Curt is a professional naturalist, environmental educator, design consultant and writer with over 30 years' experience. He is President of juST-EAMagine (formerly called Amuseum Co.) an educational services company that develops innovative programs for schools, wildlife conservation agencies, municipalities, libraries, museums and other centers of learning. Curt’s professional career began in nature centers, one of which he founded and directed. He served on the editorial staff of Ranger Rick’s Nature Magazine while with the National Wildlife Federation in Washington, DC, where he ultimately served as NWF’s Director of Member Programs. He has served on staff and faculty at both the University of California Irvine (University Extension and the Office of Teacher Education) and the University of Southern California (Southern California Earthquake Center, Department of Earth Sciences). Prior to establishing his current company, he was the Administrator of the George C. Page Museum of La Brea Discoveries in Los Angeles, California. He has successfully completed many wildlife conservation education and training assignments for governments in developing countries ranging from Egypt to Botswana and India to Malaysia. Mr. Abdouch has been recognized for his achievements by local, state and national wildlife, education and editorial organizations. He has also been credited for the designation of two National Recreation Trails for the U.S. National Trails System.
Julie Bird was born in Pasadena, California and raised in both Pasadena and Balboa. She has been an illustrator and painter since she was five years old and loves humor, color, reading, and good old-fashioned yellow wooden pencils.
Tony has always loved boats and the sea. Having grown up on the Island of Šolta near the shores of the Adriatic Sea, boats and sailing came naturally to Tony. As a child, Tony worked the family farm along with his parents. At age 20 he was drafted into the Yugoslavian Army. When his enlistment was up, he returned to his home village, but could not stand to live under Tito’s communist regime. After arriving in Los Angeles, Tony and Ivan got together on weekends in 1956 to write a summary of their travels while it was “still fresh in their memories.” They spent months writing and editing a draft manuscript, but in spite of their best intentions, it was never completed. Tony went to work for Schock Boats in Newport Beach in1959. He worked there for 20 years until 1979, when he started his own business building and repairing small boats in Newport Beach. Tony continued his education while living in Newport, first auditing classes to improve his English and then taking courses in drafting and pre-architecture studies at Orange Coast College. Members of the Newport Beach sailing community have nothing but positive things to say about Tony. Debby Benedict, former secretary of the Sabot Association, commented that Tony “is a legend in our community. Everyone goes to him to get their boats fixed.”
Born in Tahiti, second child of Ngatokorua a Mata’a and Robert Dean Frisbie, Florence (Johnny) Frisbie spent most of her childhood on several of the Cook Islands, including an uninhabited atoll, Suvorov, and also in Samoa. As an orphan, following her father’s death, she completed her schooling in Hawaii, and went on to live and work in Japan, New Zealand, and again, briefly, in Rarotonga.
Throughout her life Johnny maintained a journal in which she recorded her daily experiences. These provide the basis for her writings. Miss Ulysses, her first book, written in three languages (Puka-Pukan, Samoan, English), and was the first publication by a Pacific Island Woman writer. Her second book, Frisbies of the South Seas (1959), was also autobiographical, and written after her father’s death. Subsequent writings include an account of her return to Puka-Puka and reunion with her grandmother, newspaper columns about life in the Pacific, and numerous short stories about children’s experiences of life in the Pacific. For many years as a solo mother, Johnny managed to raise four children while employed variously as a secretary, work coordinator, performer, performance organiser/director of live floorshows, and both live and recorded television programmes, including for ten years as a panel member on a popular TV discussion show. She has also participated in film documentaries.
She also has contributed to the work of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Hawaii and the Otago Museum in Dunedin, New Zealand, recording Puka-Pukan chants and songs. Most recently she participated in a documentary film, Homecoming: A Film About Puka-Puka, which she is hopeful will also highlight the plight of the Puka-Pukan people (and other atoll island dwellers) facing the consequences of global warming and sea level rise. She currently resides in Hawaii.
Florence (Johnny) Frisbie
Joseph S. Genshlea
Joe has had a forty-year career as a highly successful trial lawyer. Based on his accomplishments he was one of the early lawyers to be elected to the California State Bar Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame and has received numerous other awards for legal and philanthropic work. A Sacramento native, Joe has strong ties to the area and places great significance on local civic activities through his involvement in area non-profit groups, serving on a number of Boards and supporting many local philanthropic activities. Joe received his undergraduate degree from Stanford and his law degree from U.C. Hastings College of the Law. He served for two years as law clerk to U.S. District Judge Thomas J. MacBride, Eastern District of California. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1961-1967. In 1978, together with Malcolm Weintraub, he helped found the law firm known as Weintraub, Genshlea & Chediak. Among other accomplishments, Joe notes that he finished 5,411 in the 83rd annual running of the Boston AA Marathon.
