2022 Mamie Campbell Award Winners

by Vicky Medley, Volunteer Manager

Each year the staff at Bird Alliance of Oregon nominates and selects a cadre of volunteers to receive the Mamie Campbell awards. 

Mamie Campbell was an important figure in the early years of Bird Alliance of Oregon.  A long-time and active volunteer, she was instrumental in establishing the Junior Bird Alliance of Oregon Club in Portland.  Mamie was an ardent conservationist and helped distribute environmental brochures to area schools in the 1920’s and 1930’s.  She was also a tireless leader of the Lucy Club, which organized Bird Alliance of Oregon events and was named after Lucy Audubon, the wife of John J Audubon.

Established in 1985, the Mamie Campbell Award is given to our most dedicated volunteers.  Mamie Campbell award winners have sustained and long-term volunteer commitment.  We also look for volunteers who are active in several different programs, and who are leaders and role models in our volunteer community (here’s a highlight reel of all the various ways that volunteers impact Bird Alliance of Oregon).  

Please join us in congratulating the 2022 Mamie Campbell winners!

Roberta Jortner

Roberta has been an active volunteer with Bird Alliance of Oregon since 2017.  She contributes in several ways: as a weekly Wildlife Solutions Counselor, as part of our Board of Directors, a member of our Conservation Committee, and several years ago as a regular Nature Store volunteer.

Roberta’s extraordinary passion for educating the public and furthering Portland’s conservation goals make her a stellar ambassador as a Wildlife Solutions Counselor at the WCC. She is always willing to go the extra mile to help a visitor or good samaritan understand how they can contribute to keeping animals safe, and is one of our most convincing on-the-ground advocates for lights out, cats safe at home, and bird-safe windows. She has trained new Solutions Counselors, passing along her great knowledge and holistic approach to her work to our new trainees. She is a born leader and her ability to critically assess and think through systems in a practical way has led to multiple improvements in the WCC’s processes.

As a board member, Roberta draws from her experience in the Wildlife Care Center and her long career in natural resource planning with the City of Portland. Professionally she worked on complex, collaborative and at times controversial projects including regional fish and wildlife habitat protection policies and plans. The combination of Roberta’s skills and experience that she has gained over the years make her an asset to Bird Alliance of Oregon, and we are grateful for her volunteer contributions.

Carolyn Vock

Carolyn Vock joined Bird Alliance of Oregon in 2018 in our Care Center as a Wildlife Solutions Counselor and as a Receptionist in Administration. In 2021 she joined the Wild Arts Festival Silent Auction Committee as well. In the past she has assisted with Swift Watch, our Native Plant sale and Community Outreach.

As Monday morning’s Wildlife Solutions Counselor, Carolyn has been the quiet bedrock of her shift. Monday mornings can be one of our busiest intake shifts, as people who didn’t realize we’re open over the weekend bring us animals. Carolyn handles it all with unflappable grace, and her steady competence is a gift to all of her teammates. One of our most reliable volunteers, it is exceedingly rare for Carolyn to miss a shift. She assists the Care Center in other areas too – communicating weekly with fellow volunteers about shift openings and helping track our inventory.

In the reception area as part of our Wild Arts Festival, Carolyn shows a deep capacity for organizing and supporting processes and projects. Her professional background in business and technology solutions is a boon for us! She can navigate databases, online programs, spreadsheets and helps us streamline our processes. Carolyn’s reliable contributions, her desire to make improvements and her skills make her a valuable volunteer to Bird Alliance of Oregon, and we are appreciative of her volunteer service.

Bebe Anderson

Bebe joined Bird Alliance of Oregon in 2016, and has helped in many different areas over the years. She has helped in the Wild Arts Festival Book Fair, as part of Swift Watch, special events and held a Nature Store shift for a year. 

