Learn more about the 2020 Board Nominees by reading their bios below! Election will take place at the virtual May Member Meeting– more details for that meeting coming soon. In addition to board elections, members will be voting on changes to the organization bylaws–see the revisions to the bylaws here.
Chris is a native Austinite and has been birding since he got out of law school 40 years ago. He has been a member of Travis Audubon for over 25 years. He is a Master Birder as well as a Master Naturalist, and has been leading the monthly bird walk at Commons Ford Ranch for Travis Audubon since September 2019. Chris has also led walks at Wild Basin for several years, and served for a few years on the board of the Hill Country Conservancy. The goals of Travis Audubon, including land conservation, environmental education, and conservation advocacy have been passions of his for many years. Now that he is about to retire, he would like to devote more of his time to doing what he can to further those goals. Chris has been nominated for a two-year term to fill an existing vacancy on Travis Audubon’s Board of Directors.
Flo caught the birding bug in 2012 after an amazing warbler fallout at High Island. Since that time, she has taken many Travis Audubon classes and participated in numerous field trips. Flo has grown to treasure the amazing community of birders that we have here in Austin and is inspired by their tireless efforts. She retired from AISD in 2018 where she had worked for 13 years as an architect/project manager in the Construction Management Department. Since retiring, she completed the Capital Area Master Naturalist training program in 2019. Her volunteer work associated with CAMN includes Christmas Bird Counts and Hornsby Bend Bird surveys, as well as work with the COA Wildlands at Vireo Preserve and seed collection on Onion Creek. Flo has worked with the Kyles and Travis Audubon to develop a group of Chimney Swift Tower ambassadors. She has been a gardener at Deep Eddy Community Garden since 2004 and served as site coordinator there for 6 years. She has two young grandchildren that live in Austin and is doing her best to make sure they have a strong connection to the natural world. Flo has been nominated for a three-year term on Travis Audubon’s Board of Directors.
Celeste is a small animal veterinarian, mostly retired. She was sole owner owner of a relatively large, fast-paced veterinary hospital which she sold in 2017. Prior to that, she served as medical director of a local emergency clinic for 6 years, started up and was part-owner of an animal blood bank, and also helped her husband run a tropical plant nursery for several years. Celeste has been involved with TAS for several years. She has held an annual Birdathon event on her property in Leander since 2015, helped last year with the Baker Sanctuary Birdathon, and this year will be leading three Birdathon events. She has participated extensively in Golden-cheeked Warbler re-sighting surveys at Baker Sanctuary and has completed the Master Birder Class among other TAS classes. Celeste brings enthusiasm, energy, and cheerfulness, and is a good organizer and communicator. She absolutely loves TAS and am always looking for ways to contribute and be of service. Celeste has been nominated for a three-year term on Travis Audubon’s Board of Directors.
Eric grew up in the Houston suburbs, and camping trips with his family instilled a love of nature at an early age. After forays into collecting insects and catching snakes in the backyard, Eric was bitten by the birding bug in 1981 at age 13. Encouraged by his father and other kind mentors, his birding obsession was fueled by growing up in one of North America’s top birding destinations. While still in high school, Eric was leading field trips for his local birding club, compiling a Christmas Bird Count, and even operating the Texas Coast Rare Bird Alert (in the days of cassette tape answering machines). Since moving to Austin to attend college, Eric has continued to bird Texas extensively and expanded his sights (and life list) with international trips in South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. He is now leading birding trips in Central and South America. Eric has been a long-time field trip leader for Travis Audubon and teaches birding classes, including the perennially-popular shorebird class. He is the coordinator for the monthly Hornsby Bend field trip. Eric received a B.A. from UT-Austin and is a graduate of the Plan II Honors Program. He works as an Environmental Policy Manager for Austin Energy. Eric is currently a member of the Board and has been nominated for re-election for a three-year term.
Mark is a native Texan who worked his entire career in emergency care, with a MSN from UT Austin. He served as Chief Flight Nurse for Austin’s STARFlight in the 80s, Director of Emergency/Trauma Services in the 90s, and finished his career as a Nurse Practitioner in the same ED, retiring in 2016. Mark has been active in the Austin community, as a founding member of the Capital Area Trauma Regional Advisory Committee, member of the Austin City Council Brackenridge/Seton Lease Advisory Committee, and adjunct faculty at the UT School of Nursing. Most recently, he served as President of the Capital Area Master Naturalists.
Mark developed a strong interest in the outdoors while hunting and fishing with his father throughout Texas. He has volunteered with a number of conservation organizations, including the Nature Conservancy and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. He has learned that conservation is best promoted through broad coalitions of birders, naturalists, anglers, and hunters. Mark and his wife are avid travelers, and enjoy wildlife photography. As a Master Naturalist, he has participated in trail building, leading guided hikes on Austin Wildlands properties, and workdays in local sanctuaries. His work with Travis Audubon has focused on the Sanctuary and Advocacy Committees. He is a member of the Chaetura Canyon Management Committee and Chair of the Blair Woods Core Team. Mark is currently a member of the Board and has been nominated for re-election for a three-year term.