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Meet Your Officers

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Farley Connelly

2024 President

Farley hails from Chicago but migrated to the west coast to learn about all thing’s wildlife at UCSB. Following college, Farley started a career in conservation research in the San Francisco Bay Area, working with a variety of threatened and endangered species. Wanting to further his education, Farley moved to Australia where he completed a PhD at the University of Melbourne, studying the impacts of urban environments on bird cognition and sleep. While completing his PhD, Farley also worked as a wildlife biologist, conducting research on some of Australia’s most unique creatures including the platypus. He currently works as a biologist for the Alameda County Resource Conservation District, researching California’s native wildlife. 

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President Elect TBD

President-Elect

*Coming soon!

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Krista Vossekuil

Newsletter Editor & 2020 Past-President

*Coming soon!

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Katrina Belanger-Smith

Secretary

*Coming soon!

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Scott Lindemann

Conservation Affairs Chair

Hello, I am Scott Lindemann, a wildlife biologist and the newly-appointed Conservation Affairs Committee Chairperson. I currently work as a consulting biologist for Jacobs. I have been a wildlife biologist in the SF Bay Area since 2014, taking a short break from working in 2017-2018 to study at the University of Maine for a Master of Wildlife Conservation degree. As a biologist I would call myself a generalist; I am interested in a wide variety of topics across wildlife taxa. I live in Oakland with my fiancé and our dog. In my free time I enjoy backpacking, cooking, and gardening. I have been a member of the SF Bay Area chapter for about a decade now, and I’m looking forward to interacting with you all again in this capacity as chairperson. We have an amazing local chapter and I’m happy to be a part of it with you all. If you have a conservation issue that you would like to share, or if you have any questions, please do not be afraid to reach out!

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Kathleen Grady

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.

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Celine Tang

Historian

*Coming soon!

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YOU!

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!

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Leslie Koenig

Past President

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. 

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Celia Tarcha

Public Outreach Chair

Celia is a wildlife biologist that started in the South Bay, earning a B.S. in Conservation at San Jose State University while volunteering in wildlife rehabilitation and local outreach events.
After an internship in environmental education at the local Wildlife Refuge, Celia moved to CSU Stanislaus to work on an Ecological Conservation M.S. with the Endangered Species Recovery Program. How her behavioral ecology camera project on riparian woodrats shifted to riparian brush rabbits is still a mystery. While in the Central Valley, Celia continued educating through public events as well as working as a biological intern at San Luis NWR.
With experience in endangered species in both the Central and Silicon Valleys, Celia returned to Santa Clara and currently works as a wildlife biologist for Swaim Biological Inc. She still volunteers with USFWS as well as the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory. Outside of wildlife work, Celia is often gardening, tinkering with a thrifted treasure, or hanging out with friends enjoying cocktails and videogames.

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Nate Vorapharuek

Professional Development Chair

Nate has been a biologist for eight years. She currently works at PG&E as a terrestrial biologist. Nate was raised in the suburbs of Bangkok, Thailand. In 2011, she moved to Southern California for her undergraduate studies. During that time, she worked at a wildlife rehabilitation center. She loved working with California native species and interacting with the public to bring awareness on various environmental issues threatening native fauna and flora. Her graduate degree brought her to the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Nate likes to spend her time with her dogs, gardening, and checking out new wineries. Most warm weekends you'll find her hanging out with her dogs while gardening and drinking wine simultaneously. 

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Lauren Ross

Student Affairs

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.  

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Matt Lau

Diversity Chair

Matt Lau is wildlife biologist with Point Reyes National Seashore and leads the management and monitoring program for western snowy plovers. He has worked with snowy plovers for nearly a decade, at Point Reyes National Seashore (2016 to current) and in northern California while working on his master’s degree at Cal Poly Humboldt (2012–2015). As a National Park Service biologist, he also conducts surveys of the Point Reyes mountain beaver and assists with elephant seal and tule elk monitoring. His interests include shorebird ecology, bat conservation, spatial ecology, conservation education, and diversity and inclusion work.

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Rachel Roberts

Treasurer

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.

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Nicole Christie

Media Director

Nicole has been a wildlife biologist for 11 years and is currently working at PG&E. 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.

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Past Presidents

2023: Leslie Koenig

2022: Laura Duffy

2021: Rachel Roberts

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

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