Sarah Allen is the Science Program Lead for the National Park Service’s Pacific West Region. For over 30 years she has studied marine birds and mammals extensively in California and ranging from the Gulf of the Farallones to Antarctica. She has authored scientific papers on harbor seals and other topics and is currently working on climate issues for the National Park Service. She is the co-author of the UC Press book, A Field Guide to the Marine Mammals of the Pacific Coast. 

Bob Atwood is a member of the Marin Audubon Society and led the most recent Sausalito Christmas Bird Count. He has his M.S. in Biology and has conducted ecological field research in Mexico. Bob is a long term resident of Marin and enjoys finding rarities and uncommon birds in California.

Sharon Barnett is co-owner of Marin Nature Adventures, science teacher at Marin Country Day School, a hiking instructor for the College of Marin and one of Marin’s most dynamic interpretive naturalists. Known as Sharon Heron, she gets children and adults excited about nature. She is the 2011 Terwilliger Environmental Award winner for excellence in environmental education.   

Bob Battagin has birded West Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area for 28 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 19 years.

Jenni Benson works with Point Blue Conservation Science’s STRAW (Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed) program managing habitat restoration projects around the Bay Area. She has a keen interest in birding and always has an ear out for bird song. Prior to coming to Point Blue, Jenni held seasonal positions with The Nature Conservancy, Audubon California and Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory. These positions gave her experience with point counts, nest searches, habitat assessment and vegetation surveys and restoration ecology. Through these experiences, she has learned that collaboration and community involvement are essential in effective conservation efforts.

Frank Binney is a professional interpretive planner who has helped enhance visitor experiences at Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Mount St. Helens, the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest and numerous California State Parks. He is the author of Point Reyes and the San Andreas Fault Zone: The Aerial Photography of Robert Campbell. In 2004, he was named Volunteer of the Year, Pacific West Region of the National Park Service, for his pro bono help assisting National Seashore biologists with Tule Elk and Snowy Plover studies.

Max Brier recently graduated from UC Santa Cruz after studying environmental science, biology and surfing. He has been mucking around in marshes and mountain meadows since he could walk. He works locally conducting shore and waterbird counts and nesting bird clearance surveys; he recently completed a summer in Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Parks, backpacking into remote sites where he conducted bird point counts by identifying and counting species by sight but almost exclusively by ear. He grew up in West Marin and his life is deeply intertwined with his natural surroundings.

Heather Cameron studied with the late Rich Stallcup, is a long-time member of Point Blue Conservation Science, and has been birding in the Point Reyes area for over 22 years. 

Scott Carey is an avid birder, and he has guided local bird watching trips in Marin and Sonoma counties, as well some further afield in Humboldt County and Arizona. When Scott is not out bird watching, he has participated in a number of bird surveys, as well as volunteered for the Marin Breeding Bird Atlas. He currently conducts shorebird and Marbled Murrelet surveys for Avocet Research.

Susan Cochrane-Levitsky is a botanist who has dedicated her career to conservation leading California's programs to understand and protect endangered plants, and overseeing conservation policy to protect our state's natural diversity as the Chief of the California Department of Fish and Game’s Wildlife Natural Heritage Division. She also oversaw the production of several educational books on California's unique plants and wildlife. Now a landscape artist, she shares her love of nature through her paintings and by leading botanical tours in beautiful natural areas of California.

Jerry Coe is a naturalist and mountaineering guide with over eight years of intensive training in ornithological field identification under Professor Joseph Morlan at San Francisco City College. He spent 15 years as a volunteer in Great Basin, Nevada doing Point Count Surveys using bird activities to assess the health of habitats and has led guided expeditions all over the world.

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 populations at Shollenberger Park for the Petaluma Wetlands Alliance.

Emiko Condeso is an ecologist 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.

