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Kellyx Nelson has spent 25 years in the private and public sectors in program and project development and implementation, environmental education, organizational capacity building, community outreach, building partnerships, and developing solutions to difficult resource problems. She has served as the Executive Director of the Resource Conservation District since 2006. Her diverse career has included 14 years as an environmental educator for underserved communities in New York and San Francisco, driving a Freightliner cross-country as a long-haul trucker, delivering packages as a motorcycle messenger, and managing conservation projects for Peninsula Open Space Trust. She has an undergraduate degree from Columbia University in Political Science and Environmental Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from UC Berkeley.
Under her direction the RCD has achieved distinction, receiving the 2016 Sustainability Award from Sustainable San Mateo County and 2012 District of the Year from the California Association of RCDs. In 2015, Kellyx was inducted into the San Mateo County Women’s Hall of Fame in recognition of her contributions to the overall well-being of the County.
Program Specialist & Agricultural Ombudsman
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Adria serves dual roles as Program Specialist and San Mateo County Agricultural Ombudsman. As Program Specialist, she is involved in all aspects of grants administration and project support. As the Agricultural Ombudsman, she serves as a liaison between agricultural producers and County officials, helps farmers and ranchers navigate County permitting and helping the County improve its agricultural permitting process. Adria holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Pitzer College and a master’s degree in Public Policy from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Adria has been involved in food systems work in California since 2009. Most recently, she worked as a Program Coordinator for Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo and as the Coordinator for the San Luis Obispo Food System Coalition. She lives in Bonny Doon, and spends her free time gardening, painting, and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
Water Resources Specialist
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Brittani coordinates a variety of conservation projects with particular focus on the stewardship of water resources. As the manager of the RCD’s water quality program, she oversees efforts to monitor and mitigate diverse potential sources of pollution entering our waterways, including confined animal facilities, marinas, farms, residential areas and rangelands. Brittani also assists with water conservation and water use efficiency programs for agricultural and domestic water users. Brittani holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Wisconsin and a M.S. in Marine and Watershed Science from California State University, Monterey Bay. Brittani has experience in research, project management, environmental compliance, and technical writing through previous jobs in the water industry, environmental consulting and with the U.S. Department of Energy. Brittani enjoys living Coastside in Pescadero, going to festivals, and backpacking.
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Irina has 15 years public agency experience in conservation planning, project management, stewardship program development, regulatory processes, permit coordination, and environmental negotiation resolving conflicts between stakeholders. Prior to entering public service, Irina worked for 5 years as a Senior Geologist in the private sector. At the RCD since 2012, Irina manages several efforts aimed at minimizing erosion, sedimentation, and other types of pollution that impact aquatic ecosystems and cause flooding. She can also be seen inspiring groups on her highly engaging tours of local coastal geology. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University in Geological Sciences and a master’s degree in Coastal and Marine Geology and Geochemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She loves living on the Coastside with her husband, two children and two dogs.
Conservation Program Coordinator
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Jarrad assists with a variety of programs addressing sedimentation and erosion, water stewardship, and habitat restoration. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from San Francisco State University specializing in GIS and Remote Sensing, and has a strong background in natural resource management, biogeography, and bioclimatology. Jarrad spends much of his free time rock climbing and backpacking in Yosemite, Tahoe, and the Eastern Sierras.
Natural Resource Specialist
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Joe’s work focuses on creek habitat enhancement projects and efforts to restore streamflow through water conservation and stewardship. Joe has worked for RCDs since 2006, first in Santa Cruz County and in San Mateo County since 2011. Joe holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies and recently completed his M.S. in Geographic Information Science at San Francisco State University. Joe spends much of his free time at his family’s property in Albion, near the Mendocino Coast where they are actively restoring their redwood forest.
Conservation Program Assistant
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Julian Carroll is a recent graduate from UC Santa Cruz, with a B.S. in Earth Sciences. Focusing on ecology and environmental impacts, he has worked on habitat rehabilitation and monitoring for at risk coast side environments. Currently an assistant to Kathleen, he will also work as a biological monitor for coast side construction and head the upcoming Agricultural Water Needs Assessment project to help shape the future water usage policies of San Mateo County. In his free time Julian goes out hiking and exploring the coast.
Conservation Program Assistant
Hailing from Maui, Kaena received her B.S. in Ecological Restoration with a minor in Wildland Soils from Humboldt State University. Kaena has experience in youth leadership and outreach in addition to experience with biological monitoring for construction projects. She has served as a research assistant for climate change research at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, Stanford University and as a guest lecturer on climate change at Skyline Community College. Kaena currently co-coordinates the RCD’s First Flush event and assists with other RCD water sampling programs. In her free time Kaena loves to surf and explore the San Mateo and Santa Cruz County coasts.
Conservation Program Coordinator
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Kathleen coordinates a program in partnership with the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District to eradicate Slender False Brome, a weed that is detrimental to redwood forests. She is a naturalist with a lifelong interest in native plant communities. She lives in the San Gregorio Valley and feels a personal stake in the sustenance and restoration of its rich and diverse community. Prior to coming to the RCD she spent many years as a data manager of large, longterm datasets. She has a master’s degree in Marine Sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She recently published a set of seaweed “flashcards” of common local marine algae, which are available through local outlets and her website, www.phykos.org
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The RCD has a high level of public accountability with finance functions that are complex and continually changing. Renee provides management, control, and administration of all fiscal operations for the RCD. She is continually striving to improve the overall long-term financial health of the organization. Renee brings 16 years of business experience in commercial retail and property management, spanning both operations and administration. She has been a small business owner providing bookkeeping services to small businesses on the coast. As a longtime resident of the coast she has served as a volunteer in her community for many years.
Conservation Program Specialist
Sara has more than 10 years of experience as a planner with the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). During this time she worked closely with partner agencies and local governments on planning for sea level rise and other coastal hazards utilizing tools and communications resources that she helped develop. Since she began working with the RCD in 2015, Sara has supported multiple efforts in a variety of capacities including project coordination, data analysis and report preparation, policy analysis, and workshop planning. Sara holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in biology and a master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Sara and her husband and son love living on the Coastside, and enjoy hiking in the hills and walking along the Coastal Trail.
NRCS District Conservationist
Jim has been managing ecosystem restoration projects for the past 15 years. He has worked for the U.S. Peace Corps, the private timber industry, two Resource Conservation Districts, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Forest Management from Humboldt State University and a master’s degree in Water Resources Management from Duke University.