Albert (Al) Joseph Gravallese was born in Boston, son of first-generation Italian immigrants. After working his way through college as a brick layer, he graduated cum laude from Tufts University (civil engineering). He served in the Navy, retiring as Chief of Staff, Naval Reserve Construction Force. Following active duty, Al was an aerospace engineer at AVCO R&D Corporation. From AVCO he was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation. In 1972, he left the government and formed his own consulting firm, PrimaTec. In 1987 he joined Daniel, Mann, Johnson, and Mendenhall (DMJM) where he was Corporate VP and principal in charge of major federal projects including the renovation of the Pentagon and improvements at Reagan and Dulles airports. Al married Patricia (Gioiosia) Gravallese, (now deceased). They had four children and subsequently eight grandchildren. Al later married Virginia (Wildnauer) Gravallese, now his wife of 35 years. They live in Leesburg Virginia.
Albert J. Gravallese
Maureen McNerney. Habel, RN, MA, is a Registered Nurse with a long career as a nurse educator and patient advocate. She has written extensively for nursing journals and textbooks. In editing the sisters’ writings, she was amazed at the practical and ingenious health care they were able to provide in a remote area with the threat of war and capture ever present.
Cosette started her life in Hawaii amidst the confusion of World War II. She was lovingly raised by her single mother and grandparents in the unique setting of historic Hilltop House. She attended Kailua Elementary and Punahou Schools. Lucky girl that she was, she had the ocean and beaches to explore with cousins and friends who led her into high adventure! After graduating from college in Bellingham, Washington she and Ken Harms raised their two sons, Jason and Jerrett, in Honolulu and Seattle. Sailing, camping, skiing, and rowing crew fulfilled her love of the outdoors and provided the glue for many deep friendships. Upon her retirement from elementary school teaching in 2007, she returned to Hawaii to live at Hilltop - restoring and preserving the family home and caring for her mother, Peggy. She enjoys paddling outrigger canoes, kayaking, and Hawaiian music, treasuring always her family and friends.
Cosette Morrison Harms
George James Kenagy
Immersed in nature over a lifetime along the Pacific Coast, George James Kenagy was born in California, grew up in Oregon, and completed his education in California. His academic career began in 1976 at the University of Washington, where he continues, since 2008, as emeritus professor of biology and curator of mammals at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. His research spans ecology, physiology, behavior, and evolutionary biology, and he has taught natural history of mammals, environmental physiology, vertebrate zoology, and biogeography. Kenagy studied at Pomona College and the University of California, Los Angeles, followed by post-doctoral experiences at the Max Planck Institut für Verhaltensphysiologie and the University of California, Los Angeles and San Diego campuses. He has recently taken up writing essays that relate his personal experiences in nature over the course of his life. He lives in Seattle and the San Juan Islands and travels most frequently to Latin America.
Spencer E. LaMoure
Spencer E. LaMoure, poet and educator, was born in Whittier, California on the other side of the railroad tracks—literally. He grew up reading comic books, big fat novels like the Count of Monte Christo and Huckleberry Finn, and listening to old-time radio shows such as I Love a Mystery and Amos and Andy. His poetry has been published in anthologies and literary journals, including, among others, Blue Unicorn and Nexus Literary Journal, as well as the Marin Poetry Center Anthology. A long-time educator, Spencer taught for 25 years at Grossmont College in El Cajon, California, and continues teaching courses in philosophy and humanities at Santa Rosa Junior College. He attended San Francisco State University where he received his Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in humanities and philosophy.
Eileen McNerney, CSJ, MA, MS, has been a Sister of St. Joseph of Orange for sixty years. She is an artist, a public speaker and an author. She is the director emeritus of Taller San Jose Hope Builders, a non-profit organization that empowers impoverished, undereducated and unskilled young people to advance their lives through acquisition of skills, employment and a pursuit of further education. She is the author of A Story of Suffering and Hope: Lessons from Latino Youth and co-author of A Bold and Humble Love, A Journey of Grace: Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange 1912-2012.
