Becky grew up in upstate New York before moving to mid-coastal Maine, where she earned her degree in Marine Biology from Unity College. Summers were spent there working as a Camp Counselor & Day Camp Coordinator and fostered a love of experiential education in the camp setting. After graduation, she made the move to the greater Houston area where she worked in several camp roles from Discovery Instructor to Camp Director. It was in these years of outdoor education, working with captive birds of prey that she developed an appreciation for and excitement teaching about birds. Becky’s deep love of camp and sharing the natural world with others is what led here to Bird Conservancy’s Bird Camp programs! In her free time, you’ll find Becky hiking and camping with her pup, Hagrid, or enjoying a cozy knitting project with a good cup of coffee.
Payson Cronen Smith
Payson grew up in Fort Collins, CO with a family that enjoyed the outdoors, going camping, hiking, skiing and more. Payson attended Colorado State University, earning a Bachelor’s in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. While initially interested in fisheries, he discovered bird conservation to be far more enjoyable, joining birding clubs and volunteering with hawk monitoring or restoration projects along the way. After graduating, Payson started at Bird Conservancy as a Seasonal Avian Field Technician performing bird point counts in the Great Plains and Northern Colorado. He then transitioned to the Environmental Educator role, looking to inspire his same passion for birds in all members of our community. When outside of work, Payson is usually spending time with friends and family, attempting to photograph birds, listening to music, overcomplicating drinking coffee, or playing competitive card games.