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Tucson Audubon Staff

Keith Ashley, since 2014

Development Director, 520 260-6994, email
Keith taught German, English, and English as a Second Language for 18 years in Ohio, California, Indiana, Kentucky, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation and in the Tibetan refugee community in India. He began volunteering with Tucson Audubon in 2013, helped to launch the nest box project as part of a Prescott College graduate studies program in Urban Wildlife Conservation, was hired as the first Paton Center Coordinator in 2014, and began working in Development for Tucson Audubon in 2015. Most recently Keith was engaged for a year as Director of Philanthropy for the International Dark-Sky Association, returning to Tucson Audubon as Development Director in July 2018.

Howard Buchanan, since 2018

Sonoita Creek Watershed Specialist, email
Arizona native Howard was raised, in houses owned by Phelps-Dodge, to appreciate orange juice, hamburgers, cotton clothes, and exploration along the banks of the San Pedro River. Studies in music and computer science led to work in the big city, but the calls of the bosque, the night sky, and ancestral entanglement proved irresistible. Fortunate to have spent much of the past decade outdoors in rural southeast Arizona, he’s been found smashing crawdads, digging Johnsongrass, torturing tamarisk, banding hummingbirds, monitoring sediment flows and water quality, recording soundscapes, and working to facilitate watershed science and share it with the public. He still takes every chance to “be quiet near a little stream and listen”. Although notoriously camera-shy, Howard is believed to have visited wildlife photo traps near Sonoita Creek fairly regularly.

Tony Figueroa, since 2019

Invasive Plant Strike Team Crew Lead, email
CoATIS – Collaborative Audubon Treatment and Inventory Squad, in partnership with the National Park Service’s SouthWest Invasive Plant Management Team, Saguaro National Park, and Fish and Wildlife Service
I’m a Tucson native, born and raised. I’ve lived on the east side of town for the majority of my life and I fell in love with nature through by way of adventuring through Mt. Lemmon and Reddington on my days off. I was always fascinated by plants, animals and rocks, but I didn’t realize that you could find a full time job working in nature until later in life. My wife and I traveled around the country on month-long summer road trips, and it was during these trips that we would keep on ending up in National Parks, monuments and forests, and I had the realization that there are people working in these amazing places, so I said to myself “why don’t I figure out how to get a job that lets me work at these places?” So I went back to school after being a pharmacy technician for 13 years, to get a degree in Natural Resources with an emphasis on Wildlife conservation and management. I graduated in May 2018, and then landed an internship at Saguaro National Park as a member of the invasive plant management crew. Starting this role in the middle of summer in Tucson was only further affirmation that I made the right decision, because even when it’s over 100 degrees out, you’re drenched in sweat and it’s not even noon, I was having the time of my life and didn’t miss being under fluorescent light bulbs one second, even if it had air conditioning. After that I worked at the Grand Canyon as an invasive plant management bio-tech, during the 2019 summer season. Now I’m happy to be back in the place I love, Tucson, working for a great organization. Not many things in life are easy, but chasing your dreams can pay off with hard work and dedication.  When you are working in places that are spectacular and overflowing with natural beauty, it makes you excited to go to work everyday. 

Emanuel Arnautovic, since 2020

Invasive Plant Strike Team Crew, email
CoATIS – Collaborative Audubon Treatment and Inventory Squad, in partnership with the National Park Service’s SouthWest Invasive Plant Management Team, Saguaro National Park, and Fish and Wildlife Service

Born in Croatia, Emanuel grew up in the Tucson area since moving to the area in middle school. He spent his formative years camping with close friends building forts and watching the patterns of life change on the mountain throughout the seasons on Mt Lemmon. Being newly introduced to the outdoors during college, he looked for ways to immerse himself further and signed up for an introduction to permaculture class that opened the doors for him to dive in. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a Bachelors in Illustration and Design, he joined Arizona Conservation Corps and got to learn the Tucson surroundings on a personal level through back country hitches, invasive species management, and education mentorships. His background in painting and drawing taught him the foundational skills of observation and exploration that he nurtured alongside his outdoor adventures. Having the privilege of wandering the washes and creek beds of Saguaro National Park to find a nice tree to sit under and paint and listen to the sounds of the desert is all that was necessary to cement his love and commitment to the natural wonders of the Sonoran desert and its Sky Islands.

