Dan was editor of Bay Nature from 2004 until 2013, when he left to work for SF-based Stamen Design. A onetime professional cabinetmaker, he considers himself a lifelong maker of things and teller of stories. Dan has been working at the intersection of journalism and technology since, at age 16, he began learning reporting, page layout, and database design. His enduring interest in environmental issues crystallized into a career path in 1998 when he assisted former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass in a cross-disciplinary nature writing and ecology course at UC Berkeley, from which Dan received a Masters in English literature. In 1999, he became Associate Editor of Terrain, the erstwhile quarterly magazine of Berkeley's Ecology Center. In addition to editing and art-directing Bay Nature magazine, he was also Bay Nature’s chief technology strategist, fixer of broken things, and designer of databases and fancy spreadsheets. And he was even known to leave the office and actually hike outdoors.
Bay and Estuary
San Francisco Bay Trail
This is a great destination for anyone looking for a cool place to let a dog run, or a nice place to see birds, or an odd place to see what happens when urban decay, art, and nature collide.
This unusual park just west of Golden Gate Fields is actually a former landfill. And you can still see lots of evidence of this, especially in the form of chunks of concrete and twisted rebar. These days, artists and homeless folks create sculptures out here, and more than a few people seem to have taken up residence in little tent encampments. So be careful to respect their privacy and think twice about hiking alone here at dusk.
To see birds, stay on the trails closest to the shoreline. At low tide, you can actually walk all the way around the outer edge, even on areas shown as water on the Google Map. You’ll often see avocets, egrets, coots, western grebes, various diving ducks, and lots more. The upland of weeds and other hardy plants is home to hummingbirds, jays, and a miscellaneous assemblage of hardy songbirds.
At low tide, you can walk very far out into the Bay along low-lying strings of rubble that surround two pools where I’ve seen buffleheads and northern shovelers.