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Brad Schram

Brad Schram became fascinated with birds as a child in the mountains of California, the start of an enthusiasm that has modified and enriched his life. He has birded on all the continents and scores of the world's oceanic islands. Since his early retirement from the business world in 1996, he has led birding tours in much of the American West, as well as Alaska, Antarctica and the subantarctic islands, Hawaii, Iceland-East Greenland, Kenya, and Trinidad and Tobago. While serving as b...

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René Shields

René Shields (Tour Operations Assistant) has worked in the recreational travel industry for most of her professional life. She is a native Texan with a business degree from the University of Texas at Austin. With her husband Gary, she enjoys foreign and domestic travel, bicycling around Austin and the Texas Hill Country, and socializing with other "cavers" at the UT Grotto meetings.

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Kaz Shinoda

Kaz Shinoda has been integrally involved in the logistics and planning of VENT's Japan tours. He was born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1957. From age 11 to 14 he lived in South Africa with his family and often went on safari where he learned about the fascinating world of wildlife. He later became a birdwatcher and has now been a keen birder for nearly 20 years. Kaz graduated from Waseda University in Tokyo, and then taught English to high school students for more than two decades before dedicating...

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Raj Singh

Raj Singh, born in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, is a distinguished ornithologist, fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, and inveterate world traveler. His first passion in life is wildlife conservation, and his knowledge of natural history is unsurpassed. He also has a fascination with India's history, culture, and cuisine. A descendant of India's royal Kshartriya family from Bharatpur, Raj is the author of Bird and Wildlife Sanctuaries of India, Nepal and Bhutan, and Mammals o...

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Bob Sundstrom

Bob Sundstrom has led VENT tours since 1989 to many destinations throughout North America, as well as Hawaii, Mexico, Belize, Trinidad & Tobago, Japan, Turkey, Iceland, Papua New Guinea, the Southwest Pacific, Antarctica, the Bering Sea, and the Galapagos. When not on tour, Bob keeps busy as lead writer for the public radio program BirdNote, heard on over 200 radio stations nationwide (visit www.birdnote.org). With a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Washington, Bob enjoys ...

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Scott Sutcliffe

Scott Sutcliffe is Director of Annual Fund and Stewardship at the Cornell Lab. He's been a birder since the age of 6 when his grandfather introduced him to Cornell through a gift of Songbirds of North America, an early recording from the Cornell Library of Natural Sounds. Scott received a BS from Cornell in 1975 and an MS from the University of New Hampshire in 1980, both in wildlife ecology. Upon graduation, Scott taught 5th grade science for a year, then directed the N.H. Loon Preservation ...

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Patrick Swaggerty

Patrick Swaggerty (Tour Operations Assistant) joined the VENT staff in September 2004. He began his career in 1984 organizing and leading adventure tours throughout Colorado for a family-based sports company. Warmer climates led him back to the island of Maui, Hawaii where he describes his lifestyle there as warm and easy. After traveling much of the world, Patrick and his partner, Ted, eventually relocated to Austin, Texas. Patrick enjoys experiencing new things, but says that he will always...

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Balázs Szigeti

Balázs Szigeti is a dedicated birdwatcher and the director of Ecotours Wildlife Holidays Ltd. Based in Budapest, he leads tours to most of Eastern Europe and Mongolia. Balázs speaks perfect English, has a great sense of humor, and has traveled widely in Eastern Europe, West Africa, and the Americas. He is a gifted birdwatcher able to imitate many European bird calls…even a nightjar…no mean feat! Balázs is also a keen wildlife photographer.