Meet our board of directors

John L. Borom, President

Emma Rhodes, Vice President (Outreach and Programs Director)

 Emma Rhodes is the Vice President for Mobile Bay Audubon Society in her home state of Alabama. She has been an avid birder since she was seven and in 2009, while in high school, she began training at a Neotropical migrant bird banding station in Fort Morgan, Alabama and has been a bander on the project ever since. Currently, Emma is a coastal biologist for Birmingham Audubon and has been monitoring coastal birds since 2014 working alongside various nonprofit organizations in Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, and the Bahamas. She worked with Project Puffin (National Audubon’s seabird restoration program in Maine) in 2014 and 2015 as a volunteer research assistant and as an assistant for the Hands-on Bird Science week at Hog Island in 2015. She is now an official Hog Island camp instructor for their Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens. Emma is passionate about birds and conservation and is excited to be starting the Young Birder’s Club with MBAS in the fall of 2019. 

Michelle Cooke, Membership Director
Michelle fell head first into birding during a two week vacation in Costa Rica in 2002. After logging most of the Pennsylvania birds (except the state bird) she moved to Alabama in January to shore up on shore birds. Michelle has volunteered for several Common Loon research trips, but her favorite birds are vultures!

Diana Gardiner, Treasurer 

Diana Gardiner is Treasurer for Mobile Bay Audubon Society. She began actively participating in birding after retiring and moving to Fairhope in 2007. Through a course on birding offered by the Eastern Shore Institute of Lifelong Learning and taught by long time Audubon member and former Board member Celeste Hinds, she learned of the Eastern Shore Birding Group and Mobile Bay Audubon Society. She has been actively involved with both groups since 2009. 

Meet our At Large Board members

Kathy Hicks, Web Support

Kathy Hicks is an environmental educator, nature photographer, and graphic designer native to the Alabama Gulf Coast.  Growing up on the shores of Mobile Bay gave her a deep appreciation for nature and that sentiment is reflected in every task and project that she undertakes.

Helen Beers, Young Birder's Club

Helen Beers has been passionate her whole life in sharing our big beautiful outdoor world with others.  She has been a volunteer, leading groups and teaching classes in a variety of fields for children and adults - through church ministries, Girl Scouts, local Audubon Societies and through Florida Fish and Wildlife programs such as Project Wild & Aquatic Wild.  Helen has been a birder since the 1970's, active in Native Plant Society and with hiking, camping, canoeing & birding groups.  She has worked as swim and canoe instructor, director of a church children's program and finally retiring as a Program Coordinator for Pine Jog Environmental Education Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Helen is looking forward to working with the Audubon Young Birders Club.

Carol Furman, Program Presentations (Outreach and Programs)

As a new Board Member at large for Outreach and Programs of the Mobile Bay Audubon Society, Carol Furman shares her love of all things birds through presentations to local organizations, teaching a Birding 101 class, and offering an Advanced Birding workshop during Birdfest. Having lived or vacationed on the Atlantic or Gulf coasts for most of her life, she has always been fascinated by the natural world. It was her love of marine fish, however, that brought her to Alabama. With a B.A in Biology and Spanish and an M.A. in Marine Science, Carol moved to Alabama in 1998 to work at Auburn’s Marine Fish Lab in Fairhope. Since then, Carol’s interests have shifted to focus on the birds, flora and fauna of the Gulf coast and the Mobile-Tensaw Delta. A Certified Master Naturalist and an avid kayaker, Carol leads kayak trips through the Delta and Mobile Bay area while pointing out the flora and fauna encountered along the way. She is also an artist and photographer and her work reflects her love of birds and the beauty around them. Her work is viewable online and at several galleries on the Alabama coast.

Lynne Fitzgerald, Field Trip Coordinator
A transplanted "Louisianian" from Shreveport, I came to the Dauphin Island birding in the early 2000’s as a novice and fell in love with the people and birds of SA.  Served as an educator for 35 years with my last 17 as a high school principal, which explains why I liked the birds.  Celeste Hinds mentored us through the Eastern Shore Birders and when they needed someone to coordinate the field trips, I was “elected” or more appropriately outnumbered.  It has been fun because all our birders are such wonderful and enthusiastic participants and our birds more likely cooperate than not.