Montana Audubon Staff | Montana Audubon


About Us

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

MENU

Montana Audubon 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.

[email protected]

Emily Chilcoat

Audubon Center Director

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.

[email protected]

Christian Meny

Director of Conservation Ranching

Christian comes with a swath of bird-related experience including the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions program (MT IMBCR), the World Wildlife Fund Sustainable Ranching Initiative (WWF-SRI), and the WWF Ranch Systems and Viability Planning Network program (WWF-RSVP). Not to mention his involvement with Montana’s very own MPG Ranch. His ability to connect people to the land will be indispensable as the Montana Audubon works towards connecting land owners and wildlife.

An avid outdoorsman, Christian grew up in wooded Pennsylvania. Moving to Montana in 2006, some of his noteworthy accomplishments include contributing to the Statewide Management Plan for Common Loons as well as the USGS grizzly bear DNA project in the Cabinet/Yaak ecosystem. He also spent an impressive 10 years with the IMBCR (Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions). Jay Carlisle, Research Director of IMBCR, says that “…Christian leaving is a big loss…” and “…he’s given so much of himself to the program over the last decade.”

The Audubon Conservation Ranching program empowers consumers to support conservation by selecting beef products bearing the Audubon seal, knowing that these products come from lands where grazing and management practices ensure diverse bird habitat, healthy soils, abundant pollinators, and cleaner waters. Audubon’s “green seal” is the premiere certification for products that have positive impacts on grassland bird habitat and grassland ecosystems.

[email protected]

Amy Seaman

Director of Policy & Science

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, looping around from Forsyth to Glasgow back to Broadus, and 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.

[email protected]

Kristin Sewak

Director of Development and Communications

Kristin was born and raised in the Ruffed Grouse state of Pennsylvania – amidst the old Appalachian Mountains between Albert Gallatin’s Friendship Hill and John James Audubon’s Mill Grove. Long before moving to Montana in 2014 to serve as ED of Montana Watershed Coordination Council, she served two years in AmeriCorps, conducting riparian greenway studies along Allegheny and Juniata Rivers. She founded Natural Biodiversity, which prompted her experience in conservation nonprofit leadership and fundraising. Kristin holds a BS in Ecology from Pitt and an MS in Organizational Leadership from Geneva College, as well as a CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive). She also co-authored Mycelial Mayhem: Growing Mushrooms for Fun, Profit and Companion Planting, New Society Publishers, British Columbia. Kristin lives in Wolf Creek with her 15-year-old son Sage and has two grown kids, son Aedan (20) and daughter Cassidy (19). She is grateful to be living and working in the wonderfully wild state of Montana for such a great cause!

[email protected]

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 outdoors.

[email protected]

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.

[email protected]

Cassidy Dinkel

Volunteer Coordinator

Cassidy was born and raised Montana. He grew up in Billings and lived in Northwest Montana for 2 years while attending Flathead Valley Community College. He transferred to Montana State University-Billings and finished his Bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Adventure Leadership in 2020. While in college he interned at the Montana Audubon Center and fell in love with the area and the mission. Cassidy has always believed that happiness can be tied to introducing people into the outdoors. His goal is to start his own nonprofit organization that helps people with mental health issues, Veterans, and at-risk youth get into the backcountry. He has worked as an Interpretive Ranger for Tippet Rise Art Center, Recreation Manager for Alternatives Inc., and a Case Manager for the Tumbleweed Runaway Program.

[email protected]

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.

[email protected]

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.

[email protected]

Taisha Haggard

Audubon Naturalist in the Schools (ANTS) Coordinator

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!

[email protected]

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.

[email protected]

Joanna Haddon

Executive Assistant

Joanna brings 14 years of experience in the nonprofit world to Montana Audubon. She is a native Montanan and a UM graduate. She has been married to her husband, Steve, for 37 years. Their 25-year-old son, Jackson, is an Air Force veteran and a Carroll College graduate. She and her family moved from Missoula to Helena in 2001. It was with the move that Joanna’s interest in birds began to get serious, especially because their house was next to Helena Reservoir’s regulating canal. She discovered red-winged blackbirds flocking to nearby fields and mallard ducks raising broods of chicks every spring. Joanna’s career includes time in the legal and medical fields, but she has most enjoyed working as an Executive Assistant in the nonprofit world. She is excited to be a part of Montana Audubon’s community and learning more about birds!

[email protected]

Robin Larson

Office Manager

A native Montanan, Robin grew up on her father’s farm and ranch operation north of Choteau, along the Rocky Mountain Front. A country girl at heart, she appreciates nature and all living things! After graduating from Choteau High School, Robin attended the University of Montana where she majored in music with an emphasis on piano performance. She later taught piano lessons in Helena and also studied social sciences at Carroll College for a short time. Her work experience in Helena includes many years with several nonprofits. During her free time, Robin still enjoys playing the piano and observing nature.

[email protected]

Malia Agee

BSWS - Engagement Coordinator

Malia grew up in northeast Nebraska right where Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota meet. Every summer they would go to northern Minnesota and hang out at a lake where she learned to love the outdoors. Once Malia graduated high school, they went to Iowa State University with the intention of becoming a veterinarian, however after one semester they realized that field was not for them. During their time at college, they came to western Montana for two different classes where they got to do Citizen Science and count bighorn sheep and mountain goats in Glacier National Park and drive and camp in Yellowstone National Park and see too many animals to shake a stick at. After graduating with their BS from Iowa State University in Animal Ecology, Malia came back to Montana for the Big Sky Watershed Corps position at Montana Audubon office in Helena. Malia likes to spend her time outside, seeing wildlife, being with her cat, playing with her mom’s dogs, and watching movies. 

[email protected]

Boaz (Bo) Crees

Avian Specialist

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.

[email protected]

Peter Dudley

Conservation Ranching Specialist

Peter developed a love for the natural world while growing up at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Charlottesville, VA. After graduating from Haverford College in 2018 with a B.A. in Anthropology and an Environmental Studies minor, he went on to work in public horticulture at West Laurel Hill Cemetery and Chanticleer Garden in Philadelphia, PA. Peter took a leap of faith last year and accepted a Conservation Fellowship with Montana Conservation Corps that placed him with the Forest Service Trail Crew in Hungry Horse, MT.  Peter is looking forward to working on Montana Audubon’s Conservation Ranching Program out of Helena, which represents an intersection of his interests in native plants, resource conservation, and agroecology. In his free time, you can find him hiking, birding, playing music, or searching for the few squash courts of Montana.

[email protected]

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.

Join Our Online Network

By joining our online network, you will receive timely conservation updates, action alerts, legislative news, our monthly eNews, information about upcoming events and more.

Make an Online Donation & Support Our Efforts

Montana Audubon depends on your financial support to continue our ambitious conservation work around the state.

Take Action

Take action on timely conservation issues Montana Audubon is engaged with. Your help will protect Montana’s birds and other wildlife into the future.

Montana Audubon - © Copyright 2023 All Rights Reserved