Sarah Allen has studied marine birds and mammals of California for some 30 years and has been affiliated with both PRBO Conservation Science and Point Reyes National Seashore. She has authored scientific papers on harbor seals and other topics and is currently working on climate issues for the Western Region of the National Park Service. Her new “Field Guide to the Marine Mammals of the Pacific Coast” was released by UC Press in January.
Sharon Barnett is well known as one of Marin’s most dynamic interpretive naturalists. She gets children and adults excited about nature. Sharon teaches science at Marin Country Day School and in the hiking instructor for The College of Marin. Sharon is the 2011 Terwilliger Environmental Award winner for excellence in environmental education. www.Marinnature.com
Bob Battagin has birded West Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area for 17 years. He has led many field trips for several Bay Area Audubon Societies and has contributed monthly birding articles to the Plumas Audubon Society’s newsletter for the past 13 years.
Gordon Bennett is the former president of Westbrae Natural Foods, a naturalist guide trained at Audubon Canyon Ranch, a member of their Board of Advisors, and a graduate of the Environmental Forum of Marin. Gordon is also a 20-year veteran of the Gulf of the Farallones BeachWatch program, a researcher and educator for its harbor seal program, and was the 2003 National Marine Sanctuary Volunteer of the year. He has surveyed salmon and spotted owls for NPS, was an elephant seal educator for ten years, and was appointed by Bruce Babbit to the Federal GGNRA/PRNS Citizens Advisory Commission. Gordon has birded, herped, and friended with Rich Stallcup for over 20 years. He and his wife, Kate, hold the record for the first Limpkin in Jalisco, have banded albatross with Peter Pyle on Midway, and have lain prone with Bob Stewart viewing flowers at Chimney Rock. Gordon has been involved with coastal issues at local, state and national levels for over two decades. During that time, he has worked for Marin Audubon, the Sierra Club and EAC. His work saving Bolinas Lagoon was featured in a 2008 documentary “Call It Home – Searching for Truth.”
Rich Cimino is the owner and field guide of Yellowbilled Tours, based in Northern California. He has a strong interest in habitat conservation and sustainable ecotourism. Rich has participated as a volunteer at the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory, in breeding bird surveys and has facilitated Adult Education Beginning Birding for the Livermore school district. He is the Christmas Bird Count compiler of the Eastern Alameda County CBC. As conservation leader for the Ohlone Audubon Society Rich is working to protect and restore important bird habitat areas in eastern Alameda County. Currently he is enjoying a keen interest in the e-birds and photography.
Josiah Clark grew up steeped in the natural history of the Bay Area, where he has been birding for more than 20 years. Defining moments of birding experiences include: observation and mist-netting on Southeast Farallon Island; extensive travel, study, and tour-leading in Latin America; and a 24-hour birding and bicycling marathon in Marin County during which he spotted 158 species. Josiah owns Habitat Potential, an ecological consulting firm dedicated to interpreting, preserving, and creating habitat for wildlife in human settings. He recently started a nursery, growing plants for habitat installations.
Peter Colasanti graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1974 with a degree in zoology and almost immediately came west to “see more birds.” Since then he’s made his home and living in the North Bay, taking long birding trips to the Neotropics in the good years, and most of them are good years. Peter leads surveys at Tolay Regional Park and Tolay Creek Ranch for Sonoma County agencies, He also leads field trips and monitors bird populaitons at Shollenberger Park for the Petaluma Wetlands Alliance.
Terry Colborn has been active in the birding community for over 35 years. He grew up in New Jersey, where the sights of Blue Jays and Cardinals feeding in his snow-covered backyard grabbed his attention as a young boy. After viewing these critters through a pair of barrowed binoculars, he was hooked! Migrating to California in the late 60’s he met Peter Leveque at Santa Rosa JC, who became his mentor and introduced him to the wonderment of California’s natural history, and the never-ending adventures of birding. Today, Terry is an avid and passionate birder who has traveled and birded extensively throughout North America. He regularly leads numerous annual field trips for several Audubon chapters and other groups, as well as both domestic and international birding tours through TLC Birding. Terry lives in Davis and actively serves on the board of the Yolo Basin Foundation, the outreach and educational arm of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, one of his favorite local birding patches.
