For some lucky young scientists, conservationists, educators, farmers and artists, BCWS summer camp was the right place at the right age: as is true today, they were surrounded by other children and teens who were most at home in the natural world, setting aside hours of each day to investigate a bird or stream through scientific study or artistic expression. Bolstered by summers spent in the West Virginia hills, many BCWS alumni have become professionals in a number of related fields.

These profiles are a small selection of those who credit their time at BCWS as an affirmation of their interest in the natural world.  To read the words that some have since written about their time at at BCWS, peruse Reflections, a booklet compiled to celebrate our 50th season.

Science and Conservation:

  • Nate Erwin –
  • Jon Goldstein – astrophysics – post doc at the South Pole.
  • Stephanie Joe – researcher at Haleakala Field Station, Hawaii
  • Katie Joselow – researching honeybees
  • Val Kapos –  UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge UK
  • Alex Kolker – Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium – researches natural, climatic, anthropogenic processes governing coastal systems
  • Manuel Lerdau – Prof. ecology at UVA, researches currently around genomics and stress tolerance, gas exchange between plants and atmosphere….ecosystem responses to climate change
  • Meg Lowman – Chief of Science & Sustainability at California Academy of Sciences —
  • Sam McKenzie – Neuroscience
  • Dave Mehlman – Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Migratory Bird Program —
  • Bruce Rinker — Executive Director, Valley Conservation Council —
  • Gerrit Vyn – Field biologist, photographer, audiographer —
  • Don Weber – Insect ecologist, USDA —



  • Abby Carlson – psychologist
  • Addie Helmke,  science teacher and dean of students, Howard Gardner School Alexandria VA
  • Ted Olson – Professor of Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State U.
  • Sam Rigby and Ben Brooks teaching middle school science public / charter in DC
  • Kathy Schultz – Dean, School of Education, Mills College, Oakland CA
  • Eva Thaddeus – founder, Cien Aguas International School – bilingual charter school in Albuquerque, NM
  • Kathleen Walker – Assistant Professor U of AZ , Director Insect Discovery Outreach Program



  • Johnny Carrera
  • John Feldman – Hummingbird Films
  • Alisa Pearson – Bug Opera!
  • David Rosen – Wildlife photographer (Wildside Photography)
  • Kate Spencer – Artist / Naturalist


Naturalists at large!

Laura Cunningham

James Corbin

Holly Wagner

Bobby Kluttz