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Kellyx Nelson has spent 28 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.
Conservation Program Coordinator
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Cleopatra coordinates the slender false brome program in addition to other vegetation management and habitat restoration related projects. Cleopatra has experience in botany, plant and fungal research, conservation ecology and habitat restoration. After getting her bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz in Plant Sciences she worked with Midpeninsula Regional Open Space assisting with vegetation management and habitat restoration projects. She also works with volunteers in Santa Cruz to restore local beach habitat. In her free time, Cleopatra likes to explore the Santa Cruz mountains and coastline with her dog and a sketch book.
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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, where he is currently earning his master’s degree. Jarrad has a strong background in natural resource management, biogeography, and bioclimatology. He 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 an M.S. in Geographic Information Science from 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 spends most of his time at the RCD in the realm of water resources: assisting projects that monitor, protect, and enhance water quality as well as those that assess water demand, conserve water, or improve water use efficiency. He has also assisted with weed eradication and biological monitoring at restoration sites. With a B.S. in Earth Sciences from UC Santa Cruz focusing on ecology and environmental impacts, he has worked on habitat rehabilitation and monitoring for at risk San Mateo County Coastside environments. In his free time Julian goes out hiking and exploring the coast.
Conservation Project Coordinator
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Naftali assists with projects that improve habitat and conserve water at farms, parks and communities throughout the District. He grew up in Pacifica, hiking, biking and volunteering in open spaces around the Bay Area before heading to school at UC Davis where he completed his B.S. in Environmental Policy and Planning with a focus on conservation. Naftali has worked on habitat restoration and stewardship projects in agricultural and natural areas with a number of nonprofits and government agencies. Most recently he was helping lead youth and community volunteer programs in Marin as part of the One Tam Initiative before joining the RCD. In his free time Naftali hikes, backpacks, tries to hone his photography skills and spends time with friends and family.
Conservation Program Specialist
As a planner with the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) for over a decade, Sara 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.