Sara oversees Defenders' six-person Northwest Office in Portland, Oregon, which initiated and directed the Oregon Biodiversity Project and published a comprehensive statewide assessment and conservation strategy for the state. The project served as a model for the State Wildlife Action Plans that Congress required all states to complete in 2005 in order to continue receiving federal funding. Program priorities include directing habitat conservation investments to the highest priority areas, improving conservation incentive programs for private landowners, building a comprehensive registry of conservation actions for the nation, developing a more coherent approach to tracking the status of wildlife and habitat across the landscape, and creating an ecosystem marketplace in the Willamette Basin to steer mitigation funds to priority areas and to help finance projects at an ecologically significant scale. Most recently, the office has begun to address the problems that fish, wildlife, and natural ecosytems will experience as the climate changes. Sara is the co-chair of the state's subcommittee on fish and wildlife adaptation for the Global Warming Commission.
Sara has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Society for Conservation Biology, the National Award for Sustainability (for the Oregon Biodiversity Project), the Conservation Service Award from the United States Department of the Interior and the Fernhopper Award from the College of Forestry at Oregon State University.
Before joining Defenders of Wildlife in 1978, Sara taught elementary school in Medford Oregon, where she led an ecology club for the students.
Sara Vickerman holds an A.A. in art from Fullerton Junior College, a B.S. in anthropology from California State University at Fullerton, and a M.S. degree in biology, geography and education from Southern Oregon University.