Emiko Condeso is a biologist and GIS specialist for Audubon Canyon Ranch. At the Cypress Grove Research Center, she manages ACR’s long-term biological monitoring projects and collaborates with staff and partners in conservation research. Her own research interests include understanding how spatial patterns, particularly in human-altered landscapes, influence biological communities. Her graduate work focused on Sudden Oak Death and examined the role of the spatial pattern of host woodland on disease dynamics.
Joe DiDonato owns Wildlife Consulting and Photography, an East Bay biological services firm. He formerly worked as a naturalist for the East Bay Regional Park District. He specializes in raptor biology, and is a very experienced birder.
Adam Donkin grew up holding a pair of binoculars, birding the Bay Area from the age of four—Rich Stallcup was one of his many mentors. Throughout the years, he has volunteered as a naturalist and tour leader, sharing his love of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Adam recently moved to West Marin where he can often be found chasing rarities and keeping tabs on the locals.
Wendy Dreskin teaches nature education to pre-school and elementary-age students, including the Junior Bird Watcher Program for Marin Audubon and the Junior Botanist program for Wildcare. She also provides nature education through the College of Marin Community Education program and leads Point Reyes National Seashore Association Field Seminars on butterflies, tidepools, and wildflowers. In 2003, she was awarded the Terwilliger Environmental Award for her work inspiring both children and adults.
Daniel Edelstein, a consulting biologist, has led birding tours for more than 25 years and presented public birding presentations in more than 20 states. Daniel has several blogs and websites about northern California birds on the WorldWideWeb and is currently conducting songbird and raptor surveys for two projects. Daniel’s website may be viewed at www.warblerwatch.com and two different blogs he writes can be enjoyed at warblerwatch.blogspot.com (focused on wood-warblers) and danielsmerrittclasses.blogspot.com (focused on adult birding classes he teaches at Merritt College in Oakland, CA)
Jules Evens, naturalist and writer, has been living and birding in the Point Reyes area for more than three decades. He is the founder and Principal of Avocet Research Associates and a long-time research associate with PRBO Conservation Science and Audubon Canyon Ranch. His primary research focuses on tidal wetlands and avian population trends. He is the author of The Natural History of the Point Reyes Peninsula and An Introduction to California Birdlife (both published by University of California Press), as well as various scientific papers and natural history articles.
Allen Fish has been the director of the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory since 1985. He leads its Hawkwatch Program and oversees hawk-nesting studies in the Presidio and Berkeley. A northern California native, he is particularly interested in bird population responses to urban development, climate change, and other human pressures. He has taught an upper-division Raptor Biology class at UC Davis since 2003, the same year he was awarded the Maurice Braun Award by the Hawk Migration Association of North America for his contributions to hawk migration study and conservation.
MaryAnne Flett is a native northern Californian who has been birding and working as a biological consultant for more than 30 years. She lives in West Marin and works on bird-related aspects of habitat restoration projects in the Point Reyes National Seashore and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. She conducts surveys for California clapper and black rails in tidal marshes around the San Francisco Bay and Estuary and has conducted research on willow flycatchers and other meadow birds in the Sierra Nevada. She has traveled throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Central America, and the Caribbean to look at birds and plants. It makes her incredibly happy to hear the dawn chorus.
Andrea Freeman has been working as a naturalist and environmental educator for the last seventeen years. She has extensive experience teaching in the outdoors and comprehensive knowledge of the natural sciences, coastal ecology and marine biology. She has a Masc. in Natural History and Environmental Studies and is an enthusiastic interpreter of the marvels of the natural world. She’s also a poet and storyteller and plays the Celtic harp.
Harry Fuller is a trip leader for Partnership for International Birding and works as trip host for Neblina Forest Tours. He leads numerous birding trips along the Pacific Coast and teaches classes for Point Reyes Field Seminars.
