Staff & Board

Board of Directors 2022-2023

“I enjoy the great sense of humor, the commitment to the mission and the health of the organization, the joyful approach to the work we do, the creativity of the board members, and the great combination of talent in the room.”

Environmental Volunteers Board Member

Michael Patrick, Chair
Retired Corporate Attorney


Mike is a retired corporate attorney who represented technology companies in the Silicon Valley for 30 years. Mike was a partner at the law firm of Fenwick & West.  After leaving Fenwick, Mike became active in mentoring at-risk youth in Redwood City. From Sept. 2017 to Sept. 2019, Mike served as Co-President of the Board of La Comida (a Palo Alto-based non-profit) and he served on the San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury for two terms (2017-18 and 2018-19). Mike joined EV’s Board because of his deep concerns about environmental issues and education and is currently a Board of Directors Co-Chair. He is an avid bicyclist and also enjoys spending time playing the guitar and building wooden ship models.

Elliott Wright
Executive Director, Hidden Villa


Elliott has spent his life focused on equity in experiential education and philanthropy to protect the rivers, lakes, wetlands, oceans, and forests that sustain all life and allow a stable climate. Growing up on native land of the Jemez people in New Mexico with two hippie parents and wild-child siblings, Elliott explored regenerative systems between people and nature, and began a journey to understand the intersectionality of race, gender, ableism, and justice as keys to scale the environmental movement. After graduating from a nonprofit management fellowship with El Pomar Foundation, and receiving a Biology degree from Bowdoin College, Elliott began his career in education and conservation in 2007. Since then Elliott has worked locally and globally to scale solutions to the climate and biodiversity crisis at a variety of organizations. Elliott’s new focus at Environmental Volunteers is on scaling volunteer-driven programs and providing exceptional and equitable experiences for all ages in nature. He believes strongly that a thoughtful, culturally relevant, enthusiastically-designed and passionately executed outdoor program can be life-changing and life-affirming. Elliott loves trail running, triathlons, climbing, playing guitar, baking bread and laughing with his family and friends.

Diana Garcia DEI Committee Chair at Environmental Volunteers

Diana Garcia, DEI Committee Chair
Senior Global Finance leader


Diana is an experienced finance professional with over 20 years of solid hands-on experience in financial planning , analysis, and global investment management. She minored in environmental science after spending a year abroad being inspired by the natural wonders of Norway.  She joined the EV to enable kids, especially far reaching students, to experience what she saw in Norway – the beauty of the natural world.

Michael Eldredge Board Member at Environmental Volunteers

Michael Eldredge
Senior Director, Oracle Corporation


Michael Eldredge brings experience to non-profits from a wide range of environments including start-up and public technology companies, management consulting, and academic research. Michael has served on non-profit boards supporting Nature exploration and education, environmental advocacy, wildlife rescue, music in schools, and childhood and family Social and Emotional Learning.

Kayaking, tide-pooling, scuba diving, and hiking have anchored his connections to Nature. His interests also include playing guitar, working in a little home recording studio, or bike riding.

Michael holds a MS and BS in Electrical Engineering / Computer Systems from Stanford University.

Ram Appalaraju Board Member at Environmental Volunteers

Ram Appalaraju


Ram retired from IT in 2018 after spending 35 years in various senior executive capacities.  Ram is a practitioner of mindfulness meditation and has engaged with several marginalized communities teaching meditation and offering support.  He is deeply committed to social and ecological causes and serves youth groups in nature-based education through science and spirituality.  He is active in the community on issues relating to climate change and social issues such as diversity, equity and inclusion.  He also served as a board member at RRRcomputer.org, helping low income and marginalized communities with technology access and computer literacy.  He has been with the Environmental Volunteers group since 2020 and is motivated by his passion for science-based environmental education, and to nurture young minds to become future eco-stewards. He is trained as a chaplain to serve people affected by social and ecological causes. He strongly believes that cultivating a generous and compassionate mind are the most useful attributes to have a positive impact in the society.

