Board of directors

Scott Edward Anderson

Scott Edward Anderson is an award-winning author of six books of poetry and prose and an accomplished entrepreneurial leader with over three decades of experience driving growth, innovation, and initiatives across the nonprofit, social enterprise, and corporate sectors with organizations including EY, The Nature Conservancy, and Ashoka. Based in the Berkshires, Anderson continues consulting, writing, teaching, and volunteering with organizations, including Millay Arts, where he is board VP, Ryan Observatory at Muddy Run, where he is Poet Laureate and a member of the Arts Committee, and the West Stockbridge Historical Society, where he is launching a nature lecture series.

Ben Barrett


Ben Barrett, born and raised in Great Barrington, grew up working for his family’s sawmill business which led to a 37-year career in the wood products industry. He owned and operated Berkshire Veneer in Egremont for 24 years. His love for the outdoors has led to positions in various environmental organizations including a land trust, rail trail, Mohonk Preserve and 12 years on the Egremont Conservation Commission. His interests include bird watching, hiking, live music, woodworking, antiques, gardening, researching family history and cutting firewood to heat his home that he shares with his wife, Cheryl.

Molly Cliff

A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Molly Cliff practiced law in New York and then Hong Kong where she lived for 24 years. Despite its urban density, Hong Kong is a birdwatchers’ paradise, and Molly had the opportunity to see a host of migratory and resident birds including Black-faced Spoonbills and Siberian Cranes. She has been on bird watching trips to Cambodia, Borneo, Thailand, Indonesia, Mongolia and most recently Costa Rica. Molly returned to South Egremont in 2019 and now runs a consulting business based in the US. She is committed to environmental conservation and protection and is a member of the Egremont Land Trust board.

Gina Foley


Gina Foley is an Associate Professor of Life Science and Program Advisor for the Natural & Physical Sciences program at Berkshire Community College. One of her goals at BCC is to expose students to a variety of environmental and life science experiences as possible. Along with her Environmental/Biology Club partner Tom Tyning, they have taken students throughout Massachusetts and New York to explore the natural wonders of our region. In addition, Gina engages her biology majors in the design and implementation of undergraduate research of their choosing. She enjoys hiking, birding, and rescuing ill-fated plants from the grocery store.

Sarah Snyder

Sarah Snyder is an Associate Professor of Biology at Bard College at Simon's Rock in Great Barrington where she has been teaching courses in ecology, animal physiology, conservation biology, animal behavior, and herpetology since 2014. Her research focuses on ecology and conservation, particularly of reptiles and amphibians. She spends several weeks every year on the small volcanic island of Montserrat in the Caribbean teaching at the Simon's Rock field station and studying endemic species. She also has a fondness for feathered reptiles and outside of work enjoys hiking, kayaking, and crafting.

Ben Nickley

(President and Executive Director)

Ben Nickley is a scientist with a passion for birds and the ecosystems they are an integral part of. Always fascinated by nature, he got his start in science at Ohio State University where his research was recognized with an award at the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum.  Since then, Ben has travelled across North America pursuing avian field studies for nonprofits, universities, and state governments—picking up his master’s in biology along the way. He is the author of several peer-reviewed articles and has presented his work at international conferences.  Helping others connect with the natural world through birds is his forte and central to his mission.  His role as Executive Director is to oversee the day-to-day operations of BBO and steer its development.  Ben feels privileged to have landed in the Berkshires and could not think of a better place to do the work he loves.