Meet the Bird Atlas Team

Dr. Chris Elphick

Chris Elphick is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. His work focuses on the conservation ecology of birds, especially in wetlands, farmland, and forests. He has been studying coastal marsh birds and their habitats since 2002 and is a lead investigator for the Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research Program (SHARP), a collaborative initiative to understand the ecology and conservation of tidal-marsh birds along the Atlantic seaboard. He participated in his first bird atlas in his early teens, mostly surveying blocks no one else wanted to visit (and still finding good birds). His research has been published in journals such as the Auk, Biological Conservation, Condor, Conservation Biology, Journal of Applied Ecology, and Science. Book length projects include the Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior, the Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Nevada, and the Ecology and Conservation of Birds in Rice Fields: A Global Review.

Dr. Min Huang

Min Huang has been a wildlife biologist for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for the past 16 years and heads the Migratory Bird Program. He is also an adjunct research scientist with the University of Connecticut. He has worked as a wildlife biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission where he managed the Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area, working primarily with deer and various endangered species such as the Florida grasshopper sparrow, red-cockaded woodpecker, Florida scrub jay, and whooping crane. He also spent 5 years working for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as a District Biologist, where he primarily worked with deer, elk, mountain goats and endangered species such as the spotted owl and marbled murrelet. Other than the current Atlas project, he is involved with studies assessing American kestrel survival, American woodcock habitat use and survival in response to management, clapper rail survival and nesting success, and the development of a multi-stock decision framework for the harvest management of waterfowl in the Atlantic Flyway.

Craig Repasz

Craig Repasz completed a BA degree in the History of Science and Medicine from Yale University. He has worked in the pharmaceutical industry specializing in data integrity, regulatory compliance, project management, and system and process validations. He is involved in a variety of citizen science projects including compiler for a Christmas Bird Count, territory mapping and point count census throughout New England. Craig is the President of the New Haven Bird Club and Chair of the COA science committee. He most enjoys winter finches in a snowy setting.

Dr. Valerie Steen

Valerie Steen is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. She has a M.Sc. degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Alaska and a Ph.D. in Ecology from Colorado State University. Her research focuses on improving distribution maps of birds to better understand where birds are, and using mapping tools to understand climate change impacts to birds. She also has participated in bird surveys, from King Eiders in Alaska to wintering Willow Flycatchers in Guatemala. Her favorite bird is the Black Tern.

Dr. Morgan Tingley

Morgan Tingley is an Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. He received his M.Sc. in Zoology from Oxford University, and Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from the University of California, Berkeley. Since 2002, his published research has centered at the intersection of bird distributions and community dynamics with global change ecology. His work is primarily focused on bird communities along temperate elevational gradients, including the Appalachians, the Sierra Nevada of California, and the Himalaya, and how these communities are impacted by anthropogenic change. In 2012, he was awarded the Young Professional Award by the Cooper Ornithological Society, and in 2014 he was awarded a "Wings Across America" conservation award from the USDA Forest Service. A lifelong birder, Tingley has seen over 25% of the world's bird species; just don't ask him about his Connecticut list!

REGIONAL COORDINATORS - see map sections

Buzz Devine (Northwest)
Sara Zagorski (North-central)
Steve Morytko (Northeast)
Dave Provencher (Southeast)
Melissa Baston (Southeast-central)
Steve Broker (Southwest-central)
Frank Mantlik (Southwest)
Ken Elkins (West-central)