Johanna has always been a nature addict and has fond memories of hiking and camping with her family growing up. The 21 year old loves climbing mountains and finding White-tailed Ptarmigan in her home state of Colorado. She currently attends University of Colorado. She studies Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and is currently working on her honors thesis focusing on Eastern, Western, and Lilian’s Meadowlark genetics and divergence. She is hoping to one day illustrate field guides and continue to study birds.
While Johanna has only been birding for five years, she has already risen to great levels in american birding. She became the American Birding Association-Leica Young Birder of the Year in 2017, only three years after picking up binoculars for the first time. Her love of birding has taken her all across the United States, from Florida to Maine to California, where she most recently presented her research on Townsend’s Solitaire song use and structure. Johanna hopes to travel around the world to promote conservation, spread the love of birding, and draw/paint as many of the world’s species as humanly possible.
Gautam (18) is a birder and aspiring field ornithologist studying Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife Science at The Ohio State University. Born and raised just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, his parents fostered a deep connection with the outdoors from an early age, which led to a strong interest in birds and the natural world. Since he started seriously birding after joining the Ohio Young Birders Club at age 12, he has developed a strong interest in local, county-level birding. He enjoys going out birding with his close friends and scanning through flocks of wintering waterbirds on the frozen surface of Lake Erie. One of his specific interests is documenting evidence of breeding populations of certain species in Cuyahoga County, his home region.