Ariana Rickard

Name: Ariana Rickard
Position/Occupation: Chapter Network Associate Director, Audubon California
August 2018

In the fall of 2011, Ariana and her husband Pierre moved to the Bay Area from New York City. During her job-hunt, she attended a Watershed Symposium in Brentwood and happened to sit at Sandra Scoggin’s table and learned about the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture (SFBJV) jobs board.

A few months later, Ariana saw a posting about an internship with the SFBJV.  She applied and soon found herself updating the SFBJV database with information on past and current wetland projects in the Bay Area. In her five months with the SFBJV, Ariana learned about many local environmental issues and grew her network of contacts in the conservation field.

After leaving the JV, Ariana continued to volunteer with her local Audubon chapter, Mt. Diablo Audubon and eventually was employed by Audubon California. She first became a member of her local Audubon chapter in the fall of 2011 and later joined the board as Program Chair in 2012.  Her job as a Chapter Network Manager began in 2014 and she now works with 32 of the 48 local chapters in California (all the chapters north of Los Angeles).

Ariana says “every day is a little different – with some meetings, communicating the great work done by the Audubon network, grants management, and event planning for chapter gatherings.” She also gets out into the field, birding with chapter members and visiting chapters across the state to learn about their priorities and programs. One fun aspect of the job is attending many of the birding festivals organized by local chapters. This year, she is going to the Grebe Festival put on by Plumas Audubon.

For Ariana, her role is the perfect mix of communications, advocacy, science, and working with the public. She loves meeting Audubon members and learning about the different cultures and personalities of every chapter which differ widely in their activities and strengths, but all share a love of birds and the natural world.

She also looks forward to Audubon’s annual Advocacy Day. Chapter members from all over the state meet in Sacramento to discuss priority conservation legislation with their representatives.

When not at work, Ariana and her husband spend their free time putting together LEGO sets, riding trains and visiting playgrounds with their two young sons, Dimitry (4) and Nico (2). Both boys are currently obsessed with trains; luckily there are many trains to ride in California! They also like hiking, going to the movies and when it comes to travel visiting Disneyland and Disney California Adventure is ranking pretty high these days.  Ariana is hoping that they will want to go birding and rock climbing with her someday, but will wait to see how their interests evolve.