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Executive Director

Yiwei Wang, Ph.D., is Executive Director at SFBBO.

Yiwei grew up in the South Bay and has called the Bay area her home for most of her life. She attended Cornell University and double majored in Biology and Psychology. Returning to the west coast, she worked for a variety of organizations that focused on birds and mammals, including an internship with the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory and a season as a field technician in SFBBO's Snowy Plover Program. She then attended UC Santa Cruz and received her PhD in Environmental Studies. Her dissertation focused on learning how human development impacts mountain lions and their relationships with other smaller carnivores. After completing her Ph.D., she worked in northern Kenya to coordinate research efforts among four NGOs to study regional human development and wildlife movement as part of a project supported by the Nature Conservancy. Most recently she was a post-doctoral scholar in Santa Barbara, where she worked to increase and facilitate the management and sharing of ecological data.  

SFBBO 2015 Staff Org Chart (pdf)


Stephanie Ellis
Yiwei Wang, Executive Director


Outreach and Communications Director

Kristin Butler, M.S. is the Outreach and Communications Director at SFBBO, overseeing outreach, communications, and fundraising. Kristin is a communications specialist with experience developing stories and leading public relations and fundraising initiatives for nonprofits and the media. Before joining SFBBO, Kristin worked for several conservation and youth serving organizations, including Earthjustice, Girls Inc., and the East Bay Regional Park District. Before that, she was an environmental reporter for the Argus newspaper in Fremont and covered Bay Area issues, including endangered species, habitat loss, and wetlands regulation. She has a B.A. in Political Science from Whitman College, and an M.S. in Mass Communications from San Jose State University.

Contact: kbutler@sfbbo.org

Jason St. Pierre
Kristin Butler, Outreach and Communications Director

Waterbird Program Director

Natalie Washburn, M.S., oversees many of SFBBO’s long-term waterbird programs, including: the Avian Disease Prevention Program, California Gull Monitoring, Salt Pond Surveys, the SF Bay Shorebird Survey, and the Colonial Waterbird Program (co-managed with Kristin Butler).  Natalie has a BS in Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology and an MS in Avian Sciences from the University of California, Davis.  Natalie's graduate research focused on wetland management practices for waterfowl in the Sacramento Valley. She is especially interested in how science can inform wetland management and restoration for the benefit of waterbird populations in the South Bay (and beyond!)

Contact: nwashburn@sfbbo.org


Natalie Washburn

Natalie Washburn, Waterbird Program Director

Marianne Bristol is SFBBO's Accountant. Marianne has substantial experience working as an accountant in the corporate sector, including cost accounting experience which will be very valuable to SFBBO. In recent years, Marianne has taken some time off of work to spend more time with her children - during this time Marianne has remained active in the field of accounting by volunteering her time with a new non-profit organization here in the Bay Area. 

Contact: mbristol@sfbbo.org

Gail Richardson
Marianne Bristol, Accountant

Landbird Program Director

Josh Scullen oversees all of our landbird program activities, database management, and research permits. Josh has a B.S. in Wildlife Management from West Virginia University and is a North American Banding Council Certified Trainer. Originally from Maryland, Josh has spent several years conducting field work throughout North and Central America and Hawaii, and has lived on the California coast since 2006.

Contact: jscullen@sfbbo.org

Josh Scullen
Josh Scullen, Landbird Program Director
Plover Program Director

Karine Tokatlian oversees our plover-related research and monitoring activities. Karine has a B.S. in Field and Wildlife Biology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She has spent several years monitoring protected breeding bird populations along the California coast, including the Western Snowy Plover and California Least Tern. As a native of California, Karine has a profound respect for the conservation of coastal ecosystems and, gratefully, has the opportunity to nurture her interests through the efforts of the Bird Observatory.

Contact: ktokatlian@sfbbo.org

Karine Tokatlian
Karine Tokatlian, Plover Program Director
Senior Biologist

Alvaro Jaramillo, M.S. is a senior biologist working with both the Science and Outreach Programs. Alvaro has a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Toronto, and a M.S. in Ecology and Evolution from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. An expert on the birds of California and North America, he is also an authority on the birds of Chile, authoring of Birds of Chile (2003) and collaborating on Chile’s Important Bird Areas program. An author and contributor to numerous field guides and popular publications, Alvaro’s passion is not only to understand the biology and natural history of birds, but to enrich other’s enjoyment of birds and further avian conservation. Alvaro recently received the Eisenmann Medal of the Linnean Society of New York, established to honor those who excel in ornithology and encourage the amateur.

Contact: ajaramillo@sfbbo.org

Alvaro Jaramillo
Alvaro Jaramillo, Senior Biologist
Senior Ecologist

David Thomson, M.S. is a senior ecologist leading our Habitats Program. David has a B.S. in Biology from Seattle University in Washington and a M.S. in Wetland Ecology from Southeastern Louisiana University, where he contributed to and led research on coastal wetlands. Since moving to California in 2001 he has actively researched the ecology and restoration of wetlands in San Francisco Bay, including an ongoing study to develop methods and materials for restoring tidal marsh-upland ecotonal habitats. The methods he has developed are being utilized to restore habitats at sites throughout the estuary as a part of the tidal marsh ecosystem's restoration. David hopes to contribute to our understanding of bird habitat ecology and enrich our research programs with this perspective.

Contact: dthomson@sfbbo.org

David Thomson
David Thomson, Senior Ecologist

Aidona Kakouros, M.S. is an Ecologist for our Habitats Program. Aidona has a B.S. in Forestry and Natural Environment Studies from Aristotelian University of Thessalonica, Greece and a M.S in Environmental Studies from San Jose State University where she studied interactions between Forsterís terns and California gulls. Aidona got hooked with environmental conservation initiatives in her early teen years and since then she has participated professionally and voluntarily in a variety of conservation projects including ecotype mapping, bird and other wildlife species studies, habitat assessment and environmental education. Aidona strongly believes that habitat restoration gives us an exceptional opportunity to further increase our understanding of the ecosystem dynamics and particularly of speciesí interactions; thus, it should incorporate an experimental approach to meet this end. She is very excited to participate in a project with such a creative potential and determined to employ her knowledge and skills towards this direction.

Contact: akakouros@sfbbo.org

Aidona Kakouros
Aidona Kakouros, Ecologist