Portland Audubon is staffed by 35 employees who are passionate about protecting wildlife and habitat, connecting people with nature, and building a diverse and inclusive environmental movement.
Ali Berman joined Portland Audubon 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 helping to bring human rights, animal protection, and environmental ethics issues into classrooms. Ali is also a writer. Her first two books, “Misdirected” (Seven Stories Press) and “Choosing a Good Life” (Hazelden) were published in 2014. In addition to her work at Portland Audubon, Ali serves on the board of two organizations: Disabled Hikers and Portland Parks and Recreation.
Nature Store Buyer
Sarah joined Portland Audubon in June 2021 after a cross-country journey from the Midwest. Enthusiastic about the intersection of conservation and public engagement, she earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison where she studied Conservation Biology and Environmental Studies. Her past roles have included managing volunteers for the community science program Snapshot Wisconsin and coordinating Wisconsin’s own Birdathon with the Natural Resources Foundation. Sarah is very passionate about fostering an inclusive conservation community and spreading the bird word to others. In her free time you can find Sarah out learning the Western birds, checking out local breweries, or enjoying a sunrise hike.
Brodie Cass Talbott
Educator, Trips Associate
Brodie started with Portland Audubon as a youth educator and outings volunteer in 2018, and not long after began leading birding trips for Adult Education. Happiest outdoors, he spent years fighting wildfire before working as a raft guide and managing a river tours company in Maupin, Oregon. After obtaining his BA in Applied Linguistics at Portland State, he spent six years teaching, traveling, and photographing across Asia, where his interest in birds became his passion.
He strives to make birding more inclusive, and has a particular interest in bird vocalizations. Brodie can usually be found listening to birds and tending his garden in NE Portland, where he lives with his wife.
Facilities and Sanctuaries Manager
A lifelong Hoosier, Braden moved to Seattle, WA in 2018 where he served as the Facilities and Rentals Manager at Seattle Children’s Theatre. Prior to relocating to the Pacific Northwest, he spent 7 years at the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites in Collections Management and Conservation, helping oversee their cultural and natural history collections. Some of his highlights included assisting with the Pipe Creek Jr. Quarry paleontology excavation searching for Pliocene animal remains, spending 9 field seasons at Megenity Peccary Cave, excavating Pleistocene ice age animals, and working with the museum geologist surveying and collecting amphibian ichnofossils.
A historian by training, Braden received his BA from Indiana University majoring in history with a minor in biology. Furthering those passions, he is pursuing a master’s degree where his thesis analyzes environmental inequality in Indianapolis through the lens of Pogue’s Run, an urban stream. While living in Indiana, he enjoyed exploring and mapping undiscovered areas of the Binkley Cave System as a member of the Indiana Speleological Survey and National Speleological Society. In his free time, he likes spending time outdoors hiking, kayaking, and exploring the PNW with his wife.
BirdSafe & Non-lead Campaign Coordinator
Mary started as Portland Audubon’s Assistant Conservation Director from 2008-2012 before transitioning to the BirdSafe Campaign Coordinator. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Lewis & Clark College in 1997 and spent a decade studying a wide array of bird species in both urban and rural environments.
Mary is dedicated to efforts to make urban environments more hospitable to wildlife and helping connect people to nature. She splits her time between Center for Diversity & the Environment, the Oregon Zoo’s California Condor breeding facility, and Portland Audubon. She spends her free time beekeeping, birdwatching, horseback riding, mushroom hunting and occasionally escaping to a meandering river to fly fish.
Tumurkhuu “Tumko” Davaakhuu
Chief Operating Officer
Tumurkhuu “Tumko” Davaakhuu joined Portland Audubon in 2019, after serving as CEO and Board Director of Arig Bank of Mongolia for 12 years. Tumko is a co-founder and Chairperson of Spirit Mongolia, a community based conservation non-profit that manages a 137,000 hectare (338,534 acre) Legal Protected Area (LPA) in Mongolia as well as Achilles International Mongolia. He also served as the National Coordinator of UN Environment’s Sustainable Finance Roadmap project, Chairman of the Mongolian Sustainable Finance Association, and Vice President of the Mongolian Bankers Association. Tumko studied Leadership Decision Making at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, earned his MBA in Financial Management at Pace University, and his BA in Applied Linguistics at Otgontenger University. In his free time, he enjoys going on camping, mountaineering trips, running, and spending time with family and friends.
