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Montana Audubon works at the local, state and national policy levels to protect our natural heritage.

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Staff

Larry Berrin

Executive Director

Larry Berrin has dedicated his career of more than 25 years to conservation science and environmental education in multiple states including Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and Oregon. Berrin came to Montana Audubon most recently from Asbury Woods Partnership in Erie, Pennsylvania. As President/CEO, he led a major acquisition of the 205-acre Asbury Woods and Nature Center, which included securing over $1.3 million in government grants, representing some of the largest acquisition grants ever awarded to Erie County. During his tenure, he also helped launch a $4.5 million capital campaign for the center.

Previously, Berrin served as Branch Director for Discover Your Northwest in Central Oregon. In this role, he was responsible for managing multiple visitor centers, retail operations, recreation sites and programs in the Deschutes National Forest and Newberry National Volcanic Monument. He also led the effort to develop the Deschutes Children’s Forest, the first of its kind in the northwest.

Earlier in his career, Berrin served as State Education Director in Vermont for the National Audubon Society where he oversaw centers and education programs in addition to leading birding trips to places such as Mexico, Costa Rica, the Galapagos, the Amazon, and Kenya.

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Heather Bilden

Community Programs Lead

Heather is a familiar face to many at the Montana Audubon Center. She served as its first education director from 2007-2013 before moving north to Lavina to help run the family ranch. She returned to the Center part-time as a Teacher Naturalist in 2016, and is now our program lead for community programs. Heather has a Master’s in Education degree from MSU-Billings, with her graduate residency at the Teton Science Schools in Wyoming. Heather firmly believes that nature provides an endless educational opportunity for the curious minds and active bodies of youth.

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Sarah Chatwood

Fledglings Preschool Lead

Sarah is a native Montana girl with a love for adventure. Formerly a classroom teacher, she enjoys the freedom of discovery that environmental education allows. As a parent and outdoor educator of over 16 years, Sarah believes that spending time outdoors is vital to children’s development and well being.  In 2015, Sarah was honored by the Montana Environmental Education Association (MEEA) as Environmental Educator of the year. She is also a certified Montana Master Naturalist and is passionate about learning outside and enjoying all the world  has to offer.

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David Cronenwett

Communications/Development Specialist

David Cronenwett joined our Team in December 2014, after several years of contract writing for Montana Audubon. He has lived in various urban, small town and rural locations around Montana over the past twenty years but has a special connection to the Rocky Mountain Front. It was here that David worked as naturalist-in-residence at The Nature Conservancy’s Pine Butte Guest Ranch for five seasons, teaching hundreds of visiting guests, local schoolkids and others about the astonishing natural history of the Front. He continues to work as an outdoor educator and wilderness guide with an emphasis on traditional “bushcraft” living and outdoor survival. David is also an accomplished writer whose naturalist-themed work has appeared in several publications including Montana Outdoors magazine. He is a longtime conservationist and lover of wild places.

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Cathie Erickson

Accounting Specialist

Cathie Erickson joined Montana Audubon in 2010. Cathie uses her considerable experience to manage our finances on a day-to-day basis, maintaining accurate reports so that Montana Audubon remains financially strong and fiscally responsible. In addition, since 2014 Cathie has coordinated Montana Audubon’s annual Bird Festival, Wings Across the Big Sky. Cathie grew up on a ranch on the Smith River.

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Hannah Finch

Outschool Programs Lead

Hannah Finch has worked at the Center since joining our Summer Camp staff in 2016. Her immediate past position was at Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, GA, in school programs similar to those we provide in Billings. Hannah is particularly knowledgeable about raptors, having worked with live birds at the George Miksch Sutton Aviation Research Center at the University of Oklahoma. Hannah is now leading our Out-School programs, including Homeschool, Afterschool, and Summer Camps.

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Norane Freistadt

Finance Director

Norane Freistadt joined the Montana Audubon team in 2010. She comes to us with a strong fundraising background, tremendous passion for our work, and diverse life experiences. She has lived in the Helena area for 3 decades. During that time, she ran Days of Yore, a retail antique shop, for 20 years. In the last decade, she has become increasingly involved in community groups that better fit her life-long passion for land conservation and “smart growth” issues. She is a founding member of Prickly Pear Land Trust, where she worked as Development Director before moving to the Montana Wilderness Association, where she also served in that position. She holds a degree in Anthropology from the Washington State University. Norane and her husband Rob have three adult children.

