Clayton Botkin, President
Delta, British Columbia, Canada
Education/Training: Bsc, University of B.C (Applied Animal Biology); Professional Agrologist
Clayton has been infatuated with waterfowl since he was 10 years old, starting with domestic and mandarin ducks and now maintaining an extensive collection of ducks, geese, cranes and pheasants. He is currently employed with the Province of B.C. as the Poultry and Regulated Markets Specialist. Being recently elected to the position of President of the Board, Clayton is feeling both excited and honoured as he acknowledges all of the great leaders that have come before him in this organization. He is looking forward to continuing IWWA’s conservation strategy of supporting and advancing captive propagation of wild waterfowl. Being an internationally connected organization is what Clayton feels is one of IWWA’s strongest attributes, and he hopes IWWA can continue to use this asset to support wild waterfowl globally. He reminds everyone to always keep an open mind and continue learning as they will keep you both grounded and focused.
Brad Hazelton, Vice President
Forth Worth, Texas, USA
Education/Training: 30+ years of experiential avian training at Sylvan Heights and Fort Worth Zoo
Brad has been working with a variety of birds since secondary school, and can impressively say now that he has over 30 years of avian experience from world class institutions like Sylvan Heights Bird Park and Fort Worth Zoo. He currently works for the Fort Worth Zoo as a curator. Brad was recently elected to the role of Vice President of the Board of Directors and is ready to share his sense of IWWA history with the other board members, and to continue promoting the core mission of IWWA. Brad has a strong passion for waterfowl that transcends all that he does both professionally and personally, which is especially evident when he can encourage, help, and teach the new generations of waterfowl lovers. Brad’s mantra is to both work hard and play hard.
Pieter Kooij Jr., 2nd Vice President
Education/Training: 50+ years of experiential aviculture training in private aviculture
Pieter has been around waterfowl his whole life thanks to his father Pieter Kooij Sr., who got him into this hobby and lifelong passion. His family operated Kooy and Sons Waterfowl Breeding Farm from 1963 to 2019, which had over 150 different species. Pieter has been a board member since the beginning of IWWA and has served as both 1st and 2nd Vice President for the organization, as well as organizing and supporting many amazing conferences. Pieter continues to be drawn to IWWA due to the organization’s role in conserving wild waterfowl species, supporting young and new breeders, and sharing waterfowl knowledge through the IWWA conferences. He encourages everyone to listen, be honest, and help new breeders be successful in order to keep the spirit of the hobby going. Pieter reminds us that listening to the stories from other breeders always provides an opportunity to learn something new, as we are never too old to continue learning!
Matthew Smith, Secretary
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Education/Training: BSc Biology and Environmental Studies
Matthew has been in love with waterfowl for as long as he can remember, and has been raising his own waterfowl since he was nine years old. He began his journey with domestic waterfowl and exhibition poultry, but also has kept a small collection of wild waterfowl throughout the years. Being part of the IWWA board is exciting for Matthew, and he is looking forward to everything he can contribute to the association and cause over the years to come. Both the people and experiences from being part of IWWA and the waterfowl hobby are Matthew’s favourite part. Being in the company of all the other members of IWWA is such a unique and educational experience, as everyone always has something new and interesting to share about their work in waterfowl. Meeting people from all around the world that share the same interest as one another is one of the unique opportunities IWWA provides. Matthew encourages those interested in wild waterfowl and their conservation to start following IWWA and join the group; it is always good to have more people part of the conversation and helping find the solutions.
Dustin Foote, Conservation and Grants Chair
Scotland Neck, North Carolina, USA
Education/Training: Bsc, Cornell University; M.S. East Carolina University; PhD East Carolina University
Dustin has enjoyed learning about and working with waterfowl from a young age, beginning his avian experience through the 4-H poultry project. He has been able to maintain this passion and turn it into an occupation, as he is now the General Curator at Sylvan Heights Bird Park in Scotland Neck, North Carolina. Along with his extensive hands on training with waterfowl, Dustin has a thorough scientific background in avian biology. His PhD, earned from East Carolina University, focused on he the genome of white-winged wood ducks. Dustin is continually motivated to keep learning from all his new opportunities and experiences, as well as every new person he meets. He emphasizes the need to both value the history of IWWA and waterfowl conservation, and to continue gaining knowledge and expanding the reach of IWWA’s mission.