Senior Educator for School & Family Programs
Tim volunteered for two years at Portland 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 three years working as a miner, doing restoration work, and tree planting throughout the West. He has also studied bison around Yellowstone National Park, 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. Tim loves combining 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.
Nature Store Manager
Janet joined Portland Audubon in June 2017. She comes to the Nature Store with a strong background of customer service and sales. Janet was born and raised in Western Montana and graduated from the University of Alaska Southeast with a Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts in 2012. After graduation, she worked 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 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!
Ten Mile Sanctuary Manager
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.
Wildlife Care Center Manager
Stephanie Herman became obsessed with wildlife rehab in the early ’90s as a volunteer at Michigan Friends of Wildlife and then the River Raisin Raptor Center. Her interest led her to the University of Guelph, where she earned her bachelors in Wildlife Biology and developed a fascination for wildlife nutrition. Stephanie interned with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida before becoming a full-time wildlife rehabilitator for the PAWS Wildlife Center in Washington State. After leaving PAWS, she joined the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center as the Wildlife Care Specialist for California’s Oiled Wildlife Care Network. In her spare time, Stephanie writes science fiction and fantasy, plays the oboe, and engages in an endlessly rotating cycle of hobbies. She has two indoor cats and a chinchilla, as well as a perpetually dying porch garden.
Annual Fund & Membership Manager
Matthew joined Portland Audubon in 2020 after spending six years working in the nonprofit field. He has a BA in Government and Journalism. He is passionate about joining you (our members, volunteers, and supporters) to protect birds, wildlife, and their habitat.
As a child, he accompanied his mother on excursions to the field while she was getting her BS in Environmental Science. These trips inspired his interest in zoology and later in conservationism while researching his favorite animal, the peregrine falcon. Matthew is an avid backpacker, rock climber, and outdoor enthusiast who is committed to living sustainably.
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 and 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. The thing McKenzie loves most about her job is facilitating a connection between humans and nature that deepens their understanding and sparks enthusiasm for conservation.
Field Biologist & Trip Leader
Candace began volunteering for Portland Audubon bird surveys in 2009, and now works as a conservation Field Biologist as well as Trip Leader in the education program. 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 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 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.
Educator & Pacific Northwest Specialist
Erin started volunteering at Portland Audubon in 2015 before joining the staff in 2017. Her love of birds began while growing up in the woods of Western New York, but she fell in love with birding in college while working at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. She has a Master of Science degree in Environmental Policy and Conservation from the University of Michigan. During her fieldwork years, she 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 Alaska, and more. In her spare moments, Erin enjoys all things musical, hiking, camping, and birding! Advocating for social justice pervades every aspect of her life. She serves as the treasurer for the the Sandy River Watershed Council.
Ashley started at Portland Audubon as a seasonal staff member for the busy summer months before joining as a permanent Wildlife Care Center Rehabilitator. In 2015 she completed her first internship at Wildlife Images in Grants Pass, Oregon. This sparked her love for the Pacific Northwest, and her passion for wildlife welfare, rehabilitation, and education. She went on to receive her A.A. degree, and complete another internship at Northwoods Wildlife Center, before landing her first job in this field at Busch Wildlife Sanctuary. Antsy to move to the West Coast after growing up in Southwest Florida, Ashley and her husband temporarily lived and worked on a goat and alpaca farm in Soap Lake while job hunting and finding their new home here in Portland. In her free time she enjoys exploring the PNW, finding ways to reduce waste, continuing to learn about native wildlife, and lounging with her two cats, Mama and Friend.
Tara got her start at Portland Audubon as a volunteer in the Wildlife Care Center in 2014, and has since served in a variety of volunteer and staff roles within Communications and Education. She joined the Education team as the Education Registrar in September 2018. Her current work at Portland Audubon is a reflection of her varied background: a degree in Secondary Education & English from Ball State University in Indiana, 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. Outside of work, you can find Tara birding all over the Pacific Northwest, soaking in hot springs, photographing wildlife, working on her gold certified Backyard Habitat, and spending time hiking with her husband and two cattle dogs.
Staff Scientist & Avian Conservation Program Manager
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. 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!
