Audubon Photography Awards

Meet the 2020 Judges

Your work will be evaluated by an expert panel of bird photographers and editors

Killdeers. Photo: Sonja Puhek/Audubon Photography Awards

Meet the 2020 Judges

Your work will be evaluated by an expert panel of bird photographers and editors

Sabine Meyer

Sabine is the photography director for the National Audubon Society. She has worked for a range of publications and organizations, including National Geographic Adventure, Condé Nast Traveler, New York magazine, TIME, U.N. Population Fund, The Cairo Review of Global Affairs, and AARP Media. Sabine is an affiliate with the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), and she has been on the faculty at the School of the International Center of Photography, where she teaches photo editing, since 2004. She also spent seven years as the co-director and curator of Fovea Exhibitions, a Beacon, N.Y.–based nonprofit advocating visual literacy through the medium of photojournalism and documentary photography. Her photo editing has earned numerous accolades from Pictures of the Year International, Visa Pour l’ Image, Communication Arts, the Society of Publication Designers, the American Society of Magazine Editors, and American Photo. She mentors and reviews photo portfolios regularly.

Steve Freligh

Steve is copublisher of the award-winning magazine Nature’s Best Photography, and has more than 25 years of experience in the publishing industry. He is also director of the annual Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards competition and curator of the associated annual print exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Melissa Groo

Melissa is a wildlife photographer, writer, speaker, teacher, and an Associate Fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers. Her work has been published in numerous books and magazines, including Smithsonian, Audubon, Birdwatching, National Wildlife, Living Bird, Nature’s Best Photography, and New York State Conservationist. She writes a regular column on wildlife photography for Outdoor Photographer, and speaks and writes on issues of ethics and conservation in wildlife photography. Melissa has received awards and honorable mentions in many photography competitions, including Audubon (Grand Prize winner, 2015), Nature’s Best, NANPA (North American Nature Photography Association), Festival de L’Oiseau, and Birds as Art. She has a long-term gallery at Audubon Greenwich, and her prints are in personal and corporate collections all over the world.

Allen Murabayashi

Allen Murabayashi's passion for photography extends back to his childhood in Honolulu, HI, where he shot black-and-white film in the junior high photography club. After graduating from Yale University, he turned to entrepreneurship as a founding employee of As film gave way to digital, he co-founded PhotoShelter to provide website and workflow tools for professional photographers. He has served on the board of the Eddie Adams Workshop, and has written articles on photography, technology and culture for over a decade.

John Rowden 

John joined Audubon in 2009 when he was hired by New York City Audubon to direct community science and outreach for the chapter throughout the city. In 2013, he transitioned to the National Audubon Society, first working on the Toyota TogetherGreen program before becoming Audubon’s director of community conservation in 2016. His work at Audubon has focused on engaging new audiences in Audubon’s conservation efforts, personally and through Audubon’s extensive national network and Plants for Birds program. He earned his PhD in Zoology from Duke University.

Jason Ward

Jason is a birder, writer, and the host of the documentary series “Birds of North America.” Born and raised in New York City, he fell hard for dinosaurs as a child—an infatuation that provided him with an escape from the obstacles of growing up in the South Bronx. His love of wildlife then grew to include modern-day dinosaurs, which he enthusiastically shares with the public through bird walks and the lens of "Birds of North America." Jason’s mission is to change the way the public views wildlife and to blaze a trail for future generations of children growing up in underserved communities.