Robin joined Portland Audubon in 2008, when she enrolled in a “Master of Birding” class. Since then, she has volunteered in the Wildlife Care Center, the Nature Store, Development, Community Outreach, Special Events, Sanctuaries, and is a current member of Volunteer Council.
Robin has been a long-time and talented Solutions Counselor in the Wildlife Care Center. Along with a team of volunteers, Robin has improved and expanded the Solutions Counselor training and this past year has even taken on a second shift! She is also one of our more active WRN (Wildlife Rescue Network) rescuers, and will often stay late or help pick up animals in need at the end of her shifts.
Robin’s personality shines in the Nature Store. Robin also knows a ton about binoculars and scopes, and is one of our go-to volunteers for our annual Spring Optics Fair. Robin has worked hard to help us move towards becoming a more environmentally sustainable organization. She set up Bottle Drop, added new recycling efforts, and helped us achieve the silver level for the Sustainability at Work program with the City of Portland.
Meg Ruby joined Portland Audubon’s Conservation Committee in 2011. As an extremely dedicated activist, Meg serves as the statewide Chair of the Oregon Audubon Council (OAC), a network of the 13 Audubon Chapters in Oregon. OAC chapters identify shared conservation priorities at our annual Conservation meeting, meeting twice a year to address joint priorities in Education and Conservation.
Meg is an avid birder and a co-founder of the Lagerhead Shrikes and the Blue-Crested Corvid Birdathon teams. This year she also launched a new team called the NeoFlights for new birders. All of these efforts help raise essential funds for Portland Audubon. Each spring, Meg leads the Spring Birdsong walk on Mt. Tabor as well as additional outings and she has served as assistant lead for the North Coast, Lava Lands, and Malheur ecotours.
Kyna joined Portland Audubon in 2012 and has been active volunteer in our Wildlife Care Center, Education Department, and as an Activist. Our Education Department shares that “Kyna is such a joy to have on Sanctuary Tours. She has extensive knowledge about the natural world and our sanctuary. Whenever we’re in need of a tour leader, Kyna is always one of the first to volunteer. She has a passion for educating any and all, and that passion is contagious!”
Kyna is very active in protecting Portland’s tree canopy. She helped found and manage Trees for Life Oregon, started the Irvington Tree Team, and is a Friends of Trees Neighborhood Coordinator. Trees for Life Oregon supports our advocacy work around trees, and helped us secure some recent policy victories to increase tree protections in the city.
If you ever want to know about the Metasequoias, or dawn redwoods, at Portland Audubon or elsewhere, ask Kyna. She has published research about their discovery in China!
Barbara joined Portland Audubon as a volunteer in 2012. Since then, she has consistently volunteered over 300 hours each year. Barbara originally began in the Wildlife Care Center, and became an Education Animal Volunteer (now called Ambassador Animal Program) in 2013.
As an Ambassador Animal volunteer, Barbara works hard behind the scenes to care for the animals. She is always willing to take on extra shifts, create enrichment activities for the animals, and make sure they have what they need. Barbara has been known to make creative and elaborate costumes to engage the public at events with the animals. She is a rock steady team mate who rarely misses a shift and is very thoughtful in her interactions with all volunteers, staff and the public. Thank you, Barbara!
Sandy joined Portland Audubon’s Board of Directors in 2015, where she focused on improving the operating policies and procedures needed to make Portland Audubon sustainable as a larger, more complex organization. She helped improve financial reporting, update charters, oversee board elections, and revised Board bylaws. Sandy served as both Vice President and Secretary of the board of directors, was an active member of the Executive Committee, chaired the Board Affairs and Investment Committees, and participated on the finance and education committees.
She led development of a board recruiting tool kit to broaden the experiences of board members. Sandy loved recruiting new board members and opening her home for committee meetings. Sandy continues her volunteer activities as a member of the finance committee and as chair of the Adult Birders Group which she helped establish in support of our Ecotour programs. Sandy is an active birder and a member of the Lagerhead Shrikes Birdathon team, that annually does three days of birding to raise funds for Audubon.
Karen has been deeply involved in Community Science coastal projects since 2015 when she became took part in Black Oystercatcher monitoring as well as Sea Star wasting rejuvenation surveys . Early on she “adopted” Otter Rock Marine Reserve, and in 2019 founded the Friends of Otter Rock — a new group of concerned citizens organizing to protect the beauty and diversity of natural life encompassed within the Otter Rock Marine Reserve.
A large part of Karen’s volunteer work is monitoring Black Oystercatchers. Not only does Karen regularly monitor from the shore, but she has also hired a local fisherman to monitor from a boat in order to get a more holistic picture of the birds. During the summer months, you will find Karen on the beach daily, educating the public about the importance of protecting the nest sites and giving out brochures about the oystercatchers. Karen has also generously testified at Ocean Policy Advisory Council, which influences marine habitat protection.
Kahler received the Mamie Campbell award in 2018, but was unable to attend the award ceremony. We are honoring him with our 2020 recipients.
There are few people who have given more to Portland Audubon over the past two decades than Kahler Martinson. Kahler has offered his tremendous expertise and leadership in the conservation realm to Portland Audubon in myriad ways. He has served as a cornerstone of Audubon’s Conservation Committee. He has twice served as a volunteer interim executive director of Portland Audubon during times when Audubon was in a time of transition. You know you have truly arrived as a volunteer when they put you in charge of the whole organization!
Kahler attends meetings, testifies at hearings, and writes comments. Portland Audubon Conservation Director Bob Sallinger recalls that one of Kahler’s first assignments for Portland Audubon, more than 20 years ago, was keeping an eye on Sallinger as he took on his first policy assignments. Today Kahler is still reminding us to think hard about our positions and playing a huge role in formulating Audubon’s conservation strategies.
Youth Leadership Awards
And this year, for the first time since 2012, we are also honoring 3 young volunteers with our Youth Leadership Award. Established in 2012, the Youth Leadership Award is given to young volunteers who demonstrate leadership and a deep commitment to learning about and caring for the environment.
Fern joined Portland Audubon in 2018, and in two years has contributed almost 300 hours! Fern holds a regular shift in the Nature Store, has been a Counselor in Training, and is now a Sanctuary Tour guide. Fern brings so much creativity and energy to our Special Events! Fern loves all things involving birds, and is a budding wildlife photographer.
Our Nature Store staff say “Fern has excelled and grown so much since starting at the Nature Store! Fern has learned new skills, loves engaging with customers and kids, and tackles any task thrown their way. Fern’s love for animals (especially birds) is evident at each shift, and it translates to a caring and dedicated volunteer.”
During her time at the Wildlife Care Center, Katja has consistently impressed us with her thoughtfulness and maturity. One thing that stands out about Katja’s work is her enthusiasm for outreach. On top of completing all of her routine tasks, she is always the first to volunteer to cover the phones when we are short-staffed. Answering our hotline is one of our most stressful roles as wildlife advocates and it takes a lot of patience and resilience to do it properly.
In taking on this challenge, it is clear that Katja’s passion for wildlife extends beyond her own personal convenience or ego. She really cares that not only every animal gets the help it deserves, but that the people involved come out better educated and more empowered than they were when they started.
Ezra has volunteered in the Wildlife Care Center since 2015, starting with cleaning in the baby bird room. Since then, he’s become a regular and steady member of the Saturday crew. Ezra shows up, works hard, and pitches in where needed.
His shift mates describe him as reliable, punctual, and willing to take on extra tasks as needed. During last baby bird season he substituted several times, and was always willing to take on the big and small tasks that need to get done to keep the Care Center running efficiently!