These days you will find Bebe mostly in the Care Center; she holds 2 weekly shifts, and held 3 during the dark days of the pandemic! She serves in the hospital as well as caring for birds in our off-site cages. As a Care Center volunteer, Bebe is a proficient, flexible, and dependable person to have on any shift. She was able to roll with the punches throughout the pandemic, providing invaluable support to keep the Care Center running with minimal staff and volunteers. Bebe’s got a rare gift of being incredibly easy going but with a keen eye for detail – which has made her someone we can rely on to provide training to newcomers to the Wildlife Care Center. 

A staff member who works with Bebe says “My mood improves a little bit every time I see her name on the schedule.” She is easy to get along with, and a joy to have on a shift. We can count on Bebe to take on extra tasks, stay late to help finish, and pitch in where and when we need it. We appreciate Bebe’s dedication to the Care Center and the wild patients who receive her care. Her dedication and nature make her an asset to our Care Center and the entire Bird Alliance of Oregon community.

Deb Whitcomb

Deb joined Bird Alliance of Oregon in 2007 as part of our Care Center. She has held a regular shift that entire time! As a long time volunteer she holds a lot of knowledge. Among other skills, she has become an incredible raptor handler. The staff reports that she makes it look natural! 

Deb demonstrates leadership in the Care Center in a variety of ways. She helps train and orient new volunteers, and supports her shift mates. She has an ability to really pay attention to details and see how they fit into the big picture. She is proactive about issues. If she’s noticing that something is going wrong, or that there’s a potential unintended impact of a decision we’ve made, she’s willing to bring it up with folks who can help solve the problem. It’s a leadership quality that makes her a highly trusted team mate and mentor to both staff and volunteers here at the WCC.  Care Center staff say “I’ve been really blessed to have her perspective and feedback over the last few years, and it gives me a lot of confidence when an idea has the Deb stamp of approval!”

In her professional career, Deb worked with GIS, and she has shared those skills with Bird Alliance of Oregon over the last year in our Community Science Program. Deb helps our Community Science Program analyze the Black Oystercatcher data to pull out results on frequency of nesting bird disturbance from drones as well as analyzing hotspots of seabird abundance. Her analysis helps inform our work on drone management and recommendations on where offshore wind development should and should not occur.

Nora Scholey

Nora is one of our most dedicated Sanctuary volunteers! She began as a volunteer in 2018, and has been part of a trio of volunteers who stepped up to a new level of commitment during COVID-19, and has not backed down. Working with our staff and fellow volunteers, Nora provides volunteer leadership to the weekly Wednesday Work Crew that cares for our Sanctuary. She gives shape to the weekly volunteer gathering by sending out a weekly email update to the crew, and tracking Sanctuary projects and needs. In addition, she writes incredible quarterly Sanctuary reports that include Wednesday Work Crew photos and accomplishments, which provides context and information that is helpful for our staff and board.  As a result of Nora and other volunteers’ leadership, our Wednesday Work Crew has flourished recently. The annual Wednesday Work Crew hours more than tripled from 428 hours in 2019 to 1562 volunteer hours in 2021! 

As Nora’s involvement grew over the last 4 years, she was asked to join 2 Board Committees, the Sanctuary Committee and our Volunteer Program Committee. Nora skillfully represents the Sanctuary and Sanctuary volunteers in both settings. 

In addition to her weekly Sanctuary volunteer and board committee commitments, Nora has led and planned several single work parties, assisted with our previous plant sales, consolidated and reorganized our Native Nursery, organized summer nursery watering and managed a spreadsheet of Sanctuary assets like Sanctuary structures and signs. As part of our Volunteer Program Committee, she helped plan and host our 2021 Zoom trivia nights and Zoom volunteer celebration. She has helped in our Wild Arts Festival, and keeps in touch with our Education staff to ensure that the Sanctuary work supports the programs that we offer.

We appreciate Nora’s dedication to our Sanctuary as well as her ability to see how the Sanctuary fits into the bigger Bird Alliance of Oregon mission of helping all people to love and protect our natural environment.