Board of Directors
Detroit Audubon is supported by a dedicated Board of Directors who are responsible for strategically advancing the shared goals and visions of Detroit Audubon and its members. Our board members are a diverse group of experienced professionals and community organizers whose guidance drives Detroit Audubon forward. We are grateful for their experience and expertise related to conservation management, non-profit development, project management, business, law, community engagement, communications, and more. See below for our current members.
Rochelle has been the vice-president for the last five years, and is a past president of Detroit Audubon. She has served as co-chair of the Annual Conservation Conference and Awards Committee, initiated and coordinated the annual Volunteer and Partners Appreciation Dinner, was the point person with the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy partnership that produced the birding interpretive station at Gabriel Richard Park along the Riverwalk, and has been a major fundraiser for Detroit Audubon. She has also volunteered with the Huron River Watershed Council and the Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy.
Amy is the new Nature Centers Director for the Detroit Zoological Society and has overseen programming at the Belle Isle Nature Center since October, 2015. Previously she was a Metro-Detroit science teacher focused on gardening clubs, recycling clubs, STEM programs, and connecting city children with nature. She has a B.S in Education (Wayne State) and a Master’s in Instructional Technology (Saginaw Valley State University).
I’ve always loved spending time outside, but it wasn’t until 2012 that I became a birder. That morning I was running and saw what I learned later was a Barred Owl. I went home and looked through an old bird book I happened to have. Luckily the owl was easy to identify. The joy of spotting something in the wild and then being able to name it was electrifying, and I was hooked. Through my birding, I became more passionate about conservation. Because of this, I decided to go back to school and am now a PhD student in Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. I am currently researching the impact of dam construction on communities and the environment in Northeast Brazil. Though school keeps me busy, I remain an avid birder and committed to the Detroit Audubon board and the Conservation Committee. I am proud to be part of an organization at the forefront of environmental protection and stewardship in Southeast Michigan.
Treasurer & Chair of Finance Committee
Tom is the President of ECO PHYSICS, INC., US distributor for ECO PHYSICS AG, a Swiss manufacturer of gas measurement instruments for air pollution and atmospheric research, and pulmonary function research. He is a graduate of Miami University with a degree in zoology and chemistry. Tom is active in his local community and loves the outdoors and nature. His family has enjoyed the annual DAS Memorial Day “Bird Camp” weekend on Loon Lake for the past ten years. Tom is the Chair of Detroit Audubon’s Finance Committee. He has served on the Leslie Science Center board of directors, an Ann Arbor non-profit nature center that provides environmental education programming for youth and the general public. He also served three years on the board of the Ecumenical Campus and International Residence Center (ECIR) including one year as president. The Ecumenical Center & International Residence provides housing for 45 international students and scholars in Ann Arbor. He currently serves as a trustee (board member) of the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum, a very well run and successful organization. He resides in Ann Arbor with his wife and family.
Director & Chair of Conservation Committee
Diane is a film producer who lives in Detroit. She enjoys birding with Detroit Audubon and regularly goes birdwatching on Belle Isle. An ardent environmentalist, she believes it’s critical to protect flyways and habitat and is active in promoting solar energy in the Detroit area. She chairs our Conservation Committee which has done great things in the few months she has been at the helm of this long dormant committee. They are working in partnership with Urban Neighborhood Initiatives (UNI) to turn vacant lots into bird habitat including writing a section of a handbook of gardening devoted to bird habitat creation and native plants, as well as partnering on workshops. Under her guidance, Detroit Aubudon has taken stand against car races on Belle Isle, and has spoken at public hearings on leaving grasslands unmowed on Belle Isle. She spent a day filming Detroit Audubon research volunteer, Erin Rowan, doing her population surveys by boat and banding Black Tern chicks and adults. For more info see: cheklich.com, http://www.kresgeartsindetroit.org/portfolio-posts/diane-cheklich, http://www.artxdetroit.com/art-x-detroit-2015/artists/diane-cheklich/, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1282690/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVc-hc34HWA, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7uCm7BiTjg
James N. Bull
Director, Fund Development and Environmental Policy Coordinator, Field Trip Co-Coordinator, Flyway Editor, and Environmental Education Advisor
I hold a B.S. in Biology and Earth Science, a Master’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife, and Ph.D.in Natural Resources. I have worked as a biologist or naturalist with several private nature centers, the U.S. Forest Service (Kirtland’s Warbler naturalist), and the National Park Service. I served as Assistant Director of the Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center (Antioch University), and Executive Director of the Clinton River Watershed Council. Currently, I teach environmental science, biology, and nutrition at Wayne County Community College and Macomb Community College. I have served as a board member of several organizations, including the North American Association of Environmental Education, Friends of the Detroit River, and the International Wildlife Refuge Alliance. I am serving my third (nonconsecutive) term as President of Detroit Audubon Society. I have chaired the Memorial Day Weekend Nature Getaway, Fundraising Committee, Annual Conservation Conference and Awards Committee, and Downriver Program Committee. I also work as facilitator of the Rockwood Christmas Bird Count and field trip leader. I would like to see Detroit Audubon more effectively engage its 6,000+ members, reconstitute and reinvigorate our committees, and be more effective and influential in environmental advocacy. We have hired a Program Coordinator and Research Coordinator/Office Administrator with the last two years. I can feel the momentum building and hope you will help us move Detroit Audubon forward. I think we are getting ready to soar, don’t you?
