Executive Director / Publisher
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As the leader of our efforts connecting Bay Area people to their natural world, Wes is a community builder passionate about environmental stewardship. Before arriving at Bay Nature, Wes was the Director of Development and Marketing for the Oakland Parks and Recreation Foundation, managing and investing assets in partnership with community and civic groups. Wes has more than 15 years of management, business development and marketing experience, drawing on experiences as varied as growing a national wireless brand, leading a venture-backed startup and building an international ecommerce business. Wes has an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Stanford University. His passions outside of work include travel, live music and nurturing reluctant vegetables to maturity.
Editor in Chief
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Victoria joined the organization as editor in chief in spring 2015. Growing up in the Bay Area, her first overnight hiking trip was from the oak-covered Peninsula School campus in Menlo Park through the redwoods in La Honda and down to the sands of Pescadero along with a gaggle of 40 other third and fourth graders. She’s been hooked on the outdoors ever since. Victoria worked as a raft guide in Colorado, a backpacking counselor in the Trinity Alps, and spent the better part of her 20s researching and writing a book about ecology in Central America. Her journalism career began at California Wild magazine and the Point Reyes Light newspaper, and she has since earned two Masters degrees from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Her articles have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Mother Jones, Audubon and The New York Times, among many other outlets, and she’s been on staff with Discover, PBS Frontline, Plenty, and California Lawyer. Victoria lives in Berkeley with her husband and young daughter.
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Susan has been designing Bay Nature magazine since spring of 2014. Born in the midwest, she fled the heat of summer and spent her childhood in a small town in Colorado, hiking, exploring, and horseback riding, sans phone, television and radio reception. She graduated from Colgate University and received her masters from St. Johns College Graduate Institute in Santa Fe. She has been creative director of Outside magazine, Business 2.0, Mother Jones, Healthy Advice, and has created titles for Stanford Engineering, University of California, and several other non-profits.
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Lia Keener joined as Bay Nature’s assistant editor in June 2022. She grew up in Bend, Oregon and graduated from UC Berkeley with a major in environmental biology and minors in journalism and Chinese language. While in college, Lia wrote for The Leaflet and The Daily Cal, where she was first able to write about her interests in conservation and the environment. She started freelancing for Bay Nature in July 2021, and joined staff part-time for her last semester of college. She developed a love of nature through watching nature documentaries as a child (Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies and Living With Wolves) and through quitting running after high school and taking up walking instead. In her free time, Lia loves making art and searching for organisms of all kinds in the Bay Area, Bend, and Portland.
Guananí Gomez-Van Cortright
Bay Nature Journalism Fellow
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Cynthia Rubin grew up in Dallas, about as alienated from nature as you could get, then spent the rest of her life heading essentially the opposite direction. At UC Santa Barbara, in between wiping off beach tar from the ’69 oil spill, she biked to the Botanical Gardens and surfer sunset hours. She walked the Yorkshire moors during a junior year abroad, tramped snowy woods as a reporter covering environmental zoning in Vermont, then moved to San Francisco after bedazzled visits to Point Reyes, Lands End and Green Gulch Farm. As a senior editor at Parenting, she assigned herself a Hawaii trip to interview a native family about geothermal drilling in the rainforests near Volcanoes National Park. Besides being Bay Nature’s copy editor since 2003, she has edited for San Francisco, Sunset, Health, Texas Monthly and a slew of other publications, as well as Kirkus Reviews and nonprofits like Fair Trade USA. Her freelance articles have appeared in several national and regional outlets. These days, even trapped at her desk, she likes to armchair-explore the outdoors in regular edits for Marin and other Bay Area magazines.
Born in the mountains of Albuquerque, New Mexico and with many a season spent in the painted landscapes of Grand Junction, Colorado with her grandparents, Micaelyn’s passion for the outdoors even managed to survive the six-year stint she spent in the Midwest before landing firmly in the Bay Area. The luscious redwoods of the North Bay called her to Rohnert Park where she attended Sonoma State University and now lives with her husband and young son. Her English literature degree somehow landed her in advertising, and she is thrilled to be making the transition into the nonprofit media world with Bay Nature. In their spare time, Micaelyn and her family enjoy walking the Laguna de Santa Rosa, exploring the coast, and enjoying the local craft beer scene.
Marketing & Outreach Director
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Beth officially joined Bay Nature in the spring of 2011, but her first contribution was a sidebar on saving local frogs to accompany David Rains Wallace’s April 2002 cover story “A Leap of Faith“. A passionate observer of, and advocate for, the natural world, Beth has a dual background in magazine publishing (MJ, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism) and digital marketing for both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Staying on the leading edge of “marcom” helps her reach new audiences and inspire others to fall in love with local nature. An experienced grant writer and board member of International Bird Rescue, Beth roams Northern California’s wild spaces in her spare time, listening out for bird song and the occasional ribbit, open to new discoveries.
