Tucson Audubon Board of Directors
President, Les Corey
Vice President, Robert Hernbrode
Secretary, Claire Zucker
Treasurer, John Kennedy
Conservation, Chris McVie
Resource Development, Kimberlyn Drew
Finance, John Kennedy
Land Management, OPEN
Nominating & Governance, Dave Dunford
Personnel, Debra Finch
Matt was born in Tucson and raised outside of Benson, Arizona. His father taught him from a young age that water tended to concentrate wild things. With this knowledge in hand, Matt developed a life-long love of watered places and the wild things they attract.
During college at the University of Arizona, Matt had stints as an outdoor guide, wild land fire fighter, and hydrologist. He received a B.S. and M.S. in Hydrology. He later received a law degree from Arizona State University. Matt currently works for Farmer Investment Co. (FICO) and Farmers Water Co. (FWC) in Sahuarita, Arizona. Matt joined FICO/FWC in 2011 after practicing water, utility, and natural resources law in Phoenix with the law firm Snell & Wilmer.
Ardeth directs the UA Renewable Energy Network (UA-REN), an initiative to connect the public, industry, and government to the UA’s research and education in renewable energy. The goal is to support the expanded regional, national, and global use of abundant, clean, and economical solar-based renewable energy. Her work includes the development of a UA renewable energy policy program focusing on economic and policy development for innovation. She specializes in the design and implementation of strategies for the adoption of renewable energy, both in Arizona and nationally, through increased support for trans-disciplinary research and analysis of renewable energy systems that integrate and synchronize, from their initial stages, policy design and technology development. Her research also focuses on the effects of renewable energy on the environment using an interdisciplinary approach to test the feasibility of providing solar power as a sustainable energy source for water desalination and electricity generation with an initial pilot project on the Navajo Nation.
Prior to her appointment at the Institute of the Environment in 2010, Ardeth was the co-director of the Arizona Research Institutefor Solar Energy (AzRISE) at the UA. While there, she advised on the strategic direction of the institute and evaluated solar energy programs worldwide, with an emphasis on the economics of these programs and the underlying public policy decisions that impact their growth, sustainability, and interaction with technology development.
Before joining the UA she provided strategic advising on renewable energy and policy development for the business and government sectors, and organizations involved inrenewable energy and information systems in developing countries. Prior to earning her master’s degree, she spent 10 years in the technology development, innovation and information systems sector introducing new technologies for commercial use.
Gavin was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He developed a very early interest in birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles and has steadily pursued these interests while growing up in British Columbia, Virginia Beach, Great Britain and Denmark. One of his earliest birding memories occurred at age 8 when he spotted a male Painted Bunting from a speeding car while on a family vacation in Texas. Gavin graduated from the University of Victoria with a degree in Biology and a minor in Environmental Studies. He studied for one year at the University of Southern Mississippi where he collaborated with their Migratory Bird Study Group. While still in university he taught waterfowl, shorebird and passerine identification workshops for the Victoria Natural History Society and led fieldtrips for the university’s ornithology classes. Since graduating, Gavin has worked as a field assistant on a variety of ornithological research projects including studies of the wintering ecology of Henslow’s Sparrows, the breeding biology of Interior Least Terns, and the stopover ecology of Swainson’s Thrushes and Gray Catbirds. In addition he conducted point counts for the National Park Service in Arizona and New Mexico and assisted in setting up a riparian bird survey for the University of Arizona. He has traveled extensively through Western Europe, North and West Africa, Bolivia, Peru, Panama, Mexico, the U.S., Canada, and Alaska. Recently his interests have shifted to the neotropics, and he is very excited by the potential offered by his newly constructed tour to Panama. He also serves as the director and lead guide for St. Paul Island Tours (in the Pribilof Islands, Alaska) and has enjoyed working on that island from 2002-2007. Gavin enjoys sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm of the natural world with others, and welcomes the chance to meet new people and travel throughout the New World.