Dave DeSante has been an active birder from a very young age. In fact, he cannot remember a time in his life when he was not chasing birds. After being a materials scientist and engineer for several years, he transferred into biology and received his Ph.D. from Stanford University. Dave’s 1973 dissertation was on “Mirror-image misorientation in vagrant warblers” which caused him to spend three autumns and two springs on the Farallon Islands where he became closely associated with the newly formed Point Reyes Bird Observatory (PRBO). After receiving his Ph.D., Dave taught as an Assistant Professor at Stanford University and at Reed College. In December 1978 Dave took the position of Director of Landbird Research at PRBO and both standardized the banding program and established the Coastal Scrub Avian Ecology program at the Palomarin Field Station. Dave subsequently used Palomarin banding data to document a massive landbird reproductive failure at Palomarin and elsewhere in California caused by the fall-out of radioactive iodine from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster. Realizing the critical need to gather long-term continental-scale demographic monitoring data on landbirds to elucidate causes of population declines, Dave left PRBO in September 1988 and founded The Institute for Bird Populations (IBP). There he created the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) program, a cooperative North America-wide mist netting program and, subsequently, the Monitoreo de Sobrevivencia Invernal (MoSI – Monitoring Overwintering Survival) program, an analogous effort in the New World tropics. Over the years, Dave has received many awards, including the 2005 Conservationist of the Year Award from the Western Section of The Wildlife Society, the 2010 Chandler Robbins Education and Conservation Award from the American Birding Association, and the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Initiative – Partners-in-Flight.

Joe DiDonato owns Wildlife Consulting and Photography, an East Bay biological services firm that focuses on endangered species, raptor studies and Conservation Banking. He formerly worked as the Wildlife Manager for the East Bay Regional Park District. He has worked on the issue of raptor and wind turbine collisions 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. 

Wendy Dreskin is a naturalist who loves and teaches about everything from birds and butterflies to wildflowers, mushrooms, lichens and galls. She has been teaching the popular Community Education class Meandering in Marin at College of Marin since 1998. She teaches nature education classes for children at various schools in Marin County. She leads an annual safari to Tanzania which in 2017 was a trip for The Branson School and in 2018 was an adult trip. As a volunteer, she has coordinated the Marin Butterfly Count since 2005. She was Education Chair of the Marin Chapter of the California Native Plant Society for ten years. In recognition of her work inspiring both children and adults, she was awarded the Terwilliger Environmental Award and in 2018 was inducted into the Marin Women's Hall of Fame.

Jack Dumbacher (Friday Night 2020 Keynote) is a PhD biologist, specializing on avian genetics, avian chemical defense, and dabbling in lots of other things related to birds and mammals. I got my undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN), my PhD at University of Chicago, and worked for several years at Smithsonian Institution with Rob Fleischer and others. In 2003, I became Curator of Ornithology and Mammalogy (birds and mammals) at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and I live nearby in beautiful Marin County, California.

Daniel Edelstein is a freelance Consulting Biologist (who is a Certified Wildlife Biologist Asc.) who has led birding tours for more than 25 years and presented public birding presentations in more than 20 states. Daniel’s website — — hosts several birding handouts (via the “Birding Links” pulldown menu and his warbler-centric blog — — has hosted warbler articles and photo quizzes since 2007. He has also taught diverse adult birding classes since 2007 at Merritt College in Oakland, CA.

Michael Ellis is the owner of Footloose Forays, an international ecotourism company. His extensive knowledge of flora, fauna, geology and culture along with his gift for storytelling, sharing wisdom and insight with humor and heart makes Michael's travel journeys rich, one-of-a kind experiences rarely found in guided trips. He is a regular KQED Perspectives commentator, Bay Nature Magazine columnist and Board Member for Land Paths. His past experience includes being the Executive Director of Frontier Arts Institute at Slide Ranch, a host/naturalist on a natural history documentary on southeast Alaska for the Discovery Cable Channel and wrote for a syndicated natural history column for 10 years that was carried in six newspapers.

Katie Fallon (Saturday 2020 Keynote) is the author of the nonfiction books Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird and Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird, which was a Finalist for the Reed Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment. She is currently serving as President of the Mountaineer Chapter of the National Audubon Society, and she is also one of the founders of the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving wild birds through research, education, and rehabilitation. The ACCA is based near Morgantown, WV, and each year treats more than 300 injured wild birds, conducts dozens of environmental education programs, and sponsors research projects. She is also the co-author of two books for children, Look, See the Bird! (2017) and Look, See the Farm! (2018), both from Hatherleigh Press. Katie’s essays and articles have appeared in a variety of journals and magazines, including Fourth GenreRiver TeethEcotoneBark MagazineStillAppalachian HeritageNow & ThenIsotopeFourth Riverthe Minnesota ReviewThe Tusculum Review, and elsewhere. Her essay “Feeding” (published in Still in 2018) was nominated for a Best of the Net award, and her essay “Rebirth” (published in River Teeth, Fall 2013) was listed as a “Notable” in Best American Science & Nature Writing 2014. Another essay, “Hill of the Sacred Eagles,” was a finalist in Terrain‘s 2011 essay contest. She has been nominated several times for a Pushcart Prize. Katie has taught creative writing at Virginia Tech and West Virginia University; she currently teaches Nonfiction in the Low-Residency MFA Programs at West Virginia Wesleyan College and Chatham University. WV Living magazine recently named Katie a 2017 “Wonder Woman of West Virginia”! Katie is lifelong resident of Appalachia, Katie’s great-great grandfather, great-grandfather, and grandfather were coal miners in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. She lives in Cheat Lake, WV, with her family.

