River Road

April Practitioners

Mira Scott


Miroslava “Mira” Scott began her journey in art while a young girl in the Quebec countryside of Canada. She developed a love of nature and wildlife there on Calumet Island where she spent her free time. Mira’s work has been influenced by this and the assortment of animals and birds that her father brought home to observe from the Montreal Zoo. Later when her father was a dolphin trainer at the Montreal Aquarium, Mira had the opportunity to observe these incredible creatures up close. Her father called her “eagle eyes” because she had learned from him at an early age to sit still and watch for any subtle movements in the woods, sky and water. “It would give me great pleasure to spot something before he did. My father placed me in a canoe on the Ottawa River at five days old; all bundled up like a papoose.” This influence can be seen in her most recent works, “Big Dipper, Little Dipper” (Loggerhead turtles coming ashore) and “Miss Swiss” (cow in pasture in Switzerland). Her early works were landscapes and wildlife done in watercolors and were very “traditional.” A critique by a very well known, nationally collected Canadian artist stated, “What an interesting touch of eroticism.” when noticing a touch of red polish on a self portrait that was otherwise a very calm, monochromatic piece. Mira was quite taken aback by this comment and it took her two years before she painted again. Nevertheless, she became very proficient at working with etchings as a medium. She liked the graphic nature of it. “It was like doing sculpture on paper. It was a very black and white way of thinking,” Mira felt. Her admiration of a sunflower painting and its whimsical nature and the inspiring quotations painted in the picture motivated her next transition. After some research, she came up with the idea of using AFX3 illustration board that was sturdy, archival quality but lightweight. She started creating pieces that had a push and pull in the color – high contrast – to create movement. Her sunflower was very pleasing and provoked a new style and color scheme for Mira’s work. Her latest works return her to the beginning… diptych’s of a Loggerhead Sea Turtle coming out in the moonlight to lay her eggs and then the young hatchlings making their way to the surf, “Place in the Woods,” memories of her childhood on the Ottawa River. “Because we are so connected to nature here on Hilton Head Island, it is easy to be inspired, Mira noted. “Bubba Duey’s Little House” is an example of being inspired by local scenes without painting the traditional shrimp boats and marsh scenes. It was inspired by a photograph she took 25 years ago of a small traditional Gullah house on Hilton Head Island. This giclee helps raise funds for the Gullah Museum which in turn helps sustain the fragile, vanishing culture of the Sea Islands. She feels that her turning point was when selling art was no longer her focal point – instead pleasing herself through design and free thought was her mindset. Mira has owned “Picture This Gallery” in Hilton Head since 1985. It is a place where many artists, friends and patrons gather on a daily basis. Her love of nature is seen in all of her work, capturing emotions and moods ranging from serenity to joy.

Sea Turtle



Sea Turtle Patrol Hilton Head Island monitors Hilton Head Island beaches for sea turtle nesting and hatching activity annually, May through October, to promote the existence of these endangered species and to spread awareness of their struggle through public education and outreach.




Dr. Eric Monte is the Director of the Marine Sensory and Neurobiology Lab and The Lowcountry Dolphin Conservation Program at USCB. He earned a BS in Zoology at the University of Rhode Island in 1993, and then embarked upon post-baccalaureate studies in Biochemistry at Harvard University. He received a MS degree in Environmental Toxicology at Clemson University in 1999, then worked from 1999 to 2000 as a marine mammal field biologist at the National Ocean Service in Charleston, SC. He completed his PhD in September 2006 in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Biological Oceanography. He accepted a faculty position at the University of South Carolina Beaufort in 2011, where he now is an Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Sciences. He also serves as a primary advisor for graduate students interested in combining marine ecology, bioacoustics, and computational science through the USCB Computational Science Master’s Program. In 2013, he was selected as a Breakthrough Rising Star (15 selected of 2000 faculty throughout the USC System). In May 2021, he was the recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Scientific Research at a Predominately Undergraduate Institution.