Jeff Gordon is the president of the American Birding Association. There’s very little about birds, birding, and birders that he doesn’t find fascinating, though he’s especially interested in birding culture and the many ways we all communicate our passion for birds.
Keith Hansen had a childhood interest in birds that developed into a lifelong passion. He is a wildlife illustrator specializing in birds, and leads birding tours to Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, and the Yucatan. Keith is currently illustrating a field guide to the birds of the Sierra Nevada to be published by the Yosemite Association, and works from his gallery in Bolinas.
John Harris is a professor of biology at Mills College in Oakland, California, where he has taught courses in ecology, natural history and vertebrate zoology since 1986. He earned his Ph.D. in Ecology at UC Davis in 1983 and his B.S. in Biology at Stanford in 1976. His research has included studies of desert rodents at Mono Lake, Willow Flycatchers at the Nature Conservancy’s Kern River Preserve, San Joaquin antelope squirrels and Mojave ground squirrels. John has worked on small mammals in the Sierra Nevada, San Joaquin Valley and Mojave Desert of California. Dr. Harris is the author of Mammals of the Mono Lake-Tioga Pass Region.
Burr Heneman is the former Executive Director of the Point Reyes Bird Observatory. He also has a long-time interest in native plants and taught native plant classes through UC Extension. Burr has been involved in marine issues at state, national and international levels for 40 years. He also designed the Packard Foundation’s new global seabird conservation program.Burr’s past marine conservation emphases have included fisheries management reform in California and elsewhere, and oil-spill prevention and response, including the 1989 Exxon Valdez and 1991 Gulf War oil spills. He was a consultant to the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission on California marine mammal conflicts with gill net fisheries and on plastics in the ocean when that issue was first identified in the mid-1980s.Although a policy person, Burr takes time out for field work whenever he can. He has participated in PRBO’s Farallon Islands seabird and white shark research off and on since 1971, and has also done marine debris research in Mexico, Shetland, and the Lesser Antilles, and shark research in Belize. His most recent Galapagos visit was in February, 2011, where he is helping two colleagues with a Galapagos penguin research and conservation project.
David Herlocker is the Marin County Parks Interpretive Naturalist. He has been guiding nature walks in Marin County on a full-time basis for 13 years and leads 2–3 walks each week for MCOSD. Dave can teach you about birds, insects, trees, snakes, salamanders, and birds. You name it, and David knows something about it.
Alan Hopkins has been leading field trips in the Bay Area for more than 30 years. Alan was one of the founders of the San Francisco Christmas Bird Count, and he has lead the Home Ranch area of the Point Reyes Count for more than 20 years. As president of Golden Gate Audubon Society he started the Save the Quail Campaign in San Francisco. An avid photographer, Alan’s photographs have been published in many books and journals.
Lisa Hug is a freelance naturalist and contract biologist. An experienced birder in the North Bay, her haunts include Bolinas Lagoon, Point Reyes National Seashore, and Bodega Bay. She teaches bird identification classes for the community education program at the College of Marin. She is also an energetic co-leader for Shearwater Journeys Pelagic Tours. She loves to share her knowledge of and enthusiasm for the natural world with others.
Sandra Hunt-von Arb has been a wildlife biologist in Northern California specializing in sensitive and endangered species since the mid 1990’s. More recently she has found her true passion, Dragonflies & Damselflies . Sandra surveys for the Endangered Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly in Illinois. She started and manages the Facebook page Western Odonata, participates in CalOdes for reporting dragonfly sightings, and organized the last CalOdes Dragonfly Blitz (VI) in Del Norte County. She has also presented and/or led field trips on dragonflies for Godwit Days, Redwood Region Audubon Society, and Redwood Parks Association & Tolowa Dunes Stewards, among others.
