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Tucson Audubon Staff

Resource Development Director – vacant. Please contact Executive Director Jonathan Lutz with inquiries.

Andy Bennett, since 2011
Restoration Project Manager, K-12 Youth Engagement Coordinator, 520 262-1314, email

andy_bennettAndy credits his passion for conservation and the great outdoors to his father Steve, a schoolteacher who took the family camping during the summers and encouraged Andy to explore the wonders of nature. Those boyhood summer hikes in the woodlands of Indiana and Michigan eventually led to a degree in ecology and professional field research with various land management agencies, conservation groups, and universities. Andy has conducted ecological work for over fifteen years, from Mexican grey wolf monitoring in Arizona, to goshawk nesting success in Colorado, to cattle grazing impacts on grassland sparrows in Oregon. He was also an environmental educator in the deep northwoods of Minnesota. Since 2008, Andy has worked with Tucson Audubon’s ecological restoration and youth education programs. He enjoys cooking a good meal at home, dancing to live music, and learning about the amazing natural wonders around Tucson. You might find him hiking and climbing in the mountains, or hear him playing his mandolin on a Tucson corner.

 

Katie Brown, since 2017
Events Coordinator, 520 209-1812, email

Katie Brown, Tucson Audubon Society’s Events Coordinator, earned her honors degree in life sciences and ecology from the University of Westminster in London, and her career included marketing and scientific publishing before she moved to the United States with her family. She organized development and membership events for Girls Incorporated of Santa Fe and the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art in New Mexico, and for the Taubman Museum of Art in Virginia, as well as building innovative health education programming for Canyon Ranch employees and their families.

Katie brings her sense of humor, creativity and passion for protecting nature to events organization. Just don’t ask her about the time she went stomping through a rain forest to see a cassowary. She enjoys sharing photos of Arizona wildlife with her friends in Britain and is eager to see her first trogon.

 

LaNella Gaines, since 2017
Community Outreach & Program Director, 520-488-2868, email

 LaNella’s deep connection with nature began in 2011 after a three-day wilderness excursion in Payson, Arizona. From that point on she aspired to create opportunities for urban residents to connect with nature that they might not otherwise have. From 2011-2014 she volunteered for Audubon Arizona in Phoenix. During her time there, she assisted with numerous projects that enabled inner-city youth to experience nature in a restored area of the Rio Salado wildlife habitat. She then went on to work as an education coordinator for Arizona State Parks. There she developed and organized interpretive programs to engage park visitors in and connect them to the state’s natural and cultural resources in four regions. LaNella became a volunteer support manager for the Girl Scouts Arizona-Cactus Pine Council in 2015. In this role, she provided  training and support for over 75 troop leaders and oversaw the work of five volunteer leadership teams in six communities. LaNella is thrilled to be working with Tucson Audubon Society and to be involved in the Audubon movement once again. Her primary role is to increase the organization’s community reach to diverse audiences throughout Southeast Arizona.

 

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_griffithsMatt 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 Field Crew, 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
Restoration Field Crew Supervisor, 520 256-6909 (cell), email

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dan Lehman, since 2008
Restoration Specialist

dan_lehmanDaniel 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.

 

 

 

Jonathan Lutz, since 2016
Executive Director, 520 415-6447, email

J_Lutz_HeadshotJonathan 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.

 

Kevin A Marshall, CPA, since 2018
Finance Director, 520 629-0510, email

Kevin is a successful and unique entrepreneur. He brings both an entrepreneurial spirit and a CPA’s financial acumen to each client situation. This ensures that the innovative solutions he brings to clients are also rooted in strong financial returns. Professionally, Kevin has been a practicing CPA for over 30 years. He owns a virtual CPA firm that serves clients across the country. They specialize in the difficult; specifically turning around dire financial situations with unique financing, tax mitigation, and business planning solutions.

As an entrepreneur, Kevin has started and sold several businesses. He started a Bed & Breakfast in Connecticut that became one of the top grossing B&B’s in New England. Kevin profitably sold that business before his last relocation to Tucson AZ, where he wisely went virtual with his CPA and funding business. Kevin’s awards include Money Magazine – People to Watch and Hartford Business Journal – 40 Under 40.  Kevin actively volunteers with Make Way for Books and the Tucson Rotary, and has lent his expertise as Treasurer to numerous non-profit organizations.

 

Kimberly Matsushino, since 2015
Retail & Operations Assistant, 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 2018
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.

 

 

 

Lesley Rich, since 2018
Operations DIrector, 520 629-0510 x7014, email

Lesley considers herself a native Tucsonan, as she has lived in and loved the community since she was just four years old. She is passionate about getting outdoors and loves wandering in nature, usually alongside her two dogs.  She is an avid equestrian and enjoys sending time with her horse, Finn. Lesley first realized her excitement for birds when she was lucky enough to see a bald eagle while spending time watching the Salt River Horses. Her curiosity for birding has been growing ever since. Lesley is an alumna of the University of Arizona and has spent her career dedicated to human services. She is an AmeriCorps Alum and a graduate of the Greater Tucson Leadership class of 2017.

 

 

 

Diana Rosenblum, since 2014
Membership and Development, 520 629-0510 x7002, email

Diana_RosenblumDiana 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 and Field Trips Coordinator, 520 629-0510, email

Luke_Safford_image_smLuke 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.

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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

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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