“Biscuit Bomber Bob” chronicles my life and tribulations of growing up in Hollywood California with my Sister and Brother. We three kids were happy and carefree as our parents fought the depression, illnesses and welfare. Once we were all pulled into World War 2. The workforce turned from movie making to building ships and airplanes to win this unwanted war. My brother and I quickly joined the Military. I was proudly accepted as a Cadet for pilot training in our country’s new Army Air Force Western Training Command, earning my wings as a 2nd Lt. in June 1944 while still a teenager. I was assigned to overseas duty with the 5th Air Force in the South Pacific flying in a Troop Carrier Squadron. Now Hollywood had really gone to War. As I flew over the jungles of New Guinea I had no expectation of ever seeing my home again, I flew Island to Island in C-47 and C-46 Troop Carrier Transport aircraft carrying supplies and personnel to the front and returning with the badly injured young men who fought the war on the ground. There were dangerous missions and rescues I participated in as we fought north from New Guinea to the Philippines, Okinawa, and eventually to a surprisingly peaceful Japan after the Atomic Bombs were dropped in 1945.
I arrived home in 1946 to face a different kind of battle. After marrying my wonderful wife Beverly, I entered U.C.L.A. on the G.I. Bill and earned my Electrical Engineering degree and started my real life as an Engineer, husband, and father of four working to bring the world all together again in developing digital communication systems that quickly evolved into products used in creating the World Wide Web.
Peter Nielsen was born in the Bay Area in the late 1950s to a young executive on the rise and a beautiful mother who hailed from a small rural town in central Utah. His family moved to another small town in Southern California named Piru when he was very young. They lived there for 3 years until the family packed up and moved to Washington DC. It was the late 1960s when they moved to the east coast and a time of exciting and dangerous developments in the world. A few years later, when Peter was in the sixth grade, the family moved back to Southern California and settled in the San Diego area.
After graduating from La Jolla high school, in the late 1970s during a period of great political and cultural instability, Peter traveled to and lived in the country of Guatemala. His view of the world was forever changed as he learned to understand and appreciate the plight of the people there. After 2 years he came home, graduated from college and began a career working for various multinational banking organizations.
He had a front row seat when the “Great recession” of the late 2000s and the early 2010s came crashing down on the banking world. He was an important piece of a team of professionals who were employed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and were tasked with helping to resolve the terrible financial crisis that hit them all.
He now lives with his wife, Kathie, in Tustin, California. They have three children and six grandchildren.
Brandon Oswald is a native Southern Californian who has never lived far from the ocean. He became fascinated with stories of adventure in the South Seas at an early age. His interest in the culture and history of the Pacific Islands was heightened by a volunteer trip to Rarotonga, Cook Islands in 2002. There he had the privilege of organizing and cataloging the material of several different kinds of libraries throughout the island, including facilities at a college, a primary school and a public library. Brandon obtained his Master’s degree in Archives and Records Management at the University of Dundee, Scotland. He currently serves as Executive Director and Archivist, Island Culture Archival Support (ICAS), a non-profit dedicated to providing voluntary archival assistance to cultural heritage organizations in the Pacific Islands. Brandon currently lives in San Diego, California with his wife, Shannon, daughter, Devin, three cats, and a dog named Steve.
Roger E. Riley
Roger E. Riley was born in Tustin, California and grew up in Southern California. He attended the University of Southern California, both as an undergraduate and later entered the graduate school of Dentistry. He opened a dental practice in Newport Beach, California where he and his wife Marilyn moved after he completed his education. At mid-career he joined USC School of Dentistry as a Clinical Associate Professor while continuing his practice of restorative dentistry. Roger and Marilyn raised three children, twins Cameron and Kathy and daughter Allyson. Cameron died following a tragic illness. Roger has been active in church and community affairs, serving as an Elder in St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, as President of the Newport Harbor Junior Chamber of Commerce, and on other civic commissions. He continues to be active in the dental profession, with a specialty practice in sleep breathing disorders. However, his main occupation at present is caregiver to Marilyn and working with other Alzheimer caregivers through COPE, an organization he founded to provide education and shared support.
Penny Rodheim grew up in Southern California, moving to Newport Beach to begin a career as an English teacher in Garden Grove after graduating from University of Southern California School of Education.
