Ed Slater leads a group of children on a field trip in the reserve. (Photo: J. Free)


Growing up in rural British Columbia with nature beckoning at his doorstop, Ed spent much of his childhood exploring the pristine wilderness that surrounded him. His love of nature and his keen understanding of our planet’s finite resources led him to a lifelong career in the environment. Lured by job opportunities, Ed left his beloved Canada—ultimately landing in San Diego in the 1970s when he worked at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

As Chief Marine Technician during the International Decade of Oceanography, Ed traveled the world from Antarctica to the Arctic and everywhere in between, always appreciating the beauty of our planet and the diversity that it presented. Following his stint with Scripps Oceanography, Ed worked for several county agencies, including County Air Pollution Control District and San Diego Department of Environmental Health.

Soon after graduating from docent training in 2009, Ed was the first in his class to lead a walk and encouraged others to do the same. Ed is admired by his fellow docents for his pleasant demeanor and his relaxed, yet instructive approach to teaching, whether the audience age range is from nine to 95.

“I really enjoy being able to play my part in helping us live a sustainable existence—we all need to do our part to help protect our planet, and I feel it’s important to share that with others,” said Ed. But Ed’s skills and contributions don’t stop at leading walks. In preparing for Lagoon Day, Ed shared his carpentry skills and constructed the “Perfect Beak” educational exhibit, which was a big hit. Ed also installed shelves in the education shed, significantly improving its usability.

In addition to volunteering with the Conservancy, Ed volunteers at the Associate Glider Clubs of Southern California and with the San Diego Citizens Advisory Board for Torrey Pines City Park.

“I received my gliding license in my 20s and have enjoyed soaring the same thermal winds as the hawks that I observed and admired as a child ever since," said Ed.

Ed resides with his wife, Trudy, in Cardiff. Next time you are at the Cardiff Town Center, look for Ed and congratulate him; he is often spotted hanging out with Albert, his Great Dane sidekick. They both enjoy coffee and treats from Starbucks.





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  Cooper's Hawk (Photo: C. Mayne)