Chad Wilsey

Vice President and Chief Scientist

Dr. Chad Wilsey serves as Audubon’s Chief Scientist. In this role Chad leads a team of scientists conducting analyses in support of Audubon’s Flight Plan. Chad was a principal investigator on Audubon’s Survival by Degrees report, and Water and Birds in the Arid West: Habitats in Decline reports. Chad’s research generally focuses on the impacts of climate and land-use change on birds and ecosystems. He commonly works with big data collected by volunteer scientists along with tools such as GIS, machine learning, and systematic spatial prioritization.  

Prior to joining Audubon in 2013, Chad conducted his graduate studies on the endangered Black-capped Vireo in Texas and birds in cacao and banana agroforests in Costa Rica. He was also a consultant for energy development projects in Wyoming, conducted bird banding in New Mexico, and monitored nesting macaws in Peru. Chad is fluent in Spanish and lived abroad for 3 years in Mexico and Costa Rica. He has a PhD from the University of Washington, an MS from the University of Wisconsin, and a BS from the University of Puget Sound. Chad grew up north of Milwaukee, one mile from the Schlitz Audubon Center. Chad lives in Berkeley, California with his wife and daughter.