Anu Ramamurty Board Member at Environmental Volunteers

Anu Ramamurty
Climate change storyteller and founder of Kat Kid Adventure  


Anu is a climate change campaigner and founder of Kat Kid Adventure, an eco-educational lifestyle brand for kids. Over the past 15 years, Anu has built and led global communication campaigns for businesses, governments and NGOs around pressing social and environmental issues.  She has worked to give voice to frontline communities affected by climate change through media campaigns for organizations such as UNICEF, We Mean Business, Conservation International, and the UN Global Compact. She was one of an army of climate advocates who played a role in achieving the Paris Climate Agreement. A firm believer that kids are powerful agents of change, Anu founded Kat Kid Adventure (https://katkidadventure.com), an eco-educational lifestyle brand on a mission to raise a generation of eco-heroes. Through fun and quirky eco-publications and workshops, Kat Kid Adventure educates and inspires our youngest citizens – elementary school kids across the United States – to take climate action. Anu has grand plans of retiring by the ocean. For now, she lives in Palo Alto, California with her husband, Krishnan and son, Arjun, aka Kat Kid Adventure’s Chief Inspiration Officer.

Hazel Watson Board Member at Environmental Volunteers

Hazel Watson
Environmental Volunteer Docent and former science educator


Hazel trained to be an EV school programs volunteer in 2016. When offered a place on the Board she jumped at the chance to be a part of an organization whose mission she passionately believed in. Hazel’s love for the environment and nature has been a theme since early childhood whether it was walking on the beaches of her hometown, Bridlington, or exploring the woods and fields on her grandparent’s farm in the Yorkshire Wolds, UK. Hazel was the first in her family to attend college and went to Bristol to study applied biology at the University of the West of England. After 10 years working in medical and veterinary science laboratories in Bristol and Paris, she then trained as a biology high school teacher. In 1999, she moved with her family to California. There she became a PTA volunteer in the local schools, which led her to find the EV.  Hazel’s perfect EV day is taking a group of kids on a walk, watching their curiosity unfold as they observe their surroundings. Hazel has been on the EV Board since 2018.

Jan Merryweather Board Member at Environmental Volunteers

Born in California with a backyard of redwoods, and raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Jan and her twin brother had parents who fostered a lifelong love of the outdoors, nature, and rhubarb gardens. Believing the best things in life (like Nature) should be shared, and that humans understanding climate science cannot happen soon enough, she is very excited to contribute to EV’s impact and mission.

Jan brings over 30-years of small businesses and non-profit experience in the fundraising, sales, marketing, and business development realms. An entrepreneurial and fun journey, ranging from: toy company start-ups, to co-founding then selling an early dot.com retailer, to eventually landing her first nonprofit job with Positive Coaching Alliance. Her path to environmental fundraising and volunteerism took shape over 10-years ago at Sempervirens Fund and Acterra’s Green@Home program, respectively. Since 2013, Jan has been at Sustainable Conservation, in multiple leadership roles, and currently as the Director of Individual & Legacy Giving. “Being able to support EV in the environmental/scientific education of youth – especially the underserved youth, feels like such a natural complement to my professional life and personal goals.” She joined the Board of EV in August 2022.

Sreya Dutta Board Member at Environmental Volunteers

Sreya Dutta
Consulting User Assistance Developer, Oracle Corporation


Sreya grew up in India. Her parents introduced her to books and movies like Born Free about wild animals early on which held deep meaning to her. As a child, she loved animal books, movies, having pets, and was always fascinated by animals and nature. As an adult, through her job in software curriculum and documentation, she met people who were into hiking, photography, and just spending time in nature. Living in very populated and polluted cities made the getaways even more precious and her appreciation of the tropical forests and wildlife in India constantly grew. Felling of trees for housing and other reasons always bothered her and she spent time constantly learning about nature, and the negative impact of the loss of forests. She learned that education is the key to people understanding the role of a healthy environment in their own health and happiness. Sreya attended trainings and workshops about the snakes in India with Friends of Snakes and Kalinga Institute for Rainforest Ecology. During her travels to highly biodiverse jungles (Agumbe) throughout India and safaris in Kanha, Tadoba, Jim Corbett, Sundarbans national parks, Sreya learned from and built alliances with local guides, naturalists, researchers, and other citizens who shared the love of nature and the environment. 

