Meet the staff of the Audubon Center at Seward Park

Joseph Manson, Center Director
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After serving in multiple capacities at the Seward Park Audubon Center Joey become the Center’s director in 2015. His vision as director is to make nature-based education available to all students in local schools and provide programs for all that facilitate positive experiences in Seattle’s wild spaces. A native of Washington, DC, Joey is a life-long Maryland Terrapin, but cherishes the woods and water of the Evergreen State. Joey has also served on National Audubon’s Strategic Plan Committee and is a member of Audubon’s Diversity & Inclusion Cohort.

Charley Wilkinson, Development Director
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Charley serves as Development Director for Audubon Washington and the Seward Park Audubon Center. She brings a multidisciplinary professional background and love of the natural world to her work creating funding opportunities for Audubon’s conservation and education initiatives throughout Washington. 

She has worked for Audubon in a variety of roles since 2009, when she got her start as a conservation intern for Constitution Marsh Audubon Center & Sanctuary in New York, where she went on to serve as their Education Manager. Before moving to Seattle in 2016, Charley spent four years as the Development and Finance Associate for Audubon Vermont and The Green Mountain Audubon Center, securing essential funds for their landscape conservation work, endangered bird species monitoring, and environmental education initiatives.

Charley holds a B.A. in Communication, and when she’s not in the office, you might find her reading, hiking in the mountains, running or riding her bike, or exploring Seattle with her husband. 

Kathryn Sechrist, School Programs Manager 
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Kathryn develops and teaches our in-school, field trip, and summer camp programs for grades K-8. She also leads family programs and coordinates our college internship program. She is passionate about providing opportunities for youth and families of all backgrounds to explore and play in the outdoors; building lifelong nature connections filled with awe and wonder. As a child, her summers were spent camping along the California coast; exploring fern-clad forests, collecting agates, whalewatching, observing wild elk, and learning with park rangers. She has a Master’s degree in 
Ecology from San Francisco State University where she trained as an ornithologist & bird expert. Before Audubon, Kathryn volunteered with inner-city youth & retired seniors. Kathryn enjoys hiking, painting, foggy days, and searching for owls.

Marina Pita, Community Programs Manager 
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Marina learned to care for the environment from her grandfather Mario, who studied the health of the Atlantic Ocean in her family's homeland, Argentina. She chose Environmental Studies as a minor at the Univeristy of Washington after his passing. During her time at UW she became a Carson Civic Fellow which led her to her first stint working at Seward Park Audubon Center in 2009 as a naturalist. Her love of teaching was born from this exprience which led her to pursue a Master in Teaching and work for five years as a dual language teacher (native proficiency Spanish speaker) at Concord International Elementary in South Park. She is thrilled to be back at Seward Park Audubon, a place that combines her passion for teaching and the environment.

 Jennie Sheridan, Nature Store and Operations Manager
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Jennie Sheridan manages Seward Park Audubon Center's Nature Store, coordinates facility rentals, and maintains finances for Seward Park and Audubon Washington programs. Jennie grew up exploring the natural wonders of the Puget Sound region from the whitecaps of the Salish Sea to the whitecaps of the Cascades. She is a Tahoma Audubon Society member and field trip leader and grew up helping her parents operate the Wild Bird Rehabilitation Clinic of Pierce County. Jennie earned a Bachelor of Arts Honors degree in Art History at Richmond University in London, England, where along with working in research and education at several museums, she also volunteered as an advocate with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.  Before coming to Seward Park, Jennie operated Fort Nisqually Living History Museum's Visitor Center and Museum Store and was assistant buyer for the Northwest Museum Store at the Washington State History Museum.  As a part of the Seward Park Audubon Center, Jennie hopes to inspire visitors to continually explore and to encourage a sense of wonder for our ever-fascinating natural world.

Ed Dominguez, Lead Naturalist 
A native of Mount Shasta, Ed obtained his Bachelors and Masters degrees from California State University. Growing up in the southern Cascade Range, Ed was introduced to the plants and animals of the mountains at an early age by his father. Knowledgeable in geology, trees, wildflowers, and mammals,  Ed particularly enjoys birding and bird songs. He is passionate about environmental education and leads owl prowls, bat walks, nature hikes, and presents evening programs on a variety of naturalist topics. When not working at the Center, Ed teaches music in the Edmonds School District and leads climbs with the Seattle Mountaineers. He lives in the Madrona neighborhood just north of Seward Park.

Kat Rizzo, Naturalist
Kat grew up in the hills and forests of Marin County, California. As a young child she developed an unwavering love for exploration and adventure. She has a particular affinity for old growth conifers. Her passion for the forest led her to Seattle where she graduated from Seattle University with a degree in Environmental Studies, specializing in Environmental Education & Communication. She has worked with Seward Park Audubon Center in many capacities; beginning her tenure as an Environmental Education Capstone Intern and subsequently as Assistant Summer Camp Counselor. After a life-changing exploration of South America, Kat is excited to be back with Seward Park Audubon as a Naturalist, working with our nature-based school programs.  As a Naturalist, Kat is passionate about cultivating compassion and care for the natural world by creating dynamic relationships between people, plants, and place. 

James Robinson, Naturalist Intern / Antioch University
James Robinson is a native of Seattle and has lived in Washington all of his life! After completing his Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences degree in Education at Shoreline Community College, James began teaching as a Para Educator for Seattle Public Schools. He went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Antioch University Seattle in 2011 and became a Youth Program Manager for the YWCA of King County followed by managing a youth program for homeless children, both documented and undocumented, for three years. As a teacher, James has found much comfort and joy in exposing children to natural environments, and discussing ways to take better care of our bodies and the world. James is currently studying to complete his master's degree in Urban Environmental Education at Antioch University Seattle, and he is excited to bring the knowledge that he acquires into the Seattle community to encourage healthier life practices for our environment. James loves live music and enjoys playing tennis year-round. James also loves spending time outdoors and eating good food!  

Sean Adair, Naturalist Intern / University of Washington
Sean is a senior at the University of Washington working on his bachelors degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in American Indian Studies. He loves climbing tall trees, reading books, writing poetry, riding his bike, and spending quality time with loved ones. Outside is where the earth is, and Sean believes that getting more people in touch with the wisdom, beauty, and abundance of the nature outside our doors and within our minds is the key to combatting climate change today. Seward Park is the perfect place to spread this awareness, and whether or not you’re enrolled in a program with the center you should definitely take the time to come visit this amazing piece of land. There’s magic in these woods.

Maia Sparkman, Naturalist Intern / Seattle University
When Maia was 3 years old, she would stand around the pond in her home in Japan where she would feed dried little minnows to her family’s pet crayfish and herself saying, “one for me, now one for you.” After that, her parents knew that she was destined for working in wildlife and in the outdoors. Maia grew up on Whidbey Island, WA where she further developed her passion for the environment and nature through scuba diving in the local marina, crabbing in the Puget Sound, and taking walks on the beach and in the woods with her family and dog. She is currently in her senior year at Seattle University studying Environmental Studies with a specialization in Ecological systems and a minor in Biology. She is interested in pursuing conservation biology and environmental communication. Maia wants to inspire the youth of Seattle through her passion for nature. On her free days, she enjoys snowboarding, swimming, running in trails and eating! 

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