Richard is a full-time birder and part-time economist. As an economist he has worked on some of the nation’s most complex economic and environmental issues. He began his career at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, D.C. and then moved to the Stanford Research Institute in Palo Alto, CA. He is co-author of 2020 Visions: Long View of a Changing World (1991), Energy Future, Human Values and Lifestyles (1982), and Solar Energy in America’s Future (1977).
Mr. Carlson is a near life-long birder and naturalist. He was President of the Harvard Outing Club and has been a trip leader for the Maryland Ornithological Society, Santa Clara Audubon, Lahontan Audubon and Tucson Audubon. In Washington DC he was active in the Maryland Ornithological Society where he ran some of the first Breeding Bird Surveys. In the San Francisco Bay Area he was active in Santa Clara County Audubon and was President of the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory.
He and his wife Pat moved to Tucson in 2003. They spend their summers with their grandchildren in Kirkland, WA or at their second home at Lake Tahoe. He leads the weekly birding trips at Agua Caliente Park.
Les grew up on a farm in New England and migrated from a rural coastal town along the Connecticut River to the desert and sky islands of Arizona in 1996. He has always been closely connected to the land and nature and has been hooked on birding for over 40 years after being smitten by his first Hooded Warbler during migration at a park in New Haven. Les has been a conservation executive for more than 38 years and birds and birding has always been an important element of his life.
Les has a long history with Audubon having first joined as a member in 1970 while organizing Earth Day programs at college. Beginning in 2001, Les held several leadership positions with National Audubon Society for 12 years where he oversaw field operations nationwide. His personal passion has always been focused on setting ambitious goals, harnessing the spirit of community collaboration, and translating it into meaningful conservation results – especially for birds and wildlife. Early in his career Les served as the Executive Director for both the Connecticut Audubon Society and the Audubon Society of New Hampshire where he initiated many programs including establishing several new Audubon Centers and sanctuaries. One of his favorites was working with Nellie Teale to establish the Edwin Way Teale Sanctuary at their farmstead in Eastern Connecticut. He has always been active with local Audubon Chapters and fondly remembers participating in Christmas Counts with Roger Tory Peterson as members of Potapaug Audubon in Old Lyme and tagging along on New Haven Bird Club field trips with 12 year old David Sibley.
A professional biologist, Les earned a BS degree in environmental biology for the University of Southern Connecticut and a Master’s degree in Forest Science from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Prior to his work with National Audubon, Les was a Vice President of The Nature Conservancy for 15 years and directed state programs in Connecticut and Arizona.
During his career he has raised millions in public and private funds for specific conservation projects protecting critical habitat for such diverse places as the San Pedro River, San Rafael Valley grasslands, Sonoran Desert, Tidelands of the Connecticut River, Long Island Sound, Darien Park in Panama, Rio Bravo Park in Belize, and Blue Mountains National Park in Jamaica. Les has led many Audubon and Conservancy expeditions outside the U.S. to generate support for conservation programs and expand his life list.
He currently serves on the Board of the Arizona Open Land and Water Trust, the Pima County Conservation Acquisition Commission, and works with the Arizona Wilderness Coalition. Les was instrumental in establishing the Arizona Common Ground Roundtable and chaired a committee advising Arizona’s Growing Smarter Commission. The recipient of numerous awards and special recognition for his achievements in conservation, his most cherished, the Charles Callison Award, was presented to Les in 2011 for his dedication to Audubon’s mission and for being a life-long champion of conservation.
Les and his family reside in Tucson, Arizona and is looking forward to semi-retirement and spending more time with our avian friends. In his free time Les enjoys birding, photography, hiking, gardening and exploring the wonders of nature with his spouse Bonnie and their four grandchildren.
A graduate of the University of Arizona, Ed Curley has been employed by the Pima County RWRD for over 35 years. Recently retired from his full-time position as Strategic Planning Manager, he currently assists the Department on a part-time basis working with the jurisdictions and tribal entities that RWRD serves: coordinates the Wastewater Advisory Committee; and manages special projects for the Director’s Office. Ed is also involved in analysis of state and national legislative activity and coordination with regional water quality planning.
