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.
Linda Carloni (Former President, Co-Chair of the Friends of the Alameda Wildlife Refuge 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 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.
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
Diane Bennett is the Youth Education Committee Chair. She 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.
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.
William Hudson 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.
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).
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.
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.
Alexandra Smolyanskaya is a neuroscientist turned data scientist living and working in San Francisco. She believes in actively creating a welcoming environment for people of all backgrounds to appreciate and advocate for birds and the natural world. She is the founder and chapter leader of the Bay Area Feminist Bird Club, which is dedicated to promoting diversity in birding. She has volunteered on bird-related projects with Golden Gate Audubon, Audubon California, and with researchers at San Francisco State University. Alex has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University and a B.S. in Biochemistry from Stony Brook University.