Allen Fish, director of the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory, has been a staff member with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy since 1985. Allen has a background in evolutionary ecology and conservation biology from UC Davis. He has a particular interest in animal migrations and in bird population responses to urban development, climate change and other human pressures. He has recently been sucked in by the allure of dragonflies. From 2003–2011, Allen taught Raptor Biology at the University of California at Davis. Allen has also led raptor classes and birding trips for the California Academy of Sciences, the National Park Service, RapTours, the World Wildlife Fund and many Audubon chapters.

Mary Anne Flett is a native Californian and naturalist. She has been birding and eco-traveling for fun and working as a professional wildlife biologist for nearly 40 years. She especially loves land birds and hearing the dawn chorus. She has conducted bird research in mountain meadows and old growth forests in the Sierra Nevada for many years; her primary current focus is on studying rare marsh species and surveying birds associated with riparian and wetlands restoration projects around the San Francisco Bay and Estuary and elsewhere in Northern California. She has been working with Lorraine Parsons and Avocet Research Associates on the Giacomini Wetlands project since 2007, before the levees were breached.

Andrea Freeman has been working as a naturalist and environmental educator for the past 23 years. She has extensive experience teaching in the outdoors and has comprehensive knowledge of the natural sciences, with special expertise in botany, ecology, marine biology and phycology (the study of seaweed). She has been a board member of the California Native Plant Society and has led botany and ethnobotany walks as well as marine biology/tidepool outings for many years. She is a member of the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers Association, loves star-gazing and sharing her knowledge of the night sky with others. She is familiar with the wildlife of Point Reyes and can identify them by sight and sound. She has a Master’s Degree in Natural History and Environmental Studies and is an enthusiastic interpreter of the marvels of the natural world. She’s also an author, poet, and storyteller and plays the Celtic harp.

Keith Hansen is an internationally known birder and wildlife artist of Bolinas, Marin County, California. He specializes in birds illustrations with scientific accuracy. His childhood interest in birds developed into a lifelong passion. He has created illustrations for various organizations to adorn or enhance publications that have included books, scientific journals, magazines, newsletters and logos. He has worked on murals, taught drawing classes, had art shows, displayed at numerous Bird Symposiums and produced private commissions.  His latest accomplishment is a 14 year project illustrating a book entitled, Birds of the Sierra Nevada: Their Natural History, Status and Distribution, authored by Ted Beedy and Ed Pandolfino. He leads birding tours to Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, and the Yucatan. His workspace, The Wildlife Gallery is located in Bolinas, California where people are welcome to visit the studio and view originals, prints and the various works that he has on display.

Juan García divides his time between the San Francisco Bay Area and the Texas Gulf Coast. An alumnus of the California Naturalist and California Academy Master Birder programs, he has participated in field surveys for numerous conservation groups, including Audubon Canyon Ranch, Point Blue, Audubon California, Golden Gate Audubon and the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. He also teaches literature and language at the University of San Francisco.

Roger Harris is a certified Wildlife Biologist, who has lived next to and studied the Corte Madera Marsh for over 30 years. He is the author of the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s resource management plan for the Corte Madera Marsh and author of the Town of Corte Madera’s wildlife management plan for the Corte Madera Shorebird Marsh. He is currently on the Marin County Parks and Open Space Commission. Roger has been privileged to work as a naturalist on eco-tours around the world for the National Audubon Society and the Oceanic Society.

Luanna Helfman is a long-time festival volunteer and Marin County birder who has studied birdsong with mentors Bob Stewart, Howard Williams and Rich Stallcup. She has led birdsong walks for Marin Audubon for over 5 years and enjoys helping others discover birds by sound. She has over 30 years of experience working in local nurseries and is knowledgeable about flora of the area.

