Steering Committee

Here is more information on some of the folks who keep OBCI running!


Executive Committee:


Matthew Shumar
OBCI Coordinator

Matthew Shumar is a wildlife biologist specializing in ornithology and landscape ecology, with specific interests in assessing anthropogenic effects on neotropical migrants. Matthew received a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Pennsylvania State University with a minor in Forest Science, and an M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Resources from West Virginia University. In addition to serving as OBCI Coordinator, he is the webmaster for the Association of Field Ornithologists and was the Project Coordinator for the Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas II. Matthew is also an avid music lover and spends much of his free time exploring independent music and drumming in local bands.

sc_round_kimkaufmanKimberly Kaufman
OBCI Chair

Kimberly Kaufman is an Ohio native whose lifelong love of the outdoors grew into a passion for birds in the 1990s. She monitored nesting Bald Eagles for the Ohio Division of Wildlife and ran bluebird trails before she began banding migrant songbirds for the Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO). Kim’s involvement with BSBO escalated as she became the observatory’s education director in 2005 and then executive director in 2009, a position she still holds. Kim played a key role in starting the highly successful Ohio Young Birders Club, a group for teenagers that has served as a model for youth programs in 13 other states, as well as The Biggest Week In American Birding, a spring event that rapidly has become one of the largest birding festivals on the continent. She is a contributing editor to Birds & Blooms magazine and coauthor of the Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of New England.

sc_round_augustfroehlichAugust Froehlich
OBCI Vice Chair

August is a GIS Analyst with The Nature Conservancy, with special interests in analysis and planning for watershed-scale projects.


sc_round_johnwattsJohn Watts
OBCI Secretary

John has been with the Columbus and Franklin County MetroParks for more than 30 years and currently is the Resource Manager within the agency. John is also co-author of the recently published Birds of Hocking County, Ohio – an annotated list of the 266 bird species that have been recorded in the county.

Stephen Matthews
OBCI Treasurer & Fiscal Agent Representative

Stephen Matthews is Associate Professor of Wildlife Landscape Ecology in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at Ohio State University and also holds an affiliation as an ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station. Organized under two general themes his research focuses; on climate and land use change, and wildlife habitat relationship. Collectively he aims to link these themes across scales to more fully understand and address the global change pressures faced by forests and wildlife. Outside of work, he spends time pondering nature and exploring the outdoors via many modes with his family.


Steering Committee:


sc_round_laurakearnsLaura Kearns
Conservation Research and Planning Committee Chair

Laura Kearns is a Wildlife Biologist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife, where she oversees projects with wetland and forest birds, in addition to several raptor species.  Her research interests include predator-prey interactions, urban ecology, and avian conservation and management.   She holds a B.A. in Biology from Kenyon College, an M.S. in Resource Ecology Management from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Wildlife Science from The Ohio State University, and has worked for a variety of non-profit organizations with a focus on avian conservation and research.  She loves traveling and birding, and recently observed megapodes and bowerbirds on a trip to Australia.

Annie Lindsay

Annie Lindsay is a PhD student and University Fellow at the University of Toledo where she studies long term trends in bird populations and migratory ecology as they relate to climate change. She also is the Bird Banding Workshop Coordinator and instructor for Powdermill Avian Research Center in southwestern Pennsylvania, and is a certified North American Banding Council bander trainer. Annie received an M.S. in Environment and Natural Resources from the Ohio State University, and a B.S. in Biology. She is an avid birder and molt limit enthusiast.

Stefan Gleissberg

After a career in the sciences, Stefan’s life-long interest in wild birds has led him to engage in community-oriented environmental leadership. He is the founder of the Athens Area Birders, and has partnered with various local organizations to promote bird literacy and habitat conservation through bird walks, citizen science, and programming. Stefan serves as a data reviewer for eBird and coordinates the Athens Christmas Bird Count. He is the Southeast Ohio Director of the Ohio Ornithological Society, and the editor of the magazine-newsletter ‘The Cerulean’. Stefan serves as secretary of the Athens Conservancy, and has co-founded and is the current president of the Athens Nature Center, Inc.

Ashli Gorbet

Ashli grew up on the west side of Cleveland with a deep love for the outdoors and a passion for conservation. She earned her B.S. in Wildlife Management from The Ohio State University and is currently finishing up an M.S. in Natural Resources at Utah State University. After working on Sonoran pronghorn recovery efforts in southwestern Arizona and spending time in Central Ohio studying Acadian Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, and Northern Cardinal, Ashli moved to Albuquerque and spent over a decade exploring New Mexico and working on several research projects. She spent six years serving on the board of the New Mexico Ornithological Society and now serves as the Banding Projects Manager at Black Swamp Bird Observatory. Ashli’s biggest passions in life are conservation, research, and education.

sc_round_cottonrandallCotton Randall

Cotton Randall is currently the Special Projects Administrator for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry.  Cotton coordinates Ohio’s Forest Legacy Program (federally funded forest land protection program), serves as a statewide forest resource planner, and assists in the administration of the Division’s private lands programs. Cotton joined the Division of Forestry in 2005 and worked as a service forester in central Ohio before changing to his current position in 2009.


sc_round_katrinaschultesKatrina Schultes

Katrina has served as a Biologist with the U.S. Forest Service at the Wayne National Forest in Ohio since 2002. She holds a B.S. in Zoology from Ball State University and an M.S. in Wildlife Management from Eastern Kentucky University. Her master’s thesis focused on roost tree selection by Indiana bats and northern (long-eared) bats on the Wayne National Forest.

Kate Parsons

Division of Wildlife Representative

Kate Parsons is the Terrestrial Endangered Species and Wildlife Diversity Program Administrator for ODNR Division of Wildlife. She received her B.S. from Ohio University and M.S. in Wildlife Science at Oregon State University where she studied burrowing owls. She has extensive experience with State Wildlife Action Plans and imperiled species management plans. Kate represents the Division of Wildlife on the Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture.