Dan Gardoqui has dedicated over 30 years to sharing his curiosity, knowledge and passion for the more-than-human-world with people of all ages. A pioneer in the field of Bird Language, he is also well-known for his uncanny imitations of bird sounds (thus earning the title of "The Bird Whisperer").
Dan has: served as faculty for multiple colleges; been featured on many news programs and podcasts; served as keynote speaker for birding festivals and wildlife tracking conferences; contributed to multiple wildlife field guides (including Peterson's Field Guide to Bird Nests, 2022); served as lead consultant on the permanent exhibit "A Bird's Word" at the Boston Museum of Science; and was science and audio editor for the book "What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of Nature."
He served as co-founder and director of White Pine Programs (a nature-connection nonprofit in Southern Maine) for over 20 years. In 2020, he launched, Lead with Nature, where he uses nature-based consulting to support the work of business and nonprofit leaders and teams achieve their goals. He also offers online courses, outdoor workshops and presentations throughout the region and beyond.
He has an M.S. in Environmental Conservation, is a Registered Maine Guide and Certified Wildlife Tracker. Dan loves to spend time hunting, practicing bird photography, making music and trail running in the Agamentius Region of Southern Maine - where he lives with his fabulous family.
Holly Merker is a professional birding guide, author, and lecturer who provides nature-based wellness programs for people of all ages. Combining backgrounds in art therapy, nature and forest therapy, wellness counseling, and bird identification, she is a global advocate for the practice of Mindful Birding.
She has co-authored two books which guide readers into optimizing the wellness benefits birds provides us, including the award-winning Ornitherapy: For Your Mind, Body, and Soul (along with Richard Crossley and Sophie Crossley, Crossley Books, 2021), and The Power of Birdwatching (Die Kraft Der Vogel Beobachtung, Freya verlag, 2023 - available in Europe only), along with Dr. Angelika Nelson.
In 2022, Holly was honored to be the recipient of the ABA Conservation and Education Award given by the American Birding Association for her work in both those areas involving birds. In her free time, Holly spends every possible moment practicing Ornitherapy, which she credits in helping defeat breast cancer, restoring her health mentally and physically.