Our Staff

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.

Allison Anholt

Coastal Community Science Biologist

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Allison is excited to be back on the North Coast of Oregon after years of working on the other coasts of the U.S. and Canada. Before coming to Portland Audubon, she worked at the intersection of coastal wildlife conservation and community science in the Aleutian Islands, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the Florida Everglades, and some of the busiest beaches in the country in Cape May, New Jersey. She holds an M.S. in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers University, a B.S. in Law and Policy from The College of New Jersey, and is currently finishing her Ph.D. working with First Nations fisheries on issues of  seabird bycatch in arctic Canada.

When not at work, she will be found birding with her husband, running with her rambunctious hound dog, or exploring the trails of Oregon’s North Coast.

Allison Anholt, Coastal Community Science Biologist

Elora Arding

Cultural Programs Specialist & Executive Assistant

Born and raised in Southern California, Elora earned a BA in Literature & Writing with a Minor in Spanish from Cal State University San Marcos in 2012. Since then, Elora has become a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) through HRCI, and has gained skills in a variety of other areas, including Business Operations, Marketing, and Customer Relations. Elora’s current role has a strong focus on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility initiatives, and she looks forward to forming new relationships with folks at Portland Audubon, as well as in the PDX community.

Outside of work, you might find Elora on a leisurely hike with her husband, son, their two dogs & occasionally their cat (who safely joins from a cat backpack). Elora also enjoys plant-based cooking (& eating), playing music, billiards, crafting, rock climbing and almost any activity that gets her out of the house. Elora feels quite fortunate to have an opportunity in supporting the Portland Audubon and its mission to inspire people to love and protect wildlife and the natural environment.

Elora Arding, Cultural Programs Specialist & Executive Assistant

Ali Berman

Communications and Marketing Director

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.

Ali Berman, Communications and Marketing Director

Elizabeth Bragg

Accounting Manager

Elizabeth joined Portland Audubon in June of 2021. She spent her formative years in deep south Texas, minutes from the Mexican border, before her family moved to the Portland area. She holds a BA in Social Science from Portland State University and is currently working on a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Accounting at Portland State. 

Elizabeth came to Portland Audubon with over a decade of accounting experience. She has a passion for supporting mission driven work that aligns with her values. Outside of Portland Audubon, she is active in various child centered organizations including Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and her school PTA. In her free time she can be found playing board games with her family, taking walks in the woods, or reading.

Elizabeth Bragg, Accounting Manager

Brodie Cass Talbott

Educator, Trips Specialist

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.

Brodie Cass Talbott, Educator and Trips Specialist

Braden Catt

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.

Braden Catt, Facilities and Sanctuaries Manager

Mary Coolidge

BirdSafe & Lights Out 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.

Mary Coolidge, BirdSafe & Lights Out Campaign Coordinator

Zahir Ringgold Cordes

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.

Zahir Ringgold Cordes, Educator, Youth & Family Partnerships Specialist

David Dalby

Facilities and Sanctuaries Technician

David was raised in Seattle and moved to Portland with his partner in December of 2021. As a facilities and sanctuaries technician, he assists with the day-to-day maintenance of Audubon’s properties in the Portland area. He obtained a BA from the University of Washington in Business Management and later graduated from Green River College with four AAS degrees in Natural Resources. He has previously worked as a park technician for King County and a restoration crew assistant lead for the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust. During his time with the Greenway, he aided in the restoration of wetlands, riparian buffers, and upland forest habitats and wrote a grant expanding restoration efforts on the Cedar River. When not working, he likes to fill his days with long bike rides, doodling, birding, and an ever expanding list of other hobbies.

David Dalby, Facilities and Sanctuaries Technician

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.

Tumurkhuu Davaakhuu, Chief Operating Officer

Chris Dodge

Graphic Design & Communications Associate

Chris joined Portland Audubon in January of 2021. She was born and raised in Portland, OR and attended the University of Oregon, where she received her degree in Journalism with a focus in advertising, and a minor in English.

Early in her career, Chris worked at an ad agency juggling both art direction and account management for a multitude of clients, one of which was a higher ed institution. This lead to her to working as a member of Concordia University’s marketing team for fourteen years doing graphic design, writing, and project management. 

Chris has always been fascinated with birds and is thrilled to have an excuse to learn more about them daily in her role in the marketing department at Portland Audubon. When not working, Chris enjoys spending time with her family, vacationing at the Oregon coast, doodling, playing board games, reading, and finding the funny in life!

Chris Dodge, Graphic Design & Communications Associate

Janet Drake

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!

Janet Drake, Nature Store Manager

Paul Englemeyer

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.

