Leading a local community in appreciating, understanding, and protecting birds and their natural habitats.

Staff

Hanae Bettencourt, Associate Education Manager

Born on Earth Day, Hanae has always felt a deep connection to all things the natural environment has to offer. She is one of the rare locals in a city full of transplants, developing her passion for environmental stewardship right here in the Puget Sound region. Hanae has been involved with Seattle Audubon for nearly nine years, first joining the team as a Nature Camp Naturalist, and has spent the last four years as Education Associate. In earning her Masters of Education from the University of Washington, she has made it her mission to spread her love of and the importance of the region’s biodiversity to area youth. Outside of work, Hanae enjoys spending quality time at home with her family, working in her garden, baking, birding, and running.

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Kathy Blair, Development Manager

A native Southern Californian, Kathy relocated to the Seattle area in 2019. Having returned to college at the age of forty to pursue a bachelor’s degree in public relations, Kathy was determined to land in a development position with an organization that makes meaningful and long-lasting change in the world. She feels she’s found this in her role at Seattle Audubon. She loves helping the organization meet its financial goals, enabling SAS to further its mission of leading a local community in appreciating, understanding, and protecting birds and their natural habitats.

Kathy has been a member of Soroptimist International since 2002 and helped charter Soroptimist International of Mission Valley in 2016. She is passionate about the work Soroptimist does to improve the lives of women and girls and hopes to engage other Soroptimists in the Seattle Audubon mission. After all, if we don’t preserve our planet, none of the other things we do will matter.

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Claire Catania, Executive Director

A Midwest transplant to the Pacific Northwest, Claire owes her love of nature and birding to a fairly idyllic childhood spent wandering the southeastern shores of Lake Michigan. Though she holds an undergraduate degree in linguistics, Claire also studied conservation biology, has conducted fieldwork abroad, and is a self-professed “bird nerd.” After she completed a master’s degree in nonprofit management, landing at Seattle Audubon in 2014 was a dream come true. When she’s not birding, Claire spends her spare time singing in two small ensembles, volunteering as a consumer board-member for the Midwives’ Association of Washington State, and co-leading a support group for arthritis patients with the Arthritis Foundation. She is also a graduate of the 2017 Master Birder class. Claire is always eager to hear about your hottest bird sightings and learn more about why supporting Seattle Audubon is important to you.
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Anna Dukes, Member Services Assistant

Anna’s background includes an undergraduate degree in biology and an ornithology course in Sapsucker Woods.  She took a brief, 20-year detour to work in finance and returned in 2018 to her roots in the natural world.  She’s grateful to have found her role at Seattle Audubon where she gets to interact with members and volunteers.  Outside of work, Anna and her family enjoy escaping to Lopez Island where cellular service is pleasantly unreliable, ferry lines create opportunities to connect, and nature feels more accessible.

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David Garcia, Nature Shop Manager

David is a West Coast native, born & raised in San Diego, but likes to say that he grew up in NYC, having spent formative years there earning a BA in Environmental Policy from Fordham University. It was while living in the Bronx where the environmental injustices were glaring and access to green spaces sparse that he realized his love of nature and developed a passion for environmental justice & education. This inspired him to work as a youth educator at the New York Botanical Garden before moving back west and joining Seattle Audubon as an Education Americorps service member in 2014. Now Nature Shop Manager and a bonafide bird nerd, David spends his free time birding in local parks and skateboarding around town. He is passionate about diversifying the outdoor/environmental movement and volunteers regularly with Latino Outdoors to organize outings for Latinx families in the Seattle area.

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Melissa Melloy, Nature Shop Assistant Manager

After graduating with her sociology degree in 2016, Melissa made a move out to the Pacific Northwest and was fortunate to land a job with Seattle Audubon’s Nature Camp. Since then, she has served various roles in the education department before settling in to work with The Nature Shop. Melissa loves spending every day hearing stories from customers about the birds in their yard and helping them find the perfect bird-related product for their needs. When she is not in the shop, Melissa is working towards her master’s degree in nonprofit management or she is whipping up baked goods for her coworkers and friends. Melissa is passionate about Seattle Audubon and its wonderful community, so next time you are in the shop be sure to stop by and say hello!