After marrying her fellow teacher, Ralph Rodheim, they spent a year in South Korea where Penny taught conversational English to Korean business men and women. Upon return to stateside, they started a family and eventually moved to Balboa Island.
Several years later after walking many miles along Balboa Island’s Bayfront, and enjoying Fred the Raptor as a Bayfront anomaly, their daughter, Megan bore them their first grandchild, named Connor. Soon a precocious reader and lover of dinosaurs at an early age, Connor became the inspiration for this story of a little boy who teaches a dinosaur how to roar, but more importantly how to embrace friendship.
Craig B. Smith
Craig has written poetry, fiction, and non-fiction while pursuing his career in engineering and construction management. Later, serving as president of a large architect-engineering firm with projects world-wide, his travels took him to uncertain places, including the Middle East, the Philippines, and even North Korea, among others, where terrorists were a known risk and he had colleagues imprisoned and in some cases murdered. Smith’s nonfiction books include How the Great Pyramid Was Built, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., 2004, the story behind the design and construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt, “Extreme Waves,” Joseph Henry Press, Washington D.C. 2006, the story of rogue waves, tsunami, and other giant waves in the ocean, In The Wake of Cabrillo, the story of his historic voyage of discovery, and Counting the Days: POWs, Internees and Stragglers of WWII in the Pacific, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., 2012. Novels include House of Miracles and Malaika’s Miracle, both set in Brazil, Stirrings,(three novellas), Iwa Tales: Legends for Our Times, a book for young adults, and his latest, Twenty-Two Ocean View: Terrorists Among Us, inspired by his experiences in the Middle East. His work has been translated into Russian, Spanish, and other languages. He is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of California at Los Angeles.
Sally Welsh was born in Salem, Oregon, and then attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in education. Moving to Newport Beach, California after college, she taught elementary school, and met and married Terry Welsh. With the birth of their two sons, Chris and Doug, she became involved in the local sailing world, spending lots of time in the sun. Her travels took her to Europe many times, Hawaii yearly, and sailboat cruising in the Pacific Northwest, Tahiti, Australia and New Zealand. After teaching for many years, she became co-owner of a canvas luggage company supplying the local sailors, skiers, and travelers with custom made luggage. She continues to play an ongoing role as a volunteer in her church and her community, and now in the field of melanoma.
Still active in the sailing world, Sally lives with her husband, Terry, enjoying her children and grandchildren nearby. Much of her time is spent on the water. Her older son, Chris, is a distinguished sailor on his boat, Ragtime, and her younger son, Doug, not only crews on Ragtime, but, along with his wife, Mary, has raised three fine young sailors, Charlie, Britty and Becca.
As a consequence of all that sun and sailing, she has endured several episodes of melanoma that has given her insight into the disease. Her ongoing battle has fostered in her an interest in helping others who are facing (or know someone who is facing) the ordeal of melanoma. Her writings reflect her desire to assist people afflicted by it, giving them a resource for better understanding and for dealing with it.
She does not call herself an expert on the subject, nor a medical resource. She is, rather, just another “Traveler on the Road.” She hopes her insight into the disease might help you and yours.
Dr. Steven S. Westfall
Dr. Westfall is the Founder and CEO of Tradeline Incorporated, an internationally recognized U.S. conference production and publishing company in the field of design, construction, and management of research facilities. Since founding Tradeline in 1975, Dr. Westfall has developed and directed over 200 conferences in this field, for which he has overseen industry trend analyses, the development of conference topics and content, and the recruitment of qualified and relevant conference speakers – and served as conference moderator. Beginning in 2002 these conferences have included annual international conferences on the planning, design, construction and operation of biocontainment facilities. In 2005, Dr. Westfall served as the Advisory Team Facilitator and Editor for a special task-force report for the Regents of the University of California entitled Transforming Capital Asset Utilization and Delivery (July, 2005). He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. with Distinction in Management from the University of California at Los Angeles Graduate School of Management (1969). His Ph.D. fields of study were Management, Economics, International Business, and Engineering Design for Industrial Development. His dissertation topic, “Industrial Franchising in Northeast Brazil,” was based on his field research in Brazil on barriers to entrepreneurship and industrial development in underdeveloped regions, and he was the recipient of the 1968 UCLA Executive Program Alumni Association Award. Prior to the founding of Tradeline, Dr. Westfall held positions in engineering design, engineering teaching, special corporate projects, and Vice President Sales & Marketing respectively at Bausch and Lomb’s Applied Research Laboratory, the UCLA School of Engineering, Laird Systems (Laird, Inc, NY), Cerro Corporation (NY), and Lawrence Systems, a financial services subsidiary of INA Insurance Corporation of North America (now CIGNA). A current and special research interest of Dr. Westfall is the development and application of a statistically-based modeling technique (structured equation multi-variant analysis) to predict and test staffing levels (headcount) for the management and operation of buildings and facility portfolios of corporate, institutional, and government campuses.