Paul Englemeyer, Ten Mile Sanctuary Manager

Stephanie Herman

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.

Stephanie Herman, Wildlife Care Center Manager

Matthew Hushbeck

Assistant Director of Development

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.

Matthew Hushbeck, Assistant Director of Development

Victor Ibarra (he/his/him)

Backyard Habitat Community Coordinator

Victor’s journey in protecting and studying the natural world started at the University of California, Chico where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science with a focus on wildlife biology and environmental conservation. Since his formal education, he has had the opportunity to work through many different avenues of conservation. From surveying Wild Chinook Salmon and Ringtail Cats in rural California to studying behavior of Northern Spotted Owls in the forests of Tillamook. Victor is proud of his Mexican and Indigenous heritage and strives to work with BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) communities within environmental and wildlife conservation. He has gotten the opportunity to foster this inclusive type of conservation by educating at BIPOC focused programs for nature centers throughout the Western United States and fostering community relationships while conducting environmental research.

When Victor is not immersed in his work, he enjoys exploring the outdoors with his fiancé, Alexander, and their twin poodles, Meeka and Ash, and their adventurous cat, Olive. On a rainy day, Victor can be found curled up on the couch with his cat watching true crime TV shows and, on a sunny day, paddle boarding with his fiancé throughout the PNW.

Victor Ibarra, Backyard Habitat Community Coordinator

McKenzie Joslin-Snyder

Wildlife Rehabilitator

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.

McKenzie Joslin-Snyder, Wildlife Rehabilitator

Candace Larson

Master Naturalist

Candace is an avid birder, mycology geek, and native plant enthusiast with a passion for the diverse ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest. Candace has been active in social and environmental justice struggles since 2001 and their concerns represent the strong connection between healthy ecosystems and healthy communities. Candace began volunteering on Portland Audubon bird surveys in 2009, and now works as our Master Naturalist, conducting field research, training community scientists, teaching ornithology classes and leading trips both locally and across the globe. In their free time, Candace can be found participating in all sorts of nature nerdery, from obsessing over tiny mouse tracks in a mud slick to perfecting their recipe of morel paté.

Candace Larson, Master Naturalist

Erin Law

Senior Educator, Adult Classes & Trips

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.

Erin Law, Senior Educator, Adult Classes & Trips

Diane Le

Staff Accountant

Diane was born and raised in Vietnam before coming to Portland. She decided to reside in Portland after falling in love with its beautiful scenery, weather, and lifestyle. In 2012, she received a Bachelor’s in Business Management from Portland State. After graduating, she gained experience working in different positions from sales, operations, banking, and accounting. Most recently she worked for four years as an accountant at a janitorial company.

She loves traveling, hiking, and exploring new places with her husband and son. In her free time, she also enjoys cooking, watching movies, and listening to music. It feels very special to her to be a part of Portland Audubon, helping to protect and spread awareness about wildlife.

Diane Le, Staff Accountant

Ashley Lema

Wildlife Rehabilitator

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.

Ashley Lema, Wildlife Rehabilitator

Tara Lemezis

Education Administrator & Marketing Liaison

Tara started 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 Education and Communications. She joined the Education team full-time 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 in Indiana, a middle school humanities and science teacher, and a love for storytelling through writing and photography.

Tara is deeply committed to environmental education and bringing people together to protect the natural world. 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 with her husband Rob and pups, Finley and Rio.

Tara Lemezis, Education Administrator & Marketing Liaison

Joe Liebezeit

Staff Scientist & Avian Conservation Program Manager

Joe has worked for the Audubon Society of Portland 2013 acting as the Staff Scientist & Avian Conservation Manager and leads their Community Science and Coastal Marine Programs. Joe’s work crosses conservation science, policy and outreach disciplines. Prior to his position with Portland Audubon, Joe worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society leveraging on-the-ground science efforts to protect wildlife 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 over 25 years and in Portland since 2005. In his free time he enjoys family time, playing and listening to music, exploring natural areas, and of course, bird watching!

Joe Liebezeit, Staff Scientist & Avian Conservation Program Manager

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.

Connie Lo, DVM, Wildlife Care Center Veterinarian

JP Marchetti-Mendez

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. 

JP Marchetti-Mendez, Backyard Habitat Certification Program Coordinator

Vicky Medley

Volunteer Manager

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.

Vicky Medley, Volunteer Manager

Micah Meskel

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.

Micah Meskel, Activist Program Manager

Charles Milne

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. 

Charles Milne, Director of Development

Megan Ouchida

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.

Megan Ouchida, Development Systems Associate Specialist

Emily Pinkowitz

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.

