About Our Board

Golden Gate Audubon’s Board of Directors meets the fourth Tuesday of January, March, May, June, September and November. Meetings are held at Golden Gate Audubon’s main office or a location in San Francisco.


Diane Bennett (President) is a retired California educator who spent 30 years teaching science, math, and computers to middle school students and is credentialed to teach English Language Learners. Diane regularly participates in GGAS field trips and volunteers with the Eco-Education program. Her other volunteer commitments include San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, Point Blue Conservation Science, and the Oakland Zoo, where she is treasurer of the Docent Board. Diane graduated with a B.S. degree in education from Eastern Michigan University, and earned a M.A. degree in educational technology from San Francisco State University.

Linda Carloni (Vice President, Secretary, and Chair of the Human Resources Committee) is retired from the practice of law, most recently as General Counsel of an Oakland educational software company. Previously, she was a founder of a health care startup, worked in technology transfer for the University of California and provided legal representation for technology and medical device companies on business and securities law matters.  She volunteers in GGAS’s Eco-Ed program, and is a graduate of GGAS’s first Master Birder class.  Linda is an Alameda County Master Gardener and serves on the board of Alameda Backyard Growers, a network of gardeners who provide education on urban agriculture and donate extra fruit and vegetables to the Alameda Food Bank.  She received a B.A. in political science from Case Western Reserve University and a J.D. from the UC Berkeley School of Law.

William Hudson (Treasurer) has worked in private finance, as a long term lender to established companies for an insurance company and as an investment banker for a small firm in San Francisco. He was an early volunteer and later board member for Save Open Space-Gateway Valley, which worked closely with Golden Gate Audubon to minimize the environmental impact of the Gateway Valley development in Orinda. He is currently treasurer of the Gateway Settlement Fund Alliance, a related organization with representatives from SOS-GV, Golden Gate Audubon, and the Sierra Club. William also serves on the board of Friends of the Wagner Ranch Nature Area and does pro bono nonprofit consulting through the Stanford Alumni Consulting Team. He received an M.B.A. from Stanford University, as well as Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in engineering.

Directors and Committee Chairs

Clayton Anderson is an environmental educator and professional artist, currently working with the Stepping Out Stepping In environmental education program and the Artesteem art education program. He became a naturalist and birder as a child, although he didn’t get his first pair of binoculars until graduating from high school. Clay worked his way through San Jose City College, then transferred to San Jose State University, graduating with a B.A. in Drawing and Painting. He has worked with a number of environmental education organizations, including California State Parks and Recreation, East Bay Regional Park District and The Oakland Museum. As an artist, he has designed numerous logos, business cards, brochures, flyers and posters as well as illustrating two books and completing several murals. He is currently a participant in Golden Gate Audubon’s 2015 Master Birder class.

Carol Baird is Executive Director Emeritus for the California Institute for Biodiversity, an education nonprofit that fosters environmentally informed citizens by improving science literacy, environmental education, and the use of appropriate technology in the classroom. Carol was formerly an Instructor in Zoology at U.C. Berkeley, where she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Ecology and Vertebrate Biology. She earned her PhD in Biology from U.C. Berkeley, which involved the study of interactions among nectar-feeding birds and insects in Costa Rica.  She is on the Board of Directors of Bay Nature magazine, which covers the unique habitats and wildlife of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Sharon Beals is a photographer, author and a self-described citizen scientist. Her book, Nests: Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them (Chronicle Books), is her effort to create interest in the conservation issues affecting birds. Her photographs have appeared in Audubon, National Geographic, and Birding magazines, and a show of her nest photographs  has traveled from the National Academy of Scienes, to Massachusetts Audubon, and to Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates. Since publication of her book, Sharon has had the opportunity to give presentations about conservation issues, including a TED Earth talk and a presentation to architects on bird-safe buildings.

John Philip “Jack” Dumbacher Jr. (Chair of San Francisco Conservation Committee) is Curator and Chair of the Ornithology and Mammalogy Department at the California Academy of Sciences, and a professor of biology at San Francisco State University.  A frequent presenter at the American Ornithologists’ Union and other conferences, Jack is an author of more than two dozen scholarly articles on birds. He has organized and co-led ornithological collecting trips to Papua New Guinea, the Gaoligonshan Mountains of China, Baviaanskloof region of South Africa, Namibia, and various locations in North America. Jack has also served as a leader and guide for family travel programs to destinations including the Galapagos, Western China and Tibet, and Greenland. He co-teaches the Master Birding class that is sponsored by GGAS and the Academy of Sciences.

Jill Weader O’Brien is a deputy attorney general in the civil division of the California Department of Justice.  She holds a degree in environmental science and public policy from Harvard College, where she authored a senior thesis on the effects of roads on wildlife.  She holds a law degree from the University of Michigan.   She has traveled extensively in Latin America, experiencing the wonder of the region’s nature and bird life.  Jill  has experience mist-netting and banding California birds and has enjoyed birdwatching for years.

Jack Ryder is a residential Realtor with Pacific Union International in San Francisco specializing in luxury property sales. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Paideia Institute, as well as on the Global Business Council, the Government Relations Committee, and as Vice Chair of the Education Committee for the San Francisco Association of Realtors®. Jack studied Business Communication at Arizona State University and has more than 30 years of professional experience working collaboratively with the design, luxury real estate, and non-profit communities: building partnerships, procuring projects, managing marketing and fundraising campaigns, and coordinating philanthropic endeavors. He has been an avid birder for more than a decade, and as a lifetime outdoorsman, is dedicated to environmental conservation.

Pam Young (Chair of the East Bay Conservation Committee)  is an aviculturist, birding guide, and environmental law specialist who worked for many years as a bird curator at zoos including the Toledo Zoo and Dallas Zoo. Her skills with birds include rescue and rehabilitation, reproduction in captivity for repopulation programs, and falconry. As a member of several working groups, Pam participated in the recovery of the California Condor, proposals for breeding and reintroducing the Black-capped Vireo, field studies on Prairie Falcons, and behavioral studies of breeding Roseate Spoonbills. Among her consulting activities, Pam was a reviewer of the Wild Bird Conservation Act for the U.S. Dept. of Fish & Wildlife and a member of the International Advisory Committee for the National Avian Research Centre in Abu Dhabi. She studied avian ecology as an undergraduate and earned a J.D. in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School.


We mourn the loss in December 2015 of board member Allen Hirsch. Click here to view an online gallery of some of Allen’s wonderful bird photographs.