governments; trade groups; and individuals. Rick has worked with federal agencies such as the National Park Service, numerous state departments of transportation, and local agencies to assess wildlife hazards, and to develop and implement wildlife management programs, and train staff. Rick holds M.S. in wildlife ecology and a B.S. in field biology.

 



Begier175x175.jpgMike Begier

Michael J. Begier (Bee jur) is a wildlife biologist and the National Coordinator of the Airport Wildlife Hazards Program in Washington D.C.  He works for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services Program, United States Department of Agriculture. Mike provides liaison to the Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Defense (DoD), the Air National Guard (ANG), the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) and the aviation industry at large.  A key role is to provide support to the Wildlife Services program that mitigates wildlife hazards to aviation.  His office manages the FAA National Wildlife Strike Database and works closely with the FAA and the USDA WS National Wildlife Research Center on guiding applied research activities designed to mitigate wildlife hazards at airports.  Additionally, he serves as the program liaison to the DoD Partners in Flight BASH working group and the DoD Armed Forces Pest Management Board. Mike earned his college education from the State University of New York at Cobleskill and Plattsburgh, his Masters of Science degree at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse.



JohnMcConnell175X175.jpgJohn McConnell

For 26 years John has focused on managing problems caused by wildlife. He is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and received a Bachelor’s of Science from Colorado State University and Master’s degree from Ohio University. Working for the WS’ National Wildlife Research Center he developed protocols to mitigate pesticide damage to wildlife in Morocco and investigated coyote ecology in Millville, UT. He managed a diverse NH/VT WS state program for many years and is currently responsible for assisting with the oversight and direction of 14 WS state programs. John is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Morocco), an active TWS member and represents WS on multiple regional and national level committees.

 



Martin Lowney
USDA WS

 

 

 

 

 



Miller_New175x175Phyllis Miller, Secretary

Phyllis is the current Secretary of BSC USA. She has worked for the USDA as the Scientific Data Technician for the FAA National Wildlife Strike Database located in Sandusky, OH since November 2007. Her aviation background and history spans many years, having been raised in a fixed wing and helicopter family with an active airstrip on their family farm. Her husband and several members of her family are active pilots. She has firsthand experience with bird strikes, having encountered a Turkey vulture that penetrated the windscreen while ferrying a helicopter to a fire contract. She attained her BS at Mount Saint Mary’s College, Emmitsburg, MD.



Cleary175x175.jpgEd Cleary

In Memoriam.

Ed grew up in southern California and graduated from Humboldt State University.  He worked for the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Montana before transferring to the USDA Wildlife Services program where he held various positions to resolve human-wildlife conflicts in Indiana, North Dakota, and Ohio. In 1995, Ed was hired by the FAA in Washington D.C. to replace Gene LeBoeuf as the staff wildlife biologist after Gene left FAA to become Chief of the U.S. Air Force BASH team. Ed arrived in D.C. at a critical and opportune time, as wildlife populations and air traffic were both increasing at the nation’s airports, and leadership was needed to sustain and build upon the wildlife programs initiated by Gene LeBoeuf.  Ed was incredibly organized and, as the sole wildlife biologist for the FAA, accomplished a remarkable suite of tasks during his 12-year tenure.  Among them was the publication of a manual “Wildlife Hazard Management at Airports” (now in its second edition) that has been translated into French, Spanish, and Chinese and is used worldwide.  He guided the development of the National Wildlife Strike Database (started by LeBoeuf) into a powerful management tool for airports and for FAA regulatory and guidance decisions. He updated and authored numerous Advisory Circulars and Cert Alerts. He developed a strong working relationship with FAA Airport Certification Inspectors, providing training and guidance related to wildlife issues.  He traveled abroad numerous times to assist civil aviation authorities with wildlife issues under the auspices of the FAA International Affairs Program and the International Civil Aviation Organization.  Ed had a true passion for his work, and it rubbed off on those around him.



LeBoeuf-175x175.jpgGene LeBoeuf

Eugene LeBoeuf is a Wildlife Biologist who retired from the United States Air Force (USAF) and federal service in January of 2011. For sixteen years prior to his retirement, he was both a member, and later the Chief of USAF’s Bird/wildlife Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) Team. Prior to joining the BASH Team, Gene spent six years with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in Washington, DC developing standards and procedures for the implementation of effective wildlife hazard controls on or in the vicinity of airports. Positions held prior to his service with FAA included a District Supervisor with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program and a Wildlife Assistance Biologist with the United States Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service. Before his federal employment, Gene held the position of Research Associate with Louisiana State University (LSU) where he researched techniques of controlling blackbird damage to rice crops. Gene obtained his BS Degree from LSU in 1978. Mr. LeBoeuf is a charter member of and currently holds an Emeritus position on the Bird Strike Committee.



