Barb brings over 30 years’ experience to the field of environmentally related non-profits. She previously was the Director of Administration, Conference and Core Services for the North American Association for Environmental Education, and Executive Director of the Brevard Nature Alliance. She became involved with the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival in 2016 and with her expertise in time management and organizational skills, along with fiscal management and fundraising skills has brought the festival to the level of professionalism it has become known for. Barb makes no bones she is not a birder but does enjoy birding and many things nature related. Most importantly Barb has developed a deep fondness and numerous friendships with those that she interacts with in overseeing this event, including travel nationwide to other festivals to promote the Space Coast.
Betty is a Brevard County Parks & Recreation retiree. She volunteered with the US Fish and Wildlife Service at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR) for 25 years giving over 7,000 volunteer hours. During her time at MINWR she was a Refuge Rover, Field Trips Leader, created and implemented educational programs, and worked with the University of Florida to establish the Florida Butterfly Monitoring Network at MINWR. Betty’s passion for the eco-systems of Florida bloomed while observing and documenting the fire management program at the refuge. Betty serves on the Great Outdoors (TGO) Nature, RV & Golf Resort Firewise Committee, is Trail Master and naturalist for the TGO Nature Center, and is Vice President of TGO NatureScape.
Kathy Rooney works closely with the Executive Director helping to provide support in the planning and implementation of the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival. She manages Festival Sponsors/ Exhibitors, designs SCBWA advertising, and assists with many tasks needed with the operation of a 501(c) (3) non-profit company. She holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Maryland in Behavioral and Social Sciences. She worked at Florida Today newspaper for 22 years in the advertising production department; provided production and graphic design skills for 6 years at Coastal Angler Magazine, and worked as an Administrative Assistant for Brevard Nature Alliance from 2018 – March 2023.
After buying and hanging up a bird feeder in 1978 Jim’s obsession with birding began. After a 35 yr career with BellSouth/AT&T Jim realized his dream of getting paid to bird as an Avian Field Technician and later started Obsessive Compulsive Birding (obsessivecompulsivebirding.com) specializing in guided trips in and around Central Florida. Jim was a co-founder and co-coordinator for the rebranded Florida Keys Hawkwatch. He is a 14 yr field trip leader for the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival and after being Social Media Coordinator for Space Coast Audubon Society Jim was hired to be Social Media Coordinator for the Brevard Nature Alliance/SCBWF. He has once again been hired as SCBWA Social Media Coordinator. Jim is also a field trip leader for the Everglades Birding Festival and the Florida Birding & Nature Festival. He has also been a field trip leader for many of the large festivals throughout the country. In addition, Jim is a Florida Ornithological Society (FOS) member and past director and is a longtime member of the Merritt Island Wildlife Association (MIWA) and past board member.
If you have ever heard melodic sounds from your backyards, or caught a glimpse of something maneuvering stealthily through the tree limbs or shrub bushes, and wondered what is that – then you will know or learn the value of the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival (SCBWF).For decades the Space Coast has been pairing the curious amateur with the top expert birders in the country together for five days of fun and camaraderie.
Are you new to Florida and curious for a way to safely see and learn about the natural side of the state, then you need to know that SCBWF offers the most ways to see different Florida environs, along with meeting so many other birders and naturalists from across the state!
Join us as we celebrate the 25th Space Coast and Birding Wildlife Festival. The official festival bird in 2024 will be the Sandhill Crane, chosen because cranes represent aspiration, travel, open mindedness, and inspire us to honor the miracles of nature around us. That is the Space Coast’s birding claim to fame – the abundance and variety of habitats and birds we love to show off in January!
Festival planning is in the preliminary stages and this site will be continually updated as speakers, field trips, photographers, sponsors, and exhibitors are finalized. Please be sure to enter your email address so you are kept informed as planning progresses. There are so many reasons not to allow the disruptions of the past few years to take away from one of the largest, most comprehensive birding and wildlife festivals in the country. Come join us, we are not flying into extinction, we are coming back better than ever!