Runaway Creek has many rare and beautiful resources that capture the imagination, but of comparable value and equal merit is that of its staff. Originally trained through the Birds Without Borders-Aves Sin Fronteras program in early 2000, the staff is now widely considered to be the avian (bird) experts of greater Belize. What they lack in numbers, they make up for in their incredible breadth of and depth of knowledge. They have been close assistants and guides to world renown researchers in avian studies, archaeology, botany, orchids, and primates all on Runaway Creek. There is no formal definition to separate the naturalist from the well versed enthusiast, but the staff at Runaway Creek has helped to burgeon team members who could be considered nothing less.
If you have only a few moments to spend on this page, be sure to read the quotes of each team member below to fully appreciate the passion and depth with which they hold their daily work.
Foundation of Wildlife Conservation
President Emeritus - Zoological Society of Milwaukee (1989-2005)
Founder of Birds Without Borders (1996-present)
Ph.D., Behavior and Ecology Pathology
Expertise: Habitat Conservation, Neotropical Birds, African Guinea Baboon, Bonobo Conservation
Other Interests: Ernest Hemingway, Fly Fishing
Birds Without Borders Staff (1996-2003)
Languages: Spanish, English
Expertise: Avian Research, Resource Management
BS, General Biology
"It's my passion to protect wildlife and its habitat. Where I used to live in northern Belize much of the forest has been cut down for sugarcane production. In central and southern Belize there are still so many forests that can be protected. That's why I began my career in central Belize."
Birds Without Borders Staff (2001-2003)
Languages: Koetchy Maya, English
Expertise: Jaguars, Birds, Caves, Fishes
"My grandfather and father worked milpa plantations in the forest when I was a child. Already at the age of seven I was going into the forest to find them and fetch corn. I got used to the rain and insects and other challenges of the forest. It’s just that I enjoy nature so much. I enjoy watching wildlife. I enjoy the peace and silence of the forest."
Birds Without Borders Staff (2003-present)
Languages: English, Yucatec Maya, Spanish
Expertise: Botany, Birds, Anuran Studies (Frogs), Butterflies, Insects
BS., Neotropical Biology (Cornell University)
"I like to train young people to learn more about protecting natural resources and the importance of those resources. I enjoy teaching them to appreciate the beauty and intricacies of nature. I do a lot of training for tour guides, birders, or anyone who wants to be a naturalist."
Birds Without Borders Staff (2004-present)
Languages: Creole, English
Expertise: Bird Banding, Cave Exploration, Identification of Plants and Species
"My heart goes to conservation. I fell into field work after high school and now that I've been able to build my knowledge in the field I want to be someone and do something. I want to follow this path toward conservation."
National Coordinator, Birds Without Borders (1997-2003)
Jaguar Researcher (2007-present) and Jabiru Stork Researcher (2003-2007)
Languages: Spanish, English
BS., Biology (University of North Florida) and Ph.D. Candidate
"I would like to see my children and my children's children grow up in the Belize that I've gotten to enjoy. I want them to be able to experience the beauty of natural areas without them having to travel all over the world. I want to help people to see and appreciate all that Belize has to offer today."
University of Calgary Primatology Studies
Expertise: Howler and Spider Monkeys
"I love working with nature. Its amazing. I love to watch the monkeys and watch how they interact socially and how nurturing the mothers are. The whole community becomes so interested in a newborn for example. It’s really nice to be able to share those moments with them and to have been accepted by the group as we look on."