David Herlocker has been enthusiastically involved in nature education for nearly 40 years, working with the California Academy of Sciences, the San Francisco Zoological Society and most recently as the Interpretive Naturalist for Marin County Parks. He is an avid birder and is equally passionate about wildflowers, reptiles, insects and pretty much every living thing encountered outdoors.

Alan Hopkins is a California native, who obtained a BFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1976. Natural history observation and scientific processes are important elements that inform his art work. He has worked for NOAA’s Cordell Bank Ocean Monitoring Program and is the co-founder and compiler of the San Francisco Bird Count. In 2008, he gave a slide presentation and wrote the text on the California Quail for Fritz Haege’s Animal Estates at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He was the Shipyard Trust for the Arts Naturalist in Residence from 2002 to 2007 and was awarded the Shipyard Trust for the Arts Artist in Residence from 2010 to 2012. Alan currently works in his studio at the Hunters Point Shipyard in San Francisco.

Lisa Hug is a freelance naturalist and contract biologist. She is an experienced birder in the North Bay area whose frequent 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. Her latest pursuit is starting a birding program for youth that have a special interest in birds. This group has become known locally as Y.A.M.S. (Young Ancient Murrelets) and is a chapter of the Redwood Region Ornithological Society. She loves to share her knowledge of and enthusiasm for the natural world with others.

Megan Isadore, an award-winning conservationist and naturalist, co-founded and directs The River Otter Ecology Project. Her previous projects include work on endangered coho salmon recovery, wildlife rehabilitation, environmental education and medical risk analysis education and publications.

John Karachewski is a geologist for the California-EPA (DTSC) in Berkeley. He has conducted geology and environmental projects throughout the western US from Colorado to Alaska to Midway Island and throughout California. He leads numerous geology field trips for the Point Reyes Field Institute and also enjoys teaching at Diablo Valley College. Doris Sloan and John collaborated on a popular book about the Geology of the San Francisco Bay Region. He enjoys photographing landscapes during the magic light of sunrise and sunset.

Dave MacKenzie is a naturalist who has been birding since he was 12. As an engineering consultant he has traveled widely, searching out birds in many areas, although his favorite patch is near his home in Muir Beach, CA. He has done monitoring of Northern spotted owls in Marin County, developed a bird list of the Redwood Creek watershed (including Muir Woods) for the National Park Service and recently has been doing research on river otters for the River Otter Ecology Project. Dave loves everything natural and also enjoys fly fishing, kayaking, mountain biking, wildlife tracking and camping with his grandchildren. His current project, the Baccharis Institute, studies modern evolutionary biology.

Mia Monroe is a National Park Service Ranger, currently as Marin Community Liaison. She participates on the Redwood Renewal team as well as the OneTam Steering Committee. She has worked in the Redwood Creek Watershed for years and has a particular fondness for ferns and monarch butterflies. She is a former Environmental Action Committee of West Marin (EAC) board member and the recipient of EAC's Peter Behr Steward of the Land Award in 2018 in honor of her commitment and dedication to environmental protection and education in Marin.

Joe Mueller has been teaching biology at the College of Marin for 30 years. Of the 15 different courses he has taught, subjects of particular interest include ecology, marine biology, ornithology and environmental science. Taking a holistic approach to science, Joe emphasizes the inter-connective approach to understanding biology. He is the recipient of the 2008 Terwilliger Environmental Award.

Craig Nikitas is a retired urban planner and multi-decade raptor bander and docent with the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory, who currently operates Bay Raptor Rescue, a free service to assist birds of prey trapped in buildings, injured or in other distress.

Lorraine Parsons is the lead Vegetation/Wetland Ecologist at Point Reyes National Seashore for the past 17 years. She was the project leader for the Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project, which was completed in 2008. After that, she managed the Abbotts Lagoon Coastal Dune Restoration Project, which is restoring approximately 300 acres of coastal dune north of Abbotts Lagoon. She has also worked on several other wetland and dune restoration projects in the Seashore.

Todd Plummer is a former wildlife biologist, a certified California Naturalist and serves as Development Director for the Point Reyes National Seashore Association. He has 30 years’ experience as a birder and conservationist. He studied bird population dynamics and endangered species management at the University of Georgia. His motto: Every day is a treasure hunt.

