Montana Audubon Center Staff | Montana Audubon


Montana Audubon Center Staff


Emily Chilcoat

Center Director

Emily moved to Billings from Dayton, Ohio in the fall of 2014 and quickly found the Center through the participation of her two sons in the Nature Nuts program. She has a degree in Natural and Historical Interpretation and Applied Science from 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 part of the Montana Audubon Center.

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Heather Bilden

Master Naturalist Coordinator

Heather is a familiar face to many at the Montana Audubon Center. She served as its first education director from 2008-2014 before moving north to Lavina to help run the family ranch. She returned to the Center part-time in 2015 and is now our coordinator for adult programs. Heather earned her Master’s degree in Environmental Education from MSU-Billings and spent her graduate residency at the Teton Science Schools in Wyoming. She is also a certified Montana Master Naturalist. Heather enjoys sharing nature with others and helping them discover the endless wonders that await the outdoors.

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Sarah Chatwood

Fledglings Preschool Coordinator

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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Hannah Dunford

Youth Programs Coordinator

Hannah 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 youth programs, including Homeschool, Afterschool, and Summer Camps.

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Alina Garner

Private Programs Coordinator

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. As the leader of school programs, she coordinates Audubon Naturalists in the Schools and field trips. She is also a professional photographer, often lending her keen artistic eye to projects at the Center.

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Jessica Mills

Audubon Naturalists in the Schools (ANTS) & Private Programs Coordinator

Jessica grew up in the deserts of Arizona and spent much of her youth volunteering at the Phoenix Zoo in their education programs. This is where she learned to love teaching others about wildlife and conservation. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelors’s in Conservation Biology and went on to help run school programs at the Arizona Humane Society. Between visiting schools, running private programs, and taking care of the animal ambassadors, she thrived in the environmental education sphere. New to Billings now, she will be the School and Private Programs Coordinator, taking on the ANTS program. She is an avid fan of reptiles and insects but is excited to expand her knowledge of Montana wildlife. She is a lover of cinema and enjoys writing in her time off.

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Becca Mathias

Community Programs Coordinator

Becca is an experienced outdoor science educator with a deep love and appreciation for the natural world. In 2013, she worked with the Audubon Center as a Big Sky Watershed Corps member. She loves sharing the natural world with others and is excited to be back in Montana working with the Audubon Center again. Growing up on a farm in Ohio, she explored the forests, marshes, and fields around her and learned early on that no matter where you live, nature will never cease to surprise you. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a Marine Specialization and loves teaching about both fresh and saltwater ecosystems and is a true water quality enthusiast. After many years of seasonal work, she’s happy to be putting down roots and calling Montana home.

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Nora Goldhammer

BSWC Restoration

Nora moved to Billings after graduating from the University of Colorado Boulder with two BS degrees in Geography and Environmental Studies. Her passion for conservation is rooted in design, and she hopes to incorporate more Landscape Architecture into restoration projects around the Audubon Center. In her free time, she loves to ski, hike, and taste local beers! She is looking forward to birding and driving the lawn mower.

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Dana Andersson

Teacher Naturalist

Growing up in Billings, MT, Dana learned to love the outdoors from an early age. Her commitment to environmental stewardship can be traced to her Montana roots and working for the Wyoming Nature Conservancy and National Outdoor Leadership School. Dana developed a passion for teaching through her experience as a field educator in both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. She received her Masters’s in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Place-Based Education from the University of Montana. After completing her Master’s she joined the 4th grade teaching team at a public school in Missoula. Though she loved the relationship-building and antics involved with managing her own classroom of 28 fourth graders, Dana moved home to Billings with little ones of her own in mind. She and her husband have two beautiful daughters and two crazy bird dogs that keep them on their toes. At her core, Dana believes that when we embed learning in authentic experiences we can increase learner engagement, improve learner outcomes, and create a positive impact in our communities.

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Kylie Tiller

Teacher Naturalist: Fledglings Preschool

Kylie was born and raised in Utah on a “fun farm” and spent years living and traveling throughout the South and Southwest. Montana captured her heart and she put down roots here in 2014. One of Kylie’s children has been in our preschool since the very beginning. She knows a lot about what goes on at preschool and has been honored to watch it grow over the years. Kylie is an artist, community leader, and mom of 4. In her free time, you can find her camping, hiking, exploring new places with her kids, and checking out local events.

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Ashayla Dahlin

Teacher Naturalist: Fledglings Preschool

Ashayla was born and raised in Billings, Montana. She developed her love of nature and the outdoors by exploring and being immersed in the area. That love was further developed through a degree in Environmental Studies at Montana State University-Billings. During her senior year, she started interning at the Montana Audubon Center, a place she fondly remembered as a kid. Through her time interning, she developed a love for the Center and officially started working here during the summer and eventually transitioned to preschool. Teaching in such an environment is very enriching and rewarding. When she isn’t teaching, you can find her reading, jamming out to music, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Rock McLean

Teacher Naturalist

Rock was born and raised in Billings. He graduated from West High School and Eastern Montana College (MSUB) with dual degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education. After graduation, he joined the Peace Corps where he served in Paraguay for two years as a Volunteer and one year as the Education Coordinator. During that time Rock worked closely with the Ministry of Education to establish special education services for the country. After Peace Corps, he spent almost the entire next year just traveling through South America. Later, he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and taught at one of the high schools. Three years later, Rock left for Crete, Greece to work for the Department of Defense at a military base where he taught first grade. Four years later, he returned to New Mexico and again taught at one of the high schools. After, Rock moved to Nashville where he went to Vanderbilt University to earn his Masters’s Degree in Special Education. He lived in Nashville for over 20 years and then eventually returned to Billings. Rock loves teaching at the Audubon Center!

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