Dr. Lisa “Cali” Crampton, Project Leadercrampton@hawaii.edu
Dr. Crampton (“Cali”) has been KFBRP’s Project Leader since April 2010. She obtained her Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology from the University of Nevada at Reno in December 2004.
Cali has extensive experience coordinating the design, conduct, and delivery of large research and monitoring projects with teams of diverse stakeholders. For her doctoral research, she examined the landscape ecology and conservation of Phainopeplas, threatened passerines in southern Nevada, for the regional Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). As part of her post-doctoral work, she led a team of other scientists, NGOs, and government managers in designing the HCP’s adaptive management plan for conserving and restoring threatened desert woodlands on which Phainopeplas and other sensitive species in Nevada depend. In addition to her familiarity with avian field research techniques, Cali is experienced in the use of multivariate statistical and spatial analysis tools to evaluate the effects of environmental variables on animal distribution, abundance, and fecundity. For example, while working at the USGS Kilauea Field Station on Hawai’i Island, she analyzed field data on the population and behavioral ecology of the endangered Laysan teal to improve monitoring and management strategies implemented by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Subsequently, for the US Forest Service, she analyzed impacts of recreation on abundance of Sierra Nevada forest birds, small mammals and carnivores.
All of Cali’s projects have involved substantial interaction and communication with scientific and non-scientific groups, including interpretative programs for the general public. Consequently, her record includes numerous journal publications, technical reports, and conference presentations as well as popular articles and TV shows.
Justin Hite, Field Supervisor
Justin joined KFBRP in February 2015. Justin fell in love with birds as a child and was delighted to discover that you could make a career of studying any aspect of any bird on the planet. He graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2005, having already spent six summers studying California Gulls at Mono Lake and two winters studying Jacamars in Venezuela. Since then he has studied numerous species in 12 countries, and taught field skills to Cornell undergraduates in Borneo, Honduras and Panama. Besides nest searching and recording bird songs, his favorite pastime is entertaining his friends with imitations of bird displays.
Tyler has spent most of his life outdoors observing wildlife and natural interactions. He further pursued this passion at the Evergreen State College where he received a dual degree in Wildlife Biology and Chemistry. His passion for birds was ignited during his independent study of wintering birds and migration in Mexico’s Sonoran Desert. Since graduating, he has studied fall migration patterns for five years, working in California and Idaho with Palomarin Bird Observatory and Intermountain Bird Observatory.
As a Crew Lead and Camp Manager for Intermountain Bird Observatory he was able to share his love of the outdoors with school groups and coordinate overnight trips for Scouts, families, and other small organizations. He also instructed interns on proper bird handling techniques while monitoring the safety of ongoing research projects.
His interest in island biogeography and endangered species lead him to KFBRP where he currently works as a Field Associate. He can be found either working remotely in the Alaka’i or helping with IT in the office.
Tyler is certified by the North American Banding Council as both a raptor and passerine bander.
Roy Gilb, GIS and Database Management Assistant
Roy joined KFBRP in May 2020 as the GIS Analysis and Database Assistant. He grew up in the hills of Virginia and spent as much time outside in the Blue Ridge Mountains as possible. After obtaining a degree in Geography from the University of Richmond with a concentration in computer science, he spent some time studying Climate Change and Sustainability at the University of Cape Town.
After returning to the US, he began his career in GIS at the Virginia Dept. of Conservation and Recreation in Richmond, VA. There he worked on GIS data projects that included identifying the most valuable lands for native plant and animal life and also worked with a team of ecologists on a series of large-scale Species Distribution Models. His latest job was at a GIS Consulting company in Richmond where he worked on a variety of projects, including a nation-wide VA Cemeteries GPS mapping contract. His continued interest in conservation brought him to KFBRP, where he manages their data processes and occasionally joins for field work.
In his free time, he enjoys running as far as possible on trails and up mountains, rock climbing, and playing guitar.
Alon Averbuj, Kupu Service Member
Alon graduated from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a concentration in Ecology. There, he fell in love with birds after taking an ornithology course and gained a deep appreciation for the avian world around him. In the summers between terms he spent time at the San Diego Zoo teaching kids about conservation and interesting animal adaptations. He also spent a summer tracking California condors and researching bats and mesocarnivores in Central California. Alon joined KFBRP in September 2020 and hopes to refine his birding skills as well as continue the never-ending journey of learning more about the natural world. In his free time he enjoys surfing, rock climbing, birding, and playing chess.
Kara Winter, Field Assistant
Kara moved to Kaua’i and joined KFBRP in March 2020. Growing up she could always be found running around outside exploring and observing nature in Wisconsin. She continued following this passion into her undergraduate years and received a dual degree in Biology and Natural Resources with a Wildlife and Fisheries Ecology emphasis from Northland College.
She quickly fell in love with fieldwork, research, and conservation during her time at Northland as a research assistant. She has since had numerous jobs observing and banding birds all over the country and abroad. It has been one of Kara’s biggest career goals to work in Hawaii with endemic species, and since beginning with KFBRP she has thoroughly fallen in love with the native forest birds as well as everything else Kaua’i has to offer.
Bow Tyler, Field Assistant
A mild obsession with birds landed Bow with KFBRP in March 2020. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, he developed a love for the natural world while out hiking in the Olympic and Cascade mountains. Since then he has vowed to pursue a living in the field of conservation.
Bow went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science from The Evergreen State College with an emphasis on ecology and ornithology. He has worked for avian conservation projects in the West, Midwest, Mexico and Malaysian Borneo. Now he is thrilled to be working as part of the field team here on Kauai.