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Barbara was introduced to Bay Nature magazine 20 years ago when her mother became a subscriber. She joins us with a wide range of development experience working at a number of local nonprofits, including grant writing for the Amah Mutsun Land Trust as well as event planning and major donor stewardship at Save Mount Diablo. Barbara is also the current Board President for Albany Music Fund. She previously worked as a portrait and event photographer. An Oakland native, Barbara has spent most of her life enjoying the natural and urban landscapes of the Bay Area but has also traveled widely and lived abroad. In her free time, you might find her salsa dancing, hiking with her teens, or playing in a samba band. She’s excited to get to know all of you in the Bay Nature community!
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Christina was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. With the San Bruno Mountains at her doorstep, she grew up hiking and learning about native and invasive species. She briefly left the Bay Area to attend Boston University where she received a degree in Mass Communication. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for the past two years and considers it one of her passions. In her free time she enjoys traveling, exploring national parks, and experiencing a bit of the natural world through her pets.
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Jenny joined Bay Nature in 2005 and has the most tenure of our staff (has the institutional knowledge of an elephant). A Berkeley native and UC Santa Barbara graduate, Jenny has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 25 years (a selfless servant, she has the patience of a saint). A volunteer stint at Berkeley’s Shorebird Nature Center helped propel her fascination with the birds and marine wildlife of the Bay (as opposed to the wildlife in her house). In her spare time (limited though it may be), Jenny loves exploring the Bay Area and up the Sonoma coast to find hideaways where she can recharge her inner light (a hummingbird that breathes fire).
Web Development / Information Technology Manager
Laurence has always enjoyed working at the intersection of technology and culture. Laurence produced and published the award winning “P.O.V. Mount Diablo” An Interactive documentary about naturalist photographer Stephen Joseph; worked with Mexican photographer Pedro Meyer on his interactive work “Truths & Fictions” a Voyager CD-ROM that premiered at California Museum of Photography at the University of California, Riverside; worked with Carroll Parrott Blue to create her award winning “The Dawn at My Back: Memoir of a Black Texas Upbringing,” and other non-fiction interactive projects at The Labyrinth Project , a research initiative on interactive narrative at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Laurence has taught interaction design and development at the America Film Institute, UCLA Film School and California State University at Northridge , Film School.
Beginning in 2001, David Loeb served as editor and then publisher of Bay Nature magazine and executive director of Bay Nature Institute. A Bay Area resident since 1973, David moved here after graduating from college in Boston. The decision was largely based on a week spent visiting friends in San Francisco the previous January, which had included a memorable day at Point Reyes National Seashore. In the late 1990s, after many years working for the Guatemala News and Information Bureau in Oakland, David had the opportunity to spend more time hiking and exploring the parks and open spaces of the Bay Area. Increasingly curious about what he was seeing, he began reading natural history books, attending naturalist-led hikes and natural history courses and lectures, and volunteering for several local conservation organizations.
This was rewarding, but he began to feel that the rich natural diversity of the Bay Area deserved a special venue and a dedicated voice for the whole region, to supplement the many publications devoted to one particular place or issue. That’s when the germ of Bay Nature magazine began to take shape. In February 1997, David contacted Malcolm Margolin, publisher of Heyday Books and News from Native California, with the idea of a magazine focused on nature in the Bay Area, and was delighted with Malcolm’s enthusiastic response. Over the course of many discussions with Malcolm, local publishing professionals, potential funders, and local conservation and advocacy groups, the magazine gradually took shape and was launched in January 2001. Seventeen years later, David still finds it hard to believe that he gets to do what he loves — exploring the natural world — for “work.”
David retired as Executive Director and Publisher on June 30, 2017, and now serves as Senior Advisor to the staff and board.
Deonna Anderson, Senior Editor, GreenBiz
El Cerrito, CA
Wendy Eliot, Director of Conservation, Sonoma Land Trust (retired)
Catherine Engberg, Partner Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger
El Cerrito, CA
Nan Ho, Dean of Academic Services (Science Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics), Las Positas College
Rebecca Johnson, Citizen Science Director, California Academy of Sciences
San Francisco, CA
Suzanne Moss, Campaign Director, Save The Redwoods League
Walnut Creek, CA
Anh Tran, Senior Director, Scholarship Administration and Development, UC Berkeley