River Gates joined Audubon in 2017 and currently coordinates the Pacific Shorebird Conservation Initiative, which engages conservationists and communities around the most pressing conservation issues that threaten shorebirds throughout their annual cycles. She has more than 20 years of experience leading international shorebird conservation and research projects in the Pacific and East Asian-Australasian flyways.
River earned her M.S. in wildlife conservation from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2011, studying renesting ecology and geographic variation in Dunlin. From 2011 to 2014, she was the logistics coordinator and the Cape Krusenstern site leader for the Arctic Shorebird Demographics Network. She co-created the Pacific Americas Shorebird Conservation Strategy and serves on the executive councils of the U.S. Shorebird Conservation Partnership, Alaska Shorebird Group, Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, and Western Hemisphere Shorebird Group.