Audubon Vermont Staff photo 2021 - Twelve people, bundled up for winter, and wearing COVID masks pose for a group photo in the winter woods in Vermont. Three dogs join the photo.
Audubon Vermont Staff photo 2021 - Twelve people, bundled up for winter, and wearing COVID masks pose for a group photo in the winter woods in Vermont. Three dogs join the photo.
About Us


Meet the Audubon Vermont Staff!!
Audubon Vermont Staff: Back row (left to right): Mark LaBarr, Samantha Beck, Ciara Fagan, Debbie Archer, David Mears, Kim Guertin, Steve Hagenbuch. Front row (left to right): Margaret Fowle, Cassie Wolfanger, Gwendolyn Causer, Emily Kaplita, Rae Bronenkant. Dogs (left to right): Penny, Eddy, Eddy's brother Photo: Audubon Vermont
Audubon Vermont Staff: Back row (left to right): Mark LaBarr, Samantha Beck, Ciara Fagan, Debbie Archer, David Mears, Kim Guertin, Steve Hagenbuch. Front row (left to right): Margaret Fowle, Cassie Wolfanger, Gwendolyn Causer, Emily Kaplita, Rae Bronenkant. Dogs (left to right): Penny, Eddy, Eddy's brother 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, conservation, and policy action!

Debbie Archer 
Education Program Manager
802-434-3068 ext: 13 |
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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 happily putting down roots here in Vermont and working for Audubon. Debbie joined the education team in 2015 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 lives in Montpelier where she continues to be excited to see and experience all that Vermont has to offer during each of its seasons.  

Jacob Crawford

Community Science and Chapter Engagement AmeriCorps Member
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Jacob is a lifelong outdoors person who grew up hunting and fishing in the hills of Jericho, VT. His interest in birds, birding, and conservation took root in middle school, but it wasn’t until his freshman year, as a Wildlife and Fisheries Biology undergraduate student at the University of Vermont (UVM), that his passion and curiosity really began to reach for the skies. In the spring of 2022, Jacob graduated from UVM with a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and minors in Forestry and Geospatial Technologies (GIS) and spent the summer of 2022 working as the Forest Conservation Intern with Audubon Vermont. Jacob also volunteers as the Chair of the Communications Committee with the Green Mountain Audubon Society and as a regional checklist reviewer for Chittenden County, VT. A naturalist at heart, Jacob loves to learn about all organisms and while birds and trees are his areas of expertise, you may also find him in the field looking for amphibians, fish, moths, butterflies, and syrphids (flower or hover flies). Jacob is grateful for the opportunity to share his passions and knowledge with landowners around the state and to promote forest management practices that keep birds and healthy forests in mind.

Tim Duclos
Forest Program Senior Associate
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Tim is a native Vermonter with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Vermont and Master of Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His passion for conservation extends back to teenage years spent at the Green Mountain Conservation Camps. In times since, he has worked with birds in almost every role he has held in his career. His passion for Northern Forest birds really took flight after becoming involved with the work of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, where he fell in love with the Bicknell’s Thrush and mountain conservation. This led to his graduate studies where Tim conducted pioneering research with the USGS Climate Adaptation Science Center and USFS Northern Forest Research Station investigating the role that climate and forests play in shaping the avian communities of the White Mountains of New Hampshire. After graduate school, Tim returned to Vermont where he combined his knowledge of forest birds with the field of forestry at Merck Forest & Farmland Center.

For Tim, his passion for birds is rooted in the functional application of the story that avian diversity tells in terms of ecosystem health - and the connections that all people can have with conservation through our feathered friends. Growing up off-the-grid in rural Vermont his interest in avian conservation also directly relates to the importance of working lands. Today, he continues this legacy himself, homesteading on 35 acres in Dorset, Vermont with his fiancé Carolyn and their pup, Rodeo. Beside working the land, Tim spends his free time occupied by many passions involving the mountains, the waters, and woods.

Margaret Fowle
Senior Conservation Biologist 
802-434-3068 ext: 22 |
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Margaret Fowle is a senior conservation biologist with Audubon Vermont's Priority Bird and Working Lands Initiatives. Prior to coming to Audubon in 2009, Margaret coordinated Peregrine Falcon and Bald Eagle recovery efforts in Vermont. Margaret also works with private landowners to promote management activities that enhance grassland, shrubland, and farmland habitats for priority bird species. 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 
802-434-3068 ext: 12 |
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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 
 802-434-3068 ext: 21 |
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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 their two children live on an 1850's farm in Waterbury Center, VT. 

Sarah Hooghuis
(she/her, they/them) 
Youth Conservation Leadership Coordinator 
802-434-3068 ext: 20 | 
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Sarah grew up in Connecticut and graduated from Skidmore College with a BA in Environmental Studies. They grew up playing in the streams and woods surrounding their home and found a love of birding later in life while driving across the country with their partner. Sarah discovered a love of birds later in life, her spark bird was a Steller’s Jay in Colorado - from then on she didn’t leave for a walk without a bird guide and binoculars. Prior to joining our team as the Youth Conservation Leadership Coordinator, they served as our Outreach and Education Americorps member from 2019-2021, and returned in the winter of 2022 as a sugaring assistant for our bird-friendly maple syrup production. They come to this position with six years of experience in environmental education and communications. 