Megan Isadore is a naturalist and writer who lives, writes, walks and kayaks in Marin and wherever else she gets the chance. Her most recent writing practice has been a watershed-based weekly column, offered during the winter “salmon” season. Megan has been a science writer for most of her life, with occasional forays into fiction, essays and the arcane practice of writing letters on paper.
John Kelly is the Director of Conservation Science for Audubon Canyon Ranch. He develops scientific programs and conservation activities for ACR’s system of wildlife sanctuaries in Marin and Sonoma counties and for associated systems such as Tomales Bay. John’s scientific interests focus on habitat relationships, foraging, and energetics of coastal and estuarine birds, and on the breeding biology of herons and egrets in the San Francisco Bay area. He also works on local and regional conservation issues and serves on the Tomales Bay Watershed Council.
Susan Cochrane Levitsky served as Manager of the California Natural Diversity Data Base at the California Department of Fish and Game, and is a recognized expert on California native plants. She provided guidance for California’s Wild Gardens, a beautiful coffee table book about California’s unique flora.
Carolyn Longstreth is president of the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin (EAC). She is an avid birder and the creator of the CD, Birding By Ear at Point Reyes. She taught classes on birdsong at an Audubon Center in Connecticut, and more recently at last year’s Point Reyes Birding and Nature Festival.
Ian Morrison is an avid birder from Sonoma County who has been exploring the environs of Northern California for the past forty years. He holds an MFA from San Francisco State University and is a retired high school teacher. Besides birding, Ian enjoys, kayaking, hiking, camping and is an amateur astronomer.
Joe Mueller has taught biology at College of Marin for 20 years, and was instrumental in developing the Natural History Program there. In his work as a local naturalist, he leads field courses on ornithology, marine biology, ecology, and mammalogy for Point Reyes Field Seminars and other natural history groups. Joe was the recipient of the 2008 Terwilliger Environmental Education Award.
Craig Nikitas is a retired architect and urban planner. He has banded birds of prey for almost two decades with the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory and volunteers as a docent on Hawk Hill. He has worked with captive and injured birds at the San Francisco Zoo, the Randall Museum, and currently at WildCare.
Terry Nordbye has lived in West Marin for 40 years. He is an avid birder and has collected census data for PRBO, Audubon Canyon Ranch, and the Christmas Bird Count. Besides West Marin, Terry has birded in Costa Rica, Texas, Cape May, Minnesota, and spots between.
Gary Page is Wetlands Ecology Division Director for PRBO Conservation Science. Gary came to PRBO in 1971 from his native Canada, where he had studied shorebirds as part of his job as warden of Long Point Bird Observatory. Gary’s work has included an ecological study, focused on shorebirds, of Bolinas Lagoon; a long-term study of the geographic distribution, status, life history, and population ecology of the Snowy Plover in central California; waterbird surveys of Point Reyes wetlands; the assessment of the effects of several major oil spills on marine bird populations; a large study of the distribution and abundance of shorebirds in wetlands west of the Rocky Mountains; and, currently, with other researchers at PRBO, an intensive study of bird use of San Francisco Bay wetlands.
Ed Pandolfino After a checkered and inconsistent college experience that included dropping out and touring Europe as a drummer for a Rock & Roll band, Ed finally settled down and earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry. He spent over twenty years working in various management positions in the medical device industry until his growing obsession with birds helped inspire him to retire early. Since then he has devoted his time to birding and bird-related research and conservation work. He leads field trips and teaches bird watching classes and gives a variety of presentations on habitat conservation and bird identification. Ed is Vice-president of Western Field Ornithologists and is on the board of Sierra Foothills Audubon Society. He serves as a Regional Editor for Northern California for the publication, North American Birds and is on the editorial committee of for the Central Valley Bird Club Bulletin. He was formerly vice-president of San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory. Ed is currently working on a book on the birds of the Sierra Nevada with Ted Beady and Keith Hansen.
Lorraine Parsons is a Vegetation/Wetlands Ecologist for Point Reyes National Seashore, and was the Project Manager for the Giacomini Wetlands Restoration Project. She has been with the park since 2001. Prior to that, Lorraine worked for local county agencies and consulting firms managing wetland and riparian mitigation/restoration projects and conducting monitoring of wetland and riparian systems.
