About Us

Board of Directors

Mike Smylie

Mike Smylie is a Partner with ERM, the world’s leading sustainability consultancy, and has over 35 years of experience working with a broad range of companies to address environmental and safety issues. With a technical background in air quality, his work is used to negotiate complex technical agreements and permits with federal and state regulatory agencies, assist facilities with compliance programs, and provide technical expertise in the development of strategic programs and policies.

Mike is currently Chairman of ERM’s US Low Carbon Enterprise Fund (LCEF). The LCEF was established in 2008 to provide financial and technical support for small, low carbon ventures in developing countries. Mike and his wife have three sons and have lived in the Bay Area for over 30 years. He has been involved with SF Nature Education since 2007 during which time he has been involved with the Heron Watch program in Stow Lake and staffing the program with 20 volunteers from the ERM Corporation.

Mike recently wrote a successful grant application to the ERM Foundation to underwrite the cost of installing a Heron Cam at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. The Heron Cam is the only camera trained on a great blue heron colony in California. It operates during the breeding season - February to August each year.

Missi Gavic
Secretary, Treasurer

Missi Gavic (formerly Hirt) grew up in San Francisco, and went out on her first birding field trip (led by her father) at only a few weeks old. It must have left an impression. Today she is passionate about connecting children with the wonders of the outdoors, nature, and birding. She has been volunteering for San Francisco Nature Education since 2011 leading school field trips in Golden Gate Park, and as a docent for Birding for Kids on Saturdays. She is a member of Golden Gate Audubon Society and the co-founder of Green Drinks, an organization that raises money for environmental organizations.

Missi recently took a break from her career in Psychiatric and Neuroimaging research at UCSF to be a mom to her new daughter.

She is looking forward to working with the board of SFNE on the common goal of connecting our youth with the wonder and importance of their natural world.

Nancy H. DeStefanis
Executive Director

Advisory Board

  • Mary Rose Cassa - Board Member Emeritus
  • Kit Durgin - Board Member Emeritus, former Executive Director The Women's Foundation
  • Claudia Jeung - Retired Principal, San Francisco Unified School District
  • John P. Kelly, Ph.D. - Director of Research, Audubon Canyon Ranch
  • Joseph Kinyon - Board Member Emeritus
  • Kathleen Purcell - Board Member Emeritus, partner Remcho, Johanson, and Purcell
  • Allan Ridley - Ornithology Teacher, former Chair Education Committee of Golden Gate Audubon Society
  • James Sullivan - Retired Executive and Wildlife Photographer