Robin Bjork, PhD
Robin Bjork is a conservation biologist with over thirty years experience in North and Latin America in avian ecology and conservation. She holds a doctorate in wildlife science and a master’s degree in coastal ecology. Robin began working with wild psittacines in 1994 when she directed development of the first radio tracking device to withstand the force of Macaw bills and used the device to track the movements of Great Green Macaws in Costa Rica. Her dissertation research identified the migration of Mealy Parrots across Guatemalan lowlands, the first detailed documentation of such a pattern in psittacines.
She continues conservation research with wild Parrots and Macaws and is currently directing a program to reintroduce Scarlet Macaws to El Salvador and protect endangered Yellow-naped Amazon Parrots. In addition to her work with Parrots she has documented spatial patterns of regional migrant tropical Birds with a goal of providing guidance to regional conservation planning.
Joseph Daniel Mitchell, MS
Joseph is a full-blood citizen of the Creek Nation and a member of the Muskogee Indian Community. For the past 26 years, he has worked in environmental sciences and conservation on tribal and federal lands with the tribes, the USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC, and Bureau of Indian Affairs. He was Senior Executive Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and has worked with more than 200 tribes across the nation.
Joe consults with tribal governments and communities on Indian law and treaties and advocates for tribes to exercise treaty rights on federal lands, and implement traditional practices. He has also been involved in the evolution of several of the 26 tribal colleges throughout the country and has assisted many with establishing traditional ecological knowledge programs.
Vera Muller-Paisner, LCSW
Vera is a psychoanalyst with a master’s degree in social work who has spent the last two decades studying the chronicity and transmission of trauma. She also received a degree in Organizational Consultation and works with organizations to understand their defenses against anxiety and regression. She served as a research consultant for the International Study Group for Trauma at Yale University, and in 1996 received an appointment in the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine.
Vera has conducted extensive research and has clinical experience working with Holocaust survivors and is the author of Broken Chain: Catholics Uncover the Holocaust’s Hidden Legacy and Discover Their Jewish Roots. Much of her clinical work focuses on helping those who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). One of the tools that she has found to be effective in managing memories of trauma is a protocol called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She has adapted the protocol to Bilateral Equine Tapping (BET) for use with horses who display traumatic memory. Riding is a partnership, and trauma can be transmitted between partners.
Jeff Borchers, MS, PhD, LPC
Jeff is a licensed professional counselor with a background in research, teaching, training, policy analysis, and organizational development. Over the past 35 years, he has worked in academia, government, and the private sector on issues of social, ecological, and psychological significance. His interests include the use of ecotherapy to improve psychological well-being and to foster a mindfulness approach to caring for Animals and the land.
As an employee assistance professional, Jeff provided consultations, group trainings, and coaching, and is certified in mediation and conflict management. In all his work, Jeff draws from his background in research, teaching, training, policy analysis, and organizational development to facilitate lasting change.
Jeff’s education includes a PhD in ecology from Oregon State University, a master’s degree in counseling from Capella University, and a master’s degree from Yale University. He also has taught traditional martial arts for most of his life, holding the rank of nidan in Shotokan karate-dō. Jeff has a private practice where he works with individuals, couples, families, and groups, and provides training and interventions for organizations.