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Joshua Morris, Urban Conservation Manager

Josh loves life. From deep-sea isopods to turkey vultures and every living thing in between. Josh started birding in 2017 and admits he still has a hard time with gulls, swallows, warblers, finches, woodpeckers, sparrows, shorebirds, and seabirds. He feels pretty good about ducks. Josh is delighted to be part of the Seattle Audubon community, where he coordinates Seattle’s Urban Bird Treaty City Coalition, is a member of the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict Steering Committee, and serves on Seattle’s Urban Forestry Commission. His professional background is varied. He’s been a project scientist, a high-school chemistry teacher, a legal assistant, and, for one curious month, a chocolate vendor on Monterey’s Cannery Row. He holds a master’s degree in International Environmental Policy and is a certified naturalist.

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Elizabeth Munteen

Elizabeth Munteen, Americorps Urban Environmental Educator

Elizabeth grew up in eastern Washington, moving over to Seattle to graduate with a degree in Biology from UW in 2015. Since then she has worked as a wildlife biologist, a farm hand, on trail crews, at ski resorts, always finding a way to be outdoors and connecting with nature. After serving with Americorps at Seattle Audubon, she hopes to return to school in order to become a nature documentary filmmaker.

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Anna Murphy

Anna Murphy, Americorps Urban Environmental Educator

Anna is an environmental educator and naturalist passionate about sharing the wonders of the Pacific Northwest from shoreline to mountaintop. She is continually interested in increasing cultural awareness in her approach to educational programming. Anna is experienced in leading interpretive hikes and guiding tours about Pacific Northwest flora and fauna for student groups and families through Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Seattle Aquarium and the Seattle Mountaineers Club. In her free time you can find Anna in the greater Seattle area birding and exploring tide pools (her favorite biome!).

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Toby Ross, Senior Science Manager

Toby came out of the womb fascinated by nature. Early memories are of collecting garden creatures in jam jars and creating habitats for them to live. At the same time, a desire grew to travel and be involved in tropical ecology in the most exotic of locales as he could find. On the bus to school each day he would be buried in books by David Attenborough and Gerald Durrell, igniting his desire to focus his life to conservation. After an undergraduate degree in Zoology and an MSc in Conservation and Applied Ecology, Toby’s work has taken him to five continents with a focus ranging from tiny geckos smaller than their name typed on a page, to tree kangaroos in the cloud forests of Papua New Guinea. Love brought Toby to Seattle and roots followed. Oh, and he’s British.

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Christine Scheele, Program Director

In second grade Christine declared that she would be a forest ranger when she grew up, mostly because she thought it involved running around in the woods all day. To this day, running around in the woods is a large part of her life (via trail running, backpacking, and camping), but her professional aspirations have evolved. She found that a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in education is a combo that lends itself to professional flexibility, and prior to working at Seattle Audubon Christine worked in stormwater management and permitting, assisted biologists with fieldwork, led several restoration teams, and taught at various environmental education centers and schools. It turns out that helping people learn about nature is her favorite job, which is why she is delighted with her role at Seattle Audubon.

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Russell Steele, Finance & Operations Director

A resident of the Pacific Northwest for 40 years, Russ was the Seattle Audubon Nature Shop Manager from 1998-2016 until ascending to his current role. A long-time environmental advocate as evidenced by his previous volunteer involvement as a board member of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington and board chair of Earthshare of Washington, Russ has also been on boards of school PTAs. When not working, Russ can be found cycling, hiking, or taking long, urban walks with his wife of 40 years. His other distractions are his two granddaughters who live out-of-state. Though only able to identify three birds when he started at Seattle Audubon, while professing to know nothing about birds, he continually surprises himself and others with his assimilated knowledge and a now healthy lifelist. 

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Wendy Walker, Community Engagement Manager

Wendy's love of birds started with Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, and helping her dad find and plow around Killdeer nests in their Ohio farm fields. After moving to Seattle for a career as a stage manager for theatre and opera, it was a pleasure to find familiar birds like the Killdeer and to learn new ones. Two decades in theatre led to communications and project management roles at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the chance to teach colleagues about the White-crowned Sparrows that sing in the foundation's courtyard every spring. Birds provided a consistent thread through career and life changes, so it seems natural that Wendy found out about the Community Engagement role while volunteering for the Christmas Bird Count and promptly applied. Her work includes managing the volunteer program and fostering organizational partnerships to engage our local community in protecting birds and their natural habitats.

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Seattle Audubon is nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Copyright Seattle Audubon.