East Cascades Audubon Society benefits from the talent and dedication of many chapter members who serve in leadership roles throughout the organization. All of ECAS’s Directors, Committee Chairs and Members, Project Leaders, and Program Leaders are volunteers who work tirelessly to support Central Oregon’s birding community.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is composed of up to nine individuals who bring their passion for birding and diverse life experiences to help guide ECAS’s operations and strategic initiatives. Individuals interested in serving in a leadership role as a Director can express their interest by sending an email to email@example.com and review the position description here.
I like to tell the story of how I got into birding because it shows how important Audubon activities are to attracting new devotees. I had taken classes, had lots of fuzzy photos of birds and had figured out identification from Cornell and Sibley; but the turning point was spending the day with Judy Meredith for the Sisters Christmas Bird Count in 2012. Her tireless enthusiasm was catching, and it was all uphill from that point, with attending Wednesday Birders and ECAS field trips every chance I could get after I retired in 2016! I have enjoyed coordinating field trips since 2019, and my priorities are to diversify and develop the types of trips available, ensure equal access for all participants, and to support field trip leader volunteers in every way I can.
Duke moved to Bend from Portland with his wife, Merrill. He grew up in the Midwest (South Dakota and Kansas) and migrated to the Pacific Northwest in 2000. He obtained a degree in Biology from the University of Kansas but ended up going to law school instead of pursuing graduate studies. Duke became interested in birding while taking his dog, Bodhi, out for adventures in the Portland area, most notably at the Sandy River Delta. He is happiest while outdoors with Merrill and Bodhi. He is developing his home, neighborhood, and Deschutes County lists while becoming more engaged in other birding pursuits in Central Oregon. He is excited about joining the ECAS Board and becoming part of the birding and conservationist community in Bend.
Gordon moved to Bend from Anchorage, Alaska, his home for the past 40 years. Seasonal migrations were getting too long so he and his wife Linda got up and moved. Gordon worked as an engineer in the oil industry for BP until 2000 when he retired. He then pursued other interests including endurance sports and coaching cross country skiing. He served on the Board of the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage (NSAA) for six years, four years as president. NSAA is a non-profit that maintains trails and manages programs to promote Nordic skiing. Birding has been an evolving interest. He was always interested in the natural world and outdoor activities. After attending the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival in Homer, Alaska he started developing a birding itch. Birding gets one in touch with the environment and helps to develop an understanding of ecology and the need for conservation. Also, as his running game turned to walking, it made sense to carry binoculars and a camera and take time to smell the roses. As a Board member of ECAS, Gordon hopes to get involved in conservation efforts in Central Oregon and to share his love of the outdoors.
As long as I can remember, I have enjoyed volunteering on citizen science projects involved with wildlife. My first was a frog and toad survey in Missouri and then in Iowa. I had to memorize all the voices of each species, create a survey route of diverse wetlands, and each week after dark in spring and early summer, travel my route to note relative voice density and abundance. After my husband and I moved to Central Oregon in 1999 I surveyed frogs and salamanders in Camp Polk Meadow in Sisters for the Deschutes Land Trust. I volunteered on a project in Camp Sherman to help assess various forest service treatments on behalf of the White-headed Woodpecker. I helped with the Lewis’ Woodpecker nest box project, and then the bluebird nest box project in the Delicious Burn, and finally moved up the food chain for the last nine years, monitoring a pair of Golden Eagles for the Oregon Eagle Foundation. I joined ECAS shortly before I retired. The membership committee has kept me busy and engaged since 2010 because that desire to volunteer has continued to stay strong. It was also the perfect way to meet people who shared many of my own values about nature. I look forward to adding to my volunteer experience, and contributing my skills, by serving as an ECAS Board Member.
