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Staff Biographies

Meet the Audubon Society of Portland's staff!

Ian Abraham
Youth Programs Manager

Ian teaching

Ian started at the Audubon Society of Portland in 2006 and has been teaching within the Portland Metropolitan area since 1999.  Born and raised in Chicago, IL., he set out to work, teach, and educate in the informal outdoor setting provided by the riches of the Pacific Northwest. With an extended stop in Alaska and backcountry leadership work with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), in 1998 he moved to Portland.

Ian holds a Masters of Art in Environment and Community through Antioch University and has taught for many outdoor education programs, including Multnomah Counties Outdoor School, Cascadia Wild, Wolftree Inc., Tryon Creek and the Oregon Zoo. Ian’s focus is within the science and art of animal tracking as well as wilderness living skills.

Tony Arnell
Membership Manager

Tony ArnellTony joined Portland Audubon in January 2017 after celebrating a 9 year career in the non-profit industry. His varied experience in fundraising comes from holding roles at the OHSU Foundation, Friends of Zoo Boise, and the Oregon Zoo Foundation. Before joining the Portland Audubon team, he supported the conservation, education, and animal welfare programs at the zoo as Annual Giving Manager. There he managed fundraising activities for the annual fund while also working to inspire support from new and long-time donors to the organization. Growing up, Tony’s family home was surrounded by forest on Chehalem Mountain in Newberg, Oregon, so his love for our natural world was instilled in him at a very early age—and continues to inspire him every day. On his downtime, he enjoys road trips along the West Coast, yurting and camping, attending live theatre and music shows, spending time with family and friends, and going on walks with his dog Zeppelin. 

Ali Berman
Communications Manager

Ali Berman

Ali Berman joined the Portland Audubon family in 2015, excited to help bring the organization’s message to a broader audience. Originally from New York, Ali has an undergraduate degree in writing and a masters in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. Before coming to Portland Audubon, Ali spent nine years working as the Communications Coordinator at HEART (Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers) helping to bring human rights, animal protection, and environmental ethics issues into classrooms around the United States and beyond. She believes that if we teach people to stand up for people, animals and the planet, they will feel empowered to change the world for the better.

Ali is also a writer. Her first two books, “Misdirected” (Seven Stories Press) and “Choosing a Good Life” (Hazelden) were published in 2014. In her free time, Ali can be found rock climbing, writing, photographing wildlife, reading, snuggling her two rescue (indoor) cats, and hiking. 

Keia Booker
Human Relations Manager and Executive Assistant

Keia Booker

After spending twenty years managing businesses and employees in Oklahoma, New York City, and Portland, Keia Booker came to Portland Audubon in the summer of 2015. She is originally from Oklahoma (home of the scissor-tailed flycatcher!) but spent most of her life traveling; roaming the Earth in search of a new home.  In 2004, she landed in Portland. 

Keia has a BFA in theater and film from the University of Oklahoma, is a member of EPOC (Environmental Professionals of Color), and is an active member of several non-profit organizations. Through her dexterity and background in HR, management, and hospitality, she attempts to make people’s lives a little easier. As Portland Audubon’s Human Relations Manager, she will act as the conduit for the staff, board, volunteers, members, and guests. It is her privilege to serve all of the conservationists, artists, naturalists, birders, and people just interested in the beauty and protection.

Mary Coolidge
BirdSafe and Lead-free Campaign Coordinator

Mary Coolidge 2015

Mary served as Portland Audubon's Assistant Conservation Director from 2008-2012, and is now serving as Audubon's BirdSafe Portland Campaign Coordinator. Mary grew up hiking, camping and backpacking all over the West, where she developed a deep love of the natural world and a lifelong interest in ecological communities. She received a bachelor's degree in biology from Lewis & Clark College in 1997 and spent a decade studying the biology of a wide array of bird species in both urban and rural environments. 

Mary is dedicated to improving efforts to make urban environments more hospitable to wildlife and helping connect people to nature and place. She splits her time between Center for Diversity & the Environment, the Oregon Zoo's California Condor breeding facility, and Audubon Portland. She’s also a volunteer naturalist in Metro’s school field trip program, and spends her free time beekeeping, birdwatching, horseback riding, mushroom hunting and occasionally escaping to a meandering river to fly fish.