Richard Pavek specializes in photographing birds in flight.He gives private instruction in photographing birds in flight, publishes a monthly photo-essay blog on birds: www.RichardsBirdBlog.com, and writes a weekly column on bird life for the Whistlestop Express (since 2007).Richard emails a weekly exceptional bird photo to a list of approximately 900, and has, since 2005, led an international web forum on birds.He is writing Avianautics, How Birds Fly(at the publishers awaiting their decision).
Claire Peaslee is a naturalist, writer, editor, theatre artist, public speaker, and regular guest on “West Coast Live” radio program. Inspired by the living Earth, she leads custom nature tours from Point Reyes and performs and teaches improvisation.Find more info at www.clairepeaslee.net
Darren Peterie is the co-founder, along with Tom Rusert, of SonomaBirding.com, a conservation organization founded in 2004 and based in Sonoma, CA. (see below for complete description of SonomaBirding.com)
Jerry A. Powell is an entomologist at UC Berkeley and Director Emeritus of the Essig Museum of Entomology. Dr. Powell co-authored the treatise, Moths of Western North America, and conducted a research project on moths and butterflies at the Muddy Hollow area of Point Reyes in the aftermath of the 1995 Mt. Vision fire. Among his many current projects is the creation of comprehensive inventories of all butterfly and moth species (including those undescribed) at several localities in California, including Santa Cruz Island, Walnut Creek, and Big Creek, Monterey County. As a means of comparison to neotropical lepidoptera, he is collaborating on a National Science Foundation project sampling the biodiversity of selected insect species at the La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica. Dr. Powell is highly regarded as a patient and inspiring teacher.
Bob Power is the Executive Director for Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society and leads or co-leads birding trips annually to Mono Lake, Tule Lake, Yuba Pass, and southeastern Arizona. Bob has been the instructor for Birding Topics and Techniques at Palo Alto Adult School for the past six years and is a day-leader for the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory’s HawkWatch program.
Peter Pyle has been working for the Institute for Bird Populations (IBP) since 1996. During the late 1970′s and early 1980s he worked seasonally on the Hawaii and other Pacific Forest Bird Surveys, for the Point Reyes Bird Observatory (PRBO), on at-sea surveys, and for other banding projects. In 1985 Peter became a biologist on the Farallon Islands, a post he held until 2003. Since 2003 he has been a full-time Biologist at IBP, doing scientific research, writing reports, and conducting banding workshops.
Marilyn Rose is co-owner of Out of this World and DiscountBinoculars.com, the largest optics seller in Northern California. Since 1988, Marilyn and co-workers have helped customers choose just the right binocular or spotting scope from their home base in Mendocino.
Tom Rusert is the co-founder, along with Darren Peterie, of SonomaBirding.com, a conservation organization founded in 2004 and based in Sonoma, CA. Tom was recently presented the 2011 Ludlow Griscom Award, the most prestigious ornithological recognition in the country, for his many Outstanding Contributions to Regional Ornithology and his efforts to promote birding for kids and families throughout the United States and Canada. (see below for complete description of SonomaBirding.com) \
Dave Shuford has been a senior scientist in the Wetlands Ecology Division at PRBO since 1975. Primary interests include the status, distribution, trends, and conservation of birds in California and the West. Major research projects have focused on: shorebird distribution and abundance throughout the Pacific Flyway; colonial breeding waterbirds in California; reconnaissance surveys at the Salton Sea and Klamath Basin; and long-term trends and reproductive success of California Gulls at Mono Lake relative to concerns over water diversions.
Dan Singer has been studying birds since childhood. His interest and expertise in difficult identification issues and the status and distribution of birds in California, North America, and much of the the rest of the world, led to many years as a regional editor for the journal North American Birds. He has served as a member of the California Bird Records Committee since the 1990s. Dan spends an inordinate amount of time watching gulls, but would rather be at sea looking for petrels. He can often be found leading pelagic trips along the central California coast. For the past several years Dan has been a regional editor for eBird in California. His latest mission is to make you an eBirder.