His research program focuses on fish and marine mammal biology and the bioacoustics of marine life with applied applications in environmental toxicology, noise pollution and climate change. His team utilizes passive acoustic recorders mounted on oceanographic instrument frames that allow continuous and long-term sampling of the underwater soundscape. These recordings provide information on the behavior of snapping shrimp, spawning patterns of fish, foraging patterns and communication of bottlenose dolphins and noise levels associated with human activity. The long-term goal is to ‘eavesdrop’ on key behaviors of marine animals that can change rapidly or gradually in response to environmental changes and human impacts, thus providing a measure of resilience or shifting baselines in a globally changing environment. In 2020, he founded the Estuarine Soundscape Observatory Network in the Southeast (or ESONS), which now monitors biological sound and human-made noise in four estuaries of South Carolina. In addition, he supervises the Lowcountry Dolphin Conservation Program, which focuses on the population dynamics and ecology of common bottlenose dolphins in the Port Royal Sound Area.

Honey Bee


Beetown Mead Owner

Mike Tripka, Owner and Mead maker at Bee-Town Mead & Cider got his start as a Beer Homebrewer in 1995.  Entering his beer into a competition, he won a package of Mead Yeast.  After looking at it for a year, it was time to use it or throw it out.  Making that first batch of Mead lit the spark to make more and hone his craft.  Entering into Mead competitions lead to Ribbons and Awards and an invitation to participate in the Mead Panel at the American Homebrew Association convention in San Diego in 2011.  Networking with the top Meadmakers in the country gave insight to modern meadmaking techniques, and the information that South Carolina did not have a commercial Meadery.  Running with that knowledge lead to he and his wife Juliana licensing the first Meadery in 2017.

Bee-Town has won numerous awards such as Sour Cherry, Best of Show Commercial Meadery, National Honey Board 2021, besting over 100 national producers and over 400 entries.  In addition, Wild Blueberry was #1 2020 Palmetto State Wine Comp, and Coffee Bronze Medal 2019 International Mazer Cup in Colorado.

Conveniently located in Old Town Bluffton, Bee-Town has a tasting room at the production facility at 1230B May River Rd.



Montage Palmetto Bluff Naturalist

Cassandra “Cassie” Beato joined the team at Montage Palmetto Bluff as Naturalist, overseeing all environmental and historical programming for resort guests, in April 2022. A knowledgeable and passionate environmental scientist and naturalist with experience in the hospitality realm, Cassie leads the naturalist program at the resort and specializes in educating guests on local flora and fauna and sustainability through guided tours and special events. She also aids in wildlife and land management and works in tandem with the non-profit Palmetto Bluff Conservancy to protect the lush maritime forests and winding tidal creeks that crisscross the region.

Prior to joining Montage Palmetto Bluff, Cassie spent seven years as an environmental coordinator and senior lifeguard trainer at Disney Hilton Head Island Resort. In this role, Cassie curated educational programs on local wildlife and wetland conservation efforts, and conducted interpretive nature walks focused on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. She also instructed and certified the resort’s lifeguard staff, maintained the quality of pool water, and integrated the resort’s golden retriever mascot “Shadow” into programming as a companion animal for adults and children. Cassie has additional industry experience having completed an internship at the Coastal Discovery Museum in Hilton Head, as well as volunteer experience at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, the largest aquarium in the U.S.

Born in Westchester, New York and raised in Cumming, Georgia, Cassie earned a bachelor of science in marine biology and biological oceanography from the University of South Carolina-Beaufort, and a master’s degree in environmental policy and management from the University of Denver. She has been certified by the National Recreation and Park Association as an aquatic facility operator, and also holds certifications in SCUBA and as a lifeguard and water safety trainer. In her free time, Cassie enjoys shark tooth hunting, going to the beach with her dog and boyfriend, planting, gardening and she is a Pure Barre enthusiast.

Camp Arnold


Beaufort Bees Owner

Camp Arnold, the owner of Beaufort Bees, is a beekeeper specializing in the humane removal of honey bees from homes and businesses throughout the Lowcountry, from Charleston to Hilton Head. Beaufort Bees is on a mission to dissolve the stigma that honey bees are dangerous while educating the public of their importance to us and the earth as a whole. They do this by providing hands-on beekeeping guidance through their Bee the Change program.

Camp Arnold stumbled into beekeeping in 2019 when his first attempt to rescue and relocate an unwanted colony of honey bees from a business ended in disaster. Determined to learn from his mistakes, he found himself in the workshop of Greg Ferris, a local apiarist and woodwright of over 35 years. This sparked a two-year apprenticeship in beekeeping and assisting Ferris in removing and relocating honey bees from homes, offices, trees, and every imaginable structure in between. The new skills and experience acquired paved the way for Beaufort Bees.