After graduating from college with a degree in art and education, and later a master’s degree as a resource specialist, Rayleen spent the first half of her career teaching all grades from preschool through eighth grade, and teaching classes for both gifted and special needs students. Later, after earning a degree in science education, she spent the last half of her 38 years in the classroom as a middle school science teacher. For that she was honored as the ’98-99 Teacher of the Year for La Habra City School District, Semi-finalist for the 1999 Orange County Teacher of the Year, and Finalist for 2002 Educator of the Year, California League of Middle Schools. While teaching, she raised three daughters and also pursued an interest in musical performance. Now retired, she is a volunteer musician in a variety of community groups, and writes and illustrates science themed books for children, especially her six grandchildren.
Shahir Masri is an air pollution scientist at the University of California, Irvine. He earned his Doctor of Science and Master of Science degrees in environmental health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and his Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science from the University of California, Los Angeles.
David Kim is a young author who grew up in Southern California. He has visited Japan and was attracted to the art and culture of the country’s rich history. The mythology, food, architecture, Shinto religion, and the establishment of a feudal government captivated his imagination and suggested the concept of this book. Visiting museums in Japan helped by giving him vivid images of ancient mythology. David started writing his first novel in sixth grade and did extensive research on the rise of the warrior class in ancient Japan. He turned the inquiry into a captivating story of a young boy who changes from a child to a man in order to save his hometown of Wanokyu. His story takes place back in time to before the Edo period, where the protagonist discovers a startling past and realizes his capability to change the future.
Besides writing, David’s outside interests and accomplishments include music, math and science. He plays three musical instruments and has won gold and silver medals for piano competitions. As a 7th grader, he was selected for his school’s Science Olympiad team, winning at the state level and going to the National Science Olympiad Tournament at Colorado State University where they were 9th out of 60 schools from every U.S. state in the national competition. He enjoys computer programming, playing basketball, practicing Taekwondo, and being the President of Jeffrey Trail Middle School in Irvine, California. David is currently in the 8th grade.
Harriet Smith, managing director of FRIENDS OF THE SONORAN DESERT, is a retired clinical psychologist who grew up in Tucson, Arizona. As a child, Smith was surrounded by the the Sonoran Desert ecosystem; she awoke to the coos of mourning doves, hiked on trails where the vibrant colors of cactus blooms and the sound of rattlesnakes caught her attention, and swam in natural desert pools that filled after monsoon rains. Her love of natural history and her desire to contribute to conserving the Sonoran Desert motivated her to write this book about the Sonoran Desert and some of its most interesting inhabitants. Smith authored “Parenting for Primates” (2005; Harvard University Press).
Andrew Smith, Vice-chair FRIENDS OF THE SONORAN DESERT, is President’s Professor Emeritus and a Distinguished Sustainability Scientist in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. He is a conservation biologist whose work includes the behavioral ecology of mammals, effects of habitat fragmentation, and ecosystem services provided by small mammals. Since 1991 Smith has served as Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Lagomorph Specialist Group. Books include: “A Guide to the Mammals of China” (Princeton University Press; 2008) and “Lagomorphs: Pikas, Rabbits, and Hares of the World” (Johns Hopkins University Press; 2018). In 2015 Smith received the Aldo Leopold Conservation Award from the American Society of Mammalogists.
Bill Fletcher retired as Senior Vice President at Rockwell International Corporation responsible for corporate R&D and business planning. Most of his career involved business planning and international operations for large companies. He served as an officer and engineer in the Navy working on the design and operation of nuclear powered ships, and was an engineer involved with the design and construction of commercial nuclear power plants. Later, he focused on industrial development and automation. His international experience includes an assignment in Saudi Arabia planning the large Jubail industrial development project on the Persian Gulf, with additional expatriate assignments in Asia, Europe, Africa, and Canada.