Meet Your Officers
Rachel is a wildlife biologist living and working in the Bay Area. Originally from the east coast, Rachel fell in love with California on her first visit in 2003 and has called this state her home for the last 13 years. Rachel obtained both a B.S. and M.S. in Organismal Biology, Conservation, and Ecology from San Jose State University. A mammologist at heart, the focus of her thesis was on bobcats in the Mount Hamilton Range. Rachel has also had the pleasure of working with the elusive southern Sierra Nevada fisher population, mountain lions, condors, burrowing owls, California red-legged frogs, and many other flora and fauna in California. With her drive to be immersed in nature as much as possible, Rachel's favorite past time is wandering the great outdoors with her trusty side kick Genji.
Natalie is the wildlife biologist for SFO, working to protect snakes, frogs, birds, and all other wildlife that calls the airport home. She earned a BA from UC Berkeley and a MS from SFSU studying amphibian disease in the Sierra Nevada. An impressive list of species she has been bitten by include channel island grey fox and just about every species of snake native to northern California except rattlesnakes. When not glamorously slogging through a bog in her chest waders, Natalie volunteers with shelter dogs, plays soccer, tries to figure out why some people find yoga relaxing, and is learning to play the ukulele. She lives in South San Francisco with her cat, Brooks, who was named after a serial killer.
Professional Development Co-Chair
Leslie grew up in the mountains of Colorado where she developed a passion early for anything outdoors growing up playing in the trees, lakes and rivers of the Rockies. She obtained a bachelors of science degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. She moved to the Bay Area after graduating and loves continually learning about the biological diversity of the region and state. She lives in Livermore and enjoys hiking, skiing, camping and anything outdoors with her family.
Public Outreach Coordinator
Caitlyn Bishop is a wildlife biologist currently living in Oakland, California. After years of chasing loons and geese across the Alaskan Arctic tundra and penguins in Antarctica, Caitlyn has found herself comfortably back in the Bay Area, surrounded by her garden and her wonderful friends and family, who still aren't entirely sure what she does for a living. Her passion to understand and advocate for wildlife and their habitats has driven her to specialize in California environmental policy and law as a biological consultant. Inspiring and encouraging others to do the same has been and will always be one of the most important and special aspects of her career. Although formally trained as a terrestrial biologist, Caitlyn can be found scouring tide pools for nudibranchs at low tide, spotlighting for moths and scorpions at dark, or searching the forest for edible plants and mushrooms after a recent rain.
Conservation Affairs Chair
Patricia is a senior wildlife biologist at WRA, Inc in San Rafael, and a Certified Wildlife Biologist. Her background includes a variety of academic-oriented jobs and organizations with a focus of science to inform management and policy. Spatial ecology and animal movement were the focus of most of her studies, but everyone still asks what is her favorite taxon. For that answer she says she gave up trying to work with canids when she realized she would rather be on a nice warm rock like those snakes... Patricia was fairly nomadic until landing here in the Bay Area in 2011, but she does her best to keep traveling and seeing new things from the beautiful base camp of San Francisco. She loves trading stories of explorations both local and abroad, sharing experiences, baseball games, and helping new recruits to this field find their passion.
Chapter Representative to the Section
Kathleen Grady is a wildlife biologist based out of San Francisco. She received her BS in Ecology and Evolution from UC Santa Barbara, and after working as a seasonal biologist studying birds for almost 10 years, she went back to school to get her Masters at Sonoma State University. There, she studied bird response to creek restoration on private ranches and dairies. While most of her career has been focused on birds, more recently Kathleen has been enjoying getting more experience with plants and herps -- especially the adorable California tiger salamander. Kathleen volunteers as a bander for the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory and remains passionate about maintaining what makes the Bay Area special by optimizing public and private lands for both wildlife and people.
Meghan Bishop has been a wildlife biologist in the Bay Area for the last 11 years and currently works as senior wildlife biologist at Nomad Ecology in Martinez. She received her B.S. from UC Santa Cruz and her M.S. from SFSU studying the diet of the California red-legged frog within Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Although amphibians are her specialty, she works with and loves all Bay Area wildlife. She lives in Berkeley and enjoys hiking, yoga, skiing, good food and wine, and most importantly, spending time with her dog, Jovie.
Joe DiDonato has a long history with the SF Bay Chapter of The Wildlife Society, joining the chapter in the mid-1990s and serving as President in 1999. He started his career in wildlife biology while as an undergraduate in Pennsylvania studying raptors, songbirds and deer. He received his B.S. from Penn State University in 1986 and traveled the East coast in search of fieldwork and birds. Joe’s experiences eventually led him west where in 1986 he worked for the UCSC Predatory Bird Research Group on a few peregrine releases and a year-long raptor survey in SE Alameda County. After banding raptors in the Goshute Mountains in Nevada and trapping bald eagles in Arizona in 1987, Joe started working with Judd Howell on some of the first raptor mortality studies in the Altamont Pass. He continues this work today with Doug Bell, trapping and attaching radio backpacks to eagles to monitor movements and mortality. In 1989 Joe became the first Wildlife Manager at East Bay Regional Park District and served the Stewardship Department until his departure in 2009. As he puts it “I covered everything from insects to whales”. Joe was instrumental in establishing the initial inventories of the District’s resources which today have developed the baseline for the management and protection of many sensitive species. Since his departure, Joe has been working as an independent consultant focusing on endangered species of the greater Bay Area, Conservation Banking, golden eagles and enjoying life. His passions include hunting and fishing, wildlife photography, music and laughter. While he is an active member of the chapter, Joe and his wife Laura are spending more time in Humboldt County where they are caretaking a ranchette and looking for property of their own. Joe looks forward to adding to the chapter as the newsletter editor and is grateful to serve with such a talented and dedicated group.
