Who We Are
Those of you who care about the iconic monarch butterfly and our other pollinators know…
their numbers have plummeted.
In the past several years, our precious western monarch population has drastically dropped even more- near what is coined as “quasi-extinction” numbers.
There are many wonderful groups, advocates, researchers, horticulturists, teachers, funders, and agencies making great efforts to restore the Monarch population throughout the western United States. We believe that we will have a greater chance of success to restore the population if these groups from all of these states and regions pull together. If we listen, share, and learn from one another, we each will “do what we do” better.
And the Monarchs win.
Our first-ever 3-day 2020 Western Monarch Summit held near the overwintering monarch clusters in the Pacific Grove/Carmel area was a great success from any measure: the caliber and variety of speakers, sold-out attendance, field trips, networking, workshops, the venue, food, etc. The interest and momentum to work together across state boundaries to help our tenuous western monarch population has grown. And as the dust settled, we asked ourselves, “What’s next?
We held a cool summit, then came COVID and the western wildfires…
During that time, we revamped our website and converted it into an interstate information-sharing tool, for all things western monarch. Some of the pages explain concept and provide overall news and links regarding western monarchs, including updates from all of our western states. Our hope is that this information somehow helps you to "do what you do" better.
And now, it’s time once again…
…to come together near our overwintering monarchs for a few days to interact, learn, smile a bit, and most importantly, be more empowered than ever to help restore our western monarch population. Come and join us at the 2023 International Western Monarch Summit!
It's simple really.
Working together: Different Areas... Different Groups...
Same Goal: SAVE THE WESTERN MONARCH!
Meet Our Board Members
Robert Coffan, Chair and Co-Founder, Western Monarch Advocates, Co-Founder, Southern Oregon Monarch Advocates
Advisor, Pollinator Project Rogue Valley
Owner, Katalyst, Inc.
Former Adjunct Professor, Southern Oregon University.
Robert has lived in Southern Oregon for 25 years and has passionately enjoyed researching the biodiversity of the northwest; from the headwaters of the Rogue River on the flanks of Mt Mazama, to the hills and rivers where Western Monarchs stop and rear their young. He is fascinated by the beauty and life processes of the Monarch butterfly and other pollinators. He has worked to help restore their habitat and bring the population back. Robert shares his knowledge and enthusiasm with students, colleagues, families and children, clients, landowners, decision makers and volunteers. Robert never loses sight of the importance of preserving and caring for this beautiful and diverse part of the world we call home on planet Earth.
Gail Morris, Vice Chair, Western Monarch Advocates
Southwest Monarch Study Coordinator
Central Arizona Butterfly Association Vice President
Monarch Butterfly Fund Vice President
Monarch Watch Conservation Specialist
Bachelor of Science, Michigan State University;
Master of Arts, University of Notre Dame
Gail has been involved in monarch conservation and research in Arizona and the Southwest since 2006. She dedicates her time inspiring and training Community Scientists to participate in monarch research, education and conservation in the southwestern United States. In addition to an extensive tagging program, as Coordinator of the Southwest Monarch Study Gail also advocates for the creation of Monarch Waystations and pollinator habitats working with partners and volunteers to add over 9,000 milkweeds in the region.
Gail has authored several monarch research papers and publications and writes a weekly Western Monarch Update for Journey North during the migration. She believes that monarchs are a gateway to a greater understanding and appreciation of all pollinators and the natural world.
Angela Bergelt, Secretary, Western Monarch Advocates
Social Media Liaison, Western Monarch Advocates
Former Member, Southern Oregon Monarch Advocates
Monarch Citizen Scientist, Oregon and Arizona
Backyard Bird Photographer @ tinywingsphotos.com
Angela recently relocated from Southern Oregon in 2021 to Southwestern Arizona. Angela became a Monarch Citizen Scientist in 2016 and was an active participant in the NW Monarch Tagging Program and Monarch education programs while living in Oregon. She also helped coordinate the 2020 WMA Summit. Her interests are nature photography. Angela is also passionate about hummingbirds. She plans to provide Monarch education classes to her community and will continue to educate others on Monarch conservation.
Dr. David James, Member, Western Monarch Advocates
Associate Professor, Department of Entomology
Washington State University
Author: Monarch Butterflies in the Pacific Northwest
Director: Pacific Northwest Monarch Tagging Program
David developed a passion for entomology at the age of 8 in England by rearing caterpillars in his bedroom. He studied Zoology at the University of Salford, UK, then migrated to Australia to work for the New South Wales Department of Agriculture in Sydney researching agricultural pests and their management. A PhD on the winter biology of Monarch butterflies in Sydney and a career as a biocontrol and conservation biology scientist in Australia and the US followed. Since 1999 David has been a Professor in Entomology Washington State University. David has published more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific papers, extension articles and books and co-authored Life Histories of Cascadia Butterflies, which was pronounced ‘magisterial’ by Sir David Attenborough!
Dr. Tom Landis, Western Monarch Advocates
Cofounder, Southern Oregon Monarch Advocates
Tom is a forester who retired after 30 years of working as a nursery specialist for the US Forest Service, and has spent the last 10 years creating pollinator habitat in southern Oregon. Tom has given over 120 Monarch and Milkweed workshops in the western states, and is particularly interested in working with schools. Coming from a nursery background, one of his primary interests is how best to propagate native milkweeds and how other pollinator plants can be used in monarch waystations. Tom is currently a volunteer for the US Forest Service who, as part of the Early Plant Materials Working Group, is collecting California milkweed seeds in that state and distributing them to native plant nurseries and Master Gardeners. Using their collective experience, he will use this information to develop a propagation protocol for that uncommon species.
Amanda Egertson, Member, Western Monarch Advocates
Deschutes Land Trust, Stewardship Director
MS Animal Ecology, research focus on butterflies and songbirds
BA in Elementary Education and Music
Trust’s Stewardship Director, overseeing the management of all the Land Trust's protected lands (~18,000 acres). She leads butterfly tours on Land Trust Preserves, participates in annual North American Butterfly Association butterfly counts, and is guiding the Land Trust's work with regional monarch conservation.
Prior to joining the Land Trust in 2004, Amanda worked as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Central Oregon Environmental Center and as a naturalist for the Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory. Amanda is a volunteer at the local Humane Society and is involved with numerous monarch advocacy and conservation groups across the state of Oregon. Amanda and her family spend their free time exploring Oregon's great outdoors and scuba diving tropical waters.
Rachel Taylor, Member, Western Monarch Advocates
Founder, Utah Friends of Monarchs (501c3)
Research Associate, Southwest Monarch Study
Partner, Global Recruiters Network (full time career)
Rachel lives in Salt Lake City, Utah where she helps lead an organic movement in monarch conservation throughout the state of Utah. She founded Utah Friends of Monarchs, and leads a Facebook group of the same name. Through this group, she shares native milkweed seeds statewide, coaches on how to establish monarch waystations, and frequently teaches workshops on monarchs and milkweed at garden clubs and other nature based organizations.
In addition, she has created a partnership with the Utah State Prison (Utah Department of Corrections) where she provides native milkweed seeds (as well as native pollinator plant seeds) and they grow the seedlings through their nursery program to be shared with organizations throughout the state.
"Sharing is the soul of citizen science."
Mary Ellen Hannibal
To serve as an overarching entity to encourage and facilitate communication and interaction of groups and individuals committed to restoring the western monarch butterfly population-regardless of their affiliation or location- in the hope that the shared knowledge will empower each of them to improve and better achieve restoration goals within their own respective affiliation or location.
CHILDREN LOVE THE MONARCH BUTTERFLY...
Artwork by Lucy Egertson