About Us

Audubon Mississippi Staff

Photo: Bill Stripling
About Us

Audubon Mississippi Staff

Sarah Pacyna, Program Manager of the Audubon Mississippi Coastal Bird Stewardship Program

Sarah has been stewarding wildlife conservation since 2000.  At Fordham University where she completed her bachelors, she focused her studies in sociology and anthropology.  She continued her education at Columbia University studying conservation biology.  Sarah has worked in many diverse locations promoting healthy wildlife populations by creating comprehensive approaches that involve stakeholders to conserve animals and the habitat they depend on.  Working to save species ranging from Western Lowland Gorillas and Forest Elephants to Whale Sharks, Hawksbill Turtles, and Humpback Whales have led her to work in diverse locations including New York City, the Central African Republic, Belize, Fiji, Gabon, and beyond.  Most recently, Sarah settled with her daughter on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi to oversee the Audubon Mississippi Coastal Bird Stewardship Program.  She is happy to be doing what is first and foremost a passion for her. Contact: spacyna@audubon.org

Molly Folkerts, Biological Field Technician for the Mississippi Coastal Bird Stewardship Program

 Molly Folkerts is from Auburn, Alabama. As the daughter of two biologists, she grew up traveling to pitcher plant bogs, swamps, and other habitats of the southeast, and learned to love nature at an early age. She received a B.S. in Zoology with a concentration in Conservation and Biodiversity from Auburn University in 2012. In May 2015, she completed her Master’s in Field and Organismal Biology from Louisiana State University in Shreveport. In cooperation with Audubon Louisiana, she conducted her thesis research on Green Heron nesting success at Audubon’s Paul J. Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary in coastal marshes of southwest Louisiana, as part of the largest ever Green Heron banding project. Molly moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the summer of 2015 and shortly after joined Audubon Mississippi as a volunteer.    In her spare time, Molly enjoys birding, running, kayaking, and spending time with her dog, fiancé, and family. Contact mfolkerts@audubon.org

Bryan White, Biological Field Technician for the Mississippi Coastal Bird Stewardship Program 

Bryan is a native of Kansas City and graduated with a B.S. in Biology with an emphasis in conservation from the University of Central Missouri in 2011.  His fascination with birds started at a young age while thumbing through his Father’s Golden Guide to the Birds of North America, and backyard bird watching at their home in Kansas.  Following graduati0n, he worked with the United States Geologic Survey, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and Humboldt State University conducting seabird and shorebird research on the coast California and on Southeast Farallon Island.  Most recently, he has worked as a biological technician for National Park Service studying Piping Plovers and American Oystercatchers.  Bryan moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the winter of 2017 and lives in Ocean Springs.  In his free time, Bryan likes to work on his photography and loves to cook.  Contact bwhite@audubon.org 

Mike Muraco, Center Director of Strawberry Plains Audubon Center.

Mike Muraco joined Strawberry Plains Audubon Center as the Operations Manager in July of 2015, and became the Center Director in 2016. He is a 30 year veteran of the zoo and aquarium community with a primary focus on research, education and conservation.  In his current position with Audubon, Mike is responsible for the daily management and continued development of the Strawberr Plains Audubon Center and for advancing Audubon’s mission throughout northern Mississippi.

Mike’s primary area of expertise is animal behavior and welfare.  Throughout his career he has participated in a variety of wildlife rehabilitation efforts with species as diverse as manatees, sea lions, dolphins, otters, sea turtles, waterfowl and more. He is a strong supporter of research and has co-authored several peer reviewed publications.  Mike is also very engaged in the community having served on several nonprofit boards.

