Leaders & Staff: Tour Leaders

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David Wolf

David Wolf is a senior member of the VENT staff and one of our most experienced tour leaders. After birding the U.S. and Mexico for over a decade, an interest in the wildlife of Africa led him to East Africa in 1975, where he spent over a year studying the birds and other wildlife of the African continent. Soon after his return to Texas he began leading Rockport Wildlife Weekends for VENT, at that time a new company, and he hasn't stopped leading tours since. In addition to Africa, David has ...


Mimi Wolf

Mimi Wolf is an accomplished birder, artist, horse breeder, and mother who lives in Nacogdoches, Texas. She has illustrated a number of bird books, including Steve Hilty's Birds of Tropical America and Roland Wauer's A Birder's West Indies, and her pen-and-ink sketches have appeared in many other publications. She has also exhibited her paintings, watercolors, prints, and other art in numerous shows. She is especially proud of her home-raised Supreme Champion Pinto Arabian stallion, Oshquah, ...


Larry Wolff

Larry Wolff is the Silver Professor of European History at New York University and Director of the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies at NYU. He received his B.A. from Harvard and his Ph.D. from Stanford. With particular interests in Eastern Europe and Mediterranean Europe, his books, which have been widely translated into foreign languages, include Inventing Eastern Europe (1994), Venice and the Slavs: The Discovery of Dalmatia in the Age of Enlightenment (2001), and Paolina's Inn...


Paul Woodruff

Paul Woodruff is an experienced guide to the intellectual landscape of ancient Greece. He has published translations of works by the philosopher Plato, the historian Thucydides, and the playwrights Sophocles and Euripides. He has written three books that present ancient Greek ideas for modern use—Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue (2001), First Democracy: The Challenge of an Ancient Idea (2005), and The Ajax Dilemma: Justice and Fairness in Rewards. His latest manuscript, on educati...


Rick Wright

Rick Wright, a native of southeast Nebraska, studied French, German, philosophy, and life sciences at the University of Nebraska, where he worked in the bird collections of the State Museum and served as teaching assistant to Paul Johnsgard. After a detour to Harvard Law School, Rick took the M.A. and Ph.D. in German at Princeton University. His years as an academic included appointments as assistant professor of German at the University of Illinois, reader/scholar at Princeton University&rsq...


Louise Zemaitis

Louise Zemaitis is an artist and naturalist living in Cape May, New Jersey where she is a popular field trip leader teaching birding workshops as an Associate Naturalist with New Jersey Audubon's Cape May Bird Observatory. She also enjoys leading birding groups and lecturing at birding festivals and is known for her enthusiasm for all natural history subjects. Louise and her husband, Michael O'Brien, have been guiding young birders at birding events and conferences for many years. In addition...


Peter Zika

Peter Zika is a field biologist from Seattle, investigating and describing new species of plants from western North America. Working at the herbarium of the University of Washington, he is writing several chapters for new books on the plants of California, the Pacific Northwest, and the flora of North America, as well as conducting biological inventories of National Parks and Nature Conservancy preserves, studying interactions between noxious weeds and native wildlife, and researching the die...


Barry Zimmer

Barry Zimmer has been birding since the age of eight. His main areas of expertise lie in North and Central America, but his travels have taken him throughout much of the world, including such exotic locales as Japan, Russia, Madagascar, Africa, and New Zealand. Barry is a longtime member of the New Mexico Bird Records Committee, and served on the Texas Bird Records Committee for 12 years. He has coauthored three books: Birds of the Trans-Pecos, A Birder's Guide to the Rio Grande Valley, and B...


Kevin Zimmer

Kevin Zimmer has authored three books and numerous papers dealing with field identification and bird-finding in North America. His book, Birding in the American West: A Handbook, deals with finding and identifying birds in the western United States. Living in Alaska contributed to his affection for the Far North, where he has anchored VENT’s tour program since 1986. For the past 25+ years he has concentrated his attention on the Neotropics, particularly on Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, Pe...