Connie Lo, DVM
Wildlife Care Center Veterinarian
Born and raised in Edison, New Jersey, Connie grew up with too many budgies and a subscription to Bird Talk. She eventually moved to California and completed her undergraduate education at the University of California, San Diego prior to receiving her veterinary degree at University of California, Davis with a zoological/exotic animal focus. While completing her education, she pursued volunteer work and training programs through a variety of wildlife rehabilitation centers and zoos. She has been at Portland Audubon since Fall 2018. Connie frequents the outdoors and feels wildlife rehabilitation and conservation provide an opportunity to be in touch with nature and the environment, while allowing us to take responsibility for our inevitable impact on the ecosystem. She also enjoys long distance trail running (especially with her border collie, Deckard), backpacking with an oversized pack, yoga, reading tragic novels, and experimental vegan cooking.
Backyard Habitat Certification Program Coordinator
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 between the Portland Audubon and the Columbia Land Trust offices. 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. JP enjoys hiking, camping, creating artistic projects, volunteering, and being part of the Burning Man community.
Vicky is a Portland native who grew up visiting the Portland Audubon Sanctuary. As a daughter of avid birders, and a parent of children who also grew up visiting the NW Portland Sanctuary, it felt right to join the staff at Portland Audubon as the Volunteer Manager in fall 2018. Prior to Portland Audubon, Vicky worked for almost 12 years as the US director of an international volunteer program, where she screened, placed and supported volunteers who lived and served in Latin America. She is bilingual in Spanish and English, and has lived in Honduras and Colombia. Vicky has a BA in Latin American Studies and Spanish from Tulane University, and a Masters in Teaching from Lewis and Clark College. In 2016 she became a Certified Volunteer Administrator.
Activist Program Manager
Micah began volunteering with Portland Audubon at the Wildlife Care Center in 2010, and has served in a variety of staff roles within the conservation and care center programs before becoming the Activist Program Manager in 2018. Micah was born and raised in Portland and attended the University of Oregon and earned a degree in Economics. In his current role, Micah manages Portland Audubon’s activist program, works on a variety of local and statewide policy issues, and represents Portland Audubon on various committee and coalitions. 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 the abundant wildlife activity in our region.
Director of Development
Charles’ 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. 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, Charles is passionate about improving the quality of life for all through connections with nature and removing barriers to reach all communities. He is also an experienced advocate and public speaker, who has championed important causes in challenging environments.
Development Systems Associate Specialist
Megan joined the development department at Portland Audubon in the fall of 2018. Prior to Portland Audubon, she spent 3 years as the Operations Coordinator for Heart Coffee Roasters. Megan was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, where she grew up exploring all that the beautiful Pacific Northwest has to offer. Having developed a passion for animals and nature throughout her childhood, she went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from Portland State University. She finds fulfillment in utilizing her strengths to support efforts in creating a healthier, more sustainable world. In her free time, Megan enjoys hiking, camping, thrifting, and road tripping. She also enjoys spending quality time with loved ones and her labradoodle puppy, Penny.
Ambassador Animal Coordinator
Nikki began her career in animal care while in college at a small native animal zoo in Northern Florida as an educator and animal department volunteer. She has always been in love with wildlife, growing as a creek baby in the suburbs of St. Louis, MO and graduated with a B.S. in Biological Science from The Florida State University. She swiftly moved into full time zookeeping in the Education Department at the Central Florida Zoo, working with a wide variety of taxa from bald eagles to porcupines and alligators. Next, she worked in Charlotte, NC, where she rehabbed the animal department of a small nature museum.
You can find her around town slinging and preaching the gospel of cheese when not at Portland Audubon.
Director of Education
Emily joined Portland Audubon in 2019 after fifteen years building equity in public spaces in New York and California. As Director of Programming at the Wildlife Conservation Society, she worked with teams at five parks across New York to implement an inclusive, audience-driven approach to teaching and learning, and spearheaded a city-wide initiative to democratize access to STEM career training for 1,400 youth. As Director of Programs & Education at Friends of the High Line during the park’s first six years, she initiated programs for all ages and launched economic justice initiatives in partnership with local public housing residents. Previously, she has worked as an educator and researcher at the Oakland Museum of California, the Exploratorium, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, the Queens Museum, and Four Freedoms Park. She holds an MA in Museum Studies from NYU, and currently serves on the Board of the national Museum Educators Roundtable.