Director & Chair of Education and Young Birders Committees
Sara Srinivasan is a Manager of Conservation Planning at the Wildlife Habitat Council coordinating multiple-stakeholder habitat projects across the state of Michigan. She served as Detroit Audubon’s Program Coordinator from April through December 2016 and continues to help guide our education and outreach programs as a chair of our Education Committee and as a volunteer. Sara holds an M.S. in Environmental Behavior, Education & Communication from the University of Michigan School of Environment & Sustainability and a B.S. in Education from Wayne State University. She is certified to teach several environmental education programs including Flying Wild, Project Wild, Project Wild Aquatic, Project Learning Tree, and Project WET. Sara has worked as a bird bander at Rouge River Bird Observatory, an environmental educator at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, and interpreter at the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Environmental Interpretive Center. She is an effective networker and established several important partnerships that formed the foundation of many of our current programs. Follow her on Twitter here.
Rosann Kovalcik, a Grosse Pointe Woods resident, has been the owner of Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in that same city for twenty-four years. During that time, Rosann has been “Bringing People and Nature Together” in a variety of ways, leading bird walks at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House and at Elmwood Cemetery and donating bird feeding supplies to local nature centers. She uses her knowledge as a Master Gardener to give educational presentations aimed at creating bird-friendly spaces through the use of native plants. Rosann also serves on the Board of Michigan Audubon. Aside from birding and gardening, Rosann enjoys camping, kayaking and spending time with her family. For more information: https://grossepointewoods.wbu.com/
Gisela is a retired hospital lab technician and serves as Detroit Audubon’s representative on the Seven Ponds Nature Center Board of Directors, and previously represented Detroit Audubon on the Michigan Environmental Council Board of Directors. In the past she served as Detroit Audubon’s Conservation Chairperson. She is passionate about environmental policy and is very active in land preservation issues. She was given the volunteer of the year award by Oakland County Parks in 2015.
April has worked in Higher Education for many years. While attending Central Michigan University she served as a Resident Advisor for the Division of Resident Life. After College, she continued working in Higher Education at Wayne County Community College District as a Student Services Specialist. In 2002 she then joined the Student Services Academic Advising Team immersing herself in the Wayne County Community. After several years working as an Academic Advisor, April then transitioned into the role of Executive Dean of Instructional Support for Educational Affairs working with Faculty. Through her work experience at Wayne County Community College District, April has developed a passion for advising students, assisting them in reaching their personal, career, and educational goals. She has welcomed the opportunity to continue her work with the community, faculty and students at WCCCD and was recently promoted to Eastern Campus Vice President of Student Services/ Enrollment Management at Wayne County Community College District. April writes: “Because of these experiences and skills I believe that I can help Detroit Audubon connect with students and faculty in higher education. I look forward to continuing your mission to promote awareness and protection of the environment through education.”
Director & Chair of Sanctuary Committee
Jack has served on the Detroit Audubon Board for over 20 years—two as President—and is Chair of the Sanctuary Committee. He founded the Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy and has worked to protect over 4,000 acres in southeast Michigan. Jack has also been active in several other environmental organizations, including Holliday Nature Preserve Association and Friends of the Rouge. In the summer of 2015 a new Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy Preserve was named in his honor.
Director & Legal Counsel
Eric first became acquainted with Detroit Audubon through his daughter, Bridget who was the 2014 winner of Detroit Audubon’s Young Birder’s Scholarship. He is a practicing attorney and is on the board of Schoolcraft College.
Director & Chair of Safe Passage Great Lakes Committee
Heidi says that she is a mild-mannered tech at an automotive startup who moonlights as a bird window collision monitor. She began birding in 1998 but her passion for preserving dead birds began in 2003. Since then, her freezer list has spanned three states and 500+ birds of over 130 species donated to UC Santa Cruz, Texas A&M University, and the University of Michigan. Heidi has been a librarian, zookeeper, rehabber, wind farm monitor, bird guide, and nature blogger in Texas (bigbendnature.com). She tends the Facebook groups “Dead Birds (for Science!)” and “The Auk-ward”. Heidi serves as a coordinator as well as monitor with Washtenaw Safe Passage and has recently agreed to chair Detroit Audubon’s Safe Passage Committee. She resides in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Terra, our former Program Coordinator, graduated from Middlebury College with a degree in Conservation Biology, a minor in Elementary Education, and holds two teaching certificates. At New York City Audubon she conducted the “Be A Good Egg” outreach program at public beaches about protecting shorebird nests. She also was lead summer counselor for a Massachusetts Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary. She researched the biomechanics of dragonfly flight at Harvard’s field station, conducted research on bird safe glass at the Bronx Zoo, and has bird banding experience. We are so grateful to Terra for all her hard work and determination taking Detroit Audubon’s social media presence and education and outreach efforts to the next level. Terra is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture at University of Michigan.