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Young Professionals Advisory Council

Young Professionals Advisory Council

The goal of Houston Audubon's Young Professionals Advisory Council (YPAC) is to engage the next generation of conservationists and to build awareness of Houston Audubon’s mission among young professionals. YPAC members have the chance to make a significant impact in the world of bird conservation and play an important role in enhancing wildlife habitat.

The inaugural Young Professionals Advisory Council kicked off in 2019 during Houston Audubon’s 50th anniversary year with 17 dedicated members. This volunteer opportunity was created by staff members Zineera Seth and Anna Vallery in late 2018 in response to a lack of opportunities for young people to contribute their professional skills to promote conservation. YPAC projects aim to engage the community and spread awareness about bird conservation in addition to hands-on conservation actions. This group of passionate young conservationists launched the first ever Houston Bird Week and successfully ran the community-wide Bird of Houston contest, in which the public selected the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron to represent Houston. Since then, the YPAC has continued to accomplish big things, such as the launch of the Bird-Friendly Spaces program, community engagement at local parks and events throughout the city, adult programming research and planning, and growing the impact of Houston Bird Week each year.

If you're interested in applying for YPAC, the application period begins in October for the following calendar year. It is a one-year term with the option to re-apply. Please sign up for our YP email list at the bottom of this page to receive a notification when applications go live and for invitations to young professionals events. Please direct any questions to

YPAC 2023 Members

Click on the member's name or photo for their bio.



YPAC Emeritus Members

Thank you to our past YPAC members that have helped us make a difference in bird conservation through hands-on conservation work and public engagement.

Name Years Served
Patrick Bolgren 2019
Daniel Crump 2019
Claire Everett 2019
Hannah Muegge 2019
Shantelle Patterson 2019
Christina Neveu 2019
Andy Newman 2019
Dana Scanes 2019
Amanda Woomer 2019
Tony Dang 2019-2020
Ian Wesley Gapp 2019-2020
Andrew Martinez 2019-2020
Cassidy Kempf 2019-2021
Taylor Rhoades 2019-2021
Stuart Nelson 2019-2022
Carl Nooteboom 2019-2022
Marissa Buschow 2020
Paul DiFiore 2020
Chris Hammond 2020
Karastin Katusin 2020
Elise Nishikawa 2020
Sheila Scott 2020
Halli Macdonald 2020-2021
John Scaramucci 2020-2021
Chris Bick 2021
Melissa D'Mello 2021
Hannah Gross 2021
Catherine Lee Clarke 2021-2022
Kelly Martin 2021-2022
Taran M. Jensvold 2022
Colleen Cavanaugh 2022