Leaders & Staff: Tour Leaders

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Andrew Whittaker

Andrew Whittaker was born in England but considers himself to be Brazilian, having moved to this biodiverse country in 1987 to work for the Smithsonian Institution, banding and studying Amazonian rainforest birds in Manaus. His passion for birding and all aspects of natural history began in the UK at the early age of seven, thanks to his father. Andy has worked around the world studying (through banding) bird migration at observatories in Israel, Borneo, Canada, and the UK. As a senior l...

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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 ...

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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, ...

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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...

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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...