Melissa Hafting is an ecologist, bird guide, author, and photographer. She founded the BC Young Birders Program in 2014, which aims to bring together youth of all races, sexual orientations, and genders to look at birds on fun excursions in the natural world. The program also helps teach youth about citizen science and the importance of bird conservation. Melissa is also passionate about making birding more inclusive for all, especially for BIPOC birders like herself. She is an avid traveller and loves to explore the world looking for birds. Melissa is an eBird reviewer for the province of BC and sits on the board of directors of the Frontiers in Ornithology Association. She was also a judge for the 2022 and 2023 Audubon Photography Awards, recipient of BC Nature’s 2021 Daphne Solecki Award for contributing to nature education for children in British Columbia, a finalist for the 2021 Nature Inspiration Awards for the Canadian Museum of Nature, and a lead in the 2020 CBC TV Documentary “Rare Bird Alert”. Her photography can be viewed on her Instagram account @bcbirdergirl (+9,000 followers). Melissa lives in Richmond, British Columbia.