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Montana Audubon Center Staff

Staff

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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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 2008-2014 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 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 firmly believes that nature provides endless beneficial opportunities for the minds and bodies of people of all ages.

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Hannah Finch

Youth 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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Alina Garner

School Programs Lead

Alina has been at the Montana Audubon Center since 2017. Originally from Walla Walla, WA, she received an undergraduate degree in Biology from Whitworth University. Before arriving in Montana, she worked in a variety of outdoor-related positions around the Pacific Northwest, including multiple summers as a wilderness horse camp instructor. Alina has a passion for all things outdoors, including fly-fishing, hiking, and birding, which she shares with her husband and daughter. In her role as school programs lead, she coordinates the ANTS program and other field trips. She is also a professional photographer, often lending her keen artistic eye to projects at the Center.

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Emily Chilcoat

Volunteer Coordinator

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.

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Taisha Rocha

Teacher Naturalist: Summer Camp

Taisha has grown up and lived all over the state of Montana. She started at the Montana Audubon Center in the summer of 2016, and loves being a part of the education team. Teaching and being outside are two of her favorite things. She graduated with a BA degree in Elementary Education from Rocky Mountain College here in Billings and is currently returning to school for her degree in Environmental Science. Living in Montana, Taisha is enveloped in nature, and loves everything from hiking, kayaking, fishing, hunting, to ranching. She hopes to continue her work in Environmental Education as long as she can!

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Anthony Sammartano

Big Sky Watershed Corps Member - Land Management

Anthony grew up in the Chaparral Mountains of Southern California, and took a love of the natural world with him as he completed his B.S. in Ecological Restoration from Humbolt State. With his education in hand, he set out traveling across the western U.S. as a seasonal environmental tech, working as an alpine forman/ranger in Colorado, a restoration technician throughout the greater L.A. area, and a field ecologist for Nevada BLM. He also is a big fan of cross-country running, amateur botanizing, backpacking, and reading Science-Fiction.

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Nicole Eckstrom

Teacher Naturalist, Fledglings Nature Preschool

Nicki grew up in western New York State and has loved the outdoors from a young age. She has a B.S. in Environmental Science and several years of experience teaching in the US and abroad. She spent several years leading groups in outdoor experiential education at camps in PA and served in the Peace Corps for almost three years, teaching environmental education and sustainable agriculture in Paraguay and Guatemala. She and her husband moved to Montana in 2018 and have loved exploring their new home. 

neckstr[email protected]

Jennifer Walker

Teacher Naturalist

Born and raised in Montana and Wyoming, Jenny’s best memories of childhood include time spent in the Big Horn Mountains near Burgess Junction.  She is a graduate of Rocky Mountain College, majoring in Psychology and Sociology and is a budding Master Naturalist.  She loves all adventures but most of all trips with her family to the National Parks.  Jenny also serves as the Program Director of Jane Ferguson Wilderness Adventures, a non-profit leading youth into the Beartooth Wilderness for backpacking experiences.   Jenny is always excited to share her curiosity and love of nature with others.

 

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Krista Cunningham

Teacher Naturalist

A Montana native, Krista grew up in Bozeman and Billings.  After high school, she attended the United States Air Force Academy before getting her degree in science education.  She has been a classroom teacher since 2003, starting her career teaching students of military families in Japan.  She has also taught science in Missoula, Florence, and at West High in Billings.  Krista and her husband have three boys and can often be found rambling the hills of Montana, hiking in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.

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Ashley Laukhuf

Teacher Naturalist

Ashley grew up the Great Lake state of Michigan where she got her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Environment at the University of Michigan. After being an environmental education intern at The Creature Conservancy in Ann Arbor, she fell in love with how environmental education fosters commitment to conservation ethics, environmental justice, and earth stewardship. Ashley moved to Billings to join the ANTS program team. She looks forward to experiencing all the outdoor activities the beautiful state of Montana has to offer with her significant other Hunter and to learning more from the Audubon community.

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Seasonal Staff

Gabi Morey – Fall 2019 [email protected]

 

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