Educator, Youth & Family Partnerships Specialist
In 2015, Zahir had the opportunity to study abroad through a Portland State University program that exposed her to some of the environmental issues of the world. This experience changed her life, and since then, she has joyfully dedicated her time to learning about the natural world through studies in herbalism, edible and medicinal plants, organic gardening, sustainability, and the many unique and beautiful environments and ecosystems that she has had the pleasure of living in, such as Costa Rica, Maryland, Florida, and Oregon. In her free time, Zahir can be found out in nature, dancing, hiking, camping, swimming, surfing, and stand up paddle boarding. Before joining Portland Audubon’s staff, she worked as a naturalist and educator in Baltimore City’s largest urban wilderness park. She hopes to use her education, experience, and mindfulness background to facilitate inspiring, fun, peaceful, and healing opportunities for others to connect with nature, and learn how to live in a more harmonious and sustainable way.
Director of Conservation
Bob has worked for Portland Audubon since 1992. His current responsibilities include directing Portland Audubon’s conservation policy initiatives, wildlife research initiatives, 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 as board president of Humane Oregon and on the board of the Intertwine Alliance. He previously worked as an adjunct professor of law at Lewis and Clark Law School and as an elected director at East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. He lives in Northeast Portland with his wife Elisabeth Neely, three children and an assortment of dogs, goats, chickens, cat and other critters.
Donor Services Coordinator
Aaron joined Portland Audubon 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. Aaron’s passion for the environment drives his work and 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 work, 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.
Educator, Local Partnerships Associate
Gregory has been a field biologist for the past ten years, after graduating from The College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. Their work has taken them from the Florida Everglades to offshore islands on the Atlantic and Pacific coast. They started working at Portland Audubon in 2018 as a contractor, leading local walks, ecotours, and working with partners like Wild Diversity. Gregory is passionate about connecting people with nature, in particular communities historically underrepresented in the natural sciences. Their goal here with PA is to work on creating safe and inviting outdoor spaces for BIPOC and LGTBQIA+ communities here in Portland. In their free time Gregory enjoys birding, biking, fishing, and taking care of their sourdough starter named Norine.
Megan Van de Mark
Backyard Habitat Certification Program Manager
Originally from the rolling hills of Iowa and Minnesota, when Megan met the forests of the PNW she knew where she’d live out her days. She has a Masters in Sustainable Development, Bachelors in Women’s Studies and Journalism, and has taken coursework in Landscape Technology. She comes to Portland Audubon after years at Friends of Trees, where she coordinated their SW Washington tree plantings and tree care efforts. She is currently a Commissioner on the City of Portland’s Urban Forestry Commission and is drawn to collaborating with the diverse communities that make up our region in order to build all the stories of our urban forest. When not immersed in the world of plants, Megan spends her time hiking, biking, reading many a book, listening to countless podcasts, sharing meals with friends and family, adventuring with her wife, or working in her yard.
Educator, School & Outdoor Partnership Specialist
Abby started at Portland Audubon 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, completed 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 continue learning, educating and sharing her love for nature and the Pacific Northwest.
Eastern Oregon Field Coordinator
x̣est sx̣lx̣alt! Teresa joined Portland Audubon in April 2018. In her role as Eastern Oregon Field Coordinator, Teresa works on avian conservation and monitoring, policy and collaboration work, and connecting folks from Harney County and throughout Oregon to birds and the conservation work being done throughout the Harney Basin. Teresa spent her childhood roaming the forests of Southern Oregon while her father climbed trees. Her early-childhood obsession with birds led to a lifetime full of birds and nature, and earned her the nickname Bird. Teresa has a B.S. in Natural Resources and Wildlife Conservation, an M.S. in Environmental Education, and a PhD in Environmental Science from OSU. Teresa has fallen in love with Harney County and can’t get enough of the sagebrush scented air and juniper speckled hills. 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 co-founded the Rural Alliance for Diversity and is active in Indigenous activism and working to dismantle white supremacy in rural Oregon.
Legacy & Leadership Giving Manager
Being 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 the organization. Donna is a beginner birder, 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 Services, 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.