Detroit Audubon has three dedicated staff members that work diligently to run our education programs, field trips, community science projects, conservation programs, research efforts, and office administration.
Our new Executive Director, Gretchen Abrams, brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in environmental education and 15 years of management experience at local, national, and international non-profits to Detroit Audubon. Gretchen has a proven record of creating and growing programs that are not only beneficial for physical and mental well-being, but essential to nurturing future advocates, conservationists, and stewards of birds and the environment we share. We are excited to have her at the helm, leading Detroit Audubon into a new era.
Conservation and Research Coordinator
Our Conservation and Research Coordinator, Ava Landgraf, began working with Detroit Audubon in 2016 as an intern through Semester in Detroit at the University of Michigan. Ava graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science focusing on Animal Conservation and Behavior. From there, she went on to study endangered parrot nesting behavior in Bolivia with the World Parrot Trust. She continued her work with birds at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Texas and interned at the National Aviary through their education and programs department. Ava spent 3 summers working as a wild bird rehabilitator at the Bird Center of Michigan. While working at the Bird Center, she continued to volunteer for Detroit Audubon, assisting with bird point counts, Black Tern banding, the Christmas Bird Count, and Detroit Bird City planning. Now, after all her volunteer work, she is leading these programs! Ava’s goal is to make experiences with nature accessible for all people. Her favorite bird is the underappreciated Rock Dove.
Program Coordinator/Office Administrator
Our Program Coordinator/Office Administrator, Brittany Leick, graduated from Unity College in Maine with a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Biology. Every summer in college, she worked at a series of internships in New Hampshire (with Karner Blue Butterflies), in Maine (with Atlantic Puffins, Black Guillemots, Razorbills and three species of terns), in Minnesota (with Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge visitor services) and in Iowa (with skipper butterflies). Since college, she’s worked with the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa, as a lab technician with SGS Environmental Services, helped rescue birds from buildings with Safe Haven Wildlife Removal, managed invasive species with Cardno, and was the Program Coordinator for River Raisin Institute for the last three years.
After moving to Michigan in 2017, Brittany began working with Detroit Audubon as a volunteer helping with Black Tern banding and the Winter Waterfowl Count. ‘I’ve always wanted to work with animals, but didn’t know how much I loved birds until I worked with seabirds off the coast of Maine. It’s an absolutely amazing opportunity to finally be able to dive back into working with and educating people about birds and their importance.’ Her favorite bird is the Chimney Swift!