Stories from the Field

Board Spotlight: Meredith Delich

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Board Spotlight Meredith Delich

A Bay Area native, NatureBridge alum and avid hiker, board member Meredith Delich has always had a love and appreciation for nature. Her connection to the natural world began with an innate curiosity, fueled by her parent's love of the outdoors and all things archaeology, geology and the flora and fauna of California. Meredith's educational background and personal passion in sustainability and issues of resource management and climate change have led her to a career in social impact.

When she's not empowering nonprofits through technology as the leader of the Google Nonprofits Program Team, you can find her conquering Mount Whitney, Banff National Park or the Mount Shasta region. Learn more about one of our newest board members:

Tell us about your professional career and where has it led you thus far:

I am honored to work every day to empower nonprofits through technology. I lead the Google for Nonprofits Program Team, where I drive strategic initiatives to improve the nonprofit experience with Google products including G Suite, Google Ads, YouTube and Google Maps. My team manages Google for Nonprofits’ external engagement with 300k+ nonprofits around the world through our program website, newsletters, social media and YouTube channels, as well as livestream events and in-person training.

Before my work in social impact at Google, I built a reputation for bringing structure to complex and unstructured challenges as a Program Manager on Google’s global Accounting and Finance Operations team and as a consultant with a boutique strategy consulting firm. I also had the pleasure of working at Global Footprint Network, a Bay Area nonprofit dedicated to the science of sustainability and a future where we can all live within the means of one planet. My educational background and personal passion are in sustainability and issues of resource management and climate change and I hold a BA in Environment, Economics and Politics from Claremont McKenna College.

What personal experience inspired your connection to nature?

I grew up with a healthy respect for how nature can inspire you to push yourself harder and further than you thought you could. One of my father's favorite sayings is, "It builds character." The "it," in his view, could be anything from minor frostbite skiing in Idaho in -7*F weather to exhaustion at reaching a false peak before the final scramble to the top of Mount Tallac in Lake Tahoe.

I also learned to love the science behind nature from my parents—as an amateur archaeologist and geologist, my father was always showing my sister and I weird volcanic rocks or fossils he had found at the beach and my mother could identify any plant on a hike from her encyclopedic knowledge of California native plant species. My connection to the natural world stems from the experiences I had growing up, but also the mentorship I received from my parents and other adults in my life who taught me to be curious about the world around me.

Tell us about your favorite national park or outdoor space:

It is almost impossible for me to pick a favorite! Most recently I spent a long weekend hiking and exploring around Mammoth Lakes in the Eastern Sierra Nevada and was blown away by how vibrant the high desert becomes in the summer once the strong snowpack begins to melt. Wildflowers galore!

What drew you to the NatureBridge organization?

I am a Bay Area native, and as a middle school student I attended NatureBridge's overnight program in Yosemite. I still remember the thrill (and minor claustrophobia! I ) of climbing through the Spider Caves in the dark and learning all about the geology of the park. I grew up in a family where outdoor activities—hiking, camping, fishing, skiing and horseback riding—were a standard part of almost every weekend and I love that NatureBridge supports kids of all backgrounds and abilities to get outdoors and build memories that they will cherish.

Why is our mission of connecting youth to the outdoors important to you?

In order to encourage the next generation of environmental scientists, policymakers and activists, I believe we have to start by getting kids outside and engaged with the world around them. I also hope that connecting youth to the outdoors encourages kids to build meaningful connections to their community, their neighbors and their fellow classmates that might not be possible just by learning through books and multimedia.

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