His previous assignments have included the development of the 2006 Metropolitan Facility Plan Update and of the current 20-year $1.4 billion Capital Improvement Plan for the Department. From 1995 – 2007, Ed also served as Project Director of the Arid West Water Quality Research Project (AWWQRP), an EPA-sponsored assistance grant administered by the Department which produced a series of major technical and policy papers on the science and policy aspects of water quality standards for arid environments. The Project published numerous scientific articles and made over 250 presentations throughout the West and the nation.
In addition, the Project Research Team presented AWWQRP findings and recommendations on a continuing basis to the Western Governors Association, the Water Environment Research Foundation, EPA Regions VI, VIII and IX, as well as the EPA Office of Water in Washington, D.C. At the end of the Project, Ed was co-editor of the resulting book: Relevance of Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Ephemeral and Effluent-Dependent Watercourses of the Arid Western United States published by the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC, 2008).
Ed is currently President and long-time member of the Board of Directors of the Western Coalition of Arid States (WESTCAS) the regional association of water and wastewater agencies promoting water quality in the Arid West. He has also been involved with the Arizona Water Pollution Control Association (now AZ WATER) and the Water Environment Research Foundation.
Ed has received a National Environmental Achievement Award from the Association of Metropolitan Sewage Agencies in 2002, a Metropolitan Pima Alliance “Common Ground” Award in 2005, and the WESTCAS Founder’s Award in 1997 and the President’s Award in 2007.
Ed became involved with birding in the early 1980’s and took part in the first birdathons held by Tucson Audubon. His favorite birding experiences include enjoying Elegant Trogons in Cave Creek, watching condors soar directly overhead on the updraft from a hot hillside in Southern California and taking a very foggy, choppy boat ride to see Atlantic puffins off the coast of Maine. Ed also served on the Tucson Audubon Board of Directors during this period and has been an active supporter of birding and the environment ever since.
Ed is currently involved with policy and research on water resources and the natural/built environment on an international scale. In 2011, Ed made a presentation on “The Role of NGOs in the Formation of US Water Policy” to the 3rd International WATArid Conference on Water, Ecosystems and Sustainable Development in Arid and Semi-Arid Zones in Paris, France. The WATArid conferences feature scientific and policy studies from around the world. The goal is to have a common international storehouse of knowledge regarding water, water development and contemporary environmental challenges to sustainability in arid areas throughout the world.
Most recently, Ed has been invited to be a stakeholder in a multi-year European Union/United States joint venture titled the SWAN (Sustainable Water ActioN) Project. This project proposes to bring together the scientific and stakeholder communities related to water resources management in Europe and the United States to establish a long-term sustainable water network though a “Transatlantic Water Dialogue”. Ed plans to attend the upcoming SWAN Conference in Seville, Spain this summer and make a field trip to bird the adjacent Coto Donana National Park on the Atlantic Coast of Spain.
Kimberlyn Drew has been in business and sales since she helped in her mom’s insurance agency as a kid. She went on to sell advertising to put herself through UCLA, then moved to Tucson to attend the UA’s Eller School for her MBA. After a successful corporate career at Honeywell, she returned to sales with a real estate license. When Kimberlyn joined Long Realty in 2006, she was one of the first members of Tucson Audubon’s nascent Birds & Business Alliance.
Kimberlyn Drew and her husband Andy Moore have been Audubon members since the mid-90’s, and have attended many Riparian Family Institutes, the Institute for Desert Ecology, and Bird & Wildlife Festivals with their daughter, Phoebe (a budding birder). Kimberlyn was the Honorary Chair for the 2015 Gala.
Kimberlyn is excited to join Tucson Audubon’s Board of Directors, to take her support for this important environmental organization to the next level, and to learn how she can put her business background to use in new and productive ways.
David J. Dunford
Dave was born in New Jersey and grew up in Connecticut. He has also lived in Massachusetts, California and Virginia. He became a birder a little over ten years ago after he and his wife Sandy moved to Tucson following 29 years in the U.S. Foreign Service. His Foreign Service assignments included Ecuador, Finland, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Oman where he was the U.S. Ambassador. He was one of the first civilians to go into Baghdad after the U.S. invasion in 2003. He teaches courses on the Middle East at the University of Arizona and is on the Governing Board of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Dave is also a Woodrow Wilson Visiting fellow, spending a week every year on the campus of one of the participating small colleges and universities throughout the U.S. He always brings his binoculars along.
