Conservation News

Conservation Department Promotions

By Michael Bartlett, NH Audubon President

I would like to announce two significant changes in job responsibilities (and titles) for two of our valued staff.

After many years at the helm of the NH Audubon’s Conservation Department, Dr. Carol Foss has decided to hand off the Director’s baton and focus entirely on science (primarily Rusty Blackbirds and audio visual avian repellents) and policy issues (particularly those related to energy). Vanessa Jones (currently Departmental GIS Specialist/Management Assistant) has agreed to accept the Director’s baton and continue the race!!

Carol joined the year-round staff of New Hampshire Audubon in 1977, after two summers as the seasonal naturalist at Paradise Point. She has served in a number of capacities in the 38 (!) years since, most recently as Director of Conservation, a position she has held since 2007. Initially hired as Education Director, Carol soon transitioned to Director of Wildlife Programs. In that capacity, she forged a partnership with the NH Fish and Game Department (NHFG) to initiate the collaborative New Hampshire Endangered Species Program in 1980, providing inventory, monitoring, and management for the State’s threatened and endangered wildlife well before the Non-game and Endangered Wildlife Program was established within NHFG. From four seasonal biologists conducting field surveys under her part-time leadership in 1980, Carol has built our scientific staff to include six full-time and one part-time year-round positions, all held by Master’s or Ph.D. level biologists.

Carol has provided scientific input to Audubon’s environmental policy positions since her early years with the organization. She recently has taken a more direct role as staff to the board’s Environmental Policy Committee. Carol will remain an integral part of the McLane Center team as Senior Advisor for Science and Policy.

Vanessa also brings exceptional talents and skills to the Director’s position. She has been part of the Conservation Department for eight years, serving in a variety of roles including GIS Specialist, Wildlife Biologist, Land Protection Specialist and Conservation Department Management Assistant. She has mastered the art of performing “other duties as assigned” and her work plan at NH Audubon has varied from monitoring Bald Eagles by kayak, to representing the organization at the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership, and creating new systems for tracking grants and contracts. In her Management Assistant role, Vanessa has been responsible for overseeing the Department’s extraordinarily complex finances and, in that capacity, has worked closely with NH Audubon’s Director of Finance Mary Malan. Vanessa has also been participating for over a year as an ad hoc member of NH Audubon’s Finance Committee, in the process gaining an appreciation for organization wide budget issues. She is looking forward to working with the Conservation Department staff in her new role.

I would like to thank both Carol and Vanessa for their extraordinary contributions to New Hampshire Audubon and welcome them into their new roles.