Jaemin Wilson, since 2020

Invasive Plant Strike Team Crew, email
CoATIS – Collaborative Audubon Treatment and Inventory Squad, in partnership with the National Park Service’s SouthWest Invasive Plant Management Team, Saguaro National Park, and Fish and Wildlife Service
Originally hailing from Michigan, Jaemin has been getting to know the southwest, and Tucson, since 2015. After participating in the Phoenix Field School in 2016, Jaemin found a love for the desert and a passion for conservation work. After many internships and time spent in programs with Arizona Conservation Corps and Saguaro National Park, she found her niche in vegetation management and learning about plants. When not out in the field putting the hurt on invasive plants, Jaemin enjoys camping/hiking with her partner and their dog, finding new places to explore, and riding her motorcycle.

Nicole Gillett, since 2017
Conservation Advocate, 520 209-1810, email

Nicole was born and raised just outside of Seattle, Washington. While she loved hiking and exploring the Northwest, the sunshine pulled her south to attend college in Colorado. She completed her degree at Colorado College in Environmental Science and Policy and focused on the nexus of environment and people. While still in Colorado, she interned with the Getches-Wilkinson Center in Boulder, working on tribal water rights and climate change. Next, Nicole traveled to the Northeast to get her Masters degree in Geography from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Here, she worked on the pervasive issue of flooding in small rural communities. Throughout all of her travels and varied experiences, Nicole has been inspired by hardworking people finding creative ways to support thriving communities and sustainable environments. Nicole is thrilled to be back in the sunshine and joining this amazing community.

 

Matt Griffiths, since 2006
Digital Media & Bird Conservation, 520 971-7924, email

Matt first fell in love with the diverse biology of southeastern Arizona while volunteering at the Southwestern Research Station in the Chiricahua mountains. Later, his interest in birds reached new levels during a season of surveying for Southwestern Willow Flycatchers in the Grand Canyon. Now he can imagine nothing better than listening to Whip-poor-will and Canyon Wren song in one of his favorite Sky Islands! He considers the Loggerhead Shrike to be the coolest local bird.

Starting at Tucson Audubon in 2004 as a habitat restoration field tech, Matt is currently webmaster, coordinator of the Vermilion Flycatcher magazine, and an IBA Program Associate. He participates in Important Bird Area surveys all over southeast Arizona, and also volunteers for the Tucson Bird Count and various Christmas bird counts.

Matt is originally from Los Angeles and has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has extensive experience gathering data as a field biologist, including participation in the Mt. Graham Red Squirrel Monitoring Project at the University of Arizona and the El Segundo Dunes restoration project in Los Angeles. Matt has also worked in a print shop, done graphic design and was a bicycle messenger in San Francisco. In his free time, Matt enjoys teaching his young son about the biological bounty of the Sonoran desert, and riding one of his many bikes up Mt. Lemmon or across the US.

 

Kari Hackney, since 2017
Restoration Project Manager, email

Kari’s love for nature was instilled at a young age. She grew up on a farm in Iowa where she spent most of her time outside exploring the fields and forests or building habitats for the resident toads. Her annual family trips to the mountains of Colorado only furthered her fascination for the natural world. As the spouse of a military member, she has been lucky to live in Alaska, Arizona and England where she pursued an education while exploring the region. She obtained a B.S. in Biology and a B.S. in Parks and Recreation from Arizona State University. She also graduated with a Master of Science in Parks and Resource Management from Slippery Rock University. Kari is happy to call Tucson her permanent home as she is enchanted by the biodiversity and the extremes of the Sonoran Desert. In her free time she can be found running, hiking with her dogs or reffing for Tucson Roller Derby.

 

 

Debbie Honan, since 2016
Retail Coordinator, 520 629-0510 x7007,email

Debbie moved to Tucson in 2001 and worked at the University of Arizona BookStores until 2012. During this time she earned a B.S. in Environmental Sociology and a M.Ed. in Educational Psychology from NAU. She also has certificates from Prescott College in Civic Leadership and Pima Community College in Human Resources.

Debbie is passionate about environmental conservation and thrilled to be part of the Tucson Audubon Society’s amazing collaboration of staff, members, volunteers, and the community.

Stop by the Nature Shop to meet Debbie and share your adventures with her and the other incredible people you’ll find at the Tucson Audubon Society.

