• What does a brighter future mean to you?

    Connect with James Madison University and learn more about how our people and programs are making positive change in the world

    Subscribe to Madison; share your thoughts about the future on the Be the Change blog; or perhaps you'd like to nominate a world changer to be featured on this site.

    Consider this your invitation to
    Be the Change.

Join us to Be the Change

Sonja Macys ('97)

Executive Director, Tucson Audubon Society

Photo: Sonja Macys

With more than just mankind's interest at heart, Sonja strives to change the world one natural resource at a time. "It wasn't until I began college at JMU that I developed a passion for natural resource conservation and an understanding of the complex social and political factors at play in environmental stewardship," Sonja says. It was this passion that led her to life on the Yucatan Peninsula for five years with the Maya culture, where she implemented the first scholar environmental education program adopted by Mexico's Ministry of Public Education in the Yucatan. Her master's thesis, "whatever resource we are trying to protect, we must understand its human dimension," helped land her the executive director's position at the Tucson Audubon Society where her contributions to the riparian and upland desert habitats definitely stand out. Her dedication and relentless efforts have made her the "voice" of the Audubon in southern Arizona. For this Duke, a changed world means an improved quality of life for all. "The prime beneficiaries are the birds and other wildlife. But enriching habitat for them enriches the natural experience for you and me."

"Collaboration across diverse sectors of society will be critical if we are to change the world and accomplish meaningful conservation."