Nicki Dardinger
Education Director

Nicki Dardinger Head Shot

Nicki was inspired to pursue a career in environmental education and conservation following a life-changing high school experience that connected students with professors conducting field-based research on Northern cardinals in central Ohio! This program made her realize that environmental education can have a profound impact on the lives of children and youth. Nicki joined the team at the Audubon Society of Portland in 2017 after nearly two decades of serving in a variety of education and fundraising positions at non-profits and colleges in Ohio, New York, North Carolina, and Florida. She has a B.S. from Cornell University and has served as a state park naturalist, conducted research on an endangered species of rattlesnake, trained raptors for programs and flight shows, written grants to improve college graduation rates, protected sea turtle nests on the Carolina coast, managed a white-tailed deer immunocontraceptive project, and led numerous environmental education initiatives designed to inspire folks of all ages to take action to make a difference for the natural world. She is a strong advocate for the value of environmental education and the impact it has on people, the community, and the earth.

Nicki is thrilled to have landed in Portland, Oregon, where she lives with her pet family that includes her pup, a cat, two snakes, two rabbits, a turtle and a lizard. When not at work, she enjoys running, baking, cheering on her favorite sports team (THE Ohio State Buckeyes!) and exploring new places with Gracie (the pup!).

Sam DeJarnett
Sam DeJarnett
Education Animal Coordinator

Sam first joined Portland Audubon as a Wildlife Care Center volunteer in 2016, and quickly transitioned to a seasonal Wildlife Care Center Assistant staff member in 2017. Sam worked in the Care Center for two summers before accepting the role of Education Animal Coordinator in September of 2018.

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she has a degree in Creative Writing with a Zoology minor from Ohio Wesleyan University, where she first interned at a local wildlife rehabilitation center. Sam has spent the better part of a decade working with animals and wildlife in different capacities - from leading education programs at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, to training shelter dogs, to pet health and nutrition customer service with Mudbay.

She is extremely excited to work with Portland Audubon’s ambassador animals to bring creative ways to enrich their lives, teach the community about their importance in conservation, and share how rad they are in general. She also looks forward to reaching communities of color and other underrepresented groups, in efforts to bring more diversity and equity into the environmental movement. 

When she’s not at Portland Audubon, she’s seeking new and exciting experiences in whatever ways she can. She enjoys film, macabre literature, live music, dancing, and the usual camping and hiking excursions with her 2 year old rescue pit bull, Pippa.

Tim Donner
Environmental Educator

Tim Donner

Tim spent two years volunteering at Audubon’s Wildlife Care Center before joining the staff full time. He received his Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies at the University of Texas and spent the next three years working as a miner, doing restoration work and tree planting throughout the West. He spent five winters studying bison around Yellowstone National Park, where he built and lived in an igloo to stay warm. He has also surveyed for Marbled Murrelets in the Coast Range of Oregon and banded Burrowing Owls in Wyoming, living 20 miles from the closest town in a broken-down trailer with no electricity or water.

Before joining Portland Audubon, Tim worked for three years as a trip leader for Cascadia Wild, teaching the public about wildlife surveys and animal tracking. Tim is excited to combine his passion for the natural world with his desire to strengthen the bonds between kids and nature. When he isn’t in the woods climbing trees and crawling along game trails, he can be found on his touring bicycle, pedaling with no destination in mind. 

Janet Drake
Nature Store Buyer

Janet Drake

Janet joined the Audubon Society of Portland in June 2017. She comes to the Nature Store at Portland Audubon with a strong background of customer service and sales. Janet was born and raised in Western Montana, and recently moved to Portland from Billings, MT. She has also lived in Southeast Alaska on and off for about 7 years. In 2012 she graduated from the University of Alaska Southeast with a Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts. After graduation, she had the opportunity to work for Alaska Geographic at the Mendenhall Glacier Bookstore in Juneau, AK, and as a park ranger at Sitka National Historical Park in Sitka, AK. Both of these job opportunities inspired her to share her love for nature and history with others. Alaska’s amazing birding opportunities also sparked her love for birding. A few of Janet’s other favorite hobbies include photography, hiking, baking, crafting, hanging out with her dog and fish, and laughing a lot!

Paul Engelmeyer
Ten Mile Sanctuary Manager

Paul Engelmeyer - Joe Liebezeit

Paul Engelmeyer has managed Portland Audubon’s Ten Mile Creek Sanctuary, home to nesting marbled murrelets and other imperiled species, since 1990. His work includes watershed restoration, species recovery and marine conservation efforts, and he has worked for decades to develop partnerships that have grown into a basin-wide habitat protection program on the central Oregon coast. As Portland Audubon’s coastal Important Bird Area coordinator, Paul has also contributed to the formation of a system of marine reserves at five sites in Oregon’s Territorial Sea.

Esther Forbyn
Facilities & Sanctuaries Manager

Esther Forbyn 2018

Esther Forbyn is an avid birder, artist, and builder. She joined Portland Audubon in the summer of 2018. She is passionate about shaping the built environment to inspire curiosity, wonder, and equitable access. 

With support from a Mellon Environmental Studies Fellowship she founded Birds to Know, a bilingual outdoor education project aimed at increasing environmental justice in Portland through birding. 

She is a founding board member of the Klamath Lake Land Trust and is an active volunteer at Bark, an environmental watchdog group for the Mt. Hood National Forest. Esther holds a BA from Reed College in Environmental Studies-History.

Youn Han
Community Programs Manager

Youn Han

​Youn Han joined Portland Audubon spring of 2017 after 8 years building her environmental education and community development skill set around the country. Operating off a lens of equity and inclusion, Youn has worked with organizations such as Outdoor School, the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, and the Student Conservation Association with the aim of providing quality educational programs, diversifying the environmental field, and opening access and opportunity for underprivileged communities. 

She has a Master of Science degree in Environmental Education from Antioch University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs from the University of Georgia. 

Nick Hardigg
Executive Director

Nick Hardigg

Nick joined as Executive Director in 2015, after spending four years leading the Portland Parks Foundation. In 2014, he co-chaired Portland’s Fix Our Parks campaign that helped pass a $68 million parks bond. Hardigg has also served as executive director for the Alaska Conservation Foundation, and director of finance and operations at The Nature Conservancy in Oregon. He has worked as a filmmaker in environmental education, served as chief of tourism and concessions management at Grand Canyon and Denali national parks, and served on numerous nonprofit boards.

Nick holds an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management with a focus on nonprofit management, and a B.A. in environmental science with honors from Wesleyan University.

Sharon Jamin
Accountant

Sharon Jamin

Sharon came to Portland Audubon April 2016, starting as a contractor and moving into her current part time  accounting position. She has been working in various capacities for small to large Portland nonprofits since 2004. 

Sharon was born and raised in Indonesia. She wanted to experience a life that was different, so she has been traveling since she was a young girl. She came to the University of Oregon for her undergraduate studies and promptly fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. She likes to hike trails that lead to beautiful waterfalls. 

Sharon is an accountant at heart. She loves to help people understand what their numbers are telling them and she’s thrilled to be able to use her skills at Audubon while learning more about nature and wildlife. When not working or driving her kids around, she can be found in a coffee shop planning her next adventure.

Katy Johnson
Development Coordinator

Katy J

Katy joined Portland Audubon in 2017 as the Development Coordinator. She recently graduated from Portland State University with a B.S. in Marketing and is new to the non-profit world. Although she is new to Audubon, she is very familiar with outdoor adventures in the Pacific Northwest. Originally from Klamath Falls, she moved to Portland in 2010 and was immediately drawn to the outdoors. Whenever she was not in class or working, you could find her discovering Forest Park or exploring the trails off the Historic Columbia River Highway. 

Katy is eager to join a community of environmental educators and activists and learn more about the local ecosystem. She is excited to be a part of the Membership and Development team to secure resources that will further Portland Audubon’s mission. In her free time, Katy can be found cuddling with her two cats while watching a documentary on Netflix, camping on the Oregon Coast, or walking around Northwest Portland looking for a new restaurant or café. 