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Alina Garner

School Programs Lead

Alina come to Billings from Walla Walla, Washington, having worked in a variety of positions in the Pacific Northwest since 2012. She has an undergraduate degree in Biology from Whitworth University. Alina has a passion for outdoor activities, with her particular interest in fly fishing well suited to her new home in Montana. In her role as school programs lead, she coordinates the ANTS program. She is also a professional photographer, often lending her keen artistic eye to projects at the Center.

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Janet Johnston

Office Manager

Janet Johnston joined Montana Audubon in 2017. She brings her strong organizational skills as well as successful entrepreneurial and customer service experience. From home-school teacher to business owner, she has used her creativity to look for new perspectives and methods, while staying detail-oriented with broad vision goals.

Montana has her been home since 1993. Originally from rural Eastern Oregon, Janet has spent her life appreciating the rich landscapes and wildlife of the West. She, her husband, and three high school and college-aged daughters enjoy spending time together while hiking, fishing, hunting, and skiing. They especially like picking huckleberries.

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Amy Seaman

Conservation Program Manager

Amy Seaman came to Montana Audubon in 2013. She works on our Important Bird Area (IBA) Program and myriad other bird conservation projects. In 2015, Amy became our lead lobbyist at the 2015 Montana Legislative session in Helena. Amy earned her M.S in Biology in 2012 at the University of Nevada, Reno, studying the ecology of olfaction and foraging rodents in the Eastern Sierras. Her teaching experiences are varied, but include several semesters assisting field ornithology. Avian studies have been a focal point for Amy, taking her to Montana locations such as the Madison and Missouri Rivers, Charles M. Russell NWR, Bitterroot Valley, and Bridger Ridge. She also studied widely in Nevada. Amy has traveled widely throughout the west, and currently resides in Helena with her orange cat.

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Carolyn Sevier

Montana Audubon Center Director

Carolyn grew up on the Snake River in southern Idaho, crossed the divide North to the Missouri in Montana in 1998, and now lives along the Yellowstone in Billings. She has been involved in Environmental Education since 1996, working and volunteering for a number of different conservation and education organizations, including the Montana Wilderness Association, Montana Discovery Foundation, and Rim Country Land Institute. She has a degree in Environmental Studies from Carroll College and has been an instructor for the Montana Master Naturalist Program since 2012. From 2008-2016 she served on the board of the Montana Environmental Education Association, a partner organization to Montana Audubon, including as its president for five years. Before joining the Center staff in 2016, she had the privilege of connecting with the Center as a partner, volunteer, and presenter, and is excited to now work with its community of supporters in the position of Director. She and her husband Morgan have three children, a dog, a fish, and whatever birds will come to their backyard feeders.

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Montana Audubon Center Staff

To learn more about the staff at the Center in Billings, please see the staff list on the Center page here.

Montana Audubon Board of Directors

Officers

  • Rachel Van Wingen, President, Ennis,  MT
  • Joe Batts, Vice President, Lakeside, MT
  • Ron Farmer, Treasurer, Bozeman, MT
  • Bernie McHugh, Secretary, Wilson, WY

At-Large Board Members

  • Bob Mackin, Billings, MT
  • Cary Lund, Helena, MT
  • Harriet Marble, Chester, MT
  • Curt Larsen, Helena, MT
  • Fred Weisbecker, Past President, Hamilton, MT

Chapter Board Delegates

  • Jim Rogers, Mission Mountain Audubon
  • Candace Beery, Upper Missouri Breaks Audubon
  • Jack Kirkley, Pintler Audubon
  • Rose Leach, Five Valleys Audubon
  • Catherine Goodman (alternate), Five Valleys Audubon
  • Bob Lee, Flathead Audubon
  • Janice Miller, Last Chance Audubon
  • Stephen Turner (alternate), Last Chance Audubon
  • Becky Peters, Bitterroot Audubon
  • Mike Daniels (alternate), Bitterroot Audubon
  • Jim Oates (alternate), Mission Mountain Audubon
  • Steve Turner (alternate), Last Chance Audubon
  • Loreen Reid, Sacajawea Audubon

Center Council Delegates

  • Don Roberts, Billings, MT

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