Just as biodiversity strengthens natural systems, the diversity of human experience strengthens our conservation efforts for the benefit of nature and all human beings. Audubon must represent and reflect that human diversity, embracing it in all the communities where we work as well as in our workforce, in order to achieve our conservation goals.
Culture at Audubon
Members of Audubon's EDI Affinity groups are comprised of volunteer member-representatives from staff and chapters across the Audubon network and the flyways who engage and work with the EDI Team. Together the groups are committed to fostering the values of equity and inclusion, promoting diversity, and serving as a working contributor to develop and achieve goals. Members of EDI Affinity groups also provide constructive and meaningful engagement on Audubon's priorities and strategies, join subcommittees, and participate in scheduled meetings and conference calls. Audubon's EDI Affinity groups include the EDI Working Group, People of Color (POC) Affinity Group, LGBTQIA++ (Queer) Affinity Group, Early Career Professionals Affinity Group (ECPAG), Chapter Leaders of Color Affinity Group, Heritage Month Committee (HMC), Birdability Affinity Group, and Women's Employee Resource Group (WERG).
Heritage Month Celebrations
National heritage months commemorate the histories, cultures, and contributions of people across the diverse mosaic of America. Audubon's Heritage Month Committee (HMC), an EDI Affinity Group, works to organize celebrations across the network throughout the year to recognize and acknowledge these contributions, as well as the organization's responsibility to respect them and speak out about them.
Audubon is committed to cultivating a community workplace that is free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, where all of our flock feels welcome and seen. Audubon recognizes it’s important to never assume someone else’s gender. To that end, we implemented a voluntary initiative for employees – straight and cisgender, and LGBTQ alike – to proactively share their pronouns in email signatures and interactions to create a more affirming workspace. More people proactively sharing our pronouns, regardless of gender identity or expression, fosters a workplace where the conversation is routine rather than a point of difference. Audubon employees of all gender identities and expressions are encouraged to participate, so transgender (including non-binary), gender non-conforming, intersex, and agender people don’t have to bear the weight alone.
Fellowship and Apprenticeship Opportunities
Across the country Audubon is helping create the movement of the future. Our fellowship initiative is tangible proof of the organization's commitment to the future of the conservation movement and to developing the next generation of leaders. Audubon fellows and apprentices are leaders-in-training in the disciplines of environmental communications, conservation education, field organizing, field biology, public policy, geospatial information systems, and much more. To apply for an Audubon fellowship, check our careers page.
Audubon welcomes everyone who finds delight in birds and nature. No matter where a volunteer was born, or how they came to the United States, we value their contribution to our science and conservation programs.
Why We Changed From "Citizen Science" to "Community Science"
The word citizen was originally included in the term citizen science to distinguish amateur data collectors from professional scientists, not to describe the citizenship status of these volunteer observers. Today, however, it is important for us to recognize that the term has become limiting to our work and partnerships in some contexts. Audubon welcomes everyone who finds delight in birds and nature. As part of Audubon’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, we have transitioned from using the term “citizen science” to the more inclusive term “community science.”
No matter where a volunteer was born, or how they came to the United States, we value their contribution to our science and conservation programs. Citizenship, or the perception that a volunteer may or may not be a citizen, certainly isn’t a prerequisite to caring for birds. Furthermore, participation in volunteer data-collection initiatives like the Audubon Christmas Bird Count and the Great Backyard Bird Count are, at their best, communal experiences that bring us together as a caring community of people who are inspired by birds and want to protect them. The term community science better reflects these social and relational realities.