She aims to increase people’s appreciation of nature and combat climate change through education. Destiny led her to find the Environmental Volunteers whose mission closely aligns with hers. She hopes to educate kids and help them protect their environment.

Wako Takayama Board Member at Environmental Volunteers

Wako Takayama
UX Research leader, Clover


Wako has focused her experience and passion as a volunteer at the intersection of education and community. She volunteers with a variety of organizations: CityStep, which taps college students to support creative self-expression and collaboration through dance, and Streetside Stories (now Performing Arts Workshop,) which teaches literacy arts through storytelling, both to grade-to-middle school students; Big Brothers Big Sisters; Acterra’s Green at Home energy efficiency audit program; and Team ASHA, marathon-training fundraising for grassroots programs in India. Wako is thrilled to carry on that tradition with EV and its focus on science and nature.

Wako studied anthropology, works as a user experience (UX) researcher at a technology company, and brings her curiosity about people and their environments wherever she goes. In the past, she’s spent many hours running and biking, and more recently enjoys the outdoors at a walking pace. Wako holds an M.S. from Stanford University and B.A. from Harvard University. 

Staff

Toby Goldberg (she/her/s)
School & Collaboration Programs Director | Toby@environmentalvolunteers.org

Toby Goldberg School & Collaboration Programs Manager at Environmental Volunteers

Toby has been working in the field of Environmental Education for about 12 years, but her pathway to that career field has been circuitous and varied. Originally planning a career in either Veterinary Medicine or Conservation Ecology Research, Toby quickly discovered that she is a nature-nerd people-person who can’t stomach blood. Hailing from the Boston area, Toby came out to California to attend Stanford University, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Spending a couple of years doing research overseas in Chile and Israel helped her connect with many different cultures and languages, but she returned to California to get her Master’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from UC Santa Barbara. Returning to the Bay Area in 2006, Toby worked for the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society in their Education Department for about 10 years before joining the EV team in 2016. Interspersing her love of nature with her love of music, Toby spends her free time hiking, kayaking, and singing with a local choir.


Francine Davis (she/her/s)
Education and Volunteer Experience Director | Francine@environmentalvolunteers.org

Francine Davis is the Volunteer Experience Manager at Environmental Volunteers.  In this role, Francine oversees the volunteer program including volunteer training and outreach, facilitating volunteer enrichments, and supporting new education initiatives. Previously, Francine was an Environmental Education Specialist at Walden West Outdoor School where she focused on nature-based social and emotional learning and innovative ways to make outdoor learning accessible, inclusive, and safe for all.   Through her multiple leadership roles, Francine brings a diverse array of skills to the position including project management, process excellence, and monitoring.  Francine is passionate about racial justice and equity in the outdoors, fostered by her work with environmental and education-based non-profits, The Student Conservation Association, Lawrence Hall of Science and Justice Outside, with whom she serves as a board member.

Francine was born and raised in Cleveland, OH, homeland of the Erie people. She received a BS from John Carroll University in Biology, and a MS from the University of South Carolina in Environmental Health Studies.  She currently lives in Santa Clara, homeland of the Muwekma Ohlone people, where she enjoys hiking, local gastronomy, and performing arts.

Francine Davis Volunteer Experience Manager at Environmental Volunteers

Kendall Post (she/her/s)
Sprout Up National Director | Kendall@sproutup.org

Kendall Post Sprout Up National Director

Kendall is passionate about inspiring and igniting the next generation of environmental problem solvers and nature lovers. Her first formal introduction to being an environmental educator was through the Sprout Up chapter at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she volunteered as a classroom lead instructor and worked on the education team to refresh the chapter’s curriculum. Since graduating from UCSB in 2019 with a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Elementary Math and Science Education, Kendall has spent the last several years mentoring college students and developing environmental education programs for the non-profit organizations Acterra and Gravity Water. She loves exploring new trails and outdoor spaces around the Bay Area, finding secondhand treasures at thrift stores, and tending to her houseplant and succulent collection.


