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General Membership & Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

| RSVP | Logistics | Program | Board Elections | Volunteer Awards |


Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society thrives on the support of its dedicated members, donors, and volunteers. Join us for an evening celebrating you, the lifeblood of our chapter. We'll enjoy a catered dinner, guest speaker, board elections, volunteer awards, silent auction, and more fun throughout the evening. Please RSVP below so that we can order food and drinks accordingly. If you have any questions, please contact Kelly Alfrey at or (408) 627-7172. We hope to see you there!



When: Saturday, June 30, 2018; 5:30PM-9:00PM

Where: The Garden House in Shoup Park, Los Altos



5:30PM Bird walk at Shoup Park
6:00PM Introduction, Board Member Elections, silent auction items available
6:30PM Dinner is served
7:00PM Volunteer Awards
7:30PM Mystery Guest Speaker
9:00PM Meeting adjourned


Board Member Elections

The Nominating Committee of the SCVAS Board of Directors nominates these candidates for elected positions on the Board for the term indicated. New directors and officers take office July 1, 2018. SCVAS members in good standing may vote during the Appreciation Dinner. The majority of available votes determines the winner. 


      Position & Term: President 2018 - 2019
Diane Hart describes herself as an adult-onset birder who makes up with enthusiasm for what she lacks in expertise. She has served on the SCVAS Board since 2011, becoming its President in 2017. She sits on most of the Board’s committees and is active on SCVAS’s Education Committee. Diane is a nationally recognized education author and assessment consultant. She has written 20 textbooks on U.S. history, world history, geography, American government, and economics, most of which are still used in schools across the country. She has also consulted widely on social studies curriculum, instructional design, and standards-based assessments. Her most recent project has been the development of cross-cultural competency tools to prepare government personnel heading overseas to work effectively with people from cultures different from their own. Diane embraces being out-of-doors, whether birding, gardening, cycling, or leading tours at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve where she volunteers as a docent. What she loves most about birding is that she can do it anywhere, from the ends of the Earth to the Safeway parking lot.

Position & Term: Vice President 2018 - 2019
Vivek Khanzodé has been interested in birds and nature since a trip to Costa Rica in 2009. The Resplendent Quetzal mesmerized him, and since then he has been traveling the US and the neotropics in Central and South America annually on nature themed vacations to capture the beauty of birds. Vivek has been a member of the SCVAS Board since 2011 and currently serves on the Membership and Nomination Committees. He brings to the Board the perspectives of both a committed birder and an engineering manager in the Semiconductor industry in the Silicon Valley. He is a strong supporter and active presenter in the Bay Area Bird Photographers group of SCVAS. In his spare time, Vivek photographs birds in the Bay Area and beyond. His bird photos have been published by the National Audubon Society, the American Bird Conservancy, and several other conservation related organizations. His bird and nature photographs can be enjoyed at

  Position & Term: Treasurer 2018 - 2019
Don McDougall currently serves SCVAS as a Board member and Treasurer, chairs the Finance and Development Committees, and is a member of the Environmental Advocacy Committee. He sees the strength of SCVAS is its three integrated values: birding for all levels and ages, education—especially for young students—and advocacy for Santa Clara habitats that sustain birds and other wildlife. SCVAS, in his view, outperforms its size in local advocacy efforts. Don spent his career in domestic and international technology and software, typically companies that developed business intelligence and analytics software. He was CEO for companies whose industries and products include electronics manufacturing, forest products optimization, activity-based costing, census data anonymization, and business intelligence and reporting. In addition to his work with SCVAS, Don serves on the Palo Alto Parks and Recreation Commission, with the Environmental Volunteers as a classroom and field volunteer and board member, and as a docent at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. Don believes in the importance of addressing sustainability, especially environmental, but also economic and social equity.
  Position & Term: Secretary 2018 - 2019
Joan Leighton has been on the SCVAS Board for fifteen years and has acted as its Secretary for most of that time. She serves on the Executive, Development, and Membership Committees, and chairs the Personnel Committee. With another volunteer, she also manages the SCVAS library, a thousand-volume collection devoted to birds and birding and available to SCVAS members. A professional librarian, Joan started her career at Harvard's East Asian Library, went on to manage the several libraries of a national accounting firm, and then came to Stanford where she oversaw many of the programs and services of Stanford's main and undergraduate libraries. Retirement was followed by three years with San Francisco's Koret Foundation directing a national book award program. Joan’s time is now spent birding while travelling, hosting emerging string quartets, collecting fruit stickers (one of the largest such collections in the world), and playing with family and friends up and down the California coast.
  Position & Term: Director at Large, seeking re-election for a 3-year term
Gabrielle Feldman joined the Board of Directors in March 2015 and is currently the Acting Vice President and the Chair of the Outreach Committee. Gabrielle is also the Board Liaison to the Environmental Action Committee. Gabrielle is the Owner and Principal of Environmental Policy Solutions, LLC, a boutique environmental consulting firm based in San Jose, CA. She has over twenty years of experience working with natural resource managers, NGOs, and governments on a variety of wildlife conservation projects throughout the Bay Area and beyond. She has earned a B.S. in Zoology and an M.S. in Environmental Science and Regional Planning from Washington State University and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources with an emphasis in Environmental Policy Analysis and Decision Science from the University of Idaho. Gabrielle has combined her passion for wildlife conservation and sustainable development with an expert knowledge of local, national, and international law. By utilizing a holistic approach, she has led complicated planning and implementation processes designed to conserve natural resources while promoting sustainable development. In her free time, Gabrielle enjoys spending time with her husband and 6-year-old twins. She is an avid hiker and weekend birder. Gabrielle also enjoys cooking and baking for a crowd. If she isn’t hanging out with her family, she enjoys spending as much time outdoors exploring nature and looking for birds and other wildlife.
  Position & Term: Director at Large, seeking re-election for a 3-year term
Peter Hart has served on the SCVAS Board since 2011. He is a member of the Nominating, Personnel, and Development Committees. He also serves on the Board of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. During his professional career, from which he is now largely retired, Peter founded or led half a dozen companies and international research centers and invented or developed the theory of several widely used computer algorithms. He is the world’s most-cited author in the field of Robotics and among the ten most-cited authors in the field of Computer Science (according to Google Scholar). He holds over 125 patents covering a wide range of artificial intelligence and software inventions and is a Fellow of four professional associations. Nowadays, Peter is a bird photographer, cyclist, furniture maker, pianist, community volunteer and traveler. His technical interests are now focused on how information technology can contribute to conservation science.
  Position & Term: Director at Large, seeking re-election for the remaining 2 years of a 3-year term
John Richardson As one of the newest Board member for SCVAS, I am looking forward to committing quality time and energy to such an energetic, creative, and inspiring organization. After finishing a degree in Biology in Omaha, I made a calculated decision to move west and live out my dream of being nearer to the mountains. I added a history degree at a Washington University and then worked for six years with the US Forest Service in fire control in six western states. For the past 35 years I have had a successful and rewarding career in industrial sales, mostly in executive level capital spending projects with Bay Area public schools, public and private universities, cities and counties, and large corporate firms. After recently retiring I have more time to commit to birding, worldwide nature photography, cycling, swimming, hiking, woodworking, and reading. You can see some of my work at

Volunteer Awards

Coming soon!