Chuck Eicholz has been in the animal field his entire life. He has worked as a veterinary technician in clinics in the Ohio area, and at a specialty clinic focusing on internal medicine here in Maryland. He worked as an animal trainer and animal care specialist at Sea World in Ohio, Florida, Texas and California where he worked caring for and training dolphins, sea lions, seals, penguins and killer whales. Chuck is also a Master SCUBA diving instructor and specialty diver as well as a certified CPR instructor. He currently works at the National Aquarium as Volunteer Dive Coordinator and Dive Safety Officer. There he is responsible for the hundreds of volunteer and staff divers performance and safety. He also participates in the care and training of some of the animals at the aquarium including a large green sea turtle. Chuck has been a member of the Animal Behavior Management Alliance (ABMA) for several years. He is co-founder and Vice President of Misfits Animal Sanctuary, which he and his wife Sue Hunter started at their farm.
Jeff Walstrum previously directed the care-giving and fund-raising volunteer activities at the Health Education Resource Organization (HERO), the nation’s eighth oldest HIV/AIDS service provider. Currently, Jeff is in his fourteenth year as Manager of Volunteer Services at the National Aquarium. There, he oversees the supervision of hundreds of regular volunteers in the diving, marine animal rescue, conservation and animal and exhibit care programs. He has 22 years experience in working with volunteer administration and paid staff/volunteer relationships and has served on the Board of Directors and as an instructor for the Maryland Council of Directors of Volunteer Services (MCDVS) for 13 years. Jeff is currently serving as Treasurer at Misfits Animal Sanctuary.
Georgette Frederick is Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for the National Aquarium where she oversees the raising of funds from corporate, foundation, and government entities. She ran her own fundraising consulting firm for ten years prior to joining the Aquarium in 2000. She worked for almost a decade at the Johns Hopkins University in State Government Relations before entering the fundraising field. She is currently serving as Chair of the Patrick Allison House, a transitional homeless shelter for men in Baltimore City, where she has volunteered for four years, previously serving as Secretary of the Board. She also serves on the Architectural Committee for her community association. She has a Masters Degree in Administrative Science from the Johns Hopkins University and a BA from the University of Maryland in College Park. She is currently serving as Secretary at Misfits Animal Sanctuary.
Chris Martin is originally from New York but has lived in Maryland for most of her adult life. She has been involved with the care of domestic animals especially horses for over 40 years. In the past, she ran a successful horse transport, boarding and show business. Presently, her knowledge of horse care and husbandry has allowed her to excellently run her horse boarding business by herself on her farm. She has also been involved in the care of dogs, cats and other animals. Chris is passionate about providing the best care for animals and for helping those in need. She currently resides with four dogs and four cats that were rescues of Misfits Animal Sanctuary. She is currently serving as a director at Misfits.
Dr. Mark Turner was born in Philadelphia, PA and grew up in the Philadelphia area. He received his masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Pennsylvania where his research was in computational aspects of neuroscience. Thereafter he was a consultant at J.P. Morgan in NY and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, followed by a position as Vice President, Advanced Analytics for Ashton Technology Group, a small financial trading systems company. For the past 10 years he and his wife Cindy have volunteered at Brandywine Zoo in Wilmington, Delaware. As Curatorial Assistants they help with animal care and the creation, development and implementation of enrichment activities for a wide variety of animals ranging from ducks to Siberian tigers. He is also co-chair of the Environmental Enrichment committee at Chenoa Manor, a farm animal sanctuary in Avondale, PA, and a Research Associate at the National Aquarium with a focus in dolphin cognition. He is currently a director at Misfits Animal Sanctuary.
Dr. Diana Reiss is cognitive psychologist and professor in the Department of Psychology at Hunter College and the Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience Graduate Program of the City University of New York (CUNY). She also is adjunct faculty in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology at Columbia University.
In addition to her work as a scientist, Diana has also been very intimately involved in animal welfare by serving as co-chair of WCS's Animal Enrichment Program from 2001 through 2007. In addition, she is a scientific advisor of the Animal Welfare Committee of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
Dr. Reiss’s work in animal intelligence and communication has been featured in hundreds of articles in international and national journals, science magazines, television segments and features, and newspaper articles. Dr. Reiss’s research focuses on marine mammal cognition and communication, comparative animal cognition, and the evolution intelligence. She is currently a director at Misfits Animal Sanctuary.
Dr. Irene Pepperberg received her SB from MIT and MA and Ph.D. from Harvard. She is currently a Research Associate and Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Harvard and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Brandeis University's Psychology Department. She has been a visiting associate professor at MIT's Media Lab, later accepting a research scientist position there, leaving a tenured professorship at the University of Arizona. She has been a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, won a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, was an alternate for the Cattell Award for Psychology, won the 2000 Selby Fellowship (Australian Academy of Sciences), won the 2005 Frank Beach Award for best paper in comparative psychology, was nominated for the 2000 Weizmann, L'Oreal, and Grawemeyer Awards, the 2001 Quest Award (Animal Behavior Society) and was renominated for the 2001 L'Oreal Award. She has also received fellowships from the Harry Frank Guggenheim and Whitehall Foundations, and numerous grants from NSF. Her book, The Alex Studies, describing over 20 years of peer-reviewed experiments on Grey parrots, received favorable mention from publications as diverse as the New York Times and Science. Her memoir, Alex & Me, is a New York Times bestseller. She has presented her findings nationally and internationally at universities and scientific congresses, often as a keynote or plenary speaker, and has published numerous journal articles, reviews, and book chapters. She is a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, the American Ornithologists' Union, AAAS, the Eastern Psychological Association, and presently serves as consulting editor for four journals. She is currently a director at Misfits Animal Sanctuary.