Devil's Gultch Trail

This morning, I joined a valued friend and fellow California Naturalist to re-trace our steps on a trail that we explored with a knowledgeable botanist back in 2012. At the time, we were studying the ecology of riparian corridors:

riparian zone or riparian area is the interface between land and a river or stream. Riparian is also the proper nomenclature for one of the fifteen terrestrial biomes of the earth. Plant habitats and communities along the river margins and banks are called riparian vegetation, characterized by hydrophilic plants. -Wikipedia

The trailhead begins where meets Devil's Gultch Creek meets Lagunitas Creek in Samuel P. Taylor State Park. This area is of great concern to the California conservation community, as it provides vital habitat for at least three endangered species: coho salmon, steelhead trout, and California freshwater shrimp

Memoralable moment: we were fortunate to see two large fish spawning; first at the 'Salmon Crossing' bridge, and second, a 10-minute walk north on the trail along Devil's Gultch Creek. Unfortunately, we couldn't identify the species due to poor lighting conditions and murky waters, but it was wonderful to see two large salmonids in their native habitat. My inner grizzly bear wanted to scoop them up for lunch, but no! Not these important, endangered creatures. Instead, I enjoyed a delicious falafel and hummus wrap at Lagunitas Grocery & Deli after our hike. It was a beautiful day to get out of the city, enjoy some fresh air, and spend time with a valued friend.

During our hike, we noticed that the aftermath of recent storms has revealed remarkable changes to the landscape: fallen trees (many of which were huge!), washed out trails, evidence of landslides, and rivers of mud. In addition, the recent moisture created wonderful conditions for mushrooms!

I've selected several photos to share below, but please help me identify some of these species via iNaturalist!

Observations by 'badwound' on February 12, 2017.


National AIDS Memorial Grove 

It is with great pleasure that I share news that I have joined the National AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park as Director of Development. I am absolutely thrilled to return to the park where my career as a frontline fundraiser began at the California Academy of Sciences. In addition, my return feels like a full-circle homecoming, as I served on the Grove’s board of directors from 2011 to 2015, co-chaired World AIDS Day in 2012 and 2013, served as board secretary, communications committee chair, and I contributed significantly to the the strategic planning process during my years of service as a volunteer.

It's great to be back to a place that I adore and to an organization that has already contributed tremendously to my professional development. I'm also excited to spread my wings as a Development Director and to strengthen the Grove's vibrant culture of philanthropy. It's the 25th silver anniversary of this national treasure and I'm eager to apply my professional focus toward its next chapter of growth, inspired by the healing power of nature and the leadership of supporters and volunteers from across the nation. 

The mission of the National AIDS Memorial Grove is to provide, in perpetuity, a place of remembrance so that the lives of people who died from AIDS are not forgotten and the story is known by future generations.

The idea for the National AIDS Memorial was first conceived in 1988 by a small group of San Francisco residents representing a community devastated by the AIDS epidemic, but with no positive way to express their collective grief. The group selected the de Laveaga Dell in world-renowned Golden Gate Park as the site for their memorial, an area that had fallen into a state of disrepair and was unusable by the public due to poor funding in the park budget. A team of prominent landscape architects and designers volunteered countless hours to create a landscape plan that would be fitting as a timeless living memorial. Site renovation began in September 1991 and ongoing maintenance and improvements continue each year. The site is the location of the National Observation of World AIDS Day annually on December 1.

Landmark Designation

In October 1996, through the passage of legislation spearheaded by Representative Nancy Pelosi, President Bill Clinton signed the National AIDS Memorial Grove Act, which recognized and designated the site as a National Memorial of the United States; a status comparable to that of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Mount Rushmore, and the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, among others.

