Ridge Education Fund

in memory of late EAC member, educator & environmentalist

Help support environmental education & scholarships, donate today!

Please note: This is a restricted fund to support this pilot program,
and does not include membership to the organization. Your gift is 100% tax-deductible.


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The Ridge Education Fund seeks to facilitate lasting and meaningful relationships with the environments of West Marin by providing access to and awareness of the natural world through nature-based education for middle and high school students, college scholarships and entry level naturalist internships. The fund aims to honor Russell Ridge’s legacy and EAC’s ongoing mission to inspire and engage generations to protect and steward the unique and irreplaceable lands, waters and biodiversity of West Marin.


In June 2018, EAC launched the Ridge Education Fund in honor of professor, former board member and financial contributor, and long-time West Marin resident, Russell Ridge. Russell was a biology professor at College of Marin (COM), who was passionate about the natural environment and providing students with hands-on exploration of the natural world.  

Education Fund Goals

  • Provide College of Marin scholarships to students enrolled in the Natural History Program for tuition and books

  • Provide employment experience for scholarship students to participate as naturalist guide leaders for youth education programming

  • Provide and/or support EAC’s West Marin Wild nature-based youth educational field trips in Marin County Parks

1st Round of College of Marin Scholarships Awarded

We are proud to award our first round of scholarships to
Samantha Frey (21) of Fairfax, CA, and to Phat Quach (19) of San Rafael, CA for fall 2019 and spring 2020.

Both of our awardees are the first of their family to attend college, and are looking forward to careers where they can make a difference for our environment through education and science. Between fall 2019 and spring 2020, the student’s will be taking a variety of classes from general ecology, marine field studies, and biology of marine mammals through the Natural History Certification Program at College of Marin, many of which include field studies in West Marin.

After taking only one marine ecology course, and learning about the damage we have done to the coral reefs, and the marine life, my point of view on the world has drastically changed. I want to protect life, and pursue my education and career around wildlife and marine biology.
— Phat Quach

The Natural History Certification Program is a field experience program based on scientific principles and concepts for students who want to develop a comprehensive understanding of the natural world. It is especially designed for elementary school teachers, natural history museums, environmental docents, environmental educators and naturalists.

“After completing this program I would like to work with summer camps, after-school programs, and even environmental organizations right here in Marin.....Finding out that my college offers not only a naturalist program, but a scholarship to help you accomplish it, was the best news that I have received in 2019.” - Samantha Frey

This scholarship is so important to me because I am a New York native and moved here on my own without any help from my family. I am the first person in my family to attend college and the first to leave my hometown. This scholarship will not only be helpful financially, but also give me peace of mind and allow me to focus more on classes and my studies.
— Samantha Frey

Each student received tuition assistance, plus $200 toward books and supplies to supplement their education.

In the future, I envision myself using the skills and the knowledge I had learned from the College of Marin to help create a better Earth…,” - Phat Quach

We look forward to sharing the student’s experiences over the next year, and how the scholarship award has made a difference in their lives. Join us for the Winter Gathering, December 7th to meet Sam and Phat, and hear from them directly.

Support the fund, and help us honor Russell Ridge’s environmental legacy. Proceeds make a huge difference for our future environmental leaders.


college of marin
natural history program scholarships

fall 2020 | spring 2021 applicationS will open
January 15th - April 30th, 2020

EAC will provide two College of Marin scholarships for two students enrolled in the Natural History Certification Program/classes per semester based on application submission and review. Qualified students may apply twice per calendar year by completing an application, which includes their bio, a photo, and supplemental questions including how the scholarship will help them fulfill their aspirations towards a career in the natural sciences/environmental work. A committee will review the applications to determine awardees. Scholarships are intended to cover tuition costs plus books for two classes per student each semester. Applications will be reviewed by committee.

Scholarship recipients will be required to complete a post-survey and attend EAC’s annual Member Meeting, Potluck & Awards and/or Winter Gathering to receive/or speak briefly about how the scholarship has impacted their educational goals.

West MArin Wild
Youth Field Trips

We believe that providing educational opportunities in nature creates lasting and meaningful impressions on youth that help to foster the environmental stewards of the future.

Funding directly supports bilingual instructors responsible for delivery of youth education field trips in three Marin County Parks (Roy’s Redwoods, Bolinas Lagoon, and Agate Beach) which aim to help students:

·  sharpen their observation techniques,
·  recognize habitats in three geographic areas,
·  learn how to use iNaturalist app to capture  observations of plants and animals using iPads
·  and work in small teams to collect observations.

We currently have successful partnerships with local schools including Shoreline and Lagunitas School Districts, Terra Linda High School, Novato High School, Redwood High School, Sir Francis Drake High School, Marin Catholic High School, College of Marin, Dominican University, Sonoma State University, and University of San Francisco. 
Learn more about our 2018 pilot program successes.

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Ridge Education Fund
Advisory Committee

EAC’s committees provide expertise and oversight for our educational programming. Our Ridge Education Fund Advisory Committee works to ensure the Fund is meeting its goals to facilitate lasting relationships with the environments in West Marin to inspire and engage the next generation to protect and steward the irreplaceable land and seascapes.

The Committee is responsible for:

  • Transparency and oversight

  • Assists staff decision-making and outreach

  • Reviews financial statements, scholarship applications and awards

  • Assists with outreach and fundraising


David Weinsoff, ESQ., Board Secretary

Sarah Killingsworth, Board Director

Morgan Patton, Executive Director

Jessica Taylor, Development Director


Margaret Ridge, Ridge Family, EAC Member

Joe Mueller, College of Marin Biology Professor, EAC Member, Student of Russell Ridge

Thomas Yarish, Community Member, EAC Member, Student of Russell Ridge.


Please email Jessica Taylor, Development Director, or call the office at (415) 663.9312 for more information.