Senior Program Manager: Climate and Agriculture
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Adria serves dual roles as Climate and Agriculture Programs Manager and San Mateo County Agricultural Ombudsman. As Program Manager, she manages the Carbon Farming, Waste Reduction, and Urban Farming Programs. As the Agricultural Ombudsman, she serves as a liaison between agricultural producers and County officials, helping farmers and ranchers navigate County permitting and assisting the County with improving 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. Prior to joining the RCD in 2015, she coordinated a food policy council, assisted in the implementation of a Community Food Projects grant, and managed Coastal Clean-Up Day in San Luis Obispo. She lives in Ben Lomond, and spends her free time gardening, hiking, and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
Conservation Project Manager
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As a project manager for the Forest Health and Fire Resilience program, Amanda is working toward developing programs focused on building fire-wise communities and creating greater wildfire resilience in the wildland urban interface (WUI). Amanda comes with nearly 10 years of education and experience in forestry and environmental science with an emphasis on wildfire, collaboration, and community education and outreach. Amanda came to us from Oregon where she developed forestry education programs for Oregon State University’s Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Service. Prior to that, she worked as a defensible space expert and fire-wise community coordinator in southwest Colorado. Amanda studied environmental science at Southern New Hampshire University. When she is not working, she likes spending time with her husband and two dogs. She also enjoys spending as much time as she can in the forest or on the coast.
Conservation Program Manager
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Amy manages the RCD’s Habitat Enhancement program, which works to ensure there are all the quality natural habitats needed to support our diverse local wildlife. This includes projects that restore ancestral fish migration access, improve in-stream habitat, enhance wetlands, restore uplands and grasslands for butterflies and pollinators, and more. Volunteering with her hometown conservation district in high school to monitor water quality in a local stream sparked her interest in watershed ecology and salmon. She went on to obtain a B.S. in Environmental Science & Resource Management from the University of Washington, with a focus in sustainable forest management, soils, and hydrology. Amy previously worked to restore salmon habitat in the Lake Washington-Cedar-Sammamish Watershed in the greater Seattle area and later ran a conservation and recreation nonprofit in San Francisco, connecting people to urban trails and nature while conserving important habitat for urban wildlife. One of her favorite things about working at the RCD is getting to be “boots on the ground” to make meaningful and lasting impact for the local community, wildlife, and environment.
Senior Conservation Project Manager
Andrew works to find innovative ways to free up water for fish, farms and people and to restore the watersheds that are used by all. Andrew earned a B.A. in Environmental Science from Colorado College and a Master’s degree, with a specialization in Water Resources Management, from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UC Santa Barbara. His Master’s thesis group project with The Nature Conservancy sought to determine the feasibility of freeing up water for migratory birds and people in the Sacramento Valley by using a variety of mechanisms including water markets and impact investing. Andrew has a breadth of experience in areas such as habitat restoration, data analysis, consulting, groundwater management, and environmental economics. Andrew grew up in northern Big Sur and has a passion for protecting wild places and getting people into nature. In his free time, you will find him pursuing outdoor adventures among rock, land, and all forms of water.
Inspiration & Communications Manager
Bryanna has worked across several teams at the RCD, including on climate & agriculture, water resources, and habitat restoration. She currently supports communication efforts across the organization. She received her bachelors degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she gained experience in the natural history of California and practical applications of ecology. Before coming to the RCD, Bryanna worked in environmental interpretation and nature connection. Bryanna grew up in Petaluma, where she cultivated a deep love for rolling hills and farmland- that love extends into the work that she does with farmers and land managers on the Coastside. She lives in San Gregorio, where she enjoys making art, cooking, birdwatching, and community events.
Conservation Project Manager
Christina is a project manager for the Habitat Enhancement and Water for Farms, Fish, and People teams. Christina is working on projects related to creek and wetland enhancement, butterfly restoration, and water conservation. She holds B.S. and B.A. degrees in Biology and in Sociology, as well as a M.S. in Biology from UC San Diego. Prior to joining the RCD, Christina worked as a wildlife biologist at an environmental consulting firm in Oakland for over 5 years, with a focus on bird and amphibian species. She has experience with environmental permitting and compliance, special-status species surveys, mitigation monitoring, and project management. In her free time, Christina enjoys reading, birding, and exploring local parks.
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Cleopatra is involved with “all things living” as a biologist for the RCD. She coordinates a program to eradicate slender false brome, an invasive weed damaging our redwood forests, 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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David joined the RCD as a project manager working towards developing healthy, fire resilient forests and communities in San Mateo County. David holds a Bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies and an MS from San Jose State University in Environmental Studies. For his Master’s thesis he studied the effects of prescribed fire on old growth coast redwood ecosystem health and fuel load in Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Before joining the RCD, David spent nearly five years with the California State Parks in the Santa Cruz district working in the Natural Resource Management program. While with State Parks he gained experience in the fields of prescribed fire, forest succession management, invasive species mitigation, and biological monitoring. Additional work experience includes making and maintaining trails, as well as commercial salmon fishing off the coast of California. In his free time you can find him running with his dog, gardening, or working on various building projects.
Conservation Project Manager
Doug has joined the Climate and Agriculture Team as a Project Manager, where he will be working on composting and soil health projects. Doug has worked in San Mateo County agriculture for over 15 years, including at TomKat Ranch and The HEAL Project. He brings experience in agriculture (including aquaponics!), composting, soil health, and carbon farm planning. Doug grew up in the middle of farmland, and graduated from Ohio State University in Greenhouse Production and Management. Doug’s passion for soil and surf make San Mateo County his ideal home.