Civic Ecology

Since my early interest and involvement, I’ve been drawn to thinking about the Grove from the perspective of the emerging field of civic ecology, which recognizes that it’s impossible to separate humans from nature. Civic ecologists examine how people in urban environments are caring for—restoring and stewarding—local natural resources. However, civic ecology practices are not just about caring for nature; they are also about caring for neighborhoods and healing communities, particularly in the aftermath of disasters and tragedies. The Grove, in my view, is a perfect case study in demonstrating the transformation of a physical and spiritual landscape. The Grove reflects my view that as places are defined by special people; people are defined by special places.

Join us!

I invite you to join me in spreading the word about this national landmark: 'Like' us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, donate, volunteer, sign-up for updates, or find more information about how you can get involved on our website:

Best of all, I invite you to visit the Grove and explore it for yourself!


Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) Renewal

As a development professional, I’m genuinely curious about how all of the parts of an entrepreneurial, ethical, and effective fundraising program work together to strategically advance the mission of an organization. I’m also interested in learning as much as I can about how to connect with philangthropic individuals and institutions. For these reasons and more, I've renewed my recognition as a Certified Fund Raising Executive, CFRE

CFRE certification confirms my knowledge of the highest standards of professional competence and ethical practice in serving the philanthropic sector. It’s also a public statement to donors and colleagues that I care about fundraising as a profession and that I’m personally inspired to uphold its integrity.

My initial certification three years ago in 2013 required my passage of a written examination, in addition to a professional panel review of my continuing education, years of experience, fundraising performance, and service learning as a volunteer. CFRE is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, NCCA.

I’m thankful for the many new colleagues I now have in my network as a result, too! Working in the field of philanthropy and in the voluntary sector is truly rewarding work.

Download the press release to learn more. 


Spider Dreams

Today I joined a couple of friends as we hiked Mount Diablo, known for its spider habitat and spectacular views of San Francisco and San Pablo Bays. The landscape, spotted with spider webs gleaming with jewels of dew, reminded me of the song Spider Dreams by David Balakrishnan of the Turtle Island String Quartet, one of my favorite chamber ensembles. 


Stanford Alumni Association: Never stop growing.

I was a graduate student at Stanford University from 2004-2008 (MA '05 education policy; MA '06 sociology) and served on staff from 2008-2010 at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and Haas Center for Public Service.
Since then, I have enjoyed serving on the board of directors of the Stanford Club of San Francisco and Stanford Pride, as well participating in the annual Beyond The Farm day of service, as my way to stay connected to my alma mater. 
This year, I accepted an invitation to join the Board of Directors of the Stanford Alumni Association. I consider this membership among  the highest honors of my life and I am absolutely thrilled to make the most of this special leadership and service opportunity!
The Stanford Alumni Association seeks to reach, serve and engage all Stanford alumni and students; to foster a lifelong intellectual and emotional connection between the University and its graduates; and to provide the University with goodwill and support. Founded in 1892 by the University's first graduates, the Association aims to deliver the most effective alumni relations program anywhere in higher education.
I've come to learn that giving back to Stanford is its own reward and that the more I give and serve, the more Stanford enriches my life.
Go Cardinal!

POTUS Talks Conservation and Climate Change

President Barack Obama spoke at the 20th Anniversary of the Annual Lake Tahoe Summit about how new conservation efforts are integral to combating climate change as he unveiled new funds to fight wildfires on public lands and a strategy to ramp up private and philanthropic support for U.S. conservation.

Here are a few key quotes to take away from his remarks:

"The challenges of conservation and combating climate change are connected."

“Conservation is critical not just for one particular spot, one particular park, one particular lake. It’s critical for our entire ecosystem. And conservation is more than just putting up a plaque and calling something a park. We embrace conservation because healthy and diverse lands and waters help us build resilience to climate change. We do it to free more of our communities and plants and animals and species from wildfires, and droughts, and displacement. We do it because when most of the 4.5 million people who come to Lake Tahoe every year are tourists, economies like this one live or die by the health of our natural resources. We do it because places like this nurture and restore the soul. And we want to make sure that’s there for our kids, too.”

"No conflict between a healthy economy and a healthy planet."

“We’ve proven that the choice between our environment, our economy, and our health is a false one. We‘ve got to strengthen all of them together."

