2013 Keynote Speakers
About Jim Ramsdell Thursday Night Keynote Speaker:
Jim Ramsdell is a renowned award winning, self-taught artist who discovered his gift late in life. His wood sculptures have been juried into numerous shows including the highly prestigious 'Birds in Art' exhibit at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin. His works have been featured in national publications including 'Wildlife Art', 'World Wildfowl Carving & Collecting', and 'Competition Annual' magazines. Jim has done commission pieces for collectors throughout the world including a Bald Eagle in the civic center of Obihiro, Japan. Jim was commissioned by the Alaska Sealife Center to create a 50-foot long hanging main lobby sculpture of a pod of Dali's porpoises. Jim's exhibition 'Our Shared Planet' has appeared around the country. This collection of carvings captures the beauty and intricacies of our world ecosystems.
Ramsdell's presentation 'A Journey Through Nature to Creativity' is designed to accompany the 'Our Shared Planet' exhibition. Jim will take you on an amazing journey up the Alaska Highway, through the Yukon Territory and into the wilds of Alaska where he discovered his artistic gift hidden within and how his experiences led to the creation of the 'Our Shared Planet' project. Jim shares his story and beautiful photographs that will make you laugh at humorous tales of ravens and moose, be moved to awe through encounters with eagles, orcas and grizzlies, and share concern over the plight of Stellar sea lions and polar bears, in their struggle to survive in a changing environment. Throughout the entire story you will sense the importance of being good stewards of this amazing planet we all share. In a special section of the show, Jim demonstrates in detail, the creative process behind his life-like sculptures. He takes you from concept stage, through sketching, roughing out the woodblock, to fine detailing and painting of one of his stunning exhibit pieces. You can find out more about Jim's 'Our Shared Planet' project at his website http://www.oursharedplanet.org/
"It was the power of the wild lands and the amazing creatures we share them with that allowed me to deeply reconnect with nature. Through this experience I soon discovered that like the wilderness, each of us contain endless and ever evolving possibilities. It is within that space, that we are able to redefine who we are, connect with our own true nature, and begin to design a life with a sense of purpose, more in line with the good of the whole." Jim Ramsdell
Author of All of This and Robins Too: A Guide to the 50 or So Best Places to Find Birds in Wisconsin.
Expert in Eastern North American bird songs (250 mastered)
Regular contributor to Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Wisconsin West, & Birder’s World.
Recurring guest on Larry Meiller’s Wisconsin Public Radio call-in talk show.
Award-winning TV photojournalist. (visit http://www.wqow.com/)
Since late 2008, I have been fortunate to be a recurring guest on Larry Meiller’s Wisconsin Public Radio call-in radio program.
As a TV journalist I get around. I’ve “chummed” with several U.S Presidents and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Two of my fondest memories are interviewing Roger Tory Peterson and David Sibley. You can catch some of my award-winning work at www.wqow.com.
I attended college in La Crosse, and worked in three national parks – Glacier, Yellowstone, and Big Bend – before settling in Eau Claire. My favorite bird is the Swallow-tailed Kite, which I saw for the first time soaring above the Santee River in coastal South Carolina, April 2003.
Birds are beautiful and captivating – whether describing their behaviors, their diversity and physical adaptations, or the music they make. They are also central to discussions about global warming (yeah it's real, and it's the biggest challenge of our times!), and other current environmental topics. Over the years I've led many hikes and tours and have presented programs on topics ranging from “100 Birdy Things Everyone Should Experience” to “The Sordid Life History of Birds in Film”. I love talking birds and birding. Just try to stop me.
In addition to my interest in ornithology (birds) and writing, I am a passionate gardener, environmentalist, movie buff, canoeist, and camper/backpacker, and I also enjoy “watching” wildflowers, insects, trees, clouds, mammals, and constellations. There. That about does it. Now let's get down to business.
Many More Birds to You,
For more information on Steve check out his website http://manymorebirds.webs.com/