Meet our Leadership
Adam Vinson | President
Adam Vinson is currently a high school senior at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in NYC. He is the current President of the New York State Young Birders Club (www.nysyoungbirders.org), a club established in 2008 with members throughout NY State who are passionate about birds and their habitats. Adam does field research for the Audubon Society's Project Safe Flight, which advocates for bird friendly building construction to reduce bird collisions. Adam drafted a petition in support of a NYC City Council bill that required bird friendly glass in new NYC building construction. This work culminated in Adam testifying in October 2019 before the Buildings Committee of the City Council in support the bill, which ultimately passed. Adam is a member of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney's Congressional Youth Cabinet, where he hopes to highlight environmental concerns that impact NYC. Adam also volunteers at the Wild Bird Fund, Manhattan's only bird rehabilitation facility. He is a 2019 winner of the Lillian Stoner award for most promising young birder, an award given by the New York State Ornithological Association at its annual convention in Kingston NY. He is a co-founder of his high school’s Naturalist Club, which focuses on urban environmental issues. He has also been awarded various scholarships to attend birding camps, including an American Birding Association camp in Arizona and an Ontario Field Ornithologists camp in Algonquin Park, Ontario Canada.
Eliza Wein | Contributor
Eliza Wein is a rising Senior at John Jay High School in Cross River, New York. She has been actively birding for the past four years and enjoys learning about birds and educating others. Eliza served as the President of the New York State Young Birders Club in 2019-2020, and is assuming the presidential role for the Bedford Audubon Teen Council for the upcoming year. She has also volunteered with both the Saw Mill River and Bedford Audubon chapters, and has attended multiple bird camps and events, including Camp Chiricahua and the Young Birders event at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Eliza is a participant in the Science Research program at her high school, and is working with a mentor at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to develop and execute a research project concerning birds above urban spaces as visible on weather radar. She hopes to someday work at a banding station, conduct research or field studies, and travel widely in search of birds!
David Benvent | Contributor
David has been an avid birder for the past ten years, since he was in second grade. He especially enjoys birding throughout his home state of New Jersey, as well as New York City and New England. Recently, he Co-Captained a team in New Jersey Audubon’s World Series of Birding that placed first among all youth teams. David has led bird walks for New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Fall and Spring Festivals as well as at Massachusetts Audubon’s Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. This past year he won a gold medal in the Science Olympiad Ornithology competition and co-founded his school’s Environmental Club. He is currently a Research and Stewardship Intern at New Jersey Audubon’s Scherman-Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary.
Gabriel McMurren | Contributor
Hailing from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Gabriel McMurren is a Grade 12 student (equivalent to a rising senior) at Glebe Collegiate Institute. An avid birder since age nine, Gabriel enjoys birding throughout Eastern Ontario and is passionate about helping connect children and youth with nature through education and outreach programs. He currently serves as Vice President of the junior division of the Ottawa Field Naturalists’ Club (https://ofnc.ca/programs/macoun-field-club) and served as its President in 2016-2017 and 2018-2019. While in this capacity, Gabriel was also selected as one of the club’s two representatives to Ontario Nature’s Youth Summit for Biodiversity in Orillia, ON, where he took part in a series of workshops, conferences, and speaker events. He has also volunteered with local chapters of Bird Studies Canada and Ontario Field Ornithologists, and attended the latter’s Young Birders Camp in Algonquin Park, ON from 2017 to 2019. Gabriel hopes to pursue a career in wildlife research after high school, combining his love for birding with his passion for mapping and data science to help others better understand—and enjoy—the natural world.
Leo Gilman | Contributor
Growing up in Santa Monica, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, Leo Gilman has been a birder and nature lover since a very early age, and spends much of his time alone with the natural world. Since he holds such a close connection with birds (and all animals), he seeks to educate those around him about the perils these creatures face, even if it is simply one person at a time. A rising senior in high school, Leo hopes to study ornithology in college, and until that time, can be found studying birds, especially the calls of Northern Mockingbirds, in various hotspots throughout the Los Angeles area.
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