candidate statement

MAS Board Nominees Selected

Madison Audubon members recently approved changes to the MAS bylaws to allow for a larger board of directors, which expands the board from nine to 12 directors in 2017. A six-member nominating committee has considered the many candidates you have suggested and has recommended a slate of six outstanding candidates, which the board has approved, to fill three expiring positions and three new positions.

The slate currently includes directors Galen Hasler, Joanne Jones, and Jim Shurts, and new director candidates Pat Eagan, Dave Rihn, and John Shillinglaw. Candidate statements are below.

Watch for ballots to appear in the spring newsletter, due out in early February, and please vote!

Returning director candidates:

Galen Hasler

Galen was introduced to field science by his father, a UW zoology professor, who helped him identify backyard birds, waterfowl on Lake Mendota, and pileated woodpecker in the northwoods. Galen's own birding adventures began with 17 spring warblers that he identified at the UW Arboretum. Since then he has traveled to six continents and five oceans to see birds! Galen practiced medical oncology in Maine and Missouri where he served the Missouri Prairie Foundation and privately converted a 250-acre Osage River watershed to the Wetland Reserve Program. Moving to his Madison home in 2007, Galen directed Hospice for five years and has since joined the boards of MAS and the Friends of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve.

Joanne Jones

Joanne is recently retired from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she spent the vast majority of her career after graduating from UW-Madison School of Business with degrees in Accounting and Information Systems and passing the CPA exam. Before retirement, she served as the chief financial officer for the Division of Information Technology at UW, overseeing a large budget with multiple technology enterprises.  Joanne and Terry, her retired school teacher husband, live on 18 acres in Deerfield.  They are proud parents to two grown and successful children and currently care for horses, cats and a yellow Labrador puppy named Miss Molly.

Jim Shurts

Jim Shurts has been birding since the time his mother pointed out a cardinal at the backyard feeder many, many years ago.  That love of birds lead him to become an ardent conservationist, active with several non-profit conservation groups.  After retiring from the University of Wisconsin he joined the Madison Audubon board.  “Madison Audubon’s sanctuaries and educational efforts really do lift my spirits.  It is a true pleasure to work with the Madison Audubon's staff and volunteers.  And as I’ll tell anyone who listens, Goose Pond rocks!”  Jim is the chair of the Sanctuaries Committee and loves to prairies.


New Director Candidates:


Pat Eagan

Patrick is a grandfather, photographer and emeritus professor at UW-Madison, where he taught classes on both sustainability and engineering.  His last two positions at UW were as an educational fellow in UW-Madison’s Office of Sustainability and as chair of the Environment and Resources degree program in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.  His wife, Lloyd, is retired from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and is also active in environmental endeavors.


Dave Rihn

David is currently employed as the Safety Coordinator for the City of Madison and has been in occupational safety for 30 plus years.   He has a BS in Education and a completed his course work for a Master's degree in Business.   In his spare time, he is an avid year round outdoor person who loves hiking, birding and photography.  He is a regular contributor of nature photography to the Wisconsin Birding and Naturalist websites. Dave has a passion for learning about the natural world, whether geology, astronomy, plants, birds or animals. His wife, Valerie, shares his enthusiasm for the outdoors and they are often found at Goose Pond looking for snowy owls in the winter and ducks in the spring and fall.  They are known for their flying squirrels who nightly show up to raid their bird feeders.

John Shillinglaw

John Shillinglaw is a retired ophthalmologist and moved to Madison four years ago. He has been an Audubon member for 45 years and was active with the Fox River Valley Audubon Society. He is a restoration biologist with a special interest in dry prairies.  Hobbies include birdwatching, paddling, biking, fly fishing and hiking. He is especially interested in Madison Audubon's education programs.