Established in 1985, the Mamie Campbell Award is given to our most important and dedicated volunteers. Established in 2012, the Audubon Society of Portland Youth Leadership Award is given to young volunteers who demonstrate leadership and a deep commitment to learning about and caring for the environment.
Youth Leadership Award
Established in 2012, the Audubon Society of Portland Youth Leadership Award is given to young volunteers who demonstrate leadership and a deep commitment to learning about and caring for the environment. This year we recognize Lucian Himes. Lucian exemplifies the youth of today who are learning about the environment and sharing their knowledge with others. Just last year, he donated over 100 hours sharing that knowledge with other young people through leading sanctuary tours and helping with children’s classes. According to Ian Abraham, our Onsite Program Specialist, “Lucian’s growth as a sanctuary tour leader has been impressive! He has become adept at working with students his own age and younger. His understanding of the Natural History of the Audubon Sanctuary is a true asset to the sanctuary tour program, and we thank him for his tremendous work and commitment to Portland Audubon.”
The inaugural recipients of this award were Christopher and Adrian Hinkle.
Generosity and Commitment: The Mamie Campbell Award
The Audubon Society of Portland takes special pride that it is a volunteer organization. Much of what we accomplish is made possible by the generosity and commitment of our more than 1,000 volunteers.
Each year, during the festivities at our annual volunteer banquet, the Audubon Society of Portland commemorates its most dedicated volunteers by announcing the Mamie Campbell award for volunteer achievement.
Mamie Campbell was an important figure in Audubon’s early years. A long-time and active volunteer herself, Mamie was instrumental in establishing the Jr. Audubon Club in Portland. Mamie was an ardent conservationist and helped distribute environmental brochures to area schools in the 1920s and 30s. She was also a tireless leader of the Lucy Club, which organized Audubon Society of Portland social and special events during the early 1900s and was named after Lucy Audubon, the wife of James Audubon.
The Mamie Campbell Award is the highest honor given to Audubon volunteers, and it recognizes the dedication and service each recipient has tirelessly given. In 2015, Audubon staff presented the Mamie Campbell Award to eight deserving volunteers.
John Osborn has been volunteering at Audubon as a Board Member since 2012 and has given over 800 hours of service. Dan Rohlf, our current Board President, says, “John took over unexpectedly as Board President and superbly led Portland Audubon through two monumentally important decisions that will shape and strengthen the organization for years to come. He devoted countless hours to the committee charting the future of the Wildlife Care and Education Center, and did an amazing amount of work running the committee charged with finding a new executive director.” Dan, and everyone else, feels privileged to have worked with John and are grateful for both the amazing volume and tremendous quality of his work on behalf of the organization.
Come to Audubon and there’s a good chance you’ll see Joe Chapman. He practically lives at Audubon. While he only began volunteering four years ago, he’s already given over 3,500 hours of service. You’ll usually find Joe in the Wildlife Care Center or handling an education bird, but he’s also on the Volunteer Council and the Wild Animal Rescue Team. He’s participated in Birdathon every year and helped with repair and remodeling projects and Swift Watch. Lacy Campbell, Wildlife Care Center Operations Manager, describes Joe as being “well loved by his fellow volunteers not only for his dependability but also for his friendship. Joe is a proficient education bird handler and will often take on tasks at the last minute when he’s needed the most.”
Tanya Cecka began volunteering at Audubon in 2002 and has since given over 2,200 hours to the Wildlife Care Center. While she had to give up handling education birds due to her busy schedule, she still helps with the Wild Arts Festival and is also part of the Wild Animal Rescue Team. Lacy Campbell says, “Tanya’s empathy for the animals and her great personality make her a wonderful fit in the Wildlife Care Center. Tanya is an engaged and incredibly helpful volunteer who really cares about all aspects of wildlife rehabilitation. She is a natural with the animals and great with people. She will often go out of her way to educate people and works to solve many wildlife conflicts with her caring and understanding."
Mary Ratcliff began volunteering in 2011 in the Nature Store and has since given over 1,800 hours of service. She counts birds for the Christmas Bird Count and helps others find and identify local birds by leading Magpie Field Trips and helping at Swift Watch. Mary is one of the wonderful volunteers who make up the Wild Arts Festival Book Fair Committee, logging a huge number of hours toward making the book fair as wonderful as it has grown to be. Xander Patterson, Audubon’s Finance Manager, says, “Mary has brought diligence and order to the Wild Arts Festival Book Fair. Whatever she does at Audubon--the book fair, the Nature Store, and everything else–-she always does it with plenty of pep and good cheer.”
Courtney Shannon has volunteered at our Leach Office since 2012 by inputting conservation information into the Georgraphic Information System (or GIS) and helping with other conservation needs. Jim Labbe, Urban Conservationist, adds that “Courtney has helped provide analysis and maps supporting our advocacy in improving access to nature in the Metro region, especially in neighborhoods that need it most.” Joe Liebezeit, Avian Conservation Programs Manager, really appreciates all that Courtney does, saying “Courtney has been more than willing to help with her GIS mapping expertise on projects ranging from tracking feral cats on Hayden Island to creating maps for our Black Oystercatcher surveys on the coast.” When Joe has a GIS need, Courtney is there to help.
Jay Withgott has been an advocate for all things Audubon by serving as a Board Member since 2012. He’s currently Board Secretary, supports our conservation agenda, and participates in Birdathon. Joe Liebezeit says that “Jay has helped organize the Streaked Horned Lark and Fernhill Wetlands citizen science projects. His enthusiasm, connections with the birding community, and his collaboration have helped advance one of Portland Audubon’s goals of connecting people with conservation.” Dan Rohlf is certainly impressed by how well Jay does so much. “Jay's work is always top-notch, his opinions and guidance always well thought out and thorough, and his minutes and record-keeping for the Board impeccable. If Congress was even half as competent as Jay, we'd solve most of the nation's problems by summer recess!”
If you’ve helped with Swift Watch, you know Amira El-Cherbini. As Volunteer Lead, she helps make sure the whole event runs smoothly. She’s been volunteering since 2011 and has served on the Kids’ Day Committee and helps with the Wild Arts Festival and Raptor Road Trip every year. In addition, Amira is a Swift Monitor and helps in the Native Plant Nursery. Eric Scheuering, our Adult Education Manager, is grateful for Amira’s help with Swift Watch especially since he was hired just a few weeks before the event last year. “By coordinating all the volunteers, co-leading their training, organizing materials and helping to manage the event for the entire month of September, including working as a Night Captain once a week, Amira shows she’s an amazing advocate for Vaux’s Swifts, birds, and Portland Audubon!”
You’ll find Susan Little welcoming guests and answering the phone with a smile on her face as a receptionist, or you’ll find her giving tours to school kids as she leads them through our sanctuary. She’s been volunteering since 2011 and has given over 500 hours of service. Susan also helps with lots of special events, serving on the Kids’ Day committee and also helping with the Wild Arts Festival, International Vulture Awareness Day, the Native Plant Sale, the Christmas Bird Count, and the Halloween Event. According to Ian Abraham, Onsite Programs Manager, “Susan’s commitment to the Sanctuary Tour program is invaluable. We have relied on her heavily throughout the busy school season and her teaching abilities shine each time she leads a group through the Nature Sanctuary. She is truly committed to inspiring kids to love and protect nature.”