Once I stepped into my function at Audubon in March, I grew to become the primary lady to carry the title of president in Audubon’s 116-year historical past. Two months later I used to be requested to turn out to be its first lady interim CEO. So it feels acceptable that the primary difficulty of Audubon journal revealed after my arrival can also be the inaugural yr of the Feminine Chook Prize within the Audubon Pictures Awards. (The profitable photograph additionally occurred to be taken by a girl photographer.) I’m thrilled to turn out to be a part of the Audubon community and have the prospect to work alongside each certainly one of you.
I wished to take this house to briefly introduce myself and share why I joined Audubon on this management function. In a really actual sense, I’ve returned to my roots. I started my profession with birds, first learning homing pigeon navigation as an undergraduate, after which spending time in japanese Washington State learning Purple-winged and Yellow-headed Blackbirds for my doctoral thesis work. I discovered early on that calamity can strike swiftly: Throughout my first discipline season, each species of blackbird stuffed the panorama with their distinctive songs. However the second yr, the Yellow-headed Blackbirds didn’t return to their breeding marshes. This second was my private wake-up name. I knew one thing wasn’t proper. And I made a decision to dedicate my profession to conservation. After I completed my Ph.D., I labored in academia and in authorities and—for the majority of my profession—in conservation organizations, most lately heading up The Nature Conservancy’s world local weather technique.
What drove my curiosity in becoming a member of Audubon is all of you and your devoted advocacy on behalf of birds and the communities we share—the facility you must affect conservation outcomes and deal with local weather change is unmatched. Lots of that will not have occurred with out the management and imaginative and prescient of David Yarnold, Audubon’s most up-to-date president and CEO. I would like take a second to thank David for serving to refocus Audubon and make it into the powerhouse conservation group it’s at this time.
As we map the long run for this subsequent chapter of Audubon’s historical past, I stay up for constructing the subsequent era of Audubon, the place we domesticate new audiences and the place variations are revered, valued, and important to mission success. I am profoundly lucky that my begin at Audubon coincided with that of Jamaal Nelson, Audubon’s new chief fairness, variety, and inclusion officer. I stay up for the various issues we are able to accomplish collectively—on the member, chapter, organizational, and hemispheric stage—to make Audubon and the world a greater, safer, and extra simply place for individuals and birds.
This piece initially ran within the Summer season 2021 difficulty as “New Member of the Flock.” To obtain our print journal, turn out to be a member by making a donation at this time.