Meet Greenwich Audubon Center's New Director, Rochelle Thomas

To the Greenwich Audubon Center community,

It is with great enthusiasm that I introduce myself as the new Center Director of the Greenwich Audubon Center. I come to this role with over a decade of experience and involvement in the world of birds that began on a trip to Costa Rica.

While initially on the hunt for mammals, I was paired with an incredible tour guide with a talent for finding birds. We were in the Monteverde Cloud Forest for all of ten minutes when I looked through his scope and saw a male Resplendent Quetzal. He was resplendent indeed! Once back home in New York City, I quickly learned that my Central Park backyard hosted countless species that, in my opinion, were nearly as dazzling as any tropical trogon. I soon got involved with organizing bird walks and other educational events at Wild Bird Fund, and volunteering my time with The Linnaean Society of New York, where I serve as the president of the Board of Directors.

Recently, I completed a second master’s in Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, where in addition to studying Lesser Snow Geese, I co-led the E3Birders, a student birdwatching group, and helped run a campus wide window collision monitoring program, of which data will be used by the Columbia University facilities department to retrofit high impact windows with bird safe glass. 

I am proud to bring my experiences from higher education, and most recently as the Director of Strategy, Planning and Operations in the Digital Futures Institute at Teachers College to the Greenwich Audubon Center and its community. I plan to make good use of my expertise in fundraising, community development, and programming, developed both in the higher education world and in the environmental and animal welfare nonprofit realm, as well as my commitment to staff development and equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

In just my second week on the job, I had the pleasure of meeting and working alongside the Greenwich Audubon Center’s Teen Board at an invasive plant removal day in January. The passion that these youths have for the environment is invigorating, as is the dedication that the Center’s staff have for the work that we do. As such, I’m especially looking forward to creating more pathways for youth in Greenwich and beyond to take on leadership roles in conservation. 

My appreciation for the Greenwich Audubon Center staff for the way they have welcomed me into this role is immense. I am excited to be a part of their essential conservation and education work, as well as part of the incredible community that exists at and through the Greenwich Audubon Center.

With sincere appreciation and enthusiasm going forward,

Rochelle Thomas

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