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Education/Training: 10+ years at Central Park Zoo, SeaWorld San Diego, Audubon Aquarium
Bill is passionate about sharing his love of aviculture, especially waterfowl, with everyone he meets. Over 10 years ago, Bill began his own journey learning and falling in love with waterfowl at Central Park Zoo. From there, he spent many years working with waterfowl at SeaWorld San Diego and is currently the Curator of Birds at the Audubon Aquarium. Bill is enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge of waterfowl, especially helping young aviculturists develop their techniques and awareness of both captive waterfowl and waterfowl as part of ecosystems worldwide. Slowing down, taking it all in, and remembering why he is doing what he is doing is one of Bill’s keys to success over the years that he wants to pass along to others working in aviculture and wildlife conservation. Bill is looking forward to using his networking abilities between private and public institutions to further captive waterfowl propagation and waterfowl conservation.
Port Angeles, Washington, USA
Education/Training: 50+ years of experiential aviculture training in private aviculture
Arnold has been working with waterfowl for over 50 years and continues to find joy working with them every day at his facility, Dry Creek Waterfowl Sanctuary in Port Angeles, Washington. Arnold has been the President and first and second Vice President of the IWWA Board of Directors, and continues to stay on the Board to support and enact the organization’s mission. He really enjoys being part of the projects IWWA takes on as well as being an integral part of conference and workshop planning committees. The excellent company of like-minded waterfowl enthusiasts is a significant reason why Arnold stays so involved and connected to IWWA, as he has and continues to learn from everyone he meets through the organization. Arnold suggests that nobody should hesitate from connecting with Board members about waterfowl or suggestions for the organization’s continued improvement. Although setbacks and challenges always arise, Arnold reminds us that perseverance always pays off and to keep your eye on the end goal.
Wayne, Pennsylvania, USA
Education/Training: Bsc Environmental Science, Msc Fish and Wildlife Management
Waterfowl, domestic and wild, have always been part of Ian’s life from raising domestic call ducks as a child to travelling the world to try and see every species of waterfowl. Ian has served on the Board for several years, recently as the President of IWWA, and continually strives to uphold the vision the founders of IWWA had for the next generation of aviculturists. Ian truly values the role IWWA plays in the gathering and sharing of avicultural knowledge, especially in a time where misinformation and illegitimate sources abound. He encourages others to reach out to members of IWWA to gain guidance and mentorship as there are countless years of experience between all of the members of this organization. Keeping your mind open, asking questions and visiting other collections is the advice Ian would pass along that has helped him be successful in aviculture both personally and professionally. He reminds us all that there are many different ways of managing waterfowl successfully and therefore we are never done learning something new.
Education/Training: 10+ years of experiential aviculture training in private aviculture
Kris got into the hobby of aviculture by chance, but has fallen in love with working with all the different species of waterfowl. Since receiving his first White-Faced Whistling ducks as a gift, Kris has grown his collection and continues to enjoy all the unique personality traits that each species has. His strong passion for waterfowl keeps Kris involved with the IWWA year after year, and when asked what is his favourite part he says it’s quite simple: everything to do with waterfowl! Kris does remind all of us to enjoy every moment that we can with our waterfowl, and to refrain from letting it turn into a routine but rather ensure it is always an evolving hobby.
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, USA
Education/Training: 30+ years of educating experience
Although Anne isn’t a breeder of captive waterfowl, she has been an avid birder for more than fifty years and worked alongside Gus Ben David at Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary for over thirty years. Anne has enjoyed being part of IWWA along with her closest friends and having the chance to meet more like minded people over the years from all around the world. Along with meeting new people, Anne has enjoyed the countless opportunities to learn all things avian from attending the many conferences and meetings hosted by IWWA. She advises everyone to be ready to learn lots from the collection of people involved in IWWA but also be ready to have lots of fun while enjoying their company! Anne wants us all to remember that all learning is good learning.
Joanna Klass, Communications Committee Co-Chair
Seattle, Washington, USA
Education/Training: B.Sc Zoology/Conservation Biology University of Wisconsin-Madison, MBA University of Texas at Tyler
Joanna has been intrigued by waterfowl since a very young age, citing her childhood visits to the Milwaukee County Zoo as her introduction to wild waterfowl. Joanna is currently a Lead Animal Keeper at Woodland Park Zoo, where she has the pleasure of working with an abundance of waterfowl species as well as many other groups of birds and mammals. Both the people and the birds are what keep Joanna involved with IWWA as they both continue aiding in the growth of her passion, and act as an outlet for her creativity. Joanna really appreciates being part of an active organization that brings all aviculturists and waterfowl enthusiasts together over a common goal. She cannot emphasize enough how important networking and connecting have been to make her as successful as she is today! She encourages those newly interested to do their research and to not be a stranger among fellow aviculturists – it only gets more interesting and rewarding as you get more involved.
