Audubon On Campus: Class of 2022 On Life, Birds, and the Future

We asked Audubon campus chapter leaders what they've been up to, and what they're planning to do next.
A group of canoes, filled with two people apiece, and one kayak, gather in lake near some trees and other vegetation.

It's no secret that the last couple of years of the SARS-CoV-2 viral pandemic have been challenging for everyone, and especially for students, with canceled classes, remote learning, and uncertainty about the viability of in-person events or travel. But the student leaders that helped guide their local Audubon On Campus chapters brought passion and creativity to their work during the pandemic and they and their fellow students were able to achieve incredible things like the first HBCU Arts in Conservation festival in Atlanta, native plant plantings at campuses across the country, and a climate conference specifically designed to engage local community members in San Diego. To celebrate these leaders and their work as they finish up this phase of their lives, we asked them to tell us a bit about their plans for the future. 

If you're curious about starting an Audubon On Campus chapter yourself, head on over to this page to learn more and to get in touch with the Audubon On Campus team! Not sure if your campus already has a chapter? Reach out to the Audubon On Campus team and they can help you out!


Tamara Kancoglu
University of Wisconsin, Green Bay

I will be graduating in December of 2022 and hopefully pursuing a M.S/PhD in the area of Conservation and Ecology hopefully of course relating to ornithology. This summer I am working for the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity [in Green Bay, Wisconsin] for the natural areas crew and the piscivorous bird crew. I'm also working on a Cofrin Student Research project on bumblebee-plant relationships in northern Wisconsin.


Karina Ornelas
San Diego City College

After graduating from San Diego City College, with an associate degree in Biology, I plan to continue studying to complete my bachelor’s degree in Conservation Biology and Ecology at Arizona State University. As well I plan to continue working with San Diego Audubon Society as Conservation Outreach Coordinator. I will start school at ASU (Arizona State University) in October, so that is why I decided to complete one more associate degree at San Diego City College and plan to finish December 2022, I will be completing my associates in Spanish, while I attendat ASU. So I will continue to be the president of the club for one more semester and we already have so many plans. Soon will be planting 96 native plants at San Diego City College.


Mary Rudolph
Colorado College

My name is Mary Rudolph, and I will be graduating from Colorado College in December 2022. My plans after graduation involve a number of things. I will continue working at the Colorado Springs REI as a footwear and customer service specialist. I will also keep training for my many long-distance trail races. When it comes for birds and Audubon, I will continue to serve as a board member for Audubon of the Rockies. I also hope to volunteer or intern with Colorado Field Ornithology. At some point in the distant future, I plan on potentially going to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for a graduate degree in ornithological illustration. No matter what happens after graduation, drawing and painting birds will definitely be a part of my life!


Emily Ohman
University of California, Berkeley

I graduated from UC Berkeley in spring and hope to put the two degrees I earned towards a career in science education and community engagement. I am wrapping up my thesis, which I wrote about avian urban ecologies and our collective perception of different kinds of birds. I currently work at the Oakland Zoo as an education specialist and take every chance I get to spread the word about birds and their wonder! 


Claire Wayner
Princeton University

As for post-graduation plans, I’m moving to Boulder, Colorado, to work at an environmental nonprofit called RMI on energy policy issues.