McKenzie Joslin-Snyder
Wildlife Care Center Assistant

McKenzie

McKenzie has been with Portland Audubon since 2012, first as a volunteer, then as buyer for the Nature Store, and more recently as an assistant at the Wildlife Care Center. Named after a river, she really had no choice but to develop an environmental conscience from an early age. She has always been drawn to work and hobbies that take her outdoors.

Her current work at Portland Audubon is a perfect reflection of her varied background; a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Oregon, and previous work experience surveying pond turtle habitat for the BLM, caring for cats at the Shelter Animal Resource Alliance of Eugene, and slinging books at a Portland-based book-tropolis. Whether at the Nature Store or the Wildlife Care Center, the thing McKenzie loves most about her job is the facilitating a connection between humans and nature that deepens their understanding and sparks enthusiasm for conservation.

Adam Kinnard
Volunteer Manager

A. Kinnard

Adam joined Portland Audubon in the fall of 2017. Most recently he comes from Yosemite National Park, where he worked as an Environmental Science Educator and Operations Manager for Naturebridge as well as a leadership school instructor for Outward Bound. He loves working with youth! His passion for nature has manifested in a variety of different professional and recreational experiences. He earned a B.A. in Geology from Pomona College, volunteered with the SCA in the Mojave Desert, studied volcanoes in New Zealand, and consulted on groundwater contamination in San Francisco. He loves rock climbing, backpacking, skiing, and hot-springing.

Adam is excited to leverage his position to advance the equity of underrepresented communities in the outdoors and environmental movement. He is a queer individual of Latino descent who loves to think critically about privilege, identity intersectionality, ending the patriarchy, and being an effective white-ally. When not rock climbing in a tutu and rainbow tights, you might find Adam in his favorite rocking chair with a book, practicing his makeup skills, or keeping up with his Spanish.

Kelsey Kuhnhausen
Communications Coordinator

Kelsey

Kelsey joined Portland Audubon in December 2017. Originally from Boise, she grew up exploring the mountains, rivers, lakes, hot springs, and high deserts of Idaho. Landing in Coeur d’Alene, she earned an A.A. in Journalism and served as assistant A&E editor for North Idaho College’s award winning newspaper. 

Kelsey has a B.A. in Communications & Media Production from Boise State University and has worked with nonprofits for more than 10 years in varying capacities - from food advocate to camp counselor and most recently, Marketing & Communications Manager at Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland.

Kelsey is passionate supporting organizations that advocate for social justice, build community, break down barriers, and strive to make the world a better place. Outside of work, she can be found rock climbing, riding her bike, spending time with her dog pal Hazel, hiking, crafting, or listening to a good podcast.

Tara Lemezis
Tara Lemezis
Education Program Assistant

Tara began volunteering with Portland Audubon in the Wildlife Care Center in 2014, and since that time has served in a variety of volunteer and staff roles within communications and education. She joined the education team as the Education Program Assistant in September 2018. 

Her current work at Portland Audubon is a reflection of her varied background: a degree in Secondary Education from Ball State University, and previous work as a middle school humanities and science teacher, office management, and several years in the customer service industry. Tara is deeply committed to environmental education and believes that all people deserve a safe space to access the outdoors. She is excited to bring her enthusiasm and organizational skills to the education team to propel the growth of Portland Audubon’s education programming.

Outside of work, you can find Tara birding all over the Pacific Northwest, soaking in hot springs, photographing wildlife, working on her Backyard Habitat certification, and spending time hiking with her husband and two crazy cattledogs. 

Joe Liebezeit
Staff Scientist and Avian Conservation Program Manager

Joe L

Joe joined Portland Audubon in July 2013. He has over 20 years’ experience as a wildlife biologist and conservationist studying birds and other wildlife in diverse habitats throughout the U.S. and internationally. 

Prior to his position with Portland Audubon, Joe worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society for 12 years, leveraging on-the-ground science efforts to protect wildlife from oil development and climate change impacts in Arctic Alaska.

After growing up in suburban New Jersey, Joe received his Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire and a Master’s Degree in Wildlife Management from Humboldt State University.