Christine Zack (she/her/s)
Education Operations Manager | Christine@Environmentalvolunteers.org

Christine joined the Environmental Volunteers team in 2017. She has a degree in biological anthropology from UC San Diego and masters in Biology where she studied communication among polar bears. Christine, worked in research for nine years at the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research specializing in the reintroduction and translocation of endangered species such as the San Clemente loggerhead shrike, burrowing owl, Stephens’ kangaroo rat, and the Los Angeles pocket mouse. She flirted with a career in environmental education since the start, working for the San Diego Natural History Museum and teaching ecology at the Elementary Institute of Science but it wasn’t until she relocated to the bay area that it took hold. Since then she has worked for the education departments of Santa Clara County Open Space Authority and Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society. Christine, is passionate about working with volunteers and is an active volunteer herself for SFBBO and several community science projects. In 2016, she became a California naturalist which was an excellent way to combine her interests in ecology, birding, reading, gardening, volunteering, and community science.

Christine Zack Education Operations Manager at Environmental Volunteers

Sierra Helmann (she/her/s)
Science Communication and Grants Coordinator | Sierra@environmentalvolunteers.org

Sierra Helmann Science Communication and Grants Coordinator at Environmental Volunteers

Originally from the East Coast, Sierra received a B.S from Cornell University in Environmental Science and Sustainability with a concentration in Applied Ecology and Environmental Biology and a minor in Marine Biology. She has worked with Shoals Marine Lab, Cornell Biological Field Station, Oceana, and Strategic Earth Consulting. She developed education materials for The Nature Conservancy’s Hawai’i Program and Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom. Sierra received a M.S. in Marine Science with an emphasis on Biological Oceanography from Moss Landing Marine Labs. Most recently, Sierra worked at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History where she taught K-5 programs and developed their first preschool program. She is certified by NAI as a Certified Interpretive Guide, and through UC Davis as a California Naturalist and Climate Steward. She currently leads Behind the Scenes tours as a volunteer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and loves sharing her passion for nature with others. She hopes to continue to advocate for environmental stewardship through her role as a science communicator at Environmental Volunteers. Sierra enjoys spending time in nature, whether that is hiking in Big Sur, or snorkeling through the kelp forests amongst harbor seals.


Rick Davis (he/him/his)
Volunteer Coordinator | Rick@environmentalvolunteers.org

Rick Davis loves the outdoors and the environment. His love of the outdoors starting when he was a kid in scouting. Ricky then went on to get an Associate in Science in Park Management in 2007 from West Valley, with the hopes of becoming a Park Ranger. Due to a lack of jobs in government at the time, he decided to pursue further education and got a Bachelor of Science from San Jose State University in Recreation Management in 2013. After this, Ricky entered the non-profit wold as a volunteer coordinator for Guadalupe River Park Conservancy. Since then, he has also worked for two other nonprofits serving low income and unhoused community.

Ricky is very excited to get back to his roots in environmental and outdoor education. When he is not working, he loves to play with his 120 pound dog, practicing martial arts and doing photography of Mother Nature.

Rick Davis Volunteer Coordinator at Environmental Volunteers

Molly Curtis (she/her/s)
Education Program Coordinator | Molly@environmentalvolunteers.org

Molly grew up in Oregon playing in the fields and forest behind her house.  Always an idealist, Molly decided she would “save the world” through policy and earned her J.D. and M.P.A. at Syracuse University.  Molly has worked in environmental policy positions for several government entities, but has found the most fulfillment working as a volunteer in the classroom. She is excited to be able to merge her passion for the environment with her desire to provide impactful learning experiences.  You will often find Molly cheering at a sports event, playing in her garden or watching for whales.


Ella Wong (she/her/s)
Operations Associate | Ella@environmentalvolunteers.org

Ella graduated in 2022 with a bachelors in Astrophysics from UCLA. During her time in college, she was part of Liberty in North Korea, a nonprofit helping refugees settle in new countries after their escape, as the Operations Director.  She made her way to us through her interest in sustainability and environmental science; she was a part of the Green Energy program in high school. She wants to inspire young women like her to continue pursuing their dreams in STEM no matter how difficult the field becomes. During her free time, she likes to dance, swim, and read.

