OBA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Brodie Cass Talbott
Brodie grew up in Portland, turning over every rock in Balch Creek. After graduating from Portland State University with a degree in Applied Linguistics and working summers as a wildland firefighter, he began six years of birding and working across Asia, from teaching English in Taiwan, teaching at a monastery in Bhutan, and photographing waste picker communities in Pune, India. To escape the monsoons he spent summers working as a raft guide and managing a rafting company in Maupin, which gave him a particular love of birding Wasco county.
He now resides in Portland with his wife, and combines his love of natural history and his passion for teaching as an educator with Portland Audubon, where he also leads bird walks and ecotours. In his free time, he goes birding.
Candace is an all-around nature nerd who is particularly obsessed with the birds, plants, mushrooms and dragonflies of the Pacific Northwest. She can be found looking up at stars and starlings and down at forbs and fungi, and she also enjoys underwater birding through her snorkel mask. Candace shares a homestead with her partner Mary and their always entertaining family of dog, cat, chickens and honeybees.
Candace has been active in social and environmental justice struggles since 2001, and her concerns represent the strong connection between healthy ecosystems and healthy communities. She currently works as a field biologist and educator at Portland Audubon, measuring bird populations across the state and introducing folks to the wonders of bird biology and habitat conservation.
Tom Myers was born and raised in Massachusetts and received a BA in Philosophy from Colby College in Maine. After serving in the Peace Corps, he joined AmeriCorps and moved to Portland in 2009. He holds a Masters in Teaching from Lewis and Clark College and currently teaches 3rd Grade in Portland. He lives with his husband in Warren.
Tom began birding in 2017 when he bought a kayak and started to explore Smith and Bybee Wetlands and Sauvie Island. Since then, he finds and photographs birds whenever possible and completed a county Big Year in Columbia County in 2019. When he’s not teaching or birding, Tom stays busy hiking, kayaking, keeping honeybees and making pizza.
Rachael Friese was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She began birding in 2013 after discovering a pair of Western Screech Owls in her backyard. Since then, she has served on the board and volunteered with Lane County Audubon and led bird walks for Wild Birds Unlimited. Rachael lives with her family outside of Eugene and tries to make time to enjoy the natural world every day.
Jenny grew up on a farm in Ohio and remembers the bright yellow male American goldfinch as the first bird she noticed as a kid. After college, she took a field biology training course at the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences where she spent several weeks immersed in the forests of Belize studying edge effects. After grad school where she studied fish populations affected by contaminants in the Great Lakes, she moved to the west coast. She spent several years living in southern California and then finally landed in Oregon, where she’s recently become an avid (some say obsessed) birder. When not birding, she works as an ecologist for an environmental consulting firm, has volunteered for Portland Audubon and the Tualatin River NWR, and serves on the Tryon Creek Watershed Council Board.
Kyle Landstra grew up in Jenison, Michigan and received a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Western Michigan University in 2013. Soon after he moved to Chicago, IL to pursue a career in Healthcare IT. Since high school he has dreamt of life in the Pacific Northwest and after visiting a few times between 2015 and 2017 he moved to Portland, OR in 2018. He has called it home ever since.
Kyle has always found time spent in nature to be sacred, healing, and freeing through activities like backpacking, hiking, and camping. Birds were in his periphery (usually recognizing them as a “good omen” for a trip with Red-tailed Hawks soaring overhead or having a Coop/Sharpie visit the campsite), but never a central component of the experience. Once the pandemic hit, being pent up in his apartment working from home, he needed a way to get outside and focus on the constantly changing natural world in his neighborhood without spending time near large groups of people. He recalled from the previous winter that a visiting friend brought a pair of binoculars and his Sibley’s guide for a hike on Sauvie Island and felt inspired. Soon after, this casual activity snowballed into an obsession and became an important part of his life to drop everything at the door and get outside to start looking and listening.
Gerry Meenaghan, M.S., was born and raised in the Rogue Valley, where he developed a love of the outdoors through hiking. He attended University of Oregon, 1995-99. After graduating, he joined the Peace Corps (Kyrgyz Republic, 2000-1). He later lived and worked in Japan for six years (2002-8), where he developed a love for running, swimming and cycling. Gerry returned to Eugene, Oregon, in 2008, where he lives now with his wife and two children.
Gerry is a faculty member at Lane Community College where he coordinates experiential learning courses for students in career-technical programs. Working at LCC gave him the opportunity to take courses on the wildflowers, mushrooms, forest ecology, and birds of Oregon. Birds have taken him many new and interesting places within and beyond Oregon. Fellow birders and mentors have helped introduce him to other natural wonders, including butterflies and rocks of Oregon. The birds, the lists and the photos are a wonderful part of modern birding, but ultimately it’s the people, shared experiences and memories that make it a passion for Gerry. He has benefitted so much from so many kind birding mentors, and is doing his best to pay it forward.
Gerry volunteers with City of Eugene Parks, Willamette National Forest, and Lane County Audubon, among others. Particular interest areas for Gerry include motorless birding, birding with kids, and the intersectionality of birding and other outdoor recreational activities, e.g., birding while canoeing, birding while rockhounding, birding while Nordic skiing, etc.
Robert Lockett has been a birder since the age of 12. After retiring from a career in commercial printing, he has increased his foreign travel, which is always focused on birding. The COVID pandemic has curtailed that travel, so he’s doing more Oregon birding–and bird photography–while slowly building his Oregon country list numbers. Robert has been a long-time Portland Audubon volunteer and is active in the Portland Peace Corps Association.