 

Jonathan Horst, since 2012
Director of Conservation & Research, 520 971-6238, email

Ecology and rock climbing brought Jonathan to Tucson. Though his first job here was only a four-month position, he has yet to successfully move away. Since then he has studied band-tailed pigeons and burrowing owls, climbed throughout the region, played lots of ultimate Frisbee, and gotten a Master’s degree from the University of Arizona studying the ecology of winter plants on Tumamoc Hill. He also discovered a new exotic plant, Matthiola parviflora, never before identified in the Americas.

In August 2012 Jonathan joined Tucson Audubon Society as a Restoration Biologist. He is currently working on designing experiments to optimize control of a number of invasive species on Tucson Audubon managed restoration properties, as well as strategizing revegetation work toward supporting a number of Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan “species of concern.”

 

 

Rodd Lancaster, since 2002
Field Crew Supervisor, 520 256-6909 (cell), email

 

 

 

 

Dan Lehman, since 2008

Field Crew
Daniel Lehman was born in El Paso Texas. He attended the University of Texas El Paso where he studied both biology and art. He received his BFA in 1993 and moved to Tucson the same year. He has maintained a sculpture studio in Tucson since 1994 (lehmansculpture.com). Dan has worked for Tucson Audubon since 2002.

Kim Lopez, since 2017

Finance and Operations Director, 520 629-0510, email

Matthew Lutheran, since 2020

Restoration Program Manager, 520 449-3267, email

Matt was raised in Tucson and grew up water skiing Roosevelt lake in the summers and camping throughout Arizona.  A passion for creating desert tortoise habitat in his backyard influenced his affinity for the Sonoran Desert and led him to a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and his Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture. He has drawn on experiences working as a fishery ecologist in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and a teacher in Nagoya, Japan. Matthew’s experience in both the public and private sectors of landscape architecture includes landscape construction, horticulture, regional flood control design, graphic communication, research, and construction document preparation.

Outside the office, Matt spends his free time caring for his cactus and succulent nursery, swimming competitively, playing original Nintendo, and enjoying the best sushi and Mexican food Tucson has to offer.

Jonathan Lutz, since 2016

Executive Director, 520 629-0510 x7001, email
Jonathan grew up in Buffalo, New York, and finished high school in rural mid-Michigan. His parents encouraged a life-long interest in natural history and the outdoors. His interest in birds grew as a resident of coastal South Carolina—Jonathan’s home for 6 years after earning a BS in environmental policy at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Jonathan served as the Executive Director for the Michigan Audubon Society (2008-2015) and Director of the Montana Audubon Center (2015-2016). He made time for plenty birding along the way, co-leading winter birding tours in Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula, sharing Endangered Kirtland’s Warblers with visitors from around the world, and guiding residents on owl prowls along the Yellowstone River.

Most recently, Jonathan was the on-site director for Tucson Audubon Society’s Paton Center for Hummingbirds in Patagonia (2016-2018).

Jennie MacFarland, since 2010

Bird Conservation Biologist, Tucson Bird Count Coordinator 520 629-0510 x7004, email
Jennie has been interested in nature from a very young age and in birds in particular since elementary school. When she put on her first pair of glasses in second grade and looked out the window and for the first time saw the individual leaves on a tree and then a bird sitting within the tree, that was it! Jennie has been hooked on birds ever since.

Through school Jennie competed in various academic competitions and once competed on the national level in Science Olympiad and won first place in the “For the Birds” ornithology event.

In 2010 Jennie graduated from the University of Arizona with a BS in Wildlife Conservation and Management from the School of Natural Resources. That same month she was hired by Tucson Audubon Society to work in the Arizona Important Bird Areas Program and currently coordinates the program with our partners Audubon Arizona and Arizona Game and Fish. Jennie is also the coordinator for the Tucson Bird Count and organizes several large scale citizen science efforts in SE Arizona each year including Elegant Trogon surveys of five SE Arizona Sky Island mountain ranges and western Yellow-billed Cuckoo surveys. After living in Tucson for over 20 years, Jennie is still amazed and delighted at the beauty and rich bird life of this region and is thrilled to be doing work with bird conservation.

Kimberly Matsushino, since 2015

Habitat at Home Coordinator, 520 209-2474, email
Kim is a Tucson native who grew up embracing nature and outdoor adventures with her family and dogs. Birds and conservation became Kim’s main focus and interest in college after taking her first ornithology course. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Conservation Biology and minor in Music, Kim began volunteering at Saguaro National Park which eventually lead to working for Tucson Audubon.

