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..
Eric Schroeder (President and Travel Program coordinator) worked at U.C. Davis where he had a thirty-year career as a lecturer and administrator. He taught for several departments—including the University Writing Program, the English Department, and the American Studies Program—and directed the Study Abroad Program for which he taught summer courses in Australia, South Africa, and Scotland. His volunteer work includes serving as president of the Tilden Wildcat Horsemen’s Association and as a member of the East Bay Regional Park District’s Volunteer Mounted Patrol. He completed the GGAS Master Birder Program and has published nature articles in Undercurrent, Bay Nature, and The Gull. He received his BA in Greek and English from UCLA, his MA in Renaissance Studies from the University of Sussex, and his PhD in English Literature from UCLA.
GGAS was excited to be the beneficiary of Eric’s 2019 Big Year! He saw 1,057 bird species last year while raising over $7,000 for GGAS. Click here to read about his Big Year.
Laura Cremin (Vice President and EBCC Chair) is an environmental compliance specialist who supports Public Works flood control and transportation projects. She is involved in promoting environmental stewardship and activities of local watershed groups. Laura has experience in science education, and previously worked as the science lab coordinator at Diablo Valley College. Her interest in behavioral ecology was pursued over a few years in a variety of field and lab research projects. She holds a B.S. in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior from the University of Minnesota.
Bruce Mast (Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee) is a nationally recognized thought leader on residential green building. He helped found the nonprofit Build It Green in 2004 and has served as its Deputy Executive Director since 2006, leading business development activities and translating Build It Green’s strategic priorities into practical program designs. He honed his birding and citizen science skills as a volunteer at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge in Central Texas, where he mapped nesting territories of endangered Black-capped Vireos and Golden-cheeked Warblers. He also served as a City Councilmember for City of Albany, California, and a high school science teacher in the Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa. Bruce holds a BA in Physics from Rice University.
Carol Baird (Board Secretary, Chair of the Development Committee and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee) was the founding director of the California Institute for Biodiversity, an education nonprofit that fosters environmentally informed citizens by improving science literacy and supporting the use of appropriate technology in the classroom. Carol was until recently an Instructor in Zoology at U.C. Berkeley, where for fifteen years she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Ecology and Vertebrate Biology. She earned a Master’s degree in English at Stanford, and then pursued her PhD in Integrative Biology (U.C. Berkeley), on a long-term project studying interactions among nectar-feeding birds and insects in Costa Rica. She recently retired from the Board of Directors of Bay Nature magazine, but is currently active on the Advisory Board of the University’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.
Directors and Committee Chairs
Rebekah Berkov works for the Presidio of San Francisco as community engagement specialist, cultivating partnerships and reciprocal programs with audiences, community-based organizations, and visitor groups who are underrepresented in national parks. She is a fierce advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion and access. For six years prior, she worked with the Presidio Education team as Field Education Specialist designing and leading informal, field, gallery, and classroom-based learning experiences, and events in the park. In her early career she participated in the re-installation project of the Natural Sciences permanent Gallery at the Oakland Museum of California, and education and exhibits at the Bay Area Discovery Museum. She holds a certificate in Agro-ecology from Merritt College, a B.A. from UC Davis in Psychology, and completed M.A. coursework in World Arts and Cultures at UCLA. In her spare time, you will find Rebekah counting butterflies, identifying birds while hiking the trails of Oakland, or reading novels in Spanish. Her passion for birds was inherited from her mother and her father, and was cultivated by a childhood of visiting Costa Rican rain forests and endless discovery of all of the wondrous inhabitants of her backyard in El Sobrante.
Amy Chong is a conservation biologist and native plant enthusiast. Amy became enamored with birds as a child and her affection for birds has since expanded to native plants, landscape design, environmental education, and sustainability. She currently manages and stewards habitat restoration sites in the Presidio as a biological science technician, having previously studied and monitored wildlife in the Sierras and in Costa Rica. Amy is often found biking around town, weeding her neighborhood community garden, and hiking in local parks. She received a B.S. in Wildlife and Conservation Biology from UC Davis.
