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Best Human Guide to Endangered Species 

Brent Plater

Brent Plater, who teaches in the environmental studies department at San Francisco State University, possesses a seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of the endangered birds, plants, and fish found in the Bay Area. Last year he put his nature smarts to use. The former Bay Area director of the Center for Biological Diversity organized a massive treasure hunt to encourage people to see all 33 threatened and endangered species in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The contest, called the GGNRA Big Year, drew a few thousand people over the course of a year for trips to spots like Fort Funston to see California sea otters, or to the Presidio to find the yellow Lessingia flower. Plater has a story for every species: The Raven's manzanita is not merely an evergreen shrub but the "loneliest plant in the world," the Western snowy plover is "the cutest little puffball of feathers," and the humpback whale the "most acrobatic whale." This year Plater has been campaigning for the restoration of Pacifica's Sharp Park Golf Course into a habitat for endangered animals, and was recently awarded a Fulbright scholarship to teach environmental law and policy in Trinidad in 2010.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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