RonMerritt175x175.jpgRon Merritt

Ron Merritt is the President of DeTect Inc., a small Florida company that specializes in remote sensing technologies for the detection of birds and bats in the atmosphere. He is a retired USAF officer who served as Chief of the USAF BASH Team from the late 1980’s through the mid 1990’s and was directly involved in the implementation of the USAF Avian Hazard Advisory System (AHAS) and the development and implementation of the use of small bird detection radar systems for use on airports, military airfields, and bombing ranges. He is a qualified FAA biologist with experience across the United States at both military and civilian airports as well as with airports in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. He is also an experienced accident investigator and has completed both USAF and NTSB accident investigation training courses and has participated in a wide range of mishap investigations. Ron was a member of the initial Bird Strike Committee USA Steering committee in 1989.



DeFusco175x175.jpgRussell DeFusco

Dr. Russell P. DeFusco, Lt Col, USAF (retired) is Vice President of BASH Incorporated. He is a 1981 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a PhD in Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Dr. DeFusco is former Chief of the USAF Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) Team. He has been the principle investigator on the United States Bird Avoidance Model (BAM) and has been involved in development of bird detection and forecasting systems using Geographic Information Systems, satellite imagery, radars, and other technologies. He has developed hundreds of operational BASH Plans for USAF, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve units, as well as other federal agencies including the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, NASA, and foreign governments. He has also worked with the FAA in developing policy guidelines as well as wildlife hazard assessments, management plans, site visits, and airport wildlife hazard management training for civil airports, and currently provides consulting services to overseas agencies and those in North America on all aspects of wildlife hazard management and operational planning.



avatar-bigRobert Dogan

 

 

 

 

 

 



Dolbeer-175x175.jpgRichard Dolbeer

Richard Dolbeer (PhD, Colorado State University) was a scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1972-2008 where he led various research projects to resolve conflicts between humans and wildlife in North America, Africa, and Asia. He has published over 200 scientific papers, manuals, and book chapters. Richard was Chairman of Bird Strike Committee-USA from 1987-2008. Richard currently manages his small farm “Bluebird Haven” in northern Ohio and works as a science advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He has been married to Saundra for 48 years and has 2 children and 6 grandchildren.

 



Boyles175x175.jpgCathy Boyles

Cathy has held the position of Wildlife Administrator at DFW Airport since 2006, where she ensures compliance with federal and state rules and regulations as they pertain to wildlife hazard mitigation at DFW Airport. She earned dual Bachelor of Science degrees, Biology and Wildlife Management, from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point, and her Master’s Degree, Biology, from The University of Texas at Arlington. She worked for 9 years at UT Arlington, managing the Electron Microscopy Lab and then coordinating science education and career development programs, before landing her current position at DFW.

 



Johnson-175x175.jpgAmy Reed

Amy graduated from the University of Florida (GO GATORS!) in 2007 with a degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. A self-proclaimed “bird nerd”, she is an Associate Wildlife Biologist certified by The Wildlife Society who specializes in avian biology. In 2009, she was recognized by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as in compliance with FAA Advisory Circular 150/5200-36A “Qualifications for Wildlife Biologist Conducting Wildlife Hazard Assessment and Training Curriculums for Airport Personnel Involved in Controlling Wildlife Hazards on Airports”. Amy’s also permitted by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as an Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent. As a wildlife biologist, she predominantly works in aviation-related consulting services, helping airports manage their wildlife hazards.


Steve Osmek

After graduating from the U of MN, with a BS in Wildlife Ecology and studying black bears and wolves in NE Minnesota, Mr. Osmek spent over twenty years conducting research on marine mammals and seabirds in Antarctica and the Pacific NW before working at airports with the USDA Wildlife Services.  Since 2000, Mr. Osmek has been responsible for implementing the Wildlife Hazard Management Plan at STIA.  Mr. Osmek is a Certified Wildlife Biologist (CWB) and a Qualified Airport Wildlife Biologist (QAWB).

 

 



PNicholson175x175.jpgRoger Nicholson

Over 25 years at Boeing, extensive background in commercial jet transport airplane system architectures, design, development, test & evaluation, & support. Expertise includes auto-flight, flight management, navigation, flight operations, flight test, system and airplane safety assessment. Boeing Designated Expert for visual analytics and aviation wildlife issues, multiple patents. Published technical papers span fluid mechanics, wind shear; air traffic management, Y2K, pilot response to inflight fire, unreliable airspeed, pilot strategies for bird strikes, birdstrike analysis, airplane & system safety assessment, human performance. Industry committees including RTCA, SAE. BSC Steering Committee 2010-14, Chair BSC-USA R&D sub-committee.



Ostrom175x175.jpgJohn Ostrom

As the Manager of the Metropolitan Airports Commission’s Airside Operations Department at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), John is responsible for a variety of MSP’s operational programs including Wildlife Hazards Management, Runway Safety, Self-inspection, Winter Operations and Airport Certification. John has been with the Operations Department for the past twenty-eight years and has developed and instructed numerous airport training courses including AAAE’s Airport Wildlife Techniques, Manager’s and Trainer’s Courses for both national and international airport and wildlife management professionals. John has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Winona State University and a Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas. He is a member of the Association for Training Development, The Wildlife Society and is a Certified Member of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). John has served on numerous committees and review panels. In 2011, John was awarded the FAA Great Lakes Region’s Partner Award for his work with airports and wildlife management training.

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