Board of Directors

Chris Pieper


Chris Pieper received his B.S. from the University California at Berkeley in conservation education.  He taught science and environmental education at Sacred Heart Schools in Palo Alto California.   In 1998, Chris to continue his work in education, teaching at Taos High School before eventually starting an outdoor gear and clothing store in Taos called Mudd N Flood.  Chris enjoys gardening, hiking and skiing with his family. "I support the mission of Rivers and Birds because it serves a critical need in our community – educating our children to appreciate the natural world through direct experience of Nature."

Bob Felt

Vice President

The co-founder of Redwing Book Company, an international distributor of books on complementary medicine and Paradigm Publications, a leading publisher of textbooks on acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Since 1981, Bob has worked with education oriented non-profit organizations ranging from Montessori schools to Acupuncture Colleges. “Rivers and Birds provides not only ecology education for school children who might not otherwise receive it but also wonderful leadership opportunities for local youth.”

Susie Bogard


Susie’s education includes: B.A. in Art Education and an MFA from University of Colorado, Boulder.  Her career as a high school art teacher spanned nearly 30 years.  Integrating art into many disciplines and learning experiences, she created and led trips to Manitoba (polar bears), Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico and the Boundary Waters canoe wilderness among the 150 trips she co-led at Jefferson County Open School. 



Doug Bridgers

Raised in New Mexico, he graduated from UNM with a B.A. in Spanish and has a strong interest in New Mexico’s local cultural traditions. A former elementary school teacher, Doug brings his teaching experience and concerns for public education to Rivers & Birds. “My own spiritual grounding is in the natural world. Too many children lack direct contact with their community and the natural world on which they depend. Rivers & BIrds is providing that important environmental connection for students.” Doug owns Maya Builders, a business that focuses on building energy efficient, environmentally sound homes.

Jeff Bogard

Jeff began his 33 year career as a teacher of high school science,  specializing in experiential and outdoor education.   With his high school students,  he  has tracked grizzlies in Yellowstone, explored the ruins of Tikal, constructed snow caves, planted fruit trees for the Navajo, taking kids out of their comfort zone into peak learning in nature.


Lydia Ruffin

Lydia is a professional musician and singer who has a degree in Music Education. She worked for Young Audiences, Inc. for over 30 years, bringing educational performances and workshops to students across Missouri and Kansas. She was founding Artistic Director for Art & Soul Café in St. Louis, Missouri, a nonprofit focused on integrating art and spirituality through interactive experiences among artists of all disciplines. Lydia is an enthusiastic birdwatcher, photographer, and lover of the natural world. " I see building community and working toward the common good as essential to our future, and so I am grateful to part of Rivers & Birds' mission."

Susan Morgan

Susan Morgan, PhD, studied Southwest archaeology and holds degrees in English and environmental studies, with emphasis on wildlands conservation. Susan has taught high school English and environmental studies at the community college level. In 1968 she began as Director of Education for the Wilderness Society where she worked for over ten years, and she has subsequently worked in education and outreach positions with wilderness, wildlands, and public lands conservation groups up to the present. She is currently a copy editor and is president of The Rewilding Institute. Susan “believes in Rivers and Birds because it seeks to build bridges of awareness between those of us who live in the neighborhood and the natural world of our community. It seeks to conserve and restore through education by giving young people, as well as adults, the opportunity to experience our natural world where natural history, culture, science, and the humanities come together.”

John Miles


John Miles, PhD, taught for more than four decades at Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University. He created the environmental education program there, emphasizing outdoor and experiential learning for both undergraduate and graduate students. He also served terms as department chair and dean of the College. John has written three books and edited/co-edited three others, and continues to write about environmental education and national park history. “I was able, in my academic career,” John says, “to take students out of the classroom and learn with them about the natural world, public lands, and the inestimable value of wilderness. Rivers and Birds shows the way to effective environmental education and advocacy in this wonderful part of the world.”