Site Map Contact Us Home

Volunteer Spotlight 2014

It is hard for us to select only a few volunteers to spotlight among our long list of deserving people. These hard-working people have distinguished themselves over the past year and we would like to extend a special thank-you to them. We owe the success of our chapter to these and all our generous and talented volunteers.

Volunteer Honorees

Laurie Bechtler - Environmental Action Committee Co-Chair.
Laurie can do things that many of us cannot, and she does them quietly and perfectly. In the four years that Laurie has volunteered her time on the Environmental Action Committee, she has contributed her unique research, database management and communications abilities and talents to a myriad of projects. She helped identify environmental organizations to partner with in opposition to the development of a solar farm at Panoche Valley, and advocate against this development. She spent quality time educating the public about the owls at several Cavalia shows and many tabling events. She prepared a database of burrowing owl locations and observations to help our conservation program find and monitor the owl population. And she has participated in many burrowing owl surveys and habitat restoration events. In her hometown of Mountain View, Laurie persevered through many committee and council meetings and even candidate forums - eloquently advocating for ecologically sensitive development and for the approval and implementation of a Burrowing Owls Preservation Plan. Most recently, Laurie took on the position of Co-Chair of the Environmental Action Committee. With her pleasant and friendly yet quiet demeanor, Laurie exemplifies the proverb "Still waters run deep" - she is an amazing woman, and a very valued volunteer.

Grace Yuan Zweig and Sharon Hudak - Cavity Nesters Recovery Program Monitors at McClellan Ranch Preserve.
If you walk the creek trail at McClellan Ranch on any given Wednesday morning in the spring, you're likely to bump into a couple of cheerful ladies carrying some strange looking equipment. No - they're not fishing or trapping anything; instead, they're carefully and diligently monitoring the native cavity nesting bird species on the Preserve. Not for the faint-of-heart, this activity requires lots of patience, good observational and notetaking skills, perseverance in the face of nesting tragedies, a willingness to endure heat and ticks (and some other surprising critters), and some serious upper-body strength. And not only do Grace and Sharon bring these skills to this important conservation activity, but they always do so with a smile. We're grateful to have them as a part of this program.

Renee Polizotto and Julio Mulero - Birdathon Committee.
Renee and Julio are a husband-and-wife volunteer tag-team for SCVAS! A former member of the SCVAS Board of Directors, Julio and Renee currently serve on the SCVAS Birdathon Committee, with Renee as Chair. The depth of their involvement with our Birdathon and SCVAS' programs, as well as Julio's talent for photography, have been a true asset to SCVAS!

Carolyn Banbury - Office and Nature Shop Assistant.
Talk about someone diving right in - Carolyn began working with us in the Nature Shop just this past February, but already we can't imagine life without her! With her background in office management and accounting, she has proven to be an invaluable resource for our nature shop. Friendly and gracious to everyone she meets, Carolyn's smile brings a wonderful lift into the office whenever she's around.

Jim Meikrantz - Wetlands Discovery Program Docent.
Sometimes, there truly is a volunteer match made in heaven! When Jim began with the Wetlands Discovery Program last fall, he said something along the lines of he wasn't sure what his skill level was, but that he'd try to do whatever we needed. Well, within just a few weeks, it was obvious that the Wetlands Discovery Program had scored itself a priceless gem! His knowledge, enthusiasm, and perpetual eagerness to learn new things has truly been an inspiration to new and veteran docents alike. And his willingness to step in wherever and whenever needed has been a particular blessing to the SCVAS staff as we plan our increasingly hectic schedules. We are looking forward to many more wetlands programs with Jim by our side!


Updated June 2014.

How to Volunteer for SCVAS

Fill out our Volunteer Sign-up form or contact our Programs Coordinator at (408) 252-3740 or at

Check out our most pressing needs, plus our list of individual and committee opportunities.

Become a volunteer for conservation.

View our volunteer calendar.

Upcoming Events at SCVAS

Sunday February 1, 8:00 AM (Half day)
Ulistac Natural Area

Highlights: We will look for migrants and local breeding birds in diverse habitat that does not require an entrance fee. More...

Wednesday February 4, 12:00 PM (One hour)
City of Sunnyvale Landfill
Birding geared toward beginners. More...

Wednesday February 4, 7:30-9:00 PM
The Bay Area Bird Photographers Meeting

"Avian Flight" by Arash Hazeghi

Back to the top

Join Us!  |  About Us  |  Calendar  |  Birding  |  Conservation  |  Kids' Corner  |  Education  |  Nature Shop

22221 McClellan Rd., Cupertino, CA 95014
Tel: (408) 252-3747 / Fax: (408) 252-2850