Audubon Vermont Staff
About Us


Meet the Audubon Vermont Staff!!
Audubon Vermont Staff: (left to right) Gwendolyn Causer, Emily Kaplita, Debbie Archer, Steve Hagenbuch, Mark LaBarr, Jim Shallow, Kim Guertin, Margaret Fowle, Rae Bronenkant Photo: Audubon Vermont
About Us


Meet the Audubon Vermont Staff!!

We are a group of people who are passionate about our work and believe in the power of education and conservation!

Debbie Archer - Teacher/Naturalist and Education Program Coordinator

Growing up in a military family, Debbie moved around the country throughout her childhood. But, as a fourth-grader, she made a declaration that she would live in Vermont when she grew up. Many years later she is very happy to be putting down roots here in Vermont and working for Audubon. Debbie joins the education team with a Master of Science in Environmental Science from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She gained experience in outdoor education working as an educator, naturalist, and camp program manager at environmental education camps in Alaska and California. She now lives in Montpelier where she is excited to see and experience all that Vermont has to offer during each of its seasons.

Rae Bronenkant - AmeriCorps Member

Rae grew up in Massachusetts, spending her childhood outside exploring outdoors, which fostered a deep love of the natural world. Rae is a recent graduate from the University of Vermont, with a degree in Environmental Studies. Rae fell in love with teaching at the Marine Science Center in Washington, teaching her very first program about one of her favorite topics, the ocean. Sharing her passion with those students ignited a passion for teaching and environmental education. From that moment forward Rae knew that teaching was the path for her. Rae is excited to be serving in an outdoor classroom environment and teaching nature-based education full time. Rae decided to become an AmeriCorps Member because she wanted to be a part of a group of dedicated, intelligent people and to make a difference in Vermont for an organization which she loves. Rae enjoys playing in the outdoors any chance she can, all year round: skiing all winter and hiking and biking all other seasons. She loves spending time with her best buddy, her 13 year old Labrador.

Gwendolyn Causer - Teacher/Naturalist and Communications Manager

Gwen grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio. Gwen was introduced to the Green Mountain Audubon Center in 2002, diving into the wonderful preschool and family programs with her daughter Ella. She deepened her connection to Audubon as a volunteer with Ella, monitoring Eastern Bluebird nest boxes and Eastern Red-Backed Salamander populations. Gwen began teaching with Audubon in 2005 with the Friends of Forest Birds outreach program for 3rd graders, then got hooked on maple sugaring programs, and has been teaching an ever-widening range of topics ever since. Her first love in nature is botany and she monitors populations of rare plants throughout Vermont as part of New England Wildflower Society's Plant Conservation Volunteers. Gwen lives near Lake Champlain in Burlington with her husband, Gary, daughter, Ella, and dog, Mitzi, and enjoys Nordic skiing, swimming, and skating on "wild" ice.

Margaret Fowle - Conservation Biologist

Margaret is a conservation biologist with Audubon Vermont's Peregrine Falcon Recovery Program and Champlain Valley Bird Initiative. Prior to coming to Audubon in 2009, Margaret coordinated peregrine and bald eagle recovery efforts in Vermont. Margaret also works with private landowners to promote management activities that enhance grassland and shrubland habitats for priority bird species in the Champlain Valley. Margaret obtained her Master's degree in wildlife biology from the University of Vermont, where she studied the population of double-crested cormorants on Lake Champlain. She lives in Huntington with her husband Breck and two daughters Ada and Frances. They enjoy hiking, skiing, biking, and gardening.

Kim Guertin - Green Mountain Audubon Center Director

Kim has worked for Audubon Vermont since 2000 and before that worked for the local Audubon chapter. Nature-based education is her passion and she became the first National Audubon certified teacher-naturalist in the country. Kim now works as the Director of the Green Mountain Audubon Center in Huntington. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.S. in Environmental Studies, with a concentration in Environmental Education. She also attended the School for International Training in Arusha, Tanzania where she studied wildlife, conservation and ecology. Kim lives with her husband and two children in North Duxbury. She enjoys hiking with her dog, skiing out her back door, yoga, and drinking coffee by her woodstove.

Steve Hagenbuch - Conservation Biologist

Steve has worked with Audubon in a variety of roles since 1998. Currently he is a conservation biologist with Audubon Vermont's Forest Bird Initiative. In this position Steve works with private landowners, municipalities, foresters, and land managers to promote management activities that will enhance the habitat value of forestland for priority bird species. In 2009 Steve obtained his master's degree in conservation biology from Antioch University New England. His graduate research investigated the implications of maple sugarbush management for Neotropical migrant songbirds. When not in the woods on business Steve can still be found there - hiking, mountain biking, backcountry skiing, exploring with his kids, or whatever else seems like fun. Steve, his wife Dana, and children Grady & Willa live on an 1850's farm in Waterbury Center, VT.

Emily Kaplita - Teacher/Naturalist and Administrative Assistant

Emily is originally from Connecticut. Vermont has always held a special place in her heart since she was young, and she is happy to now call Vermont home.  Emily has been at Audubon Vermont since 2016, first teaching as summer camp staff, then serving as Audubon Vermont's first AmeriCorps Member, and now joining the Education Team as a Teacher/Naturalist. She has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Biology from Dickinson College. Emily has multiple years of experience in environmental education and research experience with amphibians, mostly the American Toad, and will enhance our education programs more with this knowledge. Emily currently lives in South Burlington.  She enjoys hiking, biking, swimming in fresh water, skiing (both Nordic and downhill), and spending time with family and friends. 

Mark LaBarr - Conservation Program Manager

Mark has been with Audubon for more than 15 years. His work includes coordinating the Vermont Common Tern Recovery Project, the Green Mountain Audubon Center bird banding station and the Audubon Vermont Conservation Internship Program. He has worked on bird projects from Hawaii to Belize studying everything from albatrosses to catbirds. Mark also oversees the stewardship needs at the Green Mountain Audubon Center. Mark has a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Vermont and a Master’s in Education from St. Michael's College. He enjoys spending time with his two children, Owein and Mae, and lives in Huntington.  

Audubon Vermont Staff
Happy Birthday, Steve! Photo: Audubon Vermont

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