Meet Our Officers

Colleen Bockhahn
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Colleen works for Wake County Parks, Recreation, and Open Space as the Assistant Park Manager of Programs at Lake Crabtree County Park.  Her work includes creating and presenting environmental education programs and events for all ages and managing invasive species and other natural resource issues.  Her two favorite things in life are travel and nature, and she enjoys hiking, birding, camping and nature exploration.


Jeff Beane
Vice President
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Jeff has served on Wake Audubon’s board since 1995, and as Vice-President since 1996. He is Herpetology Collections Manager at the North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences, where he has been employed since 1985. A native of Asheboro, Jeff has had a life-long interest in all aspects of natural history, ecology, and conservation, and has published many popular and scientific articles on natural history in the Southeast. He is also active in several other organizations, including the North Carolina Herpetological Society, North Carolina Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, and the Sandhills Natural History Society.





Gerry Luginbuhl

Gerry is a past president of Wake Audubon. She continues to be active with many Audubon projects and enjoys birding and hiking.

John Gerwin
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John serves as Research Scientist and Curator of Birds at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, where he has worked for 25 years. He does research on several bird species in North Carolina, South Carolina and Nicaragua. He enjoys giving public programs to widely diverse audiences, from 2nd graders to senior citizens. He loves to garden for and photograph butterflies. He speaks fluent Spanish.

Meet The Board


John Connors

John has served two terms as President and been an active Board member since 1976. He recently retired from a career as a nature educator, and continues to lead hikes and presentations, including his annual woodcock walk. John compiles the chapter’s Christmas and Spring Bird Counts, and serves as the chapter’s rep on the WakeNature Preserve steering committee. He’s married to Mary Beth Tobin, with 3 children and 3 grandchildren.


Jean Ells

Jean recently retired after 30 years as a Librarian.  She is thrilled to have plenty of time now for birding, wildflowers, reading and baking.


Michael Emberson

Michael is responsible for compiling the monthly e-newsletter. He loves books and the outdoors. His hobbies include exploring how cultural representations of avifauna in art, literature, folklore, etc. can be used as a gateway for attracting more people to birding and conservation.


Mary Frazer

Mary is a biologist for Three Oaks Engineering where she conducts surveys for endangered plants and flying critters, but they are the furry kind, not the feathered kind.  She likes to grow native plants and edible plants, both of which are enjoyed by the local deer a great deal.  She is co-chair of the NC Bat Working Group.


Ernie Hahn

Ernie is a stream mapper for the NC Department of Environmental Quality.  He loves being outdoors and participating in various citizen science projects including the Volunteer Stream Monitoring program for the City of Raleigh and the Neighborhood Box Turtle Watch and Nest Watch programs for the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.  On rare occasions, one can hear him play his violin.

Rick LaRose

Rick LaRose

As a long-time certified habitat steward with the National Wildlife Federation, Rick has a passion for Audubon’s Plants for Birds program and cultivating native habitat that sustains our local biodiversity. Rick’s career spans research, facilitation, branding and marketing, the combination of which he applies in his role on the board. A past president of our chapter, Rick’s focus this year is on environmental education among grade school students through National Audubon’s Audubon Adventures offerings, and building awareness about our chapter in our community.






Alexia Maneschi

Alexia is a clinical psychologist who works for the non-profit organization Easter Seals UCP. She enjoys volunteering, backyard birding and gardening. She is especially excited to combine all of these interests in Audubon’s bird-friendly native gardening initiative and encouraging others to grow more native plants.


Bob Oberfelder

Bob has been actively birding (off and on) for about 30 years and he joined the Board at the beginning of  2013. He enjoys the challenge of birding and nature photography, and he moderates our Photo Gallery.


Erik Thomas

Erik Thomas has been a member of the Wake Audubon board since 2008. He is a professor at North Carolina State University, where he teaches and conducts research in linguistics. He has been a birder since age 6 and birding remains his main hobby, though he also enjoys amateur botanizing and reading a variety of topics in natural science and history.


Board meetings

Board meetings are open to all. The board meets the first Tuesday of every month at 6:30 pm at the Prairie Ridge Research Laboratory at 1671 Gold Star Dr, Raleigh. Check with one of the officers before coming to confirm the day and location as they occasionally have to be changed.


Other VIPs

Erla Beegle
Meetup Group Organizer

Sue Buechle
Newsletter Layout

Maura Egan
Volunteer Coordinator

Megan Demers-Schaefer

Ashley Martin
contact Ashley
Young Naturalists

Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat