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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Claire Catania, Interim Executive Director/Development 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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Malcolm Griffes, AmeriCorps Service Member / Urban Environmental Educator

Born and raised in Seattle, Malcolm grew up exploring the nature that we are lucky to be surrounded by in this city. After graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in Journalism he began work as a reporter, took a brief foray into marketing, and driven by his love of the environment and the natural world, is now thrilled to be working in the environmental non-profit world at Seattle Audubon as an Urban Environmental Educator AmeriCorps Service Member. When out of the office he can be found climbing, biking, or snowboarding, and is now often identifying birds along the way.

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Jennifer Lang, Conservation Science Coordinator

Jenn is a city girl who fell in love with nature at an early age. Originally from Brooklyn, NY, her curiosity was sparked by her neighborhood’s urban forest and led to pursuing a career working with birds after studying Wildlife Science in college. Before joining Seattle Audubon, she spent six seasons studying eleven different bird species in the field (from Atlantic Puffins to Australia’s Red-backed Fairywrens), worked as a science educator at the Seattle Aquarium and Point Defiance Zoo, and earned a Master of Science in Quantitative Ecology at the University of Washington. As the Conservation Science Coordinator, Jenn engages the community in our science programs by encouraging active participation in data collection, presenting on the stories we can learn from our data, and creating change through advocacy. She enjoys birding, mountain biking, shooting archery, playing music, and hiking on her free time.

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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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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, Senior Education Manager

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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Robyn Thomas, AmeriCorps Service Member / Urban Environmental Educator

Robyn is originally from Colorado but was drawn to Washington after discovering that she could save a fortune on chapstick by swapping dry Rocky Mountain air for the temperate climate of the Pacific Northwest. In Tacoma, Washington Robyn received her undergraduate degrees in Biology and Environmental Policy. She didn’t really take notice in the wonder of birds until she spent three years doing research focused on seabird colonies in Washington during college. This experience helped her realize that we can learn so much about our environment based on what birds are present.  In her current position as an Urban Environmental Educator, Robyn loves getting other people excited about birds and their habitat. When Robyn isn’t at Seattle Audubon you’ll find her biking around Seattle, trying not to kill her garden, making clay into pottery, rafting, and skiing.

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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.