Horning, North Norfolk, United Kingdom
Education/Training: 25+ years of experiential aviculture training and learning in private
If you’re part of IWWA or the British Waterfowl Association (BWA) you’ll have seen Morag’s work in print. Morag shares that similar intense passion for birds that we all do as part of this organization and she pairs it with an outgoing, bubbly and welcoming personality. Morag has experience raising and breeding several species of wild waterfowl in her collection, with her favourite duck to work with to date being Spectacled Eiders, though she says it’s hard to choose a favourite child! Morag enjoys how IWWA enables her to stay in contact with like-minded bird brains and others who are enthusiastic about both this hobby and wild waterfowl conservation. Staying open minded about why and how we keep our birds is something Morag likes to emphasize. Aviculturists must always remember to put the birds’ needs first and look at the role captive aviculture plays in the big picture of waterfowl conservation.
Seward, Alaska, USA
Education/Training: B.A. Environmental Education, 12+ years of captive waterfowl experience
Kristen started her journey with waterfowl as she grew up on the Washington state coast, becoming infatuated with seabirds as she discovered the San Juan Islands. After her schooling, this passion took her to Alaska, where she is now the Avian Curator at the Alaska SeaLife Center. She’s been able to gain years of amazing and unique experience working in Alaska, developing a specialty in artic waterfowl husbandry from knowledge gained in the field and at her work facility. Kristen is really excited to be part of the IWWA board as she appreciates the global reach this organization has, and strongly believes in IWWA’s mission to promote waterfowl conservation and education. If you’re passionate about waterfowl and want to get involved, Kristen encourages you to jump in! One of her favourite things about the waterfowl community is the willingness of others to share their experiences to help one another succeed. One last thing Kristen wants you to remember is that “Things don’t always go as planned, but don’t let those setbacks hold you back. Find the lessons in your failures and find a bright side in your lessons.”
Education/Training: BASc (Education Management), Sylvan Heights Avian Husbandry and Management Program
Alike many of our board members, Jan has been working with waterfowl from a young age and is now an educator himself at Aeres Barneveld teaching courses on Animal Husbandry, Zootechnics and bird keeping courses. He further extends his passion for waterfowl through this director position, as Jan truly values IWWA’s involvement in waterfowl breeding and conservation propagation via the associations grant, award and internship programs. Another highlight for Jan are the Waterfowl Conservation Workshops organized by IWWA, which he states are the most motivating and inspiring international meetings available regarding waterfowl conservation and knowledge sharing. Jan strongly recommends joining and engaging with IWWA for people looking to expand their network of other waterfowl and conservation supporters and enthusiasts. Jan has many years of hands on experience with waterfowl and reminds us all to look at birds closely and carefully; their behaviour tells more than books or people can teach about them.
After getting Call ducks as a child, Bert visited and met several waterfowl breeders that lived near him which solidified his passion for waterfowl. As the years continued, his love of waterfowl and other birds continued to grow, and his personal collection of birds followed in suit. Bert is currently an animal husbandry educator at Aeres Barneveld in the Netherlands, where his mission is to pass along his passion and knowledge of birds to the next generations of keepers and enthusiasts. He intends to bring this skill and drive to the IWWA Board of Directors, helping the association to continue engaging and supporting the future of waterfowl conservation around the world. Bert believes that people new to waterfowl don’t need to repeat the same mistakes already made, but rather should have the opportunity to learn from those that have both failed and succeeded in the past. This allows new comers to have a successful start and have the opportunity to make innovative and new contributions sooner. Bert is excited to see IWWA to play a significant role in this process!
North Carolina, USA
Walt has served on the IWWA board of directors for over 40 years now and was the President of the organization from 1986 to 2008.
Education/Training: Animal Management at Aeres Barneveld
Julian has always been passionate about birds, and was able to explore and expand his interest while attending Aeres Barneveld. Here he was involved in the waterfowl department on campus and was responsible for managing the breeding season at the facility. He took this opportunity to do research on the breeding behaviours of several different waterfowl species. An exciting moment for Julian was his first successful breeding result which was with the Blue-billed teal (Spatula hottentota)! Currently, Julian is the avian collection manager and curator at the Passchendaele Waterfowl Breeding Center, and has been very successful hatching and rearing over 20 species. Julian encourages those interested in waterfowl and IWWA to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible to gain as much knowledge and skills as one can! He reminds us all to dare to ask questions but also to have fun at the same time, always striving and reaching to make the impossible possible.
1st Vice President
2nd Vice President
Words on Waterfowl Magazine
Katie Gipple-Lubbock, Editor
Gus Ben David