Naturalists / Instructors at Black Diamond Mines

Black Diamond Mines

Address: Black Diamond Mines, 5175 Somersville Road, Antioch, CA 94509
Phone No.: (510) 544-2750

Kate Collins, Supervising Naturalist

Kate worked in Denali National Park for ten years, including four as Program Director at Denali Education Center, before joining the Park District in 2012. She has also worked as an interpretive ranger in Sequoia & Kings Canyon, Denali, and Everglades National Parks. She has a B.A. in Russian Area Studies from Dartmouth College. She enjoys meeting new people, exploring parks, swimming, and spending time with friends and family.

Virginia Delgado, Naturalist

Virginia started working with East Bay Regional Park District in 2014 as a temporary Naturalist Aide at Ardenwood Historic Farm and has since become a Naturalist at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve. She earned her B.A. in Environmental Studies from San Francisco State University where she studied environmental sustainability, policy, and natural resource management. She has explored and interpreted California’s beautiful coastline at the NatureBridge environmental education campus at the Marin Headlands. Prior to joining the park district, Virginia worked in the nonprofit sector in community engagement on environmental justice issues around the San Francisco Bay Area. In her free time, you can catch her going to farmers markets, exploring northern California’s rivers and waterfalls, and spending time at the beach.

Kevin Dixon, Naturalist / Docent Coordinator

Kevin has been working for the Park District since 2007 and roaming the hills of the East Bay since he was old enough to run. He has a master’s degree in Southeast Asian Studies from UC Berkeley and has lectured in Southeast Asian culture and Indonesian language at University of Victoria in British Columbia. He has traveled widely and lived and studied for years in Southeast Asia, fascinated by tropical rain forests and the diversity of cultures.  He has worked with non-profits to organize conferences related to mining, indigenous peoples, and human rights. He has also been a docent with Audubon Canyon Ranch. In his spare time, he likes to hike and ride his bicycle, with frequent stops to observe plants and animals along the way.

Eddie Willis, Naturalist

Eddie, a.k.a. "Outdoor Ed", began his career with East Bay Regional Park District in 2003 as an interpretive student aide. This was the spring board for other jobs in the interpretive field, and he has since worked for California State Parks, UC Davis, and YMCA Camp Arroyo. Eddie earned his Bachelor's degree in anthropology and education from the University of California, Davis and was hired as a full-time naturalist in 2008. He enjoys hiking, camping, road trips, hiking, playing guitar, gardening (weeding), and hiking. Eddie really "digs" his work at Black Diamond Mines, and can be found leading long hikes, interpreting cultural uses of plants, and researching the colorful history of Contra Costa County.