Meet Our Officers




Erik Thomas

Contact Erik

Erik Thomas has been a member of the Wake Audubon board since 2008. He is a professor at North Carolina State University, where he teaches and conducts research in linguistics. He has been a birder since age 6 and birding remains his main hobby, though he also enjoys amateur botanizing and reading a variety of topics in natural science and history.

Jeff Beane
Vice President
Contact Jeff

Jeff has served on Wake Audubon’s board since 1995, and as Vice-President since 1996. He is Herpetology Collections Manager at the North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences, where he has been employed since 1985. A native of Asheboro, Jeff has had a life-long interest in all aspects of natural history, ecology, and conservation, and has published many popular and scientific articles on natural history in the Southeast. He is also active in several other organizations, including the North Carolina Herpetological Society, North Carolina Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, and the Sandhills Natural History Society.





Mary Frazer

Mary is a biologist for Three Oaks Engineering where she conducts surveys for endangered plants and flying critters, but they are the furry kind, not the feathered kind.  She likes to grow native plants and edible plants, both of which are enjoyed by the local deer a great deal.  She is co-chair of the NC Bat Working Group.

Michi Vojta

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Colleen Bockhahn
Immediate Past President

Colleen works for Wake County Parks, Recreation, and Open Space as the Assistant Park Manager of Programs at Lake Crabtree County Park.  Her work includes creating and presenting environmental education programs and events for all ages and managing invasive species and other natural resource issues.  Her two favorite things in life are travel and nature, and she enjoys hiking, birding, camping and nature exploration.



Meet The Board

Mary Abrams

Mary is a retired Soldier and lifelong backyard birder. She joined the Wake Audubon Society to learn more about birds and to help protect them and the environment. Mary currently chairs the Advocacy Committee. She enjoys volunteering and outdoor activities at the great parks and greenways in the area.

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Phillip Doerr

Phillip is a retired NCSU Fisheries/Wildlife/Conservation Biology faculty member and for 34 years was an undergrad advisor, graduate student mentor, and faculty advisor to the Leopold Wildlife Club and Wildlife Society Student Chapter. He taught numerous grad and undergrad wildlife courses over the years and conducted wildlife populations research with grad students, and post docs on critters including bluebirds, alligators, spotted skunks, black bears, white-tailed deer, gray fox, northern bobwhite, American woodcock, osprey, northern goshawks, ruffed grouse and red-cockaded woodpeckers (whew!). He is an avid birder, hunter, and fisher and spends as much time outdoors as possible often in remote corners of the planet (esp since retiring). As a teacher his greatest pleasure was always sharing his wonder about wild things, and about how living natural systems work, and that desire continues, particularly with informing people of the conservation challenges facing us today.


John Gerwin

John serves as Research Scientist and Curator of Birds at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, where he has worked for 25 years. He does research on several bird species in North Carolina, South Carolina and Nicaragua. He enjoys giving public programs to widely diverse audiences, from 2nd graders to senior citizens. He loves to garden for and photograph butterflies. He speaks fluent Spanish.

Rick LaRose

Rick LaRose

As a long-time certified habitat steward with the National Wildlife Federation, Rick has a passion for Audubon’s Plants for Birds program and cultivating native habitat that sustains our local biodiversity. Rick’s career spans research, facilitation, branding and marketing, the combination of which he applies in his role on the board. He champions environmental education among grade school students through National Audubon’s Audubon Adventures.  As past president of our chapter, Rick currently serves on our Communications and Governance committees and as co-chair of Wake Audubon’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee.

Alexia Maneschi

Alexia is a clinical psychologist who works for the non-profit organization Easter Seals UCP. She enjoys volunteering, backyard birding and gardening. She is especially excited to combine all of these interests in Audubon’s bird-friendly native gardening initiative and encouraging others to grow more native plants.

Anne Miller


Bob Oberfelder

Bob has been actively birding (off and on) for about 30 years and he joined the Board at the beginning of  2013. He enjoys the challenge of birding and nature photography, and he moderates our Photo Gallery.

Liling Warren

Liling Warren

Liling is an avid new birder and enjoys bird photography and painting birds.  She loves learning about birds and wants to help birds survive and thrive.  She works as a translational medicine statistician and enjoys volunteering, traveling and spending time in nature.

Board meetings

Board meetings are open to all. The board meets the first Tuesday of every month at 6:30 pm at the Prairie Ridge Research Laboratory at 1671 Gold Star Dr, Raleigh. Check with one of the officers before coming to confirm the day and location as they occasionally have to be changed.

Other VIPs

Erla Beegle
Meetup Group Organizer

Sue Buechle
Newsletter Layout

Mary Abrams
Volunteer Coordinator

Megan Demers-Schaefer

Susan Davis 
Co-chair, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee 
Cameron Dyer
Newsletter Editor
Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat