OUR PEOPLE

Staff

 Deborah Lindsay (she/her/s)

Deborah Lindsay (she/her/s)

Executive Director

Deborah grew up in Canada and spent hours making terrariums with found mosses and newts in creeks around her childhood home developing a deep curiosity and love for the natural world. She moved to California after high school where tide pools and estuaries became her new love with their hidden mysteries and unique tidal zone relationships.  Always the agent of positive change, Deborah became a champion for multiple causes; from sea life conservation to worker rights. Her undergrad from New College of California was in Culture, Ecology, and Sustainable Community led her to co-found a nonprofit called Communities for a Sustainable Monterey County, designed to function as a unit throughout the County of Monterey to move environmental and social causes forward via collective citizen action and government partnership. She also hosted a daily talk radio program, Tomorrow Matters, teaching “solutions for today for a better world tomorrow”, and ran a green and carbon-neutral election campaign for her successful bid for a city council position in Pacific Grove, CA. Later, while working on her MBA in Sustainable Management she became the Administrative Director of the Santa Cruz Waldorf School, she found a place for creating positive environments for young people to develop themselves and care for the Earth. Most recently, Deborah has been working with mission-driven startups, nonprofits, and small businesses to ensure operational success for organizations with ideas worth advancing such as Clean Oceans International and TerraNova Ecological Landscape. Deborah is delighted to bring all of her keen business acumen and devotedness to a world worth growing up in, to Environmental Volunteers.  She has an open-door policy and invites the community to drop in, get involved, and spread the joy of the natural world to others.

Deborah@environmentalvolunteers.org

 Toby Goldberg (she/her/s)

Toby Goldberg (she/her/s)

Director of Programs and Partnerships

Toby has been working in the field of Environmental Education for almost 20 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.

Toby@environmentalvolunteers.org

Francine Davis (she/her/s)

Francine Davis (she/her/s)

Director of Education and Volunteer Experience

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@environmentalvolunteers.org

Kendall Post (she/her/s)

Kendall Post (she/her/s)

National Director of Sprout Up

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.

Kendall@sproutup.org

Christine Zack (she/her/s)

Christine Zack (she/her/s)

Education Operations Manager

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@environmentalvolunteers.org

Sierra Helmann (she/her/s)

Sierra Helmann (she/her/s)

Science Communication and Grants Coordinator

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.

Sierra@environmentalvolunteers.org

Ella Wong (she/her/s)

Ella Wong (she/her/s)

Operations Associate

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@environmentalvolunteers.org

Molly Curtis (she/her/s)

Molly Curtis (she/her/s)

Education Program Coordinator

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.

Molly@environmentalvolunteers.org

Katarina Pittis (they/she)

Katarina Pittis (they/she)

Sprout Up Director of Chapter Operations and Community

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@sproutup.org

Jahmal White (he/him/his)

Jahmal White (he/him/his)

Foothills Outreach Associate

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 part-time staff in the fall of 2020. He became the EV Foothills Outreach Associate in 2021. 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.

Jahmal@environmentalvolunteers.org

Board of Directors 2022-2023

Our dedicated staff and board bring expertise in environmental science and education, inspiring all ages. They guide our mission and ensure sustainability, making a positive impact on the community.

MICHAEL PATRICK (HE/HIM/HIS)

MICHAEL PATRICK (HE/HIM/HIS)

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 (he/him/his)

Elliott Wright (he/him/his)

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.

Ram Appalaraju (HE/HIM/HIS)

Ram Appalaraju (HE/HIM/HIS)

Formerly the Transition Specialist for Special Needs Students, Palo Alto Unified School District

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 (She/Her/s)

Anu Ramamurty (She/Her/s)

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 (She/Her/s)

HAZEL WATSON (She/Her/s)

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 (She/Her/s)

Jan Merryweather (She/Her/s)

Director of Individual & Legacy Giving, Sustainable Conservation

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 (She/Her/s)

Sreya Dutta (She/Her/s)

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 (She/Her/s)

Wako Takayama (She/Her/s)

UX Research leader, Clover

Wako has focused her experience and passion as a volunteer at the intersection of education and community. She has volunteered 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.

Parag Patel (He/him/his)

Parag Patel (He/him/his)

Parag is a high-tech executive living in Palo Alto. He spent 15 years as a top executive of VMware, which spun out of Stanford and grew to become a Fortune500 company. Parag loves the outdoors and regularly spends time camping, skiing, hiking, kayaking and enjoying the natural wonders of the Western US. He is deeply concerned about justice, fairness and making the world a better place for all, especially in terms of our climate. After graduating from Stanford, he joined the US Peace Corps and spent two years in Mali (West Africa) organizing farm cooperatives to help subsistence farmers grow more food (he lived in a mud hut on the edge of the Sahara desert with no electricity, running water or other comforts).

Tom Schnaubelt (He/him/his)

Tom Schnaubelt (He/him/his)

Tom grew up on a farm in Wisconsin and moved to California in 2009 to serve as the Executive Director of Stanford University’s Haas Center for Public Service, where he oversaw Cardinal Service and other efforts to connect the campus to the community in ethical and effective ways. In 2022, he helped launch the Stanford Democracy Initiative and he currently serves as the Assistant Director of the new Center for Revitalizing American Institutions at the Hoover Institution. He is a champion of experiential learning, serves as a docent at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, and in each of his professional roles he seeks to connect people with themselves, with each other, and with the natural world in ways that contribute to the common good and build a more perfect union.

After living with undergraduate students for 12 years while serving as a Resident Fellow in Branner Hall, Stanford’s public service theme dorm, he, his wife Mary Esther, and their dog Murphy moved to a quiet neighborhood in Menlo Park. Tom enjoys playing guitar and banjo (or at least attempting to), restoring air-cooled VWs, brewing beer, and just about any activity that doesn’t include walls or a ceiling.

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

EMERITUS BOARD DIRECTORS

(PARTIAL LIST – PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU SERVED THE BOARD OF EV IN OUR PAST 49 YEARS!)

  • John Armstrong
  • Gwendolyn Barry
  • Andrea Boehmer
  • Carol Broadbent Fields
  • Nina Brooks
  • Barbara Carlitz
  • Liz Caulkins
  • Wanda Cavanaugh
  • Alex Chan
  • Marge Collins
  • Diane Conradson
  • Erin Craig
  • Davy Davidson
  • Bob Dodge
  • Josh Eagle
  • Ros Edmonds
  • Jennifer Edwards
  • Jan Fenwick
  • Janis Freestone
  • Joyce Friedrichs
  • Hillary Gans
  • Sandy Gant
  • Joe Geist
  • Kate Godfrey
  • Alayne Greenwald
  • Jeanette Guthart
  • Susan Hansen
  • Mary Haslam 
  • Jerry Hearn
  • Janet Hedley
  • Christy Holloway
  • Stephanie Hughes
  • Louise Hunt
  • Jan Hustler
  • Kathy Jaunich
  • Julie Jerome
  • Carmen Jung
  • Irene Junga
  • Chloe Kamprath
  • Rosa King
  • Megan Koch
  • Frosty Krieger
  • Susan Lang
  • Leslie Larson
  • Noella Levy
  • Karen Li
  • Tom Lindsay
  • Stanley Mantell
  • Ann Marsh-Meigs
  • Sajjad Masud
  • Robert McIntyre
  • Liz Meyerhoff
  • Julie Mickelson
  • Vicki Moore
  • Shari Mullen
  • Nancy Newman
  • John Northway
  • Anne Page
  • Mary Paine
  • Jerry Patrick
  • Heather Perlitch
  • Nancy Peterson
  • Robert Phillips
  • Lisa Positeri
  • Margot Rawlins
  • Marilyn Regan
  • Octavio Rodriguez
  • Nancy Rubin
  • Jennifer Saltzman
  • Beth Scanlan
  • Linda Schild-Jones
  • Harvey Schloss
  • Paula Shea
  • Andrea Shearn
  • Nan Shostak
  • Ruth Sothern
  • Larry Spivak
  • Michelle Spring
  • Alison Takata
  • Giridhar Tatavarti
  • Barton Thompson
  • Eric Tiegel
  • Sally Tomlinson
  • Janeen Tuitupou
  • Ellen Turbow
  • Victoria Von Schell
  • Al Wilhelm
  • Betty Wortel
  • Barb Zoellin-Malm
  • Mary Zvirblis
  • Gerald Patrick