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Volunteer Spotlight 2016

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.

Dick Blaine

Dick Blaine portrait, Volunteer Honoree 2016
Dick Blaine

Dick has been a volunteer with SCVAS since 2001. During his time with SCVAS he has been instrumental in helping our front office with a wide variety of computer related training and assistance. Most recently, he has worked with our office staff to train and assist with a relatively complicated database program; essential to our ongoing membership and donor history and operations. In addition to his work with our database, he has volunteered with the Cavity Nesters Recovery Program, helped with education materials, helped with community events, and provided research on various projects, providing necessary data processing, networking and programing assistance. Wherever there has been a need, Dick has been there.

Danielle Blakkan

 portrait, Volunteer Honoree 2016
Danielle Blakkan

Danielle is such an amazing person to work with. She has helped us search for burrowing owls through the heat of the summer, cold winter, and spring rains. Even without a morning cup of coffee. During her first surveys, she had a keen eye and spotted an owl at a distance ducking behind some grass that others had missed. She is a great person, who genuinely cares about the environment and the burrowing owls. She brings the fun to our surveys.

Elaine Gould - Special Recognition

Elaine Gould portrait, Volunteer Honoree 2016
Elaine Gould

At various times over the last 3 decades, Elaine has served on the SCVAS Board, Education Committee, and as a Wetlands Discovery Program. In fact, it was her passion for education with fellow volunteer and SCVAS member Allen Royer that helped create the Wetlands Discovery Program in 1989 that is still going strong today. A retired teacher from Hacienda, Elaine's educational background has been invaluable in helping to create robust education and community programs that SCVAS is proud to offer. Elaine has been a constant presence as a friendly face and helping hand, supporting SCVAS in innumerable ways, great and small. We are so proud to know her, and feel extremely grateful that SCVAS has been the beneficiary of her passion for so many years.

Kate Gudmundson

Kate Gudmundson portrait, Volunteer Honoree 2016
Kate Gudmundson

Kate is typical of many of our star volunteers in that she is involved in many many different programs, organizations and activities - and we consider ourselves lucky that she's willing to give some of her limited time to us! Kate starting volunteering for us in 2007 with the Cavity Nesters Recovery Program (CNRP) as a "backyard" birdhouse monitor. She now monitors nest boxes at Mission City Cemetary, Ulistac Natural Area, and others. Over the years, her patience and experience with the nest boxes have been a wonderful resource to the SCVAS staff and other CNRP monitors, and we know that our local songbirds have greatly benefited from her dedication.

Liz Salzer

Liz Salzer portrait, Volunteer Honoree 2016
Liz Salzer

Liz started as a volunteer in 2011 and immediately dove into our Wetlands Discovery Program, participating in both the in-class and field trip components. She soon got involved in other activities as well, such as our many Outreach Events. After taking a break, she returned to volunteering in full swing, assisting as a much needed Wetlands Docent on the field trips. The students have enjoyed her as a leader and she has proved time again to be very reliable, flexible and consistent. We love working with her!

Kitty Trejo and Marti Wright

Kitty Trejo and Marti Wright portrait, Volunteer Honoree 2016
Kitty Trejo and Marti Wright

Kitty and Marti are wonderful volunteers - the kind of volunteers that makes our Conservation program work. For many years - Kitty and Marti have been filling the gaps whenever volunteers are needed - Marti (the soldier) and Kitty (the doctor) are always on the front line. They helped monitor burrowing owls and guard owl nests during firework displays, educate youth about burrowing owls, native plants, and egrets, and advocate in letters and even in front of City Council.

Civic engagement is Kitty and Marti's heart. Since their retirements from decades in military service (Marti) and a medical career (Kitty), they have been enjoying nature and birding, family, travelling and volunteer work. Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society is lucky to be one of the civic, health (body and soul) and education organizations they volunteer with.

Pooja Vedam

Pooja Vedam portrait, Volunteer Honoree 2016
Pooja Vedam

One of our youngest volunteers, Pooja has been a regular helper in our Nature Shop assisting with a variety of duties, including inventory, making signs and nametags, and providing needed assistance in the front office. Last year she helped with our Holiday party and led in the singing of Christmas Carols, while accompanying the activities on her Ukulele and kazoo. And all of this while juggling a full school load! We hope her passion and dedication will inspire the next generation of nature lovers.


Updated May 2016

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

Thursday September 1, 7 PM
Birding by Ear with Bill Pelletier
Weekly 90-minute field class. More...

Saturday September 3, 8 AM
Alviso Environmental Education Center
Possible Hooded Oriole, Red-tailed Hawk, Blacknecked Stilt, American White Pelicans, American Avocet and a variety of shorebirds. More...

Sunday September 4, 8:15 AM (Half day)
Arastradero Open Space Preserve
Trip involves moderately strenuous hiking. More...

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