Dave has been leading field trips for Tucson Audubon since 2005.
Deb grew up in Detroit, Michigan. She spent many years in Ann Arbor after receiving a Bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in nursing from the University of MIchigan. Deb grew up with backyard birding and some forays to Point Pelee National Park. Her interest in birding peaked after a visit to Trinidad and Tobago with her parents in their retirement. Her career led her to Houston, Boston, and Phoenix and now to Tucson where she is the Chief Nursing/Chief Operating Officer at Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital. The intervening years have been filled with many birding adventures.
Jesús was born and raised in Magdalena de Kino, Sonora, México. In 1987, after finishing a degree in Elementary Education, (Escuela Normal del Estado) in Hermosillo, Sonora, he moved to Tucson, Arizona.
In 1996 he returned to school and attended Pima Community College and the University of Arizona. By December of 2001 he completed a Bachelor degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, with a minor in cultural Anthropology.
Jesus has been associated with the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum since 1991, first as a Docent then as a bilingual educator. Now he is an Education Specialist, teaching natural history programs to the Hispanic community of the Tucson area schools and schoolteachers and youth in the border region of the state of Sonora, Mexico. Jesús has many interests such as conservation biology, art, cultural ecology, languages, music, and gardening.
Laurens has been passionate about (or maybe even obsessed with!) birds and birding for practically his entire life. His interest in birding was inspired by his parents, whom he delighted with his identification of an Indigo Bunting at the age of four (pronounced “Indian Bunny”). But birding has always meant more than just identifying the bird and moving on. Even as a young teenager, he sought a deeper connection with the birds. He wanted to get to know the birds, observe & study their plumages, behaviors, habits, and habitats. Once familiar with birds in his home state, he wanted to see more of the birds, and has birded throughout the United States from Washington to Florida, Maine to California, Texas, Alaska, and off three coasts. Laurens began visiting the premier birding destination of southeast Arizona in the early eighties and became a resident of the area in 1999. Though he is most captivated by birds, Laurens is also enthusiastic about all creatures in the wild, whether they are covered with feathers, fur, scales, or some sort of exoskeleton. Today Laurens is a birding guide and wildlife photographer. He formed Desert Harrier Guiding Services in 2007 and conducts day guiding & private tours for individuals & small groups throughout southeast Arizona and beyond. Guiding and sharing his photographs is Laurens’ way of helping others connect with nature. Laurens is a voting member of the Arizona Bird Committee, volunteers for Tucson Audubon and the Friends of Madera Canyon, and is an avid eBirder and regional eBird reviewer. He lives just outside of Madera Canyon near Green Valley with his very tolerant wife and the most precious cat in the world.
Robert D. (Bob) Hernbrode
Bob is an Arizona native who grew up in Payson. After completing a degree in Wildlife Management at the University of Arizona and two years in the Army, Bob went to work for the Arizona Game and Fish Department as a wildlife manager in Yuma and later as a biologist in Tucson. In the late 1970s Bob moved his young family to metro Denver to begin a career with the Colorado Division of Wildlife. After working nearly 28 years for that state agency in a variety of senior biologist positions, Bob and Janine retired and moved back to Tucson. In doing so, they are close to family, friends and our beloved Sonoran desert.
Since his return to Tucson in 2004, Bob spent a year on a State parks Trails committee and 5 years as an Arizona Game and Fish Commissioner. Bob is a hunter, angler, birder and volunteer archeology site steward.
Katharine is a faculty member at the University of Arizona in the Department of Soils, Water and Environmental Science and is the Director of the Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions (CCASS) within the Institute of the Environment. CCASS builds and supports climate change adaptation and assessment capacity at regional, national and international scales, based on climate science and service investments within the University.