Blake Edgar is a native of Oakland, CA. A professional writer and editor with an emphasis on scientific topics, he works on the marketing communications team for U.C. Berkeley’s central development unit. Previously, he held editorial positions at the University of California Press and the California Academy of Sciences. Blake is a certified California Naturalist and Master Birder. He earned B.A. degrees in Zoology and Anthropology from U.C. Berkeley and a certificate in Science Communication from U.C. Santa Cruz. Blake is the co-author of three books about paleoanthropology and authored the visitors’ guide to the Hall of Deep Time at the National Museum of Natural History. His other volunteer activities include the Oakland Zoo and Berkeley Repertory Theatre.
Whitney Grover is the Chair of the San Francisco Conservation Committee. She is a senior pharmacy buyer and program administrator at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, where she is a lead member of the hospital’s Environmental Action Committee. In the past, she worked in landscape installation and volunteered with several urban gardens including Garden for the Environment and the Urban Agriculture Program of the S.F. Recreation and Parks Department. Whitney participated in Golden Gate Audubon’s 2019 Master Birder class, and is a founder of the SF Bay chapter of the Feminist Bird Club. She leads Audubon field trips at the Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve and takes part in twice-monthly bird surveys there. A bicycle enthusiast, she received a B.A. in Film and Digital Media from U.C. Santa Cruz.
Oliver James was born and raised in Berkeley, CA. An avid birder since age five, he started leading field trips for GGAS as a junior at Berkeley High School. He received a B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University and is currently a master’s candidate at UC Berkeley, where he is pursuing a joint MPP/M.S. degree at the Goldman School of Public Policy and the Energy & Resources Group. His policy and research interests lie at the intersection of climate change, conservation, and natural resource management in California. Oliver has held recent positions with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Strategic Growth Council in the Governor’s Office of California. He is also the author and illustrator of Birds of Berkeley from Heyday Press (2018).
Susan MacWhorter works as a Student Programs Educator at the California Academy of Sciences, developing and teaching on-site and virtual programs for K-5th grades. Susan also volunteers as a docent with the California Academy of Sciences, as a citizen scientist with the Greater Farallones Beach Watch program, and with the Golden Gate and Sequoia Audubon Societies. In 2016 Susan received her Master Birding certification from GGAS. She is a certified California Naturalist, and certified in Climate Change Interpretation through NNOCCI (National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation). Prior to her career transition to science education, Susan spent many years in the biotech industry, leading teams in the SF Bay Area and Shenzhen China, developing DNA products for genomic sequencing and PCR testing. Susan has a preliminary CTE (Career Technical Education) teaching certificate in Biotechnology, a BA degree in Chemistry and Biology from Oberlin College, and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of California, Davis.
Christine Okon is an experienced writer, content strategist, and project manager who has worked at companies including Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield, and has also run her own consulting business. A Golden Gate Audubon volunteer since 2005, Chris also volunteers for the California Native Plant Society, and as a hawk watcher with Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. She is a member of the S.F. Bay Area Theater Critics Circle and writes a theater blog called Theater and Such. Chris has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Linguistics from Northern Illinois University, and a Certificate in Computer Studies from Northwestern University.
David Robinson (Chair of the Strategic Initiatives Committee) is a longtime educator and nonprofit worker now making a career change into conservation work. As a twenty-something, David cut his teeth on AIDS activism and queer activism with ACT UP and Queer Nation. Later he spent years teaching on both the university and high school levels, and worked in nonprofits focused on equitable urban planning and LGBTQ inclusion in Jewish life. During the 2020 election season, he combined his love of birds with his dedication to grassroots activism by co-founding Auk the Vote! mobilizing birders to increase pro-environment voter turnout in swing states. He is a member of the 2020–2021 cohort of the Cal Academy of Sciences/GGAS Master Birder Program, as well as the spring 2021 Point Reyes cohort of the UC Climate Stewards Program.
Dan Roth (Chair of the Nominating Committee and Chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee) is a criminal defense lawyer who lives in Oakland and represents clients throughout the Bay Area and beyond. He is a lifelong nature lover originally from Akron, Ohio. Dan is a longtime board member of the Bay Area Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society, which he chaired from 2011 – 2014, and currently serves as the chapter’s Diversity & Inclusion Co-Chair. He also serves on the Board of Governors of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ), California’s association of criminal defense lawyers and allied professionals. Dan is also a founding member of Blackout for Human Rights, a cultural organizing collective founded by East Bay filmmaker Ryan Coogler to combat police violence and mass incarceration, and has co-produced major events including the annual MLK NOW celebration at Harlem’s historic Riverside Church. Dan is a graduate of The Ohio State University, where he received degrees in History, English, and Political Science, and Boston College Law School.