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Board of Directors

Board & Staff

Robert Nickel

Robert Nickel

Robert is thrilled to be an advocate and champion for birds with San Diego Audubon! He is an avid birder, having caught the bug for this “dorky hobby” from his mother Melanie in 2014, and he has now made it his mission to corrupt as many others as he can with the same passion (starting with his own family— his wife Michelle and daughter Emma are also ardent birders and Audubon supporters). Birds are everywhere, and once your eyes are opened to them, you can’t stop seeing them. They are a window into understanding nature’s majesty, fragility, and explosive diversity. The discovery of ways that human development can coexist with, and even foster, our natural world has been a guiding principle for Robert ever since his undergraduate days at Stanford University, where he earned his B.S. in Applied Earth Science. His annual “Bird Talk” is now a fixture at Stanford Sierra Camp, and his infectious love of birds has been showcased in media ranging from the Built By Kids podcast to San Diego Audubon’s own Sketches magazine. In his mild-mannered alter ego, he is a full-time database administrator, teaches theater classes for children and adults, and is an active participant in his faith community, Sojourn Grace Collective. 


  • USFWS logo
  • City of San Diego

  • County of San Diego
    County of San Diego
  • State Coastal Conservancy
  • SANDAg transnet logo
    SANDAg transnet logo
  • Malk Nature Fund
  • Coastkeeper
  • UCNRS logo
  • San Diego Regional Fire Foundation logo
  • Americorps
  • Room & Board
    Room & Board
  • San Diego River Conservancy
  • National Marine Sanctuary Foundation