From 2010 – 2013, Jacobs served as an Assistant Director in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in the Executive Office of the President. Jacobs was the director of the National Climate Assessment, leading a team of 300 authors and more than a thousand contributors who wrote the Third NCA report. She also was the lead advisor on water science and policy, and climate adaptation, within OSTP.
Prior to her work in the White House, from 2006-2009 Jacobs was the Executive Director of the Arizona Water Institute, a consortium of the three state universities focused on water-related research, education and technology transfer in support of water supply sustainability. She has more than twenty years of experience as a water manager for the State of Arizona Department of Water Resources, including 14 years as director of the Tucson Active Management Area. Her research interests include water policy, connecting science and decision-making, stakeholder engagement, use of climate information for water management applications, climate change adaptation and drought planning.
Ms. Jacobs earned her M.L.A. in environmental planning from the University of California, Berkeley. She has served on eight National Research Council panels and was Chair of the NRC Panel on Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change and a member of the panel on America’s Climate Choices.
John Kennedy retired from business management and moved to Tucson in 2007. He has become active in the area by serving as an advisory board member for the Sky Ranch HOA and through public participation in the ongoing development of the Town of Marana’s Habitat Conservation Plan. He and his wife Sarah joined the Tucson Audubon Society in 2009. They also are supporters of other important southern Arizona organizations including the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, The Empire Ranch Foundation, the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum and Tohono Chul.
Moving from Minnesota to southern Arizona brought exposure to a very different group of birds and other wildlife. Back yard birding has developed into a passion for the Kennedys and a source of inspiration for John’s photography. He has donated bird and animal photographs to the town of Marana for use on signage for parks and hiking trails.
In addition to photography, John enjoys hiking, tennis and travel.
R. Cynthia Pruett
For a long period I was what you might call a “lapsed birder”. I started birding in college with a boyfriend who became my husband and we traveled all over the United States while he was in the service; leading to a pretty comprehensive bird list. Then suddenly, other life activity got in the way and for about 25 years birding was shelved. In the late 80’s I was introduced to an avid woman birder at an environmental conference and the passion came back. My work career involved many executive jobs, some of them key environmental positions, which only reinforced my understanding of the need to protect important habitat around the world. It’s (the birding) led to many trips to many countries, a joy of seeing both new and revisited birds and of course, to becoming active in Audubon chapters, both here and in Virginia.
My attraction to birds and other wildlife took a jump start many years ago when my mother took my sister and me to a weekend gathering at a nearby park in central New Jersey, where the local bird club hosted a monthly breakfast walk. It was an exciting time in my young life, made most pleasurable by the picnic which included a hot dog bun filled with scrambled eggs and bacon. I don’t remember the birds but the thought of the delicious food has stayed with me and perhaps somehow contributed to my growing interest in the outdoor world. Since that time the field trips and my memories of them have grown to become an important part of my life. I enjoy watching birds and their behaviors everywhere I am fortunate to visit, and also enjoy doing what I can to help protect the birds and their habitats.
Thirty-some years ago I joined the Tucson Audubon board, eventually serving as president for four years. Beginning in 1992 I was elected to the first of two terms as the regional representative to the National Audubon Society board, and then served two additional terms as Vice-Chair of the board. Since 2002 I have been a member of the board of Audubon Arizona, currently serving as secretary.
Deb has been an elementary and middle-school teacher/librarian for most of her professional career. Noting that children rarely engage in outdoor activities, Deb has made it her mission to mentor students and provide opportunities for them to enjoy and appreciate southeast Arizona’s great outdoors. With the support of Tucson Audubon, she has developed the Trekking Rattlers, a local middle school student group that offers monthly nature outings to underprivileged youth. Deb offers birding opportunities to various youth groups in the Tucson Valley.
Mary was raised in a small town in northern Pennsylvania, where she had a forest mountainside to explore adjacent to her home. When she was a small girl, her grandfather had responsibility for her daytime care, and their walks in the woods together developed her love of the peace, beauty and complexity of the natural world.
