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Pascagoula River Audubon Center Staff

Mark LaSalle is the Director of the Pascagoula River Audubon Center which is located in Moss Point, Mississippi . He is a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana (B.S. and M.S. degrees) and Mississippi State University (Ph.D). In his current position with Audubon, Mark is responsible for coordinating the continued development of the Pascagoula River Audubon Center and expanding Audubon's educational and citizen science programs in south Mississippi.

Mark is a wetland ecologist, providing expertise on wetlands, water quality and environmental impacts of humans. He also conducts a number of environmental education programs and workshops for youth, teachers, realtors, and the general public on a variety of subjects including wetlands, natural history, and environmental landscaping. Mark is the coordinator of the Audubon Master Naturalist Program, an adult volunteer training program focusing on natural history. Mark is the recipient of the Chevron Conservation Award, the Mississippi Wildlife Federation Conservation Educator Award, the Gulf Guardian Award, and the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award. Contact: mlasalle@audubon.org

Erin Parker is the Programs Manager for the Pascagoula River Audubon Center and handles all of the education, programming, and interpretation tasks. Erin is a Michigan native who completed her bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Environmental Science at Michigan Technological University on the shores of Lake Superior.

After moving to Wisconsin, she began working as an educator and naturalist at Aldo Leopold Nature Center and returned to school to become a high school science teacher. During her seven+ years in the classroom, Erin worked hard to get her high school students outside and appreciating the natural world. She completed her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at the University of Wisconsin- Madison with a focus on science literacy. She’s excited to explore the entire Gulf Coast region by foot, bicycle, and especially by kayak; to add to her life list of birds; and, with any remaining free time, read, write, garden, and cook mostly-vegetarian meals. Contact: eparker@audubon.org

Andrea Belcher is the Outreach and Facilities Associate and handles all of the marketing and building management. Andrea completed her Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University and her Master’s degree in Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There she focused on urban ant ecology with inclusion of citizen science. After moving to California, she worked for the California State Park system and delved into the world of interpretation, volunteer management, and nature center marketing. In California she shared her excitement for insects during the annual monarch butterfly migration at the park, and hopes to share some entomological excitement to the Pascagoula River Audubon Center as well. In her spare time, she enjoys a variety of different arts from sewing to origami, but her favorite form is creating wheel-thrown and hand built bird and insect themed pottery. Contact: abelcher@audubon.org

Mary Cowan is the Financial and Grant Coordinator for the Pascagoula River Audubon Center and the Audubon Mississippi Coastal Bird Stewardship Program, Mary is responsible for various accounting & grant related duties pertaining to both programs.  With 25 years experience in the accounting field, Mary has worked in various positions within the Public and Private sector of business.   Mary’s passion for photographing shorebirds is another talent she brings to the program.  When she is not Kayaking or spending time at one of the Barrier Islands, she and her husband enjoy time with their 2 children and 2 grandchildren.