Ella Wong Operations Associate at Environmental Volunteers

Jahmal White (he/him/his)
Communications Coordinator | Jahmal@environmentalvolunteers.org

Jahmal White Communications Coordinator at Environmental Volunteers

Jahmal White was born and raised in the Bay Area. He earned his Bachelor Degree of Science in Human Services at Notre Dame University in Belmont CA. And later earned his NOAA certification as a Farallone Naturalist at the Greater Farallone Association in San Francisco CA. Jahmal became connected with the EV center in the spring of 2019, as an EV volunteer to learn more about nature and the environmental field and was later hired as communications coordinator in the fall of 2020. Jahmal currently works for the San Bruno Park School District as a school district behaviorist with children with autism and special needs and also speaks ASL. His hobbies are spending most of his time outdoors, watching old movies, spending time on the coast to go bird watching, the beach, drawing art sketches, reading, and listening to classical, folk, country, jazz, and R&B.


Katarina Pittis (she/her/s)
Sprout Up Director of Community | Katarina@sproutup.org

Katarina’s passion for environmental education started when she was a 1st grader and a youth organization visited her classroom to talk about water conservation. She grew up in the countryside of Santa Fe, New Mexico and this piqued her interest in how droughts impacted her local environment. This classroom experience stuck with her, so she joined Sprout Up in 2015 as a lead instructor, with the hope that she could also inspire children. She graduated from NYU with a degree in Film and Television and continues to use her passion for storytelling to highlight environmental issues. In addition to her work with Sprout Up, she is a photographer and filmmaker and has worked on a variety of short documentaries about water pollution, wildlife conservation, and environmental justice. In her spare time, Katarina likes to hike and spend time with her cats.

Katarina Pittis Sprout Up Director of Marketing and Community

Maddie Taylor (they/them)
Sprout Up Special Projects Manager | Maddie@sproutup.org

Maddie Taylor Sprout Up Special Projects Manager

Maddie graduated from Barnard College in 2017 with a degree in Environmental Biology. They are a founding member of Sprout Up NYC. They have worked in environmental education for seven years including positions at Hudson River Park Trust, NASA, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. They recently published their Barnard thesis on a very specific type of seaweed. In their free time, Maddie likes learning about social theory, going foraging in the woods, and hanging out with their dog, Winnie.


Emeritus Board Directors (partial list – please let us know if you served the Board of EV in our past 50 years!)

 

John ArmstrongKathy JaunichOctavio Rodriguez
Gwendolyn BarryJulie JeromeNancy Rubin
Andrea BoehmerCarmen JungJennifer Saltzman
Carol Broadbent FieldsIrene JungaBeth Scanlan
Nina BrooksChloe KamprathLinda Schild-Jones
Barbara CarlitzRosa KingHarvey Schloss
Liz CaulkinsMegan KochPaula Shea
Wanda CavanaughFrosty KriegerAndrea Shearn
Alex Chan 
Marge CollinsSusan LangNan Shostak
Diane ConradsonLeslie LarsonRuth Sothern
Erin CraigNoella LevyLarry Spivak
Davy DavidsonKaren LiMichelle Spring
Bob DodgeTom LindsayAlison Takata
Josh EagleStanley MantellGiridhar Tatavarti
Ros EdmondsAnn Marsh-MeigsBarton Thompson
Jennifer EdwardsSajjad MasudEric Tiegel
Jan FenwickRobert McIntyreSally Tomlinson
Janis FreestoneDudley AndersonJaneen Tuitupou
Joyce FriedrichsLarry Spivak 
Hillary GansLiz MeyerhoffEllen Turbow
Sandy GantJulie MickelsonVictoria Von Schell
Joe GeistVicki MooreAl Wilhelm
Kate GodfreyShari MullenBetty Wortel
Alayne GreenwaldNancy NewmanBarb Zoellin-Malm
Jeanette GuthartJohn NorthwayMary Zvirblis
Susan HansenAnne PageGerald Patrick
Mary HaslamMary Paine 
Jerry HearnHeather Perlitch 
Janet HedleyNancy Peterson 
Christy HollowayRobert Phillips 
Stephanie HughesLisa Positeri 
Louise HuntMargot Rawlins 
Jan HustlerMarilyn Regan