Audubon Alaska’s new executive director Natalie Dawson. (Courtesy Photo | Audubon Alaska)

Audubon Alaska’s new executive director Natalie Dawson. (Courtesy Photo | Audubon Alaska)

Audubon hires new Alaska director

Alaska’s new chief birder.

Audubon Alaska, the Alaska state office of the National Audubon Society, has a new executive director.

Natalie Dawson, a former wilderness studies professor at the University of Montana, was recently hired to the post, according to a press release sent out on Wednesday. Dawson previously worked in Alaska as a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“I’m excited to return to Alaska, amid the communities, salmon-rich rivers, old-growth rainforests, Arctic ranges, and relationships that have built my conservation ethic over decades,” Dawson said in a statement. “The natural resource challenges facing Alaska are incredible opportunities to grow Audubon Alaska’s impressive science portfolio and outreach activities into new places, with new people, in new directions.”

Dawson succeeds Nils Warnock, who is now the director of conservation science at Audubon Canyon Ranch in California. Warnock was the executive director of Audubon Alaska for eight years.

Alaska Audubon is based in Anchorage and lists eight staff members on its website.

“Natalie’s expansive scientific credentials, combined with a commitment to engage people in policy solutions is just what we need to address the conservation challenges facing us today,” said David O’Neill, chief conservation officer for National Audubon Society. “We are thrilled to have her join our talented Alaska team.”

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