Montana Audubon works at the local, state and national policy levels to protect our natural heritage.
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.
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.
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.
Emily moved to Billings from Dayton, Ohio in the fall of 2014 and quickly found the Center through participation of her two sons in the Nature Nuts program. She has a degree in Natural and Historical Interpretation and Applied Science at Hocking Technical College and has provided conservation education programs to local communities ever since, including with the Five Rivers MetroParks. Billings is the farthest west Emily has been and she’s excited to be a part of the Montana Audubon Center.
Boaz (Bo) Crees grew up in Israel, where he gained a deep appreciation of nature while hiking with his father throughout the beautiful Valley of Springs. He moved to Michigan with his family in 1995 and then West after high school to pursue rock climbing, backpacking and other outdoor adventures. He graduated from the University of Montana with a BS in Wildlife Biology and has been involved in many bird research projects there and with various agencies. Bo loves to travel and has worked as a wildlife technician in every western US state, British Columbia and Mexico. He moved to Helena with his wife Alexis in 2016 after living in the Coast Mountains of northern British Columbia for two years. He most recently worked with Montana Natural Heritage Program and Bird Conservancy of the Rockies. In his free time, he enjoys creating wildlife art, hiking, and birding.
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.
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.
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.
Alina comes 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.
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.
Amy Seaman joined Montana Audubon in 2013 to work on the Important Bird Area (IBA) Program and many other bird conservation projects. She joined us after having spent time earning her M.S in Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno, and after spending many seasons surveying birds out west and in Montana in particular. Her avian research experiences have taken her to Montana locations such as the Madison and Missouri Rivers, the Helena, Mission, and Blackfoot Valleys, the Charles M. Russell NWR, the Bitterroot Valley, Glacier National Park, the Bridger Ridge, and many more. In 2015 Amy became our lead lobbyist during the Montana Legislative session, and she continues to work on policy issues like Greater Sage-grouse conservation and bird hazing at the Berkeley Pit throughout the year. She believes and is committed to preserving the values of the natural world for current and future generations, is excited by the education values in our mission, and holds a love for the natural world, and especially bird songs, above all else.
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.
To learn more about the staff at the Center in Billings, please see the staff list on the Center page here.
At-Large Board Members
Chapter Board Delegates
Center Council Delegates