Audubon International Names Associate Director of Environmental Programs

Audubon International is excited to announce the hiring of Doug Bechtel as Associate Director of Environmental Programs. Prior to joining Audubon International, Doug served as the Director of Conservation Science for The Nature Conservancy’s (Conservancy) New Hampshire Chapter for over 15 years. Doug began his employment with Audubon International on January 2, 2014 and will be based in the organization’s headquarters in Troy, New York. 

As Associate Director of Environmental Programs, Doug will share responsibility for administering the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) and ACSP for Golf Courses. The ACSP for Golf Courses works with over 2,000 golf facilities pursuing environmental certification, and is the organization’s largest membership program. Doug will also play an important support role in the administration of the Audubon Signature and Classic Programs, which focus on planned new development and substantial renovations to existing facilities (including golf facilities). Doug will work as part of a collaborative team of dedicated staff members, directly engaging a wide range of stakeholders. Most importantly, he will play a central role in helping Audubon International continue providing its valued members exceptional technical assistance, planning and management support, and overall guidance throughout the certification process.

“Doug’s extensive professional background in natural resource conservation, ecology, and environmental education will make him a perfect fit for this position” said Ryan Aylesworth, President and CEO of Audubon International. “Facilities and communities that have become certified or are working toward certification with Audubon International are committed to sustainability, and we continuously help our members improve their operations and receive the public recognition they deserve for implementing sound environmental design and management practices. Doug has a long track record of successfully assisting land managers and other stakeholders conserve and restore our natural environment while simultaneously achieving their social and economic goals. I am thrilled that Doug will be coming on board to help advance our organization’s important mission.”

With the Conservancy, Doug led, managed, and facilitated the execution of conservation projects and programs at the property-, community-, and regional scale. The teams he led and staff he supervised managed nature preserves and administered projects as diverse as conservation planning, land stewardship and protection, wildlife and habitat inventories, invasive species management, and public access for recreation. In these roles, he developed comprehensive natural resource management plans that included measurable objectives for practices such as prescribed fire for reestablishing naturalized areas, integrated pest management for invasive species control, and floodplain forest restoration for promoting wildlife habitat and water quality. 

“My entire professional life has focused on protecting native habitats and finding ways to help people live in nature with a light touch,” says Doug. “Audubon International’s mission and programs focus on exactly these principles. This organization provides motivation and resources that help people learn how to more effectively protect wildlife habitat, water quality, and other aspects of our environment. I look forward to helping land and resource managers do a better job conserving the ecological services we depend on for food, water, recreation, and other human needs.”

Doug holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Grinnell College and a master’s degree in botany from the University of Vermont. An avid outdoorsmen, his favorite pastimes are birding, hiking, and cheering for New England sports teams! 

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