Regina Starr Ridley
Executive Director / Publisher
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Regina leads our efforts to connect people to the natural world of the San Francisco Bay Area. Before arriving at Bay Nature in 2017, Regina was senior vice president, client operations at Tides, a Presidio-based foundation and fiscal sponsor with a social justice orientation. From 2006-2014 she was publishing director of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, a media group that includes an award-winning print journal, website, webinars, and conferences for leaders of social change. Prior to joining Stanford, Regina had a 20-year career in for-profit media. As a group president at CMP Media, she ran a $150 million media division and both launched and acquired many media properties. Regina has a master’s degree in International Management from the Thunderbird Graduate School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Connecticut. Her passions outside of work include travel and involvement in her community, global and local. She serves on the board of the Noe Valley Farmers Market, where you will find her amidst the fruits and vegetables most Saturday mornings.
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.
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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Eric joined Bay Nature in the fall of 2013. An almost lifelong Bay Area resident, he grew up exploring the creeks and pastures of the East Bay and graduated to longer hiking and backpacking trips across the Western United States. A former kayak instructor, newspaper journalist, freelance writer – and for eight glorious weeks, intern sorter of small frozen fishes in a UC Santa Barbara marine biology lab — Eric spent several years teaching reporting at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and managing the news site Richmond Confidential. He is the author of Darwin Slept Here, a travel adventure and natural history that traces Charles Darwin’s route across mainland South America, and The Secret Lives of Sports Fans, an investigation into the scientific origins of his annual hockey-related temper tantrums. Eric lives in San Francisco and enjoys exploring nature on the more sidewalk-square scale with his wife and young daughters.
Hayley M. Davis
Hayley joined Bay Nature in after graduating from UC Berkeley in 2018. At UC Berkeley, Hayley studied History with a focus on the environment and spent many of her hours at the Student Organic Garden. During her final year, she interned at Bay Nature where she found her passion for engaging online communities through environmental storytelling. As the Editorial Associate, Hayley manages Bay Nature’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram platforms, sends the weekly newsletter, and assists with photo collection for the magazine. Hayley is originally from the Sacramento area and feels a deep connection with the nature of northern California. After hours, find her exploring places both urban and wild.
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.
Ellen Weis began her career in independent small press publishing with Coffee House Press. She gained notoriety in her twenties as the Co-Founder of the acclaimed Museum of Modern Mythology. The Museum’s mission was to interpret the cultural impact of American advertising characters such as Jolly Green Giant, Mr. Peanut, Tony the Tiger, Pillsbury Dough Boy and thousands more. As Executive Director of MMM, Ellen led fundraising, acquisitions, PR, Ad Agency, and Board development efforts, including the participation of mythologist Joseph Campbell. MMM was featured extensively in the media: Wall Street Journal, LA Times, New York Times, People, and Smithsonian Magazine. Continuing in communications and media, Ellen launched and ran a successful Bay Area PR firm before joining the Bay Nature team in 2010. A published short story writer and avid outdoors-woman, Ellen’s perfect day includes traveling, biking or hiking with her family and friends. Her 2004 non-fiction book, Berkeley: The Life and Spirit of a Remarkable Town is still in print.
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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Margie joined Bay Nature in January 2019 – the perfect landing after spending eighteen years as a fundraiser for Bay Area conservation organizations, including LandPaths, Peninsula Open Space Trust, Save the Redwoods League, Sempervirens Fund, and the Trust for Public Land. When Margie was a child growing up in San Carlos, her energetic parents regularly took her and some number of her twelve siblings to explore the wonders of the Bay Area, sometimes via a redwood grove, sometimes via a container ship on the San Francisco Bay. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and completed graduate studies in folklore and oral history at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In the off hours, you can often find her exploring the East Bay hills or pulling oxalis in her front yard. Margie lives in Oakland with her husband and two sons.
Annual Giving & Events Manager
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Laney graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2016 with a degree in Environmental Studies and an outside concentration in Spanish. After returning to her hometown of El Sobrante, she was thrilled to begin working at Bay Nature, gaining more in-depth knowledge of the natural world where she was raised. Laney wears many hats at Bay Nature, from fundraising to coordinating magazine photography to planning the annual awards dinner. Prior to her current role, Laney worked at Save The Bay as a development assistant and interned at Food & Water Watch as a community organizer. In her free time, you can find her bouldering at the local rock gym, or planning a last minute camping trip.
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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, Jenny has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 25 years (a selfless servant, she has the patience of a saint). She has also volunteered at Berkeley’s Shorebird Nature Center, which 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.
Catherine Engberg, Partner Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger
El Cerrito, CA
Tracy Grubbs, Artist
San Francisco, CA
Bruce Hartsough, Technology and Sustainability Executive (retired)
Santa Rosa, CA
Nan Ho, Dean of Academic Services (Science Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics), Las Positas College
Reed Holderman, Land Trust Executive Director (retired)
Rebecca Johnson, Citizen Science Director, California Academy of Sciences
San Francisco, CA
Pete May, Co-founder and President, Green Biz
Suzanne Moss, Campaign Director, Save The Redwoods League
Walnut Creek, CA
Dr. Nooshin Razani, Director of the Center for Nature and Health, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital
Nancy Westcott, Chief Financial Officer (retired)
Palo Alto, CA