Marine National Monument Expansion

White House Press Release 8/26/2016:

On Friday, President Obama will expand the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii, creating the world’s largest marine protected area. Building on the United States’ global leadership in marine conservation, today’s designation will more than quadruple the size of the existing marine monument, permanently protecting pristine coral reefs, deep sea marine habitats, and important ecological resources in the waters of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. 

Following this historic conservation action, the President will travel to Hawaii next week. On Wednesday evening, he will address leaders from the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders and the IUCN World Conservation Congress, which is being hosted in the United States for the first time. On Thursday, he will travel to Midway Atoll, located within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, to mark the significance of this monument designation and highlight first-hand how the threat of climate change makes protecting our public lands and waters more important than ever. 

The monument was originally created in 2006 by President George W. Bush and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.  Since that time, new scientific exploration and research has revealed new species and deep sea habitats as well as important ecological connections between the existing monument and the adjacent waters. Today’s designation will expand the existing Marine National Monument by 442,781 square miles, bringing the total protected area of the expanded monument to 582,578 square miles.

The expansion provides critical protections for more than 7,000 marine species, including whales and sea turtles listed under the Endangered Species Act and the longest-living marine species in the world — black coral, which have been found to live longer than 4,500 years. Additionally, as ocean acidification, warming, and other impacts of climate change threaten marine ecosystems, expanding the monument will improve ocean resilience, help the region’s distinct physical and biological resources adapt, and create a natural laboratory that will allow scientists to monitor and explore the impacts of climate change on these fragile ecosystems.

The expanded monument area also contains resources of great historical and cultural significance. The expanded area, including the archipelago and its adjacent waters, is considered a sacred place for the Native Hawaiian community. It plays a significant role in Native Hawaiian creation and settlement stories, and is used to practice important activities like traditional long-distance voyaging and wayfinding. Additionally, within the monument expansion area, there are shipwrecks and downed aircraft from the Battle of Midway in World War II, a battle that marked a major shift in the progress of the war in favor of the Allies.

All commercial resource extraction activities, including commercial fishing and any future mineral extraction, are prohibited in the expansion area, as they are within the boundaries of the existing monument. Noncommercial fishing, such as recreational fishing and the removal of fish and other resources for Native Hawaiian cultural practices, is allowed in the expansion area by permit, as is scientific research.

In recognition of the value of Papahānaumokuākea to Native Hawaiians, and in keeping with President Obama’s commitment to elevating the voices of Native peoples in management of our resources, Secretary of the Interior Jewell and Secretary of Commerce Pritzker also announced that the Departments will soon sign an agreement with Hawaii’s Department of Natural Resources and Office of Hawaiian Affairs providing for a greater management role as a trustee in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.  This arrangement has been previously requested by Senator Brian Schatz and Governor Ige.

Today’s action by President Obama responds to a proposal put forward by Senator Schatz and prominent Native Hawaiian leaders, in addition to significant input and local support from Hawaii elected officials, cultural groups, conservation organizations, scientists and fishermen.  This step also builds on a rich tradition of marine protection in Hawaiian waters and world-class, well managed fisheries, including a longline fishing fleet that is a global leader in sustainable practices. 

In addition to protecting more land and water than any Administration in history, President Obama has sought to lead the world in marine conservation by combating illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, revitalizing the process for establishing new marine sanctuaries, establishing the National Ocean Policy, and promoting ocean stewardship through the use of science- based decision making.


Happy Birthday National Park Service!


Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument

This week, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, President Obama designated the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument encompassing awe-inspiring mountain, forests and waters of north-central Maine

Tribal Leader Advocates for Public Lands

For James Holt, Nez Perce tribal member, #OurWild is his homeland. "People need those places. They need open spaces. We can't let it get shut off." Join the movement to protect #OurWild from privatization at

For additional information and expert resources on the public lands takeover please go to WILDERNESS.ORG.

Page 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 ... 18 Next 10 Entries »