Speaker Series

Golden Gate Audubon’s monthly Speaker Series in San Francisco and Berkeley features renowned naturalists, photographers, ornithologists, authors, international travelers, and other fascinating speakers. To cover event costs, we ask non-members for a voluntary donation of $5. Non-members may attend for free if they join that evening. As always, GGAS members are welcome to attend free of charge. Locations are listed on the right side of this page.

Doors open for refreshments at 6:30 p.m. and the speaker will start promptly at 7 p.m.


Birding the United States by bicycle:

An 18,000-mile American Odyssey

Dorian Anderson
San Francisco: Thursday, September 20
6:30 p.m. refreshments, 7 p.m. program

Photo of Dorian in Pawnee by Bill Schmoker


On January 1st, 2014 Dorian Anderson departed a complexly frozen Massachusetts on his bicycle to undertake one of the most ambitious birding projects in history: the first North American bicycle Big Year. In the next 365 days, he cycled 18,000 miles through 28 states, raised $49,000 for bird conservation, and found 618 bird species, all without using a drop of petroleum. From New England to Florida, from Texas to the Pacific Northwest, and from Colorado to California, Dorian experienced the United States in the most memorable and unique manner imaginable. His story of birding, biking, adventure, and self-discovery should not be missed.

A lifelong birder, Dorian completed his B.S. in Molecular Biology at Stanford University and his Ph.D. in Developmental Genetics at New York University before accepting a postdoctoral position in Molecular Neuroscience at Massachusetts General Hospital, a positioned he resigned to undertake his bicycle Big Year project. He is an accomplished bird photographer and is currently working as a travel writer and bird guide while he finishes a book about his adventure. He and his wife, Sonia, live in San Mateo.


International Bird Rescue:

When Waterbirds are in Crisis

JD Bergeron
Berkeley: Thursday, October 18
6:30 p.m. refreshments, 7 p.m. program

JD releasing a loon

International Bird Rescue has become a global leader in responding to man-made disasters affecting wildlife, including oil spills. To date, their response teams have led wildlife rescue efforts in more than 225 spills across six continents. Bird Rescue’s mission is to inspire people to act toward balance with the natural world by rescuing waterbirds in crisis. Bird Rescue runs two world-class wildlife centers in California where their team cares for an average of 4,500 animals each year, including pelicans, herons, shorebirds, and other aquatic species. Avian patients are brought in for many reasons, and may be emaciated, dehydrated, ill, injured, and/or orphaned when they arrive. International Bird Rescue believes that ‘every bird matters’ and rehabilitation is geared to ensure as many birds as possible can be returned to the wild with a viable second chance to survive.

JD brings to his leadership a birder’s passion, a childlike delight in Nature, and a deep commitment to solving world challenges in unconventional ways. He has more than 20 years of experience in not-for-profit leadership, international development, and organizational change. JD is also the Co-Founder of Chooda, which puts on Bike Zambia, a weeklong bicycle ride that raises funds and awareness for HIV/AIDS prevention and economic empowerment for girls and women in Zambia. 


Habitat Potential Birding Tactics

Josiah Clark
San Francisco: Thursday, November 15
6:30 p.m. refreshments, 7 p.m. program

When it comes to making every moment count in birding, how one looks is at least as important as where one looks. Drawing on strategies developed for birding Big Days and Christmas Bird Counts, this presentation aims to reveal tactics that will help birders and naturalists improve their methods of coverage and ultimately find more species. We will explore the anatomy of a route, comparing and contrasting different birding methods and styles including skimming vs. digging, and how to allocate time in various habitats when trying to maximize ones species count.

This presentation will also note dozens of bird and plant species, focusing on important resources that provide for local birds and wildlife. Josiah will share conservation related information on the limiting factors of vulnerable and declining groups, including cup-nesting songbirds, precocial young and birds of open habitats. This presentation aims to help naturalists both find more species and become more informed conservation advocates

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 Natures Acres Nursery and  Habitat Potential Consulting. Both are dedicated to interpreting, preserving, and creating productive wildlife habitats in the human landscape.