Peter Pyle has worked as an ornithologist and marine biologist throughout the Pacific. During the 1980-2000's much of his research was conducted on birds and white sharks at the Farallon Islands and he is now a species identification specialist and consultant for the Greater Farallones Association's Beach Watch Program. He is a Research Associate both at the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco and the B.P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu and is one of the world's leading experts on the science of avian molt. To date he has authored over 170 papers in scientific journals, two books, including Identification Guide to North American Birds" Parts 1 and 2; and coauthored 3 additional books. A feather in his cap includes describing and naming a new species of shearwater (Puffinus bryani), named after his grandfather, Edwin Bryan. Peter currently works as a staff biologist for the Institute for Bird Populations in Point Reyes Station.

Dave Shuford has been a senior scientist in the Wetlands Ecology Division at Point Blue Conservation Science 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 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.

Juan-Carlos Solis is the founder and expedition leader of and a Programs Specialist for Sonoma Water. He is passionate about connecting people to nature and designing programs to experience our planet first-hand. He’s a seasoned expedition leader and naturalist with 20 years of experience managing and leading local trips in California and in all of the world’s 7 continents. While working as Public Programs Manager for the California Academy of Sciences for 9 years and Field Associate for the Ornithology and Mammalogy Research Department, he led several local and international natural history programs including Academy Travel Expeditions to Antarctica, Baja California, Mexico and Canada’s West Coast. He continues to lead trips for other companies and has lectured on environmental education topics in India, Australia, Panama, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, and most recently in Sweden. Throughout his career, Juan-Carlos has been praised for his hands-on teaching style, enthusiasm and vision for environmental education. He pioneered the delivery of interpretive programming at the California Academy of Sciences and significantly contributed to the design of the highly interactive model of the new Academy. Moreover, as Director of Education for WildCare, he founded new programs serving thousands of children and families with field trips to some of the Bay Area’s most beautiful parks, including Muir Woods, China Camp and Spring Lake. Through one of these programs, WildCare Family Adventures, and in collaboration with the Audubon Society and Point Blue (former PRBO) he organized the very first bilingual / bicultural Christmas Bird Count for Latino families in the United States in 2009.

Meryl Sundove is an environmental educator, formerly with the National Audubon Society at the Richardson Bay Audubon Center and now with Point Blue Conservation Science’s Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed(STRAW) program. She is a recipient of the Terwilliger Environmental Award. Meryl has lived next to and studied the Corte Madera Marsh for over 30 years. She also teaches the popular spring birding by ear class for the Marin Audubon Society. Meryl has been privileged to work as a naturalist on eco-tours around the world for the National Audubon Society and for private vendors.

Teresa and Miles Tuffli are avid birders who enjoy volunteering their time with nature-based organizations within their community of Sonoma County. They run an active blog called I’m Birding Right Now. They lead beginner’s birding walks for LandPaths at Bohemia Ecological Preserve. As members of the Petaluma Wetlands Alliance, they participate in monthly bird surveys and publish in-the-field recaps on the PWA website. They are also day leaders for the Jenner Headlands Hawk Migration Project during fall migration raptor counts.

Bill Walker is a Bay Area wildlife photographer who has been photographing wild birds and their environment since 2003. He has taught photography for Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society and the Coastside Land Trust. His work is published on Flicker, at and in his annual BirdWalker wall calendar.

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, and biking.

Ken Wilson is the owner of Talon Tours, is a native New Zealander and has been leading nature and bird watching tours worldwide since 1995. Ken has also led focused tours in many national and state parks in the western United States, as well as key birding sites during migration. He is a long time Sonoma county resident and has taught many popular classes in the county.

Nils Warnock 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. Nils is a Fellow of the American Ornithological Society and has over 30 years of experience pertaining to the ecology and conservation of Pacific Flyway birds, especially shorebirds. Nils started his ornithological career in West Marin at what was then the Point Reyes Bird Observatory (now Point Blue). Most recently, he served as the Executive Director of Audubon Alaska and a Vice President of the National Audubon Society (2010-2018).

David Wimpfheimer is a biologist, naturalist and EAC board member with a passion for the birds and natural history of the West. During his twenty years of expeditions, in addition to local classes for the Point Reyes Field Institute, Marin Agricultural Land Trust and the California Academy of Sciences, he has led numerous tours to Mexico, Alaska, Scotland and other regions for groups including the Smithsonian Institution, Wild Wings, and Elder hostel. Although the majority of David’s field trips are geared toward teaching and interpreting the language of the avian world, he is just as experienced teaching the rich diversity of the greater natural world. From whale watching expeditions to wildflower forays, this “California Naturalist” will make every visit to the natural world memorable and enjoyable.