Bay Nature magazineFall 2022

Bay Nature

Editor’s Letter, Fall 2022: Hellos and Goodbyes

October 11, 2022

This year Bay Nature has said its fair share of hellos and goodbyes, like so many other organizations. We are all still riding the long ripples of the pandemic and the innumerable ways it has changed and continues to change lives. Thankfully, those ripples have brought some pretty fantastic people to Bay Nature’s shores. 

The Fall 2022 Issue

Over the summer we welcomed a new digital editor, Kate Golden, to our editorial team. She brings a strong background in community investigative journalism and a love of water, nature journaling, and food. She spent two years sailing the South Pacific and is a contributing writer for Sierra magazine, among other outlets. In charge of Bay Nature’s website, Kate can be thanked for its steady stream of must-read stories. When I asked what first drew her to Bay Nature, she said, “Come for the two-headed flatworms, stay for the satisfying deep dives into the natural world and our role in it.”

Also joining the staff after a year of freelance writing and fact-checking for Bay Nature is Lia Keener, who became our assistant editor this summer. We first met Lia when she pitched us her undergrad reporting-class assignment about the peregrine falcons nesting on UC Berkeley’s Campanile and their drama-filled fall and winter last year. Lia writes about prairie falcons, the peregrine’s less-studied cousins and denizens of grasslands in the East Bay, for this issue. 

Guananí Gómez-Van Cortright, a talented young science journalist, came aboard as a reporter and fact-checker this summer. She began working with us just weeks after graduating from the master’s Science Communication Program at UC Santa Cruz and is Bay Nature’s first journalism fellow, a yearlong full-time position supported by the Schmidt Family Foundation. If you follow the stories published every week on, you have already seen Guananí’s articles on new park openings, fire recovery, and California’s largest tidal wetland restoration. In our fall issue, she brings you the delightful backstory of the hole-filled stones found on beaches and created by piddocks.

On the goodbye side of the ledger, Eric Simons has moved on after nine influential years in the editorial department at Bay Nature, to try his hand at teaching. We will miss Eric’s intelligence, his great sense of humor, and the tremendous storytelling he has contributed to the paper and web pages of Bay Nature all these years. And finally, we bid a “squawk, snort, and whistle” to Ask the Naturalist columnist Michael Ellis, who has been contributing to the magazine since its earliest days. His swan song column appears in this issue. We thank Michael for all he has done to help create Bay Nature, and we encourage everyone to keep up with his wildlife tours, writing, and photos on

It’s hard saying goodbye to regularly reading Eric and Michael in the pages of the magazine, but they both remain very much part of the Bay Nature community. And I take solace that in tandem with their departures, the reach of this unique publication continues to grow in ever-widening circles.

About the Author

Victoria Schlesinger is the editor in chief of Bay Nature.