Joe has lived in the northwest for nearly 20 years and in Portland since 2005. In his free time, Joe enjoys family time with his wife, two daughters, and pets. Joe enjoys playing and listening to music, exploring natural areas, and of course, bird watching!

Candace Larson
Field Biologist

Candace Larson

Candace began volunteering on Portland Audubon bird surveys in 2009, and now works as a Field Biologist in our conservation program, including a tenure each spring at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, helping the refuge meet their avian conservation goals. She is also a Trip Leader in our education program, leading both domestic and international birding tours with a focus on bird biology and habitat preservation.

Candace is an avid birder, mycology geek and native plant enthusiast,with a passion for the diverse ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest. She has been active in social and environmental justice struggles since 2001, and like many Auduboners, her concerns represent the strong connection between healthy ecosystems and healthy communities. In her free time, Candace volunteers as a naturalist with Metro, helping our region's kids and adults connect with the birds and ecology of our wonderful urban forests and greenspaces. She can also be found participating in all sorts of nature nerdery, from obsessing over tiny mouse tracks in a mud slick to perfecting her recipe of morel paté.

Erin Law
Adult Education Coordinator

Erin LawErin and her family have been enjoying Portland Audubon for eleven years. She became an official volunteer in 2015 and joined the staff in October of 2017. Her love of birds began as a young child growing up in the woods of Western New York. Then she completely fell in love with birding in college, while working at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 

During her fieldwork years, she has studied moose mortality in Minnesota, African lion distribution in the Ngorongoro Crater of Tanzania, Darwin's fox territorial movement in central Chile, red-throated loon foraging behavior in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region of Alaska, common loon behavior and vocalizations in Wisconsin and shorebird migration at Grays Harbor, Washington. Erin then obtained a Master of Science degree in Environmental Policy and Conservation from the University of Michigan. Her thesis work was on small mammal distribution and forest restoration in the upper peninsula of Michigan.

In her spare moments, Erin enjoys playing and learning with her three kids, all things musical, hiking, camping, and birding! Advocating for social justice pervades every aspect of her life. She also serves as the treasurer for two environmental nonprofits, Cascadia Wild and the Sandy River Watershed Council, and is a Portland Neighborhood Emergency Team member.

JP Marchetti-Mendez
Backyard Habitat Certification Program Coordinator

JP Marchetti-Mendez

JP joined us as the Backyard Habitat Certification Program Assistant in 2017 after volunteering for Portland Audubon for almost a year. In this hybrid position, JP splits his time equally between the Portland Audubon and the Columbia Land Trust offices to assist the program managers of both organizations. 

JP grew up in São Paulo, Brazil, and although he lived in the city, he has always surrounded himself with plants and animals. He kept a vivarium with poison dart frogs and tropical plants for a few years, but currently only cares for a cat named Michi, some Hawaiian red shrimp, earthworms in his vermicomposting bins, a corn snake, and the wild birds that visit his feeders. JP speaks English, Portuguese, and Spanish. He has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Concordia University and over 13 years of varied clerical experience - from customer service, to executive administrative assistant, to office manager.

JP enjoys hiking, camping, creating artistic projects, volunteering, and being part of the Burning Man community. He is excited to work with fellow gardeners to create urban oases for people and wildlife. 

 

Micah Meskel
Conservation Field Coordinator

Micah Meskel

Micah began volunteering with Portland Audubon at the Wildlife Care Center in 2010, and since that time has served in a variety of staff roles within the conservation and care center programs. He has been in his current position as Conservation Field Coordinator since 2015. Micah was born and raised in Portland, leaving town only briefly to attend the University of Oregon where he graduated in 2008 with a degree in Economics. Micah manages Portland Audubon’s activist program, works on local and statewide policy issues, and gives the conservation department and Wildlife Care Center more capacity to protect our environment and communities.

Away from work, Micah enjoys anything that involves the outdoors, whether it’s kayaking on the Willamette, biking and running around town, hiking in the region’s vast wilderness, or gardening in his backyard. One constant in all of these outdoor activities is that his eye is always to the sky, keeping track of all birds in his sight.

