Juanita Armstrong is the Natural Resource Specialist for Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department. She has more than 20 years’ experience planning and managing high quality natural areas and open space; from developing plans to implementing projects that improve the biodiversity and health of our natural open space public lands. She enjoys mentoring, teaching, and working with environmental and natural resource-minded volunteers. She is passionate about natural resource management and maintaining the natural biodiversity within the county for current and future generations
Kathy Balman is a homeschool mom, wife, naturalist, chronic pain warrior, artist, wanderluster, writer, fieldtrip expert, community science addict, homeschool group leader, literacy advocate, and technology wizard. She runs an environmental education program called Educating Children Outdoors.
-Maricopa County Parks Master Naturalist (President, Technology Wizard, Curriculum Committee, Timekeeper, Communications Committee)
-Tucson Audubon, Desert Rivers Audubon (Vice President, Technology Committee), Rio Salado Audubon
-AZ Association for Environmental Education (Professional Development Committee)
-The Native Plant Society (Board Secretary)
-And….Watershed Management Group, Sky Island Alliance, Friends of the Tonto, South Mountain, Keep Nature Wild, Forestry Service, Maricopa County Parks, Desert Defenders, NASA Develop, SciStarter Projects, EarthEcho Water Monitoring, US National Phenology Network, Wild Wonder Nature Journaling, GLOBE Observer, CoCoRahs, AZ Fish and Game
-AZ Certified Environmental Educator
-Outdoor Wildlife Leader
-National Geographic Certified Educator
-Certified Phenology Leader
-Project Wet , Project Wild, Project Learning Tree, Aquatic Wild
-CPR/first aid certified
-Greater Phoenix City Nature Challenge -Metro Phoenix Christmas Bird Count
-Frog Watch Chapter Coordinator
Alexis Woods is originally from Houston, Texas, and moved to Arizona in 2005. She lives with her husband and two grade school-aged boys in Ahwatukee. Alexis currently works as an internal medicine physician in a private practice in Ahwatukee and as a hospitalist at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center Hospital. She earned her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio, and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Texas Houston School of Public Health. Alexis completed the Maricopa County Master Naturalist Program in Spring 2020 with Cohort 2. She serves as the current Vice President, and has served on the former Recruitment and Outreach Committee, as well as the Volunteer Projects Committee. Alexis and her family also have a home in the White Mountains of Arizona in Heber-Overgaard. She has completed both the University of Arizona’s Maricopa County Master Gardener Program and the Northern Arizona Home Horticulture Program in Spring 2021. She volunteers with Friends of the Tonto, participating in the Riparian Photopoint Program and the Milkweed Watering Program. She also participates in the Desert Botanical Garden’s Tonto Rare Plant Program. Her primary interests are riparian areas, native plants, pollinator plants, and birds.
Tawsha Trahan has a passion for projects and a love of farmers, food, and promoting equitable opportunities. Organizations invested in climate action are my interest, and being a Master Naturalist provides another layer of knowledge and understanding, to assist in those efforts.
(Kim serves on the MCPMN Curriculum Committee)
(Rebeca serves on the MCPMN Communications Committee)
(Rick serves on the MCPMN Communications Committee and Advanced Training Committee)
(Jess serves on the MCPMN Communications Committee)
(Kathleen serves on the MCPMN Communications Committee)
Emily Williams moved to Arizona in 2017 from Indiana. She lives in Tempe with her husband, three sons, and her very loud dog. Emily loves spring ephemeral wildflowers. aquatic ecology, and geology. She has an MS in Environmental Science and works at ASU as a Laboratory Coordinator.Emily currently volunteers with the Beetle Brigade and No More Deaths Phoenix. (Emily serves on the MCPMN Communications Committee and Curriculum Committee)
Rachel Hewitt is an Army Logistics Officer, Biologist, and Biomimicry Professional Rachel is a certified Master Naturalist who obtained her certification in 2020. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Conservation Biology and Ecological Sustainability and a Master of Science degree in Biomimicry. She serves in the military as a logistics officer with the Arizona Army National Guard with a current total of twenty-three years of service. Rachel brings her passion for natural sciences and community stewardship to both professional and volunteer career paths with an emphasis on exploring and researching biomimetic approaches to solving everyday challenges. Her science interests include entomology, biochemistry, astrobiology, and biophysics. Rachel aspires to
be a thought-leader and change-agent through the lens of biomimicry. In her free time, Rachel loves to research and learn more about nature, hike, and especially enjoys exploring the gifts of nature with her family.
Pablo Cazares moved to Arizona in winter of 2019. Coming from the Pacific Northwest, he fell in love with the alien desert landscape and surprising diversity of species. Pablo is a freelance illustrator and designer, and is an instructor with The University Of Fashion. He is also a Master Gardener and is always looking to learn something new. He lives near Lake Pleasant, where he gardens, drives around tractors, and makes structures out of stone and concrete. (Pablo serves on the MCPMN Communications Committee and handles our graphic design needs)
(Edward serves on the MCPMN Partnerships Committee)
Kevin was transplanted to the Sonoran desert at age 11 from the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Forty-some years of living here has taught him a profound appreciation and respect for the toughnessand resilience of desert life. His passion is connecting people and nature, protecting all things wild, and being a curious human. When he’s not working as an Educator at the Phoenix Zoo, you might find him volunteering with Liberty Wildlife, Friends of the Tonto National Forest, or the Maricopa County Parks and Rec Department. He received a B.A. in English from ASU, a M.Ed. in Secondary Education from
Grand Canyon University, and is certified as an Interpretive Guide through NAI. His home is in Peoria, where he lives with his wife, two daughters, two dogs (both female), and a guinea pig (you guessed it – female!) named Chocolate. He encourages everyone to become a curious human, and to get started today wherever you are, even if it’s just your own backyard. In fact, if you’re curious to see an assortment of plants and critters he has found in his own backyard, check out iNaturalist. Look for the house in Peoria covered in green, red and a few blue dots.