Laura is a wildlife biologist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her love of the outdoors and running around with the wild things has led to a lifetime of study, travel, and work centered on conservation ecology. She holds a BS in Marine Biology from The College of Charleston and a MS in Marine Biology from SFSU’s Estuary & Ocean Science Center. Between degrees, she lived onboard a research vessel (SEA class S-215), worked as a seasonal field technician for SC Fish & Game and NOAA’s National Center for Coastal Ocean Science, and as a NMFS Fisheries and Marine Mammal Observer in Alaska. Laura’s love of public outreach has developed as a side effect of her work with anything from plankton to tarantulas to harbor seals. She loves to collaborate with others, and share her enthusiasm through education – whether her audience is a group of school children or stakeholders! Her MS thesis, which studied harbor porpoise in SF Bay, included an on-going citizen science program with the SF Bay Chapter of the American Cetacean Society. While living in the Bay Area, Laura has also volunteered in wildlife rehabilitation, in the Cal Academy’s Bones Lab, as an education docent at The Marine Mammal Center, and as a bird bander for Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. Other interests include sailing, swimming, hiking, trail-runs, camping, painting, reading, and hanging on the beach.
Carli is a biologist and naturalist living in Oakland, California. She's been sharing her love of the environment since high school, where she led outreach efforts for her local Creek Club. Since then, she's received a B.A. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a Minor in Forestry from UC Berkeley and a M.A. in Adult Environmental Education. She's dedicated her career to creating a generation of environmentally literate adults through nature exploration and scientific inquiry in the US and Europe. She's taught in zoos, aquariums, vernal pools, science museums, parks, classrooms, and backyards, and loves connecting people with their local environment. When she isn't working in the field or teaching environmental education, she enjoys gardening, yoga, captaining her local kickball team and taking her adventurous cat Alphonse on hikes throughout the Oakland hills.
Professional Development Co-Chair
Nicole has been a wildlife biologist for 7 years and is currently working at Kleinfelder. She studied western pond turtles during her time at Sonoma State, where she received her B.A. and M.S. in biology. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new Bay Area hiking trail, going to beer festivals, and spending time with her animals.
Lauren is a wildlife ecologist in the SF Bay Area with a passion for wildlife conservation. She has been dedicated to studying and saving wildlife since the day she caught her first snake in her front yard at age five. After graduating with a Biology Degree from SDSU, Lauren sought a variety of experiences from Mexican wolf recovery in Arizona, mountain lion and bobcat monitoring in the Santa Monica Mountains, to Western bluebird reintroduction in Washington. Her love for travel has also led her to seek opportunities worldwide including lion and elephant research in Kenya, elephant research in Sri Lanka, and herpefauna research in Costa Rica. In between her travels she obtained a master’s degree in environmental management from USF while working for the State. In her free time, she loves hiking and camping, snowboarding, scuba diving, fly fishing, running, and photographing the beauty of nature.
Gabe Reyes grew up in the Bay Area, spending much of his childhood running around Tilden Park and the many other preserves scattered around the region. Gabe attended San Francisco State for undergrad in Zoology with a minor in Geography. He then attended Humboldt State for his master’s degree, studying the social behavior of hoary bats during migration. He then went on to work in environmental consulting focusing on bats and renewable energy impacts to wildlife. He now works as a bat biologist for the US Geological Survey Western Ecological Research Center, studying the ecology of bats in the Western US. When not out chasing bats, he can be found chasing other critters (salamanders, bugs, etc…), playing music, trail running, eating chilaquiles, and learning random new skills.
Mary is a MS Candidate at San Jose State University studying Western Trillium in the redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains. She is currently a field biologist in the Santa Clara County area. When she’s not camping or road-tripping during her free time, she’s volunteering to dip net, set traps, and count any species that sounds interesting. When she’s staying put, she’s probably gardening or knitting.
Want to join our board?
We are always looking for members to join our committees, and each board position has a term. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us!
2020: Natalie Reeder
2019: Natalie Greer
2018: Jen Jelincic
2017: Kristin Tremain
2016: Tammy Lim
2015: Erika Walther
2014: Mandi McElroy
2013: Matthew Bettelheim
2012: Natasha Dvorak
2011: Karen Swaim
2010: Christine Gaber
2009: Doug Bell
2008: Kellie Collins/Ron Duke
2007: Mary Boland
2006: Tom Kucera
2005: Doug Padley/Tom Kucera
2004: Doug Padley
2003: Brian Pittman
2001-2002: Dave Cook
2000: Steve Bobzien
1999: Joe DiDonato
1991-1993: Judd Howell
1982: Audrey Goldsmith
1981: Roger Harris