Laurel is an environmental scientist specializing in the geomorphology of rivers, tidal marshes, and terrestrial landscapes. She has more than 40 years of experience in academia, government, the non-government science and private sectors. She was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and educated at the University of California at Berkeley, where she served as staff researcher in the Department of Geology and Geophysics. She later joined the California Department of Forestry to assess the effectiveness of its Forest Practice Rules for erosion control on private timberlands, before joining the US Geological Survey to study landslides and flooding in California, and landscape evolution at Mount Saint Helens. Thereafter she served as the principal geologist for the East Bay Regional Park District to evaluate the impacts of land use and wildfire fuel management on watershed health. After co-founding continuing programs in historical ecology and watershed science at the San Francisco Estuary Institute, Laurel established Watershed Sciences as a private consultancy focused on the diagnosis and resolution of watershed health issues throughout the West. Her recent work integrates climate change, especially increased wildfire and rapid sea level rise, into land use planning and management. During her career in environmental science, Laurel developed continuing interests in long-distance running and wildlife photography as recreational ways to explore and observe the environment. After moving to Bend in spring 2021, she began volunteering on ECAS conservation projects and attending guided field trips about the geology and natural history of the greater East Cascade eco-region. Laurel greatly appreciates the goals of ECAS to protect, restore, and celebrate the birdlife and ecosystems of the East Cascades.
Aaron spent his first 39 years east of the Mississippi River and moved to Oregon in 2011 to work as Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife’s economist. After that, he taught economics at Linn-Benton Community College for a few terms, while his interest in birds started to take off. Intrigued by field work, he has since held three seasonal positions conducting avian point count surveys in Wyoming, Idaho, and Malheur NWR, respectively. In the meantime, Aaron relocated to Bend in 2018 to more effectively pursue cherished outdoor activities such as hiking and cross-country skiing.
Aaron wishes to become more involved in bird conservation and education east of the Cascades by joining the ECAS Board. He currently volunteers locally as a bird surveyor for Deschutes Land Trust and for the ECAS Winter Raptor Survey Project. From 2015-18, he served as a member and officer (Secretary, President) on the Board of Directors for Corvallis Environmental Center. Aaron holds a B.A. in Literary Studies and Spanish from Middlebury College and a M.S.in Environmental Economics from University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Brian MacDonald is a research physician now semi-retired from a career in academic medicine and the biopharmaceutical industry. Born in Montreal, Canada in his childhood and early adulthood he lived in the United Kingdom before moving to Philadelphia and the mid-Atlantic region with his young family in 1992. He moved further west to Bend with his wife Maxine in 2020 to find the the perfect combination of outdoor and small-town life and has not been disappointed. Though interested in birding for several years prior to moving the Central Oregon his interest (and ability) has greatly increased by regular participation in the Wednesday birding field trips led by Judy Meredith and he is now rarely seen without binoculars. By joining the ECAS Board he would like to become a more active participant in the birding community of this region.
My love affair with our feathered friends has been lifelong. I cannot remember a time in my life I was not enamored, intrigued, and in awe of birds. Some of my favorite moments on our planet have been with birds, sitting with a Snowy Owl in winter beside a lake in Idaho for over an hour, swimming out to a Blue-footed Booby in the Caribbean, tracking a wren through thick underbrush in a forest, never coming to learn which species but loving the chase! And at the end
of each adventure, I am eagerly awaiting the next. In addition to adventures in birding, I’d like to be more involved in habitat preservation, education and other ways to support our diverse bird populations and in turn working towards an earth in balance.
ECAS’s operations are supported by a few critical Committees that are responsible for providing guidance and expertise to the Board of Directors in their area. Each committee is led by a Committee Chair who works closely with Committee Members throughout the year on various activities. Individuals interested in serving on a Committee should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Finance Committee is chaired by the Board Treasurer and is responsible for reviewing and providing guidance for ECAS’s financial matters.
The Membership Committee maintains the ECAS membership roster and performs all administrative functions for ECAS’s membership program.
The Grant Committee oversees the administration of the ECAS Laughrige Grant Program.
Conservation & Science Committee
The Science & Conservation Committee provides advice, understanding, guidance, and recommendations to the Board of Directors on matters involving ECAS’s conservation projects and public policy positions
The Education Committee is responsible for developing opportunities to engage and educate ECAS members and the public through programs and events.