Naturalists / Instructors at Crab Cove

Crab Cove Visitor Center and Aquarium

Address: 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda, CA 94501
Phone No.: (510) 544-3187

Kevin Dixon, Acting Supervising Naturalist

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.

Michael Charnofsky, Naturalist

Michael joined EBRPD in June, 2006 and has loved working at Crab Cove the whole time. He grew up in Los Angeles, earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies from U.C. Santa Cruz, and he moved back to the Bay Area for this wonderful job. Michael worked as a naturalist for twelve years at the Los Angeles County Outdoor Science School and as the Nature Director for a camp for children with diabetes for ten years. He also served on the Board of the Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (AEOE) from 1996-2016. His many interests include organic/native plant gardening, sustainable living, birdwatching, visiting the desert in spring, attending music festivals, photography, drumming, and exploring the world with his young son.

Pia Loft, Naturalist

As a young preschooler Pia enjoyed chasing her classmates with big, hairy caterpillars. Although she no longer chases her friends with bugs, Pia combines her love for the outdoors with her passion for teaching. She holds a B.S. in Ecology and Evolution and a M.A. in Museum Studies and joined EBRPD in 2018 where she is excited to continue to connect people to nature and have fun with caterpillars.

Susan Ramos, Naturalist and Docent/Volunteer Coordinator

Susan began her career with the East Bay Regional Park District as an Interpretive Student Aid at Coyote Hills. With a degree in Environmental Studies from Cal State Hayward, she worked as a temporary Naturalist at Coyote Hills, Ardenwood and Sunol. She joined the Crab Cove staff as a permanent Naturalist in 1990. Fourteen years and three bundles of joy later she decided to resign from full-time work to raise her sons. She did temporary work with EBRPD and then became a Pre-school Teacher, returning to school to study Early Childhood Development. She returned to full-time work as a permanent Naturalist back at Crab Cove in December 2015. She enjoys spending time with her husband and kids, eating chocolate, camping, hiking, birdwatching and going on night walks looking for bats, owls, and other night time critters. She loves sharing nature with people of all ages.

James C. Frank (Currently on leave)

“Ranger James” started his career as a lab technician caring for large research aquariums for the University of Maryland.  He holds a B.S. in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina, and in 2003 earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from UM with certification in biology.  In 2005, James left traditional classroom teaching to become a naturalist at a waterfront nature center on the Chesapeake Bay.  In 2009 he relocated with his family to join the District and supervise the development of EBRPD’s Mobile Fish Exhibit and Mobile Visitor Center programs.  James enjoys introducing people to animals they may not get to see up close in the wild, like fish and reptiles from our East Bay habitats, and the honey bees he keeps in his hives.