JULY 11, 2013 – Stinson Beach, CA – Audubon Canyon Ranch (ACR), a leader in conservation science, habitat protection and restoration, and nature education programs, announced today it elected six new members to its board of directors during its annual meeting on June 29, including Beth Gurney and Diana Ruiz of Santa Rosa, Maureen Lynch of Petaluma, Sylvia Crawford of Glen Ellen, Karen Young of Mill Valley and Jude Stalker of San Francisco.

Beth Gurney, an independent consultant specializing in organizational team and capacity building, group facilitation and change management, has more than 20 years of experience as a leader and manager, working with both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Beth recently served as director of education for ACR. Beth became a docent at ACR’s Bouverie Preserve in 1998, and in this capacity served as training co-chair and school program committee chair, in addition to leading hikes for schoolchildren.

Diana Ruiz is a biologist who has contributed her research to numerous scientific publications and presented scientific findings to the Native Plant Society and National Parks Service. Diana has served as a student researcher for Mills College, a field research assistant at ACR, field research volunteer for ERuDeF in Cameroon, a natural resources volunteer for the National Parks Service and a conservation volunteer for the Andean Bear Project, Ecuador. Diana was also a care provider to Jim and Shirley Modini, who bequeathed their 1,700-acre Modini Ingalls Ecological Preserve to ACR in 2009.

Maureen Lynch is a retired independent school facilities consultant. She has worked with public school districts to evaluate and design school facilities, investigate and procure design and construction funding, and monitor project spending. Maureen has also worked as a teacher and an administrator. Prior to full retirement, Maureen was the manager of the Public Health Department for Del Norte County, supervising and coordinating the work of the public health officer, registered nurses, public health nurses and environmental scientists in their endeavor to provide health services to the community. Maureen is a docent at the California Academy of Sciences and Martin Griffin Preserve.

Sylvia Crawford is a teacher and a writer, and serves as the president of the Bouverie Preserve Docent Council. As a long-time Sonoma County resident, Sylvia trained as a docent at Bouverie Preserve in 1987 and since then has served in numerous roles including hiking docent, docent trainer, newsletter editor, secretary of the docent council and Quercus Quire member. Since 1988, Sylvia has been the author of the weekly Sonoma Index-Tribune column, “The Folks in Glen Ellen.”

Karen Young is a marketing executive with over 25 years experience with a wide range of products and services across multiple categories including Fortune 100 companies and e-commerce start-ups. Karen has held numerous leadership positions including most recently serving as vice president of marketing for Delamina, a consumer e-commerce start-up. Prior to that, Karen held management positions at Amazon Advertising, one of the top creative agencies in San Francisco and Gardner, Geary, Coll & Young, where she was one of four partners who ran the $75 million advertising agency. Karen is a docent at Martin Griffin Preserve.

Jude Stalker is a wildlife biologist, community educator and project manager. Her passion for and interest in the ecology of the San Francisco Estuary led her through a career involving research, restoration and community education at many sites and venues around the San Francisco Bay Area over the last 15 years. As a biologist, Jude has monitored sea lion and harbor seal behaviors and population dynamics, assisted in native eelgrass surveys and restoration work, and supervised survey of native oyster recruitment in the San Francisco Bay. She has performed wetland restoration and enhancement projects at several bayland locations, collecting, propagating and planting native plant species. Her work also included identifying and removing invasive nonnative plant species. She has also participated in various bird counts and surveys with the Marin Audubon Society, ACR and the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory.

ACR’s new board directors join the following roster of elected officers:


PRESIDENT                                   Diane Jacobson of Glen Ellen

1st VICE PRESIDENT                   Andre´ Brewster of San Anselmo

2nd VICE PRESIDENT                   Judy Prokupek of Inverness

SECRETARY                                  Diana Sanson of Glen Ellen

TREASURER                                Barbara Kosnar of Mill Valley


About Audubon Canyon Ranch

Audubon Canyon Ranch (ACR) protects nature through land preservation, nature education and conservation science.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, ACR’s preserves include the Cypress Grove Research Center on Tomales Bay, the 535-acre Bouverie Preserve in Sonoma’s Valley of the Moon near Glen Ellen, the 1,000-acre Martin Griffin Preserve on Bolinas Lagoon near Stinson Beach, the 1,620-acre Mayacamas Mountains Sanctuary and the 1,700-acre Modini Ingalls Ecological Preserve in the Mayacamas Mountains above Healdsburg.

ACR is an independent non-profit organization with 501(c)3 status and is not affiliated with the National Audubon Society. ACR’s programs are made possible thanks to the contribution of thousands of hours of volunteer service, and donations from caring individuals, foundations and businesses. For more information, call 415-868-9244, email acr@egret.org or visit www.egret.org.