Meet Emily Ohman

An encounter with UC Berkeley's resident falcons led eventually to a position as senior community science coordinator with Audubon California.

Senior Community Science Coordinator Emily Ohman

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What did your path to Audubon California look like?

My path started in Utah. I am originally from Salt Lake City. Being in a naturally beautiful place, it is hard not to fall in love with the environment. At the University of California, Berkeley I double majored in Physical Geography and Society & Environment. At Cal, I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in science education. I also founded the first Audubon campus chapter at UC Berkeley. After graduation, it felt like a natural next step to join the team at Audubon California.

Describe a day in your role as a Senior Coordinator of Community Science.

My job is to educate people about the ecology at Richardson Bay and share why it is important to be stewards of the environment. My role consists of anything and everything to do with going out into the community or bringing the community to Richardson Bay. Day to day, I am often coordinating a school visit or offering educational programming or working with our fantastic high school interns. I also manage all the digital content we produce, including social media, memes, and newsletters. I create this content from conception to publication with the goal of facilitating community building and inspiring a passion for the outdoors in people of all ages and backgrounds.

I really enjoy getting to wear many different hats, connecting with people, and taking part in field work. My most memorable day of work was hauling all the buoys in from the boundaries of Richardson Bay. I was covered in bay mud and smelled for days. It was so fun and rewarding.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

I identify with nocturnal animals but am really more of an early bird. Coffee is the favorite part of my day! That said, most of my favorite birds are out at night. I love to stay up to hear owls while camping.

What is your favorite bird and why?

My favorite bird is a Peregrine Falcon. I lived alone in Berkeley during the pandemic and while I was out on pandemic walks, I would usually end up on UC Berkeley’s campus. It was an amazing place especially during the pandemic, because all the birds came back! On campus, there is a family of peregrines that live at the top of the Campanile. I would sit at the base and watch them. This was the first time that I’ve really noticed a bird. This was my gateway into noticing a lot of other birds and being generally more aware of the ecology that surrounded me - even in a very urban environment. This sparked my interest in birds, urban wildlife, and Richardson Bay as an urban center where my interests intersect. I am very grateful to the peregrines for kick starting my journey with Audubon.

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