Three Individuals have an interest to serve on Tahoma Audubon’s Board in 2019-2020 term and two existing Board members would like to continue serving. Each is highlighted below.
Vicki Biltz grew up in a tiny town in Kansas, where she quickly developed a love of nature from all the time spent outdoors with her father. Her trigger bird was the Belted Kingfisher. When she was about the age of four she went fishing with her father and asked about the birds she was seeing. He pointed out a Kingfisher faster than she could see it, and she imagined a bird with a golden crown and a white fur cape. Years later when she really saw one, she had to laugh at herself when she realized what she first thought they might look like.
Vicki studied Music Performance (French Horn) in college at Wichita State University. She married, and two children later, got her first binoculars and continued her quest for birds when she could. After moving to Washington in 1987, Vicki got a call from Thelma Gilmur inviting her to get involved with Tahoma Audubon. She attended a birding class, became involved with field trips, bird counts, Birdathons, and got to know people of TAS.
Vicki has a ferocious attitude about doing what is right for our environment, what is right for wildlife, and helping people to understand why we must do things the right way. She is excited about meeting new members and serving as organization.
Scott Markowitz is an avid birder, researcher, educator, and scientist who has developed a strong passion for all things feathered. From studying the process of molt in Passerines to looking at large scale conservation and habitat restoration, Scott is a true bird nerd.
Falling into birding accidentally over 25 years ago, Scott started perusing field guides and chasing new birds and rarities over hill and dale. On his first tropical trip, after four days of riding buses to reach Guatemala, Scott spent half an hour waiting to get eyes on a little bird chipping in a bush… only to find that it was a House Sparrow. Since then, he has birded all over North, Central, and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa (and has learned the chip note of a House Sparrow).
Scott’s current passion is research. He started banding birds in England where he earned his ringing license from the British Trust for Ornithology. He was employed as an educator at the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust’s London Wetland Center, where he taught school groups, visitors, and completed research on Sand Martins, Eurasian Coot and other waterfowl, and the effects of vegetation management on migrant Acrocephalus warblers. Since returning to the USA, Scott has assisted with the MAPs banding projects at the Morse and Glacial Heritage sites. He’s involved with the Puget Sound Seabird Survey, the Secretive Wetland Bird Survey, and is coordinating the Edmonds Marsh Project for Pilchuck Audubon.
As a member of the board of Tahoma Audubon, Scott hopes to collaborate with Tahoma Audubon and the community to increase educational and scientific research opportunities for our membership, while restoring, preserving, and protecting the natural resources our fine feathered friends depend upon for their survival.
Dave Richardson retired to Washington in 2006 after 41 years serving as a United Methodist pastor in California. He has become involved in community service related to his work and his hobby, birding. He is currently a Trustee for Claremont School of Theology where he has also taught summer classes. He served two terms on the Tacoma Community House board of directors and has been a volunteer at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge since 2006. At Nisqually you may find him on the desk in the Visitor's Center or leading a walk at the refuge. He participated extensively in the USGS surveys at Nisqually following the elimination of the old dikes and restoration of the salt-water marsh. He continues this volunteer activity at Nisqually as well as at Gray's Harbor NWR for their shorebird festival and field trips.
Dave is a life-long birder. His ABA North-American list stands at 703 and his world list at 3,178. He hopes to add another 250 or more on a month-long trip to Australia at the first of the year. Dave's wife, Anne, is an accomplished quilter and the two accompany each other frequently on their trips of mutual interest. With work and hobby travel as well as children living in Maryland, Texas and Washington their calendar is rich with geographical diversity.
(Existing Board Member) Margie has a background in medical research, science education, youth programming and training with the Girl Scouts, and environmental education. She has retired from her job as education program specialist and volunteer coordinator at Tacoma Nature Center, yet remains involved with environmental education as an active volunteer for the nature center and Tahoma Audubon. Margie has served on three nonprofit boards, joining Tahoma Audubon’s after moving from Wisconsin a decade ago. She and her husband, Bill Richards, love to go hiking anywhere in the northwest and took up kayaking once they arrived at the Salish Sea.
(Existing Board Member) I have come to know Tahoma Audubon as THE important conservation, environmental education, and recreation organization in Pierce County. Volunteering in this group has given my retirement years a sense of purpose and challenged me to tackle new experiences. The Nature Book Club was the catalyst for my involvement and I am amazed at how much I have gained from the reading and from the wonderful discussions with this group. The Thelma Gilmur Education Committee has opened my eyes to the need for increased educational experiences for all ages in Audubon. One can’t help but be inspired by the 50 year legacy of Helen and Thelma. I look forward to serving that legacy in some capacity going forward.