SonomaBirding.com is a conservation organization founded in 2004 by Tom Rusert and Darren Peterie and based in Sonoma, CA. It sustains the two annual Sonoma Valley Audubon Christmas Bird Counts for adults and kids, bird camps, seasonal bird lists, a nature lecture series, classes, and other bird-and nature-related educational collaborations for all ages. For more information call 707-939-8007 or visit sonomabirding.com
Lynne Stenzel started as an intern at PRBO Conservation Science in 1971. Her mission was to identify the invertebrate prey of shorebirds, as well as their digested parts in shorebird pellets and droppings from Bolinas Lagoon. Since those early days, Lynne’s work has included ongoing participation in the Wetlands research program; serving as the Observatory’s volunteer librarian in the 70s; managing and analyzing the Beached Bird Project data from 1977 to 1988; and analyzing the data from studies of Clapper Rails, Black Rails, and Double-crested Cormorants on San Francisco Bay. From the beginning, Lynne’s primary interest has been estuarine and shorebird research, particularly the population ecology and life history of Snowy Plovers in the west, monitoring shorebird populations, and restoration of wetland habitat for birds and other wildlife.
Jenny Stock is the outreach coordinator for Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary and regularly leads trips to the area. She coordinates all education and outreach activities for the sanctuary, which includes developing teacher and student materials, hosting education workshops, and creating outreach opportunities, publications, exhibits, signage, and website content. Jenny is the local “ocean DJ” as the host for her monthly radio show called “Ocean Currents” on community radio for West Marin, KWMR-FM.
Kevin Stockmann is a naturalist, a marine biologist and co-founder of Marin Nature Adventures. He designs and leads birdwatching and wildlife viewing tours throughout Marin County. Kevin also works offshore for NOAA Fisheries as a commercial fishery observer.
Richard Vacha has been studying tracking since he was a Cub Scout, and attended Tom Brown’s Tracking School and Jon Young’s Integral Awareness Series.From these experiences, the Marin Tracking Club was born and has been meeting every month since its founding three years ago. Richard writes a monthly column on tracking for the West Marin Citizen, and lectures on the subject and leads tracking walks for Point Reyes Field Seminars and for private groups.
Jim White is an avid birder. He graduated as a chemical engineer from Iowa State University in 1962, and has worked in the field of general contracting. He also enjoys hiking, camping, biking, and skiing.
David Wimpfheimer is a biologist and naturalist who calls Point Reyes home. For 25 years, his seasoned focus and wide expertise have enriched nature excursions in Marin and other parts of the Bay Area. He has guided programs for Point Reyes Field Seminars, Elderhostel, Oceanic Society, California Academy of Sciences, Wild Wings, Marin Agricultural Land Trust, and other groups throughout California, Alaska, Baja, Scotland, and many other locations.
Bill Yeates describes himself as an opportunistic but patient birder, who is always up for an excuse to walk to Chimney Rock. He an attorney specializing in land use, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), California Endangered Species Act (CESA), and election law and is the former President of the Monterey Peninsula Audubon Society.
Bird images by Keith Hansen. Color illustrations from the forthcoming book, A Guide to the Birds of the Sierra Nevada, by Ted Beedy, Ed Pandolfino and Keith Hansen. Copyright on all pictures by Keith Hansen 1997-2009. All Rights Reserved.
Logo by Deutsch Design Works
The Point Reyes Birding Festival is a project of the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin, a dedicated and hard-working grassroots group founded in 1971 to protect West Marin’s natural environment and rural character. Please join us by supporting EAC.
Greening the Festival. To help save important bird habitat on the wintering grounds of neotropical migrants as well as to offset the energy used by people driving to the festival, we are making a donation to the reforestation program of the nonprofit Monteverde Conservation League in Costa Rica. Read about them and make your own additional donation if you wish.