Sarah is Vermont’s Climate Watch coordinator, a nationwide community science program in which volunteers monitor an area for target bird species and collect data that can help ornithologists understand how birds are responding to climate change and shifting their ranges. She also is a certified Local Phenology Leader through Nature’s Notebook, a community science project that tracks the timing of life cycle events for plants and birds. 

Sarah describes themself as an amateur naturalist with a desire to sponge up as much knowledge about the natural world as possible. They are excited to be back at Audubon Vermont working to provide opportunities for high school and college-aged youth around the state to engage in environmental conservation.

Emily Kaplita
Teacher/Naturalist and Administrative Assistant 
802-434-3068 ext: 14 |
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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 
802-434-3068 ext: 10 |
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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.    

Jillian Liner
Director of Conservation
802-434-3068 ext: 24 |
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Joining Audubon Vermont in 2022, Jillian is a newer member of the Vermont team, but she is no stranger to Audubon or Vermont. She spent the last twenty years at Audubon NY—first as the Important Bird Area Coordinator, then Director of Bird Conservation, and most recently Director of Conservation. In those roles she co-authored Important Bird Areas of New York: Habitats Worth Protecting, a reference for groups looking to protect bird habitat, and launched new conservation initiatives focused on the most at-risk birds.

Prior to joining Audubon, Jillian was involved in a variety of research projects in Florida, Minnesota, Montana, and Vermont, many studying raptors. She also worked on landscape inventories and conservation plans to prioritize limited resources on the most vulnerable habitats. Jillian earned her B.A. in biology from Skidmore College and M.S. in Ecological Planning from UVM’s School of Natural Resources. She also participated in the School for Field Studies’ Wildlife Management program in Kenya.

Jillian is thrilled to return to a state she loves and can’t wait to introduce her two boys and pooch to the hikes, slopes, and waterways that she explored with her husband when they last lived in Vermont.

David Mears
Executive Director 
802-434-3068 ext: 11 |
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David joined Audubon in the fall of 2018. He directs Audubon Vermont and in this role, supports the educational and outreach programs based out of the Green Mountain Audubon Center in Huntington. David also coordinates policy work for Audubon Vermont focused on bird species protection in the areas of climate, working lands, water, and bird-friendly communities. Prior to joining Audubon Vermont, he served as the Associate Dean of Environmental Programs at Vermont Law School. In addition to serving as a professor and administrator at Vermont Law School, David has held a number of positions in state and federal government including serving as Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation from 2011 to 2015.  He has also served in Texas state government, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, and the Washington Office of the Attorney General in the Ecology Division.  David has a degree in environmental engineering technology from Cornell University and a Juris Doctor and Masters of Environmental Law and Policy degrees from Vermont Law School. He lives in Montpelier with his wife Nancy and spends his free time in the garden or roaming the hills, rivers, and lakes in the region.  

Amy Simmons
Director Individual Giving

Originally from Kentucky, Amy supports Audubon Vermont remotely from New York City, where she’s lived for most of her adult life. She’s passionate about birds and the environment.  As a child, she and her family watched birds and spent a lot of time enjoying nature.  In the years since, she’s noticed the reduction in the number and diversity of birds and insects and wondered how she could help -- given that her college degree is in history.  After years of working in the corporate world, in 2019 she gave herself permission to “pivot” and do work that was truly meaningful for her, and that brought her to Audubon where she was able to put her business skills to work raising funds to help birds and the places they need.  Amy lives with her partner, Audrey, in Manhattan and spends as much of her free time as possible birding – often in Central Park. She’s thrilled that her work often brings her to Vermont and loves nothing more than squeezing in a bit of local birding while here.

Cassie Wolfanger
Conservation Research Fellow
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Originally from western New York, Cassie Wolfanger spent her childhood exploring the great outdoors and refusing to come inside. She holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Environmental Science and Ecology from SUNY Brockport, where her research focused on land use and restoration influences on coastal wetland biogeochemistry.

Previously, Cassie worked for the Vermont Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit on juvenile lake sturgeon and then for the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. She’s most passionate about the protection of rare, threatened, and endangered species, and keeping natural places wild for their survival. With a firm belief that a connection to nature must be accessible to all, she values engaging historically underserved communities in the conversation around environmental action and policy. Cassie’s goal is to find the best ways we can be stewards of the land, even in human-dominated landscapes, in order to coexist with wildlife, so this fellowship opportunity is very exciting! Currently, Cassie lives in Richmond where her free time is spent hiking with her dog, kayaking, playing women’s rugby, or Nordic skiing. 

Audubon Vermont Staff
Silly staff photo... (2019) Photo: Rae Bronenkant/Audubon Vermont

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