Mary became an environmental chemist through studies at Newcomb College of Tulane University, St. Andrews University in Scotland, and the University of Georgia where she received her BS degree with honors. She has worked in environmental and medical research, environmental compliance, public participation and public policy related to environment at EPA, Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and several consulting firms. For several years she owned and operated Mary Walker & Associates, Inc., an environmental consulting firm located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where she also founded the quarterly magazine EnviroLink®, serving Tennessee, north Georgia, and northeastern Alabama. The magazine highlighted industries, local governments and non-profit organizations that took action creatively, individually and cooperatively to promote sustainable development and enhance environmental quality in the region.
Mary was a member of the Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy of Tennessee for ten years and chairman for two years. She has been chairperson of the Mayor’s Advisory Council for Environment in Des Moines, Iowa, Director of the Chattanooga Task Force of the Tennessee Toxics Program, and a member and officer of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Board. She was a director of Audubon Arizona from 2010 to 2013.
Mary is an instrument rated, multi-engine private pilot with 25 years of flying experience. In 1997 she and her husband retired and moved to La Cholla Airpark in Tucson, where her favorite activities include birding, photography, and playing and teaching mountain dulcimer. The Walkers have two sons: Alan, a deputy clerk of the Superior Court in Tucson, and Ross, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Utah.
Nancy Young Wright
Born in rural eastern New Mexico, Nancy is a fourth-generation Southwestern resident with extensive experience in public service and community advocacy focusing on conservation, youth and education issues. Her family joined the Tucson Audubon Society in 1994 in appreciation of the strong role it plays in conservation and education.
Nancy represented Tucson’s northwest side in the Arizona State Legislature for two terms, where she served on the Water and Energy, Education, and Health Committees. She started a Water Caucus and an Animal Welfare Caucus to promote bi-partisan awareness and cooperation. She worked with American Indian Communities in Pima County in the areas of literacy and arts, and in public policy and advocacy for education.
With a native appreciation for the unique habitat of the Sonoran Desert, Nancy enjoys birding and watching the wildlife that are drawn to the desert vegetation of her home. She is keenly aware of the vital role that riparian areas serve for wildlife survival in the Southwest. She was a member of the Pima County Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan Steering Committee and the Buffers citizen conservation group; Chair of the first Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, championing the need for youth facilities, bike lanes, hiking trails, and natural areas; and an advocate for Honey Bee Canyon on Tucson’s northwest side. Nancy also served as board member of Amphitheater Public Schools from 1997-2006. She currently serves as a board member of the Arizona Historical Society, and volunteers at the Pima Animal Care Center and the Owl and Panther Refugee Project affiliated with the Hopi Foundation.
Nancy has a BA in Journalism from New Mexico State University and a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. She and her husband Allen are the parents of two adult daughters.
Claire grew up in east Tennessee where her back yard forest was host to a resident Pileated Woodpecker and which, one year, produced a pair of orphan mockingbirds that she raised. Her love the outdoors, backpacking, and river rafting motivated her to study the natural world, and she received her bachelor’s in geology from University of Tennessee, followed by a Master’s from University of California, Santa Barbara. Claire came to Tucson in1993, and since that time she worked for Pima Association of Governments where she is currently the Director of the Sustainable Environment Program. Through her work, she has conducted research on the hydrology and habitat of Cienega Creek, water wells in the Tucson area, and various water resource and water quality projects. She works through public events/committees and through PAG’s committee to provide information and facilitate discussion about water resources, wildlife, restoration, habitat, the urban/green interface, and low impact development among other issues. Claire is also on the Executive Board for the Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center and on the Board of Directors of the University of Arizona’s Conserve to Enhance program. She and her husband, Steve Richard are the proud parents of two daughters who attended Khalsa Montessori, Basis Middle School and University High School, and who found both amazing academic opportunities as well as wonderful involvement as Irish dancers in our Tucson community. Claire is also past president and board member of Tucson Friends of Traditional Music, with which she teaches and calls American folk dances, called contra dances. She sang and played bodhrán with local Irish band Round the House for 12 years, and is currently in the duo Púca in addition to occasionally touring with the contra dance band, STEAM. Her newest instrument, the Anglo concertina, is not exactly quiet, but she and her backyard birds have adjusted quite nicely to sharing the musical air space.