Melanie Smith’s lifelong love of birds brought her to Audubon in 2008. She is the Program Director for the Migratory Bird Conservation Platform. This program focuses on visualizing and synthesizing migration patterns and stressors across the Americas to inform conservation needs of migratory birds. Previously Melanie spent ten years at Audubon Alaska, first as a Spatial Ecologist and most recently as their Director of Conservation Science. Before that she worked for five years as an environmental consultant on collaborative forest management and energy development issues in the Rocky Mountain West.
Residing in Alaska, Melanie brings an interdisciplinary background with nearly two decades of professional experience in applied conservation science, planning, and policy. She led the development of multiple ecological atlases, including Audubon’s award-winning atlas of the Arctic seas. The work by Melanie and her team to synthesize spatial data across broad geographies, identify landscape conservation priorities, and communicate policy objectives has guided the protection of millions of acres for Arctic birds and wildlife.
Her master’s work in Geography at the University of Montana focused on individual-based modeling of habitat and population dynamics for Northern Goshawks. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Prescott College and also holds certificates in sustainable energy and permaculture from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.