Executive Board

Ray Klahne


Ray is designated as a Wealth Advisor and Senior Portfolio Manager at UBS Financial Services Inc in Stuart. Ray is an avid long-distance backpacker having hiked over 1,000 miles of the Appalachian Trail and numerous others. Ray is trained in Wilderness First Aid and Leave No Trace outdoor ethics. He is a member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Pacific Crest Trail Association, the Continental Divide Trail Coalition and the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association. Ray also works to develop his photography skills in his spare time. 

Jim Howe


Jim is a retired mechanical design engineer and Florida Master Naturalist, who now concentrates on citizen science, endangered species, birds, and other eco-related volunteer efforts. He has logged over a thousand hours in the state parks, working with both Florida Scrub Jays and Sea Turtles.



Carly Batts

Carly earned her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Marketing from Stetson University and lives in Martin County.

As AoMC's Education Coordinator, Carly organizes environmental projects, oversees volunteer programming and develops a youth committee within the Martin County School District.

Richard K. Forster, MD

Dr. Forster is Professor of Ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.With a 48 year tenure, he practices academic ophthalmology at the BPEI campus in Palm Beach Gardens. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Forster produces, directs, films and narrates videos on "The Feeding Behavior of Wading and Shorebirds of Florida".

Jody Foster

Jody became hooked on birding several years ago when she attended the "Big O Birding Festival" and began taking birding tours all around Lake Okeechobee and South Florida. She is a graduate of the first Certified Birding Naturalist course offered by Audubon of Martin County. Starting in 2009 Jody has posted her daily birding report on Facebook from her walks around North River Shores with her dogs. This has made her keenly aware of the difference even small changes in habitat, such as the removal of a tree, can have on the bird populations. Jody graduated from the University of Miami School of Law and practices maritime law statewide.


John Nelson

John is a wildlife videographer who contributed to National Geographic channel’s “World’s Deadliest” series and is currently the voice of The Audubon Moment heard on the Florida Public Radio Network. Mr. Nelson is a certified Florida Master Naturalist through the University of Florida and holds a degree in anthropology from Seattle Pacific University.


Patty Sherrard

Patty is a native Floridian who was born in Merritt Island and grew up in Miami, FL. Patty has been a proud resident of Martin County since 1984 and studied photography at Indian River State College. She has an eye for Florida’s natural beauty and wildlife. Her collection of photographs has a particular emphasis on Florida birds and landscapes. It is through her work as a photographer that she is able to promote her passion for conservation and the protection of wildlife.


Patty’s desire is to inspire residents of this great county to become involved in protecting habitats and green spaces so that our wildlife will flourish for generations to come.

Geoffrey Smith

Geoff is an American wildlife sculptor and photographer. He is a graduate of Montana State University, and currently resides in Stuart, Florida. His best-known work is that of the Stuart Sailfish, an 18 foot monument situated in downtown Stuart that serves as the iconic symbol of the city.

Geoff is a member of the prestigious Society of Animal Artists. In addition to having two Signature Galleries, Smith is represented by fine art galleries throughout the United States and regularly exhibits at fine art shows, including the Annual Society of Animal Artists exhibition where he received The Merit Award for his Modern Pelican sculpture in 2015.

Sonia Sousa

Sonia has spent a good portion of her working years in the sales, marketing, digital design
and product photography arena. This led her to start photographing flora and fauna as a hobby, and cultivating her knowledge of different species of birds, and their habitats, calls and behavior. Spending time outdoors and studying the complexities of different
ecosystems opened her eyes to the importance of the education and conservation efforts needed to preserve this for generations to come.


Sonia comes from a multi-cultural background and looks forward to sharing her knowledge and information with others to create the needed awareness.