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Bob Bramblet is the founder and a past president of the Southwest Florida Kayak Angler’s Association. Visit its website at www.swfkaa.com. Bramblet writes kayak fishing articles and reviews for several online resources and kayak fishing magazines such as Florida Sportsman magazine, YakAngler, KFC Tournament Trail Magazine and Kayak Angler Magazine. He can usually be found fishing his home-waters of Estero Bay or Pine Island Sound in Florida, where he has been fishing for over 20 years. Bramblet is a member of the Hobie Fishing Team, and is on the pro staff of Estero River Outfitters, Bending Branches and Columbia Sportswear.
A proud native of Charlottesville, Virginia, Matthew Copeland served a six year corporate sentence in Major Metro USA before finding his way home to Wyoming. He met, married and made a son with his wife in that open country and it’s got its claws in him. He worked for many years in outdoor education at The National Outdoor Leadership School and now spends most of his days fighting for the places we hunt, fish and recreate as an organizer for the National Wildlife Federation. Copeland co-produces StalkingTheSeam.com, a critically acclaimed digital outlet exploring the balance between parenting, happy home lives and passionate outdoor pursuits. His writing has appeared in Gray’s Sporting Journal, the Drake magazine, the Casper Star-Tribune and elsewhere. He’s a curious writer with eclectic interests who’s tackled a diverse collection of topics over the years, including the recurring themes of hunting, fishing and kids in nature.
Erin Merrill is a born and raised Mainer who got her first taste of hunting when she was 20 and rattled in a buck during deer season. After being interviewed by a fellow outdoor writer about being a 20-something woman getting into hunting, she decided to launch her website, www.andastrongcupofcoffee.com, and focus on writing about the challenges outdoor women face, her adventures learning the do’s and dont’s of hunting white-tailed deer, black bear, moose and turkey and issues that impact Maine and its hunting heritage. Merrill also writes for Northwoods Sporting Journal and Wide Open Spaces. She is on the board of Friends of Becoming an Outdoors-Woman in Maine, which aims to get more women out of their comfort zone and trying new outdoor activities. She is active on Twitter and Google+ and is thrilled to join the OWAA community.
Born and raised on Long Island, New York, Chris Paparo has been exploring the wilds of the island for over 30 years. As a wildlife photographer, writer and lecturer, he enjoys bringing public awareness to the wildlife that calls the island home. His passion for coastal ecology, fishing and the outdoors led him to obtain a degree in marine science from Southampton College of Long Island University. He manages the Marine Sciences Center at Stony Brook University. In addition to freelance writing for several fishing and wildlife related publications, Paparo writes the monthly Naturalist’s Logbook column for the New York and New Jersey edition of On The Water magazine. Although his work tends to focus on marine life, everything in the natural world is fair game. Paparo is a licensed general class falconer, currently flying a female red-tailed hawk named Emmy. To follow Paparo’s adventures, follow him on Facebook and Twitter at Fish Guy Photos or by visiting his website at www.fishguyphotos.com.
Communications specialist Ryan Roberts serves at the communications coordinator for the National Fish Habitat Partnership. He is employed by the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies in Washington, D.C. as a liaison for several committees and work groups related to fisheries and ocean policy as well as angler and boating participation. Born in Pennsylvania, Roberts is an avid fly-fisherman and grew up near some of the best eastern U.S. waters, including Spruce Creek and the Little Juniata River. Roberts helped launch the “10 Waters to Watch” campaign that highlights restoration projects implemented through the National Fish Habitat Partnership. Roberts also developed social media platforms for the partnership and manages day-to-day communications for the vast network of growing partnerships. Because of his communication efforts, partnership projects have been featured in several magazines and newspapers,
both locally and across the country.
Stephanie M. Salinas was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and moved to the Texas Hill Country in the fall of 2011 to finish her bachelor’s degree in journalism at Texas State University- San Marcos. In the summer of 2012, she began interning with the news and information branch of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. After graduating in August 2013, she was hired full-time at the department. Her writing has been featured in several issues of Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine. She also writes news releases and news briefs regularly and helps manage the department’s Facebook and Twitter pages. In her spare time, Salinas can be often found trying new activities and visiting new parks with her family and her 5-year-old Jack Russell terrier mix, Norma Jean. Her long-term goal is to visit every park in the state.
Brad Smith has been an avid outdoorsman all of his life. As a child, he fished on the banks of the Eel and Tippecanoe rivers in Northern Indiana chasing muskies and other game fish all over the Midwest. During the winter, he
spends every possible moment in a tree stand. Come spring, he is in the woods listening for far off gobbles. His passion for hunting and fishing has led him to a life of being a lure designer, tournament angler, and an active writer providing content for several outdoor publications and various websites such as Midwest Outdoors magazine, Wide Open Spaces, Angler and Hunter, Average Outdoorsman and The Outdoor Shopper. Smith is also pretty handy in the kitchen. He specializes in quick and easy wild game recipes that would make even the pickiest of eaters go back for seconds. These days Smith still spends every moment he can lost in the woods or somewhere on the water writing about his adventures and sharing his experiences on his blog StreamtoPond.com.
Terry R. Thomas is a naturalist with a masters’s degree in wildlife management from Montana State University. He has worked for Idaho Department of Fish and Game for 27 years a s a conservation officer, wildlife biologist, habitat biologist and habitat manager. When he is not working he is exploring the backcountry of Idaho and traveling to national parks and other points of interest. Thomas writes a weekly nature column for the Idaho Falls Post Register and recently published a book, “The Best of Nature,” with over 100 of his most popular columns from the past 17 years. He is a board member of Friends of Camas National Wildlife Refuge. He recently started a website, www.nature-track.com
intended to become premier site on nature. He and his wife Cathy love to travel, photograph, hike, canoe, garden, hunt and fish.
Matt Smythe decided that hunting and gathering for his family’s table would be a far better way to make a living than grinding out a nine-to-five. An upstate New York native, avid bowhunter and fly-fisherman, Smythe now splits his time between freelance writing (marketing and editorial), spending time in the woods and on the water with his three kids, and writing his blog, fishingpoet.com. Additionally, Smythe is the writer/co-producer of the film “A Deliberate Life,” which toured with the International Fly Fishing Film Festival in 2013. Smythe believes that the conservation of our woods, water and wildlife helps us pay much closer attention to the larger natural world that surrounds the places we find them — the wild places that he knows his kids will explore, both locally and beyond. ♦