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Welcome to OWAA

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New Members

Joseph Albanese has spent the last 10 years in the natural resource field. He worked for many federal and state agencies in his career, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska. He has also spent time with the Freshwater Fisheries Unit of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. He was the technician responsible for ridding New York City’s Central Park of rabies during his tenure with the USDA’s Wildlife Services division. He regards the summer that he went 27 days without touching dry land, and 39 days without showering, among the highlights of his vocation. Recently he has started detailing his experiences through pen and camera, with stories featured in Outdoor Life and Field & Stream. He has pieces coming out in Eastern Fly Fishing, Saltwater Sportsman, The Fly Fishing Journal, as well as other outdoor magazines. You can reach him at www.josephjalbanese.com.
Jeff Helsdon has more than 20 years experience as a writer and photographer. He is currently the turkey hunting editor and senior reporter for Ontario Out of Doors magazine and a field editor for Ruffed Grouse magazine. Helsdon has written for newspapers, Great Lakes Angler, Ducks Unlimited Conservator, Delta Waterfowl Report, NRA’s website and several other publications. Over the years, Helsdon has won several awards for his writing and photography. Helsdon calls the turkey-rich woods of southwestern Ontario home. He has hunted turkeys in two Canadian provinces and several states. Helsdon completed a Canadian slam of turkey hunting, bagging eastern birds and a Merriam’s in Western Canada. When he’s not turkey hunting, he enjoys fishing with his family, especially on Lake Erie and hunting for upland game, waterfowl and deer.
Retired after 45 years in news, talk, and sports radio, Brian Jennings still consults for some large stations around the nation, but his main focus is using his media skills to help advance conservation ethics for public lands, waters and wildlife. He produces and narrates conservation videos and podcasts and authors print content for numerous publications. He enjoyed more than a decade as national vice president of programming for a large broadcast company which held over 240 radio stations nationwide. After leaving those front lines of broadcasting, he found his way home to the front lines of the outdoors and back to his roots.
Ken Keffer was raised in Wyoming, and he’s worked as an environmental educator and research biologist throughout the country from Alaska to Maryland and New Mexico to Ohio. He is now based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As a freelancer, Keffer regularly contributes to Birds & Blooms and other publications. An award winning author, Keffer has co-authored numerous books focused on getting kids and families outside including the National Outdoor Book Award winning “The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book: 448 Great Things to Do in Nature Before You Grow Up.” Keffer was the recipient of the OWAA’s 2014 John Madson Fellowship. Learn more about Ken and his writing at www.destinationnature.net.
Veteran outdoor journalist Dan A. Nelson is editor of Gearinstitute.com, as well as a regular contributor to several national publications. Nelson left his general news beat at the Pierce County Herald and Tacoma News Tribune to work as an outdoor journalist in 1991 as editor of Northwest Trails magazine, where he would spend up to 159 nights per year in a tent while “conducting research” in the wilderness. Over the past 23 years, Nelson has written for Men’s Journal, Backpacker, Outside, National Geographic Adventure, USA Today, CNN, The Seattle Times, Outdoor Retailer, Elevation Outdoors and other publications. He wrote a gear review column for the Seattle Times Outdoors from 1994 until 2011 and continues to provide outdoor feature coverage for the Times. He has authored a dozen guidebooks and launched a number of popular guidebook series with the Mountaineers Books, including the “Best Hikes with Dogs” series. He began working with the Gear Institute as a fly-fishing rod and reel test director in 2012.
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