Will has always known that he wanted to be a naturalist even at a young age. He was inspired early on, watching his father John present programs and work as a naturalist for many different park systems. This desire was further fueled by family vacations that were spent seeking new outdoor venues to explore. He fondly remembers fishing in the Boundary Waters in Minnesota, sitting around the fire in the Sylvania Wilderness Area in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and hiking at Turkey Run State Park.
In 2015 Will earned a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Recreation, Parks, and Human Ecology from Indiana University. During the summers between semesters, he worked at McCormick’s Creek State Park as a seasonal naturalist where he honed his interpretive technique and knowledge. In 2016 he was awarded the Monarch Award for Outstanding Seasonal Naturalist within the DNR.
Will has always had an affinity for birds, especially birds of prey. His 5th grade science fair project focused on the Peregrine Falcon recovery efforts since the ban of DDT. Since then, he has traveled to Maumee Bay for warbler migration, lead hikes at the Indiana Dunes Birding Festival, and presented with his father on the “Secret Love Life of Birds” at numerous professional conferences. Will joined Eagle Creek Park in Summer of 2016 as the Assistant Manager, and has since been promoted to Park Manager, in charge of the Ornithology Center.
Join us in congratulating Will in his new position. We all wish him the best.
Photo of Will with Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.