Charles Milne
Development Director

Charles Milne

Charles’ fundraising knowledge and successful track record over a 15-year career started with his founding and leadership of the nonprofit LGBT Resource Center at the University of Utah. At Planned Parenthood of the Columbia Willamette, Charles was manager of a $1.5 million annual giving program that included corporate gifts, major gifts, annual appeals, and special events. Most recently, Charles served as Director of Development for Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest, where he developed and implemented an expansive development plan incorporating many of the investments and best practices of fundraising, including expanded foundation support, and the use of data and metrics to improve effectiveness and accountability.

An avid hiker from Utah (born and raised just minutes away from major canyons in the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains), Charles is passionate about improving the quality of life for all through connections with nature, and of Portland Audubon’s desire to remove barriers and reach all communities. He is also an experienced advocate and public speaker, who has championed important causes in challenging environments. Charles’ also has a substantial background and awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Katrina Montoya
Sanctuaries Caretaker

Katrina Montoya

Katrina joined Portland Audubon in November 2016. She grew up living and playing along the Willamette and Umpqua Rivers and their tributaries. After high school she served an eleven months service term in an AmeriCorps environmental-based program in Trout Lake, Washington. This experience started her on a career path conserving, maintaining and enhancing fish and wildlife habitats in natural areas throughout Oregon and Washington. She graduated from Oregon State University with a B.S. in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Applied Ecology and Resource Management in 2009. Over the past 15 years she has worked with a variety of different NPO’s, AmeriCorps programs, public universities, local governments and park districts. Along the way she has developed many skills including basic sawyer skills, sustainable trail maintenance and a strong interest in the ‘Flora of the Pacific Northwest’, all of which she is excited to put to use as the Sanctuary Caretaker.

Xander Patterson
Finance and Operations Director

Xander Patterson

Xander joined Portland Audubon at the start of 2013. He has a BA in Anthropology from Reed College and an MBA from PSU. His career has taken a lot of twists and turns, but always in the direction of progressive social change. He worked in recycling when it was still a movement, covered the civil wars in Central America in the late 1980s, had a regular column on the op-ed page of The Oregonian, was co-chair of the Pacific Green Party, and was twice elected director of the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. As ED of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, he played a significant role in organizing all those "don't attack Iraq" rallies in the run up to the war. Most recently, he was the business manager at Cedarwood Waldorf School. Through it all he has run a nonprofit management consulting business on the side. And he is always a devoted papa to his darling daughter. 

Dr. Kristina Raum
Wildlife Care Center Veterinarian

Kristina Raum

Kristina began volunteering at Portland Audubon's Wildlife Care Center in 2007 and went on to join as Audubon staff before leaving to attend veterinary school at Oregon State University in 2011.  Her previous time spent at Audubon, under the mentorship of Dr. Deb Sheaffer, was hugely inspirational in her pursuit of a career in veterinary medicine. In her work, she strives to provide excellent, individual care for our wild patients. She finds that wildlife medicine and rehabilitation offers a unique window into the issues affecting our environment and can be a useful driver of larger conservation efforts.

Kristina has worked with a wide variety of species and spends her time treating wildlife as well as domestic animals. She is a member of the Portland Veterinary Medical Association and the Association of Avian Veterinarians. Dr. Raum lives with her spouse and cadre of critters in Northeast Portland, a place she is immensely grateful to call home. 

Bob Sallinger
Conservation Director

Bob Sallinger

Bob has worked for Portland Audubon since 1992. His current responsibilities include directing local, regional, and nation conservation policy initiatives, wildlife research initiatives, the Backyard Habitat Certification Program, and Wildlife Care Center. Bob’s passion for conservation was developed early exploring the woods of Massachusetts and later on solo hikes from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail and from Canada to Southern Colorado on the Continental Divide.

Bob has a B.A. in Biology from Reed College and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School. He currently serves on the board of Humane Oregon and as an adjunct professor of law at Lewis and Clark Law School. He lives in Northeast Portland with his wife Elisabeth Neely, three children and an assortment of critters including dogs, cat, goats, pigeons, chickens and a hedgehog.