Conservation Project Manager
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Erica works as a project manager for the Forest Health and Fire Resiliency program. She’s involved in a collaborative effort to manage eucalyptus trees in San Mateo County. Erica holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz, where she completed the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture. Erica’s background in agriculture includes nursery work, landscaping, organic farming, and research. As a wildland firefighter for the US Forest Service, Erica worked on hotshot, engine, and helicopter crews, gaining experience in fuels management and prescribed burning. Her community organizing includes founding the Bay Area chapter of Skate Like A Girl, running a successful cooperative enterprise, and supporting cooperatives through mediation services. An avid birder, Erica participates in wildlife surveys and public education.
Conservation Project Manager
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Jeff works as Project Manager in the Pescadero-Butano Watershed to help landowners cost-effectively control erosion and sediment. He worked with the Natural Resources Conservation Service as a Soil Conservation Technician, Soil Conservationist, District Conservationist and Public Affairs Specialist in four states: WI, NC, OH and CA and worked with the US Forest Service in WY doing timber stand inventory and in MN leading Youth Conservation Corps crews. Jeff has experience in farm planning and in design and layout of erosion control, water quality and wildlife habitat enhancement practices. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Natural Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a double-major in Soil Science and in Agricultural Journalism. Jeff also has an Associate’s Degree in Conservation Technology from Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, WI.
Senior Conservation Program Manager
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Jarrad manages programs and projects addressing water resources, sedimentation, erosion, water stewardship, and habitat restoration. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geography specializing in GIS and Remote Sensing, and a Master’s degree in Geographic Information Science from San Francisco State University. Jarrad’s master’s thesis monitored and evaluated a large floodplain restoration project for the RCD. He brings considerable background in natural resource management, biogeography, and bioclimatology and spends much of his free time rock climbing and backpacking in Yosemite, Tahoe, and the Eastern Sierras.
Director of Stewardship
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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 Project Manager
Kasey works on the carbon farming and waste reduction programs. She holds a B.S. in Community and Regional Development from UC Davis. Kasey previously worked on farms and managed a cut flower operation in Pescadero. She most recently coordinated two volunteer programs with UC Cooperative Extension. Kasey is a San Mateo County native who feels most at home in the fog and the redwoods. When she’s not working you can find her hiking, biking, gardening and adventuring.
Kellyx Nelson is passionate about public service and building strong alliances to tackle thorny challenges. She has spent nearly 30 years in non-profits, government, and the private sector developing, implementing, and assessing programs and partnerships for environmental benefit and other public good. 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 a local land 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 2017 Silicon Valley Water Conservation Award, 2016 Sustainability Award from Sustainable San Mateo County, 2012 District of the Year from the California Association of RCDs and more. 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.
Lau wears many hats as the RCD’s Administrative Officer, where she is excited to support its noble, boots on the ground conservation. Prior to working for the RCD, she spent 10 years managing the facilities and curating exhibits at a Victorian-era greenhouse and public garden in San Francisco. Lau holds degrees in History and French from the University of San Francisco and has studied Horticulture at Merritt College. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, nerding out on California history and tending to her garden in Half Moon Bay.
Conservation Project Coordinator
Maaya is on the conservation team working on projects addressing fish passage, eradicating slender false brome and habitat restoration. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz and went on to work in environmental consulting and habitat restoration in the Bay Area. She has spent most of her life living on the California coast and enjoys hiking, camping, identifying plants, cooking and overall adventure.
Water Quality Program Coordinator
As the Water Quality Program Coordinator for the RCD, Nicole coordinates water quality sampling projects to understand sources of pollution along the San Mateo Coastline. She also coordinates outreach, education, and community science projects to engage the public to care for water quality and reduce water quality impacts. Nicole recently graduated from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management where she completed a communications campaign on saving the western monarch. She also completed a masters group project focused on the multiple benefits of floodplain restoration. Her interests lie in the intersection of water resources management, conservation planning, and strategic environmental communication. She is passionate about finding nature based solutions to environmental problems. In her free time, Nicole loves to play guitar, sing, surf, and explore hiking trails with her dog.
Water Quality Program Manager
Noah manages the day to day operations of the RCD’s water quality programs including monitoring, mapping, data analysis and education & outreach efforts. Before joining the RCD, he worked on water quality issues and green infrastructure in New York, California, and the UK. Most recently, Noah worked as an Environmental Analyst for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation focusing on Hurricane Sandy Relief projects in New York City. He has a Masters in Aquatic Resource Management from King’s College London. Noah is excited be back in California working on water quality issues in his home state.
Conservation Program Specialist
Sara supports multiple efforts at the RCD focused primarily on climate, erosion and sedimentation, and regulatory compliance. She works in a variety of capacities including project coordination, data analysis and report preparation, policy analysis, development of permit applications, and workshop planning. 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. 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.
Conservation Project Manager
Stephanie works as a project manager for the RCD, assisting with projects that focus on water resources, water conservation, and habitat restoration. Stephanie received her bachelor’s degree in Geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and went on to work as a Survey Technician before moving to the Bay Area in 2018, where she worked in Public Works Engineering for three years for a local municipality. She brings a unique background in surveying, construction, and local government operations, and has a deep