Olya Phillips, since 2015

Citizen Science Coordinator, email
Olya was born and raised in Ukraine where her geologist grandmother inspired her great interest in nature. Olya moved to Arizona at the age of 13, excited to eventually get an education in conservation. At University of Arizona she was one of the leading officers in the Fish and Wildlife Society Student Chapter strongly involved in student engagement in current conservation issues. In 2016 she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Natural Resource Management with emphasis on Wildlife Conservation and Management with Summa Cum Laude and an Outstanding Senior Award.

Starting as an intern at Tucson Audubon Society in 2015, Olya is now involved full-time with many conservation and restoration projects and is eager to continue her journey here.

Diana Rosenblum, since 2014

Membership and Development, 520 629-0510 x7002, email
Diana is Tucson Audubon’s Membership and Development Assistant. Originally she interned at the Tucson Audubon Society and in 2014 was thrilled to discover that a position had opened for which she was well suited. Diana was excited about returning to Tucson Audubon because she really enjoyed working with the people she met during her internship and also because she understood the importance of environmental conservation.

Diana has a Bachelor of Science degree. She majored in Environmental Studies and has minors in Geology, Anthropology, and Humanities. The core classes for her college work related to her passion for environmental conservation. She found that she could weave her classes together in a way that broadened her understanding of the interplay between humans and the environment.

Diana was born in Tucson and grew up in Pima County. She spent her college years in Flagstaff at Northern Arizona University. After four years of cold, blustery winters, she was ready to return to Tucson. Now, she lives with her family, including a cute dog, in northwest Tucson.

Luke Safford, since 2016

Volunteer Program & Festival Manager, 520 209-1811, email
Luke grew up in a family that loved the outdoors and quickly blossomed into a birder after his grandparents gave him his first bird book when he was seven. He was enamored with the idea of making bird species lists and keeping track of the day to day bird life in his suburban back yard near Tacoma, WA. In his teenage years he tried to hide his birding disease from his future wife but was found out early on. Thankfully, she was able to bear the inevitable side trips to sewage treatment plants and the constant carrying of binoculars, and still married him in 2000. After moving to Yakima, WA, Luke became involved in the Yakima Valley Audubon Society and served on the board, as field trip coordinator, CBC compiler, and field trip leader. His favorite birding in Yakima was along the Yakima River on the Poppoff Trail, where he led a weekly bird walk for three years.

In 2009, Luke and his wife, Jolene, took a vacation to Tucson which sparked a desire to eventually move to the beautiful Sonoran Desert. Living in Tucson became a reality in December 2014 when they packed everything up the day after Christmas and moved to Tucson with their two young kids to help start a new church in mid-town. Quickly after the move Luke attended the Sweetwater Wetlands walk and began to help lead it on a weekly basis. Along with the weekly Sweetwater field trip, Luke also helped to coordinate the Southeast Arizona Birding Festival and is involved with the Tucson Valley Christmas Bird Count. As the volunteer coordinator he is excited about the many opportunities he will have to motivate the people of Tucson to actively love their city, birds, and the surrounding environment by becoming involved with Tucson Audubon.

Autumn Sharp, since 2019

Communications & Development Manager, (503) 481-4622, email
Autumn’s first childhood memories are of exploring the Puerto Rican rainforests, where her love for the natural world began and has since shaped her entire life. Her desire to understand the complex issues impacting the plants, animals, and people of the rainforests inspired her to travel, and eventually led her to England where she earned her Master of Science in Ethnobotany at the University of Kent, Canterbury. While investigating the interrelationships between plants and people around the globe, it was the incredible ability for plants, animals, and people to not only adapt, but thrive, together in extreme desert environments that hooked her instantly. Autumn’s graduate research focused on the Sonoran Desert and she was thrilled to finally be able to move here in July of 2019. 

Prior to her degree from Kent, Autumn lived in the Pacific Northwest for over a decade and earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific University in Oregon. Autumn can’t believe her luck finding a job where she gets to use her love for communications to support the rich birdlife and unique habitats of the southwest desert she loves, and now calls home. She enjoys exploring Tucson with her young daughter who already recognizes birdsong and says, “birrrd.”

Sheri Siesennop, since 2019

Bookkeeper, 520 629-0510 x7003, email

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Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120 Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447

color_square_face_right

Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120
Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447

color_square_face_right

Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120
Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447