Melissa Simon, Field Assistant
Melissa’s fascination with avian ecology began in her undergraduate ornithology course at LSU, where she developed a passion that has fueled almost five years of seasonal fieldwork. Upon graduating with a degree in Conservation Biology, she spent three consecutive summers in the Sierra Nevada monitoring Willow Flycatchers, banding breeding songbirds, and falling in love with the itinerate field tech lifestyle. She has also worked at migration banding stations in Maryland and Louisiana, as well as on Southeast Farallon Island surveying a vast array of wildlife.
This is Melissa’s first season with KFBRP, and she is thrilled to have the opportunity to spend time in the Alakaʻi getting to know the flora and fauna.
Abby Kreuser, Field Assistant
Abby’s first introduction into the bird world was participating in undergraduate research projects on the cooperatively breeding Brown-headed Nuthatch at Tall Timbers Research Station while studying biology as an undergraduate at Florida State University. Abby moved to Kaua‘i in 2018 to work as the Americorps Kupu Service Member for the Kaua‘i Forest Bird Recovery Project. After finishing her term, she immediately began working for Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project for the 2019 season. In 2020, she authored two papers on the decay of rats in the Alaka‘i with data collected during her internship to give KFBRP insight into how long rat carcasses could remain under an A24 trap. Abby is stoked to research and hangout with the native birds of the Alaka‘i once again.
Kate Maley, Field Assistant
Kate discovered a love of birds and field work while attending the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Since then, she has been fortunate enough to work with birds ranging from Northern Saw-whet Owls in her home state of Minnesota, to Canada Warblers in the southern Appalachians, to Greater Anis in Panama. She is excited to learn more about tropical ecology this season and to experience all that Kauai and the forest birds have to offer.
Katie van Dyk, Field Assistant
Katie grew up in the beautiful state of Oregon where she earned a B.S. in Environmental Science from Linfield University. Her interest in birds sparked while she was attending graduate school at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. There, she studied the feeding preferences and seasonality trends of nectarivorous Hawaiian forest birds. Upon completing her M.S. in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science, Katie served as a Peace Corps Volunteer working in coastal resource management in the Philippines. She returned to Hawaiʻi in 2020 to work with the Kauaʻi Endangered Seabird Recovery Project and is excited to now be part of the Kauaʻi Forest Bird Recovery Project. In her free time, Katie enjoys hiking, scuba diving, and playing the flute.
Clairice Drexler, Field Assistant
Originally from Connecticut, Clairice graduated from Marist College with a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy. She has always had appreciation and enthusiasm for nature and grew up spending as much time as possible outdoors. Her passion for wildlife conservation was sparked while working with Blanding’s turtles and American glass eels in the Hudson Valley. In 2020, she had the opportunity to work with the Kauaʻi Endangered Seabird Recovery Project and loved it!
Now, Clairice is excited to be a part of KFBRP in helping protect the beautiful endemic songbirds of Hawaiʻi. In her free time, Clairice loves to sing and enjoys cracking open a good book at the beach!
Kurt Ongman, Field Assistant
Kurt’s early curiosities in wildlife and natural history led him to attend Humboldt State University where he graduated with a BS in Wildlife Management and Conservation in 2014. Since then, he has worked numerous avian field positions for federal, military, and tribal agencies, in addition to academic institutions. His experiences have ranged from studying Andean foothill bird communities, monitoring migrant landbirds on Southeast Farallon Island, leading bird banding operations in Yosemite National Park, and conducting ten seasons of owl monitoring across the Western US. Kurt is an avid birder and loves to travel, fish, and spend any opportunity in the outdoors.
Jenny Allen – Fiscal and Program Associate
Jenny has been rescuing animals in need since kindergarten and has always had a special love for birds. Australian by birth and a veterinary graduate from the University of Sydney, Jenny came to the US for a Residency in Equine Medicine at Washington State University, but quickly became engaged in the conservation science community after the 1989 Exxon-Valdez disaster—when oil-spill remediation work drew her to Alaska for more than a decade as a technical program manager—before ultimately returning to her warmer roots and making Kauaʻi home in 2010. Along with horses and birds, Jenny’s other lifelong passion is native plants, and on Kauaʻi she has worked for the National Tropical Botanical Garden at Limahuli, Princeville Botanical Garden, and the Kauaʻi Invasive Species Committee (KISC).
Jenny joined KFBRP in May of 2020 to provide fiscal and program support. Being a long-time KFBRP fan and in awe of the work that the team does, she is thrilled to be on board. She also volunteers for the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge doing weekly botulism surveys for endangered waterbirds, and for the University of Hawaiʻi Bishop Museum Plants of Hawaiʻi project, helping database and catalog Hawaiʻi’s plant collections. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, camping, gardening, and learning about birds.
Monika Mira – Website Coordinator / Outreach Assistant
Monika has been a resident of Kauaʻi for nearly 30 years. She came to KFBRP several years ago to help with the layout and publishing of Who Am I? A Kauai Forest Bird Guessing Game. She has since adapted to updating and maintaining our blog and website, designing education and outreach materials, and increasing our presence on social media. Monika’s role continues to diversify as KFBRP’s needs change.
Monika is the author of many books including, The Complete Hawaiian Reef Fish Coloring book. She has developed a large body of environmental educational materials for children and hopes to continue using these skills to expand KFBRP’s education and outreach program.
Monika has a degree in Marine Science from the University of Hawaii Hilo. She is passionate about plastic-free living, reducing ocean plastic, and reversing climate change. She spends her free time volunteering for local non-profits that fulfill these missions.