Aaron Shilkaitis
Donor Services Coordinator

Aaron Shilkaitis

Aaron joined the Audubon Society of Portland in July 2018, excited to contribute to the Membership and Development Department as its Donor Services Coordinator. Prior to Portland Audubon, he spent 3 years recruiting monthly-donating members for Greenpeace USA with their Frontline team. He holds a BA in Environmental Science from the University of Illinois and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty as he worked in forest and prairie restoration with the Will County Forest Preserve after graduating.

Born and raised in Lemont, IL, a suburb of Chicago, Aaron developed his love for the outdoors at a young age. Whether playing in the nearby woods or visiting a National Park on a family vacation, he always enjoyed being outside and feeling connected to the natural world. Aaron’s passion for the environment drives his work. He aspires to be a part of building a more sustainable and equitable future where our planet and its people live in healthy harmony.

Outside of his work with Portland Audubon, you may find Aaron exploring the nooks and crannies of Oregon for hidden waterfalls, trail-running, backpacking, golfing, working on his basketball moves or watching his beloved Chicago sports teams.

Stephanie Taylor
Field Organizer

Stephanie TaylorStephanie joined Portland Audubon in 2016 as the Conservation Field Organizer. She works to recruit, maintain and activate Portland Audubon's Activist Network. Prior to Portland Audubon, Stephanie worked for Oregon Wild and the Pacific Wolf Coalition as a community organizer for the protection of Oregon’s threatened gray wolves. Stephanie has worked with nearly a dozen local community organizations in Oregon focused on forest and animal defense, mitigating climate change, environmental justice, and equity issues. She has a BS in Environmental Science with a strong focus on conservation biology and ecology from Evergreen State.   

When not volunteering with local community groups, Stephanie can be found frolicking in the foothills of the Cascades, the Blue Mountains or the Wallowas. She loves hanging from the canopy of old growth forests, strolling along the Oregon’s biodiverse coastline, foraging in the forest for mushrooms and medicinal herbs, wrestling with her (indoor only) cats, or home-cooking delicious vegan food. She has a Permaculture Design Certification from Costa Rica. She practices herbalism and backwoods medicine, and is a certified Wilderness First Responder. 

Dan van den Broek
Trip Leader and Educator

Dan van den BroekDan started birding at a young age we he began to notice the birds around a 10-acre woodland next to his parents' house. His enthusiasm for birds led him to the Audubon Society of Portland and his first bird walk along the railroad tracks of the Springwater Corridor, where he saw his first Great Horned Owl. He initially went on as many Audubon Outings, Christmas Bird Counts, and Birdathons as possible, relying on his parents to take him, but soon began leading them himself. Inspired by the leadership at Portland Audubon and Oregon Birding Association, he began searching for a career where he could enjoy birds and the outdoors.

Dan got his first seasonal job as a biologist in Texas to survey endangered Golden-cheeked Warblers and Black-capped Vireos. More opportunities followed, including stints at Point Reyes Bird Observatory, Redwood Sciences Lab, Klamath Bird Observatory, Costa Rica Bird Observatory, and Avifauna Northwest. Dan also worked in customer service for many years at the Backyard Bird Shop. In 2004, Dan led his first Audubon field trip to Costa Rica where his group of enthusiastic participants saw more than 300 species of birds. Dan enjoys sharing in the discovery of nature and travel at Portland Audubon and now leads trips to 16 countries. He also teaches the popular World of Birds program to help people learn more about bird science and ID, and to be more aware of the natural world. When Dan isn’t birding he might be botanizing, identifying dragonflies and butterflies, or plotting how to naturescape, plant edibles and attract birds and pollinators to his garden.

Abby VanLeuven
Environmental Educator

Abby VanLeuvenAbby started at the Audubon Society of Portland in 2017 as a seasonal educator before joining the staff full time. Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, she grew up exploring all of the natural beauty the Pacific Northwest has to offer. After graduating from the College of Wooster with a degree in Geology, she moved to Denver, Colorado where she began a career in Environmental Education. In addition to her work in education, she has conducted dendroclimatic research on trees in Alaska, done soil surveys in Tanzania, and worked to register and educate young voters in Colorado. Her passion for education and the environment has brought her all over the world from S.E. Asia to Alaska studying, working, and enjoying the outdoors. After short stints teaching in Glacier National Park and the Colorado Rockies, she couldn’t stay away from Portland any longer and returned home.  