Emily Pinkowitz, Director of Education

Ashley Rojo

Nature Store Buyer

Growing up in Helena, MT, Ashley was always surrounded by wildlife, whether it be the deer crossing the road at the crosswalks, or the Magpies yelling at her from every tree in her backyard.  Ashley graduated with a degree in Anthrozoology (Human Animal Bond) and wanted to apply it to wildlife and what drives us to be so enamored to conserve all things wild.  Ashley has years of experience in wildlife rehabilitation, and is a licensed falconer of the state of Oregon.  Ashley also enjoys exploring nature with her fiance, being lazy at home with her fur-child, Hela and wildlife photography.

Ashley Rojo, Nature Store Buyer

Bob Sallinger

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 Voters Oregon, on the Portland Utility Board, and on the boards of the Intertwine Alliance, Urban Flood Safety and Water Quality District and 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 and other critters.

Bob Sallinger, Director of Conservation

Emily Schnipper

Nature Store Clerk

Emily joined Portland Audubon in April 2022. She studied theater and worked in the music business before joining the nonprofit sector, first in San Francisco and then in Portland. Emily has most recently worked in Peer Wellness, resident services for people in affordable housing, and a vocational training program. She started birding as a child with her mom in New Jersey, and still enjoys bird-watching and making bird-related art. In her free time Emily also enjoys geocaching, writing poetry, and visiting all of Portland’s independent bookstores.

Emily Schnipper, Nature Store Clerk

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.

Megan Van de Mark, Backyard Habitat Certification Program Manager

Abby VanLeuven

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.

Abby VanLeuven, Educator, School & Outdoor Partnership Specialist

Stuart Wells

Executive Director

Stuart was born in Logansport, Indiana, but moved to Arizona with his parents when he was a teenager. While Indiana sparked his love of nature and the outdoors, Arizona’s diverse ecotypes helped shape his interests in wildlife conservation and the environment. 

Stuart obtained his Bachelor’s of Science in Zoology from Northern Arizona University, his Masters of Science from George Mason University, and his Ph.D.  in Wildlife Conservation is near completion from the University of Arizona.  

While much of Stuart’s career involves working in Zoos, his focus has always been on species conservation and actively participating in field conservation. His work at the Smithsonian National Zoo focused on developing reproductive strategies for the endangered cheetah to improve managed care reproduction. Stuart has developed propagation for release programs for many endangered taxa, including cactus ferriginous pygmy owls, masked bobwhite quails, black-footed ferrets, and Mt. Graham red squirrels. He also participated in the Arabian Oryx breeding program, which is credited for saving the oryx from extinction in the wild.

Stuart Wells, Executive Director

He has held several leadership roles within Government and NGOs and worked as a Wildlife Biologist at US Fish and Wildlife Service administering the Endangered Species Act. 

When Stuart is not working, you will likely find him capturing the beautiful landscape and wildlife of Oregon through photography, playing pool or racquetball, and exploring the endless hiking trails of Portland with his dog Odin.  

“One reason that I am so excited to join Portland Audubon is the dedication and passion that all of the people who work here have for understanding what species need to survive, seeking ways to maintain habitats necessary for their continued existence, and helping the Oregon community embrace bird species, and all wildlife conservation efforts.” 

Teresa Wicks

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.

Teresa Wicks, Eastern Oregon Field Coordinator

Donna Wiench

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.

Donna Wiench, Legacy & Leadership Giving Manager

Camelia Zollars

Educator, Public Programs & Partnerships Specialist

Camelia is a new addition to the Portland Audubon team, joining in January 2022. She grew up surrounded by Joshua Trees in the high desert of Southern California, with the majority of her life never exploring the outdoors. This changed in 2015 when she began working for a historic nature center in Northern California. It was there she began learning about the natural world around her, especially birds. She became filled with wonder and curiosity. 

Camelia has studied African Studies at the University of Ghana and obtained a BS degree in Business Management and Leadership from Portland State University. During this time, she also completed a yearlong internship with the PSU Outdoor Leadership Development program.

Before joining Portland Audubon’s staff, Camelia worked for Portland Parks and Recreation leading and providing direct service for the Senior Recreation program, SUN Community Schools, and north Portland community centers. She has experience working with victims of sexual violence and human trafficking, youth in the foster care system, and communities very different than her own. 

When she is not working, Camelia can often be found on leisurely bird walks, reading books, and sharing a meal with her community. She enjoys trying new dance classes, eating breakfast burritos, and drinking coffee with her husband.

Camelia Zollars, Educator, Public Programs & Partnerships Specialist