Mike brings to Strawberry Plains Audubon Center tremendous leadership and management experience having worked at such iconic companies as Disney, Six Flags, and MGM Mirage in Las Vegas.  His training as a biologist paired with his impressive management career will serve Audubon well in the coming years. Contact Mike at mmuraco@audubon.org

Mary Lynn Riley, Office Manager for Audubon Mississippi (State Office, Strawberry Plains, and Pascagoula River)

.As Office Manager for the Audubon Mississippi State Office located at Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, Mary Lynn Riley handles various accounting and administrative duties. Mary Lynn came to Audubon in March 2003 with experience as a bookkeeper at her family owned farm supply store and traffic manager at a local manufacturer. While raising two children, she worked her way up to inventory control manager in addition to serving as office manager for the manufacturer of nationally known food and health care products. Mary Lynn's work ethic, experience and dedication make her the glue of the Strawberry Plains team. She has four grandchildren and one wild Chihuahua that contribute to her busy life! When there is spare time, she loves reading and road trips with her friends. Contact Mary Lynn at mriley@audubon.org

Mitchell Robinson, Conservation Education Manager and Land Manager for Strawberry Plains

Mitchell Robinson joined the staff of Strawberry Plains Audubon Center as the Conservation Education Manager in 2013. In the fall of 2015, he assumed additional duties as the Land Manager for SPAC'S 3,000 + acres, promoting our restored native grasslands, wetlands and forests as a demonstration site for active land managment. 
Mitch graduated from the University of the South, Sewanee, in 2007 with a B.S. in Natural Resources and the Environment, and previously served as the Education Coordinator, Land Manager and Interim Director at Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve in Austin, Texas. Within those capacities, he helped develop and implement active land management plans for endangered species within the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve System, including Golden-cheeked Warblers and Black-capped Vireos. His expertise includes endangered, threatened and invasive species management; interagency and non-profit collaborations; research design; private lands consultation; and naturalist education.
Mitch lives in Holly Springs with his two dogs and can usually be found at home reading to them or playing their favorite folk songs on the guitar when not exploring the grounds at Strawberry Plains. Contact Mitch at mrrobinson@audubon.org

Tim Bisenius, Facilities Manager at Strawberry Plains.

The Center's positive image is largely due to Tim's hard work and varied skills. Tim moved to Holly Springs from Connecticut to start work at Strawberry Plains when it first became the property of the National Audubon Society in 1998. Maintenance of a facility that includes 15 miles of hiking trails, numerous buildings and infrastructure as well as making preparations for numerous special events and programs at the Center, keeps Tim much busier than the average guy. The Center's positive image is largely due to Tim's hard work and varied skills. Contact Tim at tbisenius@audubon.org

Kristin Lamberson, Interpretive Gardens Specialist at Strawberry Plains 

Kristin Lamberson is the Interpretive Gardens Specialist at Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Holly Springs, Mississippi. She has worked on staff at Strawberry Plains since 2003; prior to that she served there as a volunteer while employed by Morgreen Nursery in Collierville, Tennessee. She steals her landscape design ideas from nature, which is also her source of solace, learning and joy! Contact Kristin at klamberson@audubon.org

Mark LaSalle, Center Director of the Pascagoula River Audubon Center

 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, Program Manager at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center

 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 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. After a big cross-country move to Mississippi to join Audubon in 2015, the only things she really misses about the upper Midwest are autumn weather and swimming in cold freshwater lakes! 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 with her fiancé. Contact: eparker@audubon.org 

Chaille Munn, Outreach and Facilities Manager for the Pascagoula River Audubon Center.

Chaille is from the Mississippi Delta town of Greenville. She went to Mississippi State University where she studied International Business with emphases in both marketing and Spanish. She later went to graduate school at Millsaps College and earned a Master of Business Administration.

Chaille began her career in Washington D.C. where she worked on Capitol Hill for Missouri Congressman Sam Graves.  She later returned to Mississippi to begin working for Mississippi’s first female Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, Cindy Hyde-Smith. Under Hyde-Smith, Chaille served as Communications and Marketing Specialist. She worked to promote Mississippi’s food and agricultural products as well as the farmers and ranchers who grow, raise, and produce them in both domestic and international markets.

As Outreach and Facilities Manager, Chaille currently handles marketing, public relations, events, rentals, and the Moss Point Fine Art Gallery at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center.  Contact: cmunn@audubon.org 

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