She is ecstatic to be working with Portland Audubon to share everything she knows and loves about this area and help young people develop a similar connection and love for the environment that she gained as a child. When she is not at work, you can find Abby outside skiing, hiking, backpacking, biking, playing frisbee, exploring all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer and occasionally spending time indoors playing her cello or reading a book. 

Nikkie West
Backyard Habitat Program Manager

Nikkie WestNikkie joined Portland Audubon's conservation department in August 2011, and primary manages the Backyard Habitat Certification Program. Prior to Audubon, she worked with several local non-profits and jurisdictions including Metro, City of Milwaukie and the Community Cycling Center, and helped found the small-but-growing North Clackamas Urban Watersheds Council.

Nikkie comes from the countryside of northern Michigan, and was raised by a family of rural conservationists. She completed an undergraduate degree in International Development and Political Science at Indiana University and spent much of the last decade living, working, and traveling in Portland, West Africa, India, South America and Honduras. Nikkie is a life-long amateur naturalist and has a passion for gardening, native landscaping, and native plants. When she’s not at Audubon, she can usually be found outside in her garden (often just watching the plants grow), hiking, biking, camping, or laughing with friends.

Teresa Wicks
Eastern Oregon Field Coordinator

Teresa Wicks

Teresa joined Portland Audubon in April 2018. In her role as Eastern Oregon Field Coordinator, Teresa is looking forward to working on bird surveys and conservation, and connecting folks from Harney County and throughout Oregon to the conservation work being done throughout the Harney Basin.

Teresa spent her childhood roaming the forests of Southern Oregon while her father climbed trees. An early obsession with birds led to hours of hiking and exploration, and earned her the nickname Bird. Teresa has a B.S. in Natural Resources, nearly completed a B.S. in Wildlife Conservation, has an M.S. in Environmental Education, and is currently a PhD candidate at OSU. 

Teresa has a diversity of conservation related experiences, including volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation center, a variety of avian and wildlife field jobs, and 1.5 years of program coordination for an environmental education collaborative in Klamath Falls, OR. In her spare time, Teresa enjoys exploring new places with her wife and dogs, reading, picking wild berries, and sewing fanciful creations for her many nieces and nephews. Teresa is also active in Indigenous activism whenever possible and is teaching herself Interior Salish (Spokane dialect), in honor of her Great-grandpa, who was Spokane. x̣est sx̣lx̣alt!

Donna Wiench
Legacy and Leadership Giving Manager

Donna WienchBeing in nature helps Donna Wiench feel alive and happy. And being Donor Relations Manager at Portland Audubon is a good fit since many of our members feel the same way.  

Donna has hiked, skied and snowboarded for decades and recently backpacked the 93-mile Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier. She finds Portland Audubon a wonderful place to indulge her curiosity about nature, while helping support the advocacy/conservation and education arms of ASoP. As a birder, Donna is a beginner, but she’s eager to learn and is enthusiastic about the outdoor opportunities Portland Audubon presents.

Before Portland Audubon, Donna was development director for Daybreak Youth Servicers, Columbia Land Trust and Reclaiming Futures at Portland State University. Earlier in her career, she was a reporter/host for KPLU, the NPR affiliate in Seattle and a reporter for KOIN-TV when she was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities journalism fellowship to the University of Michigan.  She also was an adviser for China Central Television in Beijing.

Caitlin Wisbeski
Nature Store Manager

Caitlin Wisbeski

Caitlin first discovered her passion for nature after moving to the Pacific Northwest from the East Coast when she was 12 years old. She grew up in Eugene, Oregon, where she spent her free time riding horses and wandering through the woods. After graduating high school, she studied economics and sustainability at Willamette University and Portland State University. In 2017, she became co-owner of Portland’s only adaptive-specific bike shop, where she continues to help make the outdoors accessible for people of all abilities. 

Caitlin joined Portland Audubon in April 2018 with an extensive background in retail management and customer service, and looks forward to sharing her enthusiasm for outdoor education and environmental stewardship with others. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, gardening, music, and taking her dog to the river.

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