Annette Cook was born and raised in South Central Texas and lived in Florida and Virginia before moving to Southern Maryland in 2008 after her husband’s retirement from the Navy.
For many years a “casual birder,” the COVID lockdown spurred Annette to get outside and become an active birder. Pouring over field guides, learning to use birding apps, and becoming involved in SMAS was a self described “sanity keeper.” The interest and enjoyment survived the pandemic!
Annette works as a defense contractor supporting a NAVAIR program office. She and her husband Darrin have three grown children. In addition to birding, she enjoys traveling, hiking, kayaking and reading.
Molly Moore is a lifelong birder and spent nearly three decades as a reporter for the Washington Post, most of that time as a foreign correspondent in South Asia, Latin America, the Mideast, and Europe.
In her second career she was a media consultant to national environmental organizations. A Louisiana native, she graduated from Georgetown University with a BA in American government and lives in Newburg, Maryland, with her husband and their son.
She is a Master Gardener with a passion for rewilding and native plants, and is a beekeeper.
Ben Springer was born and raised in southern Maryland and has always been a nature lover. He began actively birding in 7th grade and has continued ever since. He works at Pax River Naval Air Station as a bird survey intern collecting data for the MD/DC Breeding Bird Atlas. He is also currently earning a degree at St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a major in Environmental Studies and a minor in Biology.
Barbara Hill is a retired CPA. She worked for the Department of Defense for over 30 years. She loves to learn, and her motto is that if you are interested in something, do it! She is a Master Scuba Diver, has a pilot-single engine land aircraft license, and is a Charles County Master Gardener. Although birds always caused her to look, Barbara only recently became active when monitoring Port Tobacco River Park’s Bald Eagle nest cam. Finding raptors most intriguing, she saw photos of other birds, raising another interest. Barbara now has a nice camera and searches her property looking for a good picture to take.
Julie grew up in Anne Arundel County and graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park. She worked at the National Weather Service for about 10 years before deciding to become a stay-at-home to mom. Julie’s interest in bird watching was piqued by her former boss at the weather service. She has enjoyed adding birds to her life list while traveling and instilling a love of nature in her children. Julie lives in Bryantown with her husband, Will, and her three children.
Karolina was born in the Czech Republic, where she hiked with her grandparents every weekend or worked in their garden growing vegetables. There she also spent summers camping and enjoying the outdoors and bringing home random animals. Karolina studied traveling and tourism in the Czech Republic before moving to the United States in 2012. She enjoys traveling around the states and exploring new places. Karolina got involved in birding in 2019 after her fiance’s traumatic brain injury.
Dean Newman and his wife, Sandy, have lived in St. Mary’s County since March of 2001. He is fully retired and spends most of his time traveling and photographing birds all over the Western Hemisphere. Originally from North Florida, he spent 29 years in the Navy and taught graduate courses for the government for 15 years afterwards in government acquisition. Dean’s passion is conservation of wild habitat, and he works with and donates to many conservation organizations.
Phin Rouland is currently a college student whose passion for birds and the general outdoors convinced him to switch from a nursing degree to pursue environmental science. Born into a Navy family, he’s lived across the United States, including Florida, Kansas, and California.
Birding since age 14, Phin credits his encounter with an Acorn Woodpecker colony for sparking his love of birds. After moving back to Southern Maryland in 2020, he settled with his family on a small farm in St Inigoes, in south St. Mary’s County, MD. Later that year, he and a couple of friends started Southern Maryland Youth Birders, in association with Southern Maryland Audubon. He helps lead walks for the club and hopes to continue increasing these opportunities for more kids to explore the outdoors.
Phin has developed a particular interest in the past few years in bird photography. His favorite bird is the Purple Martin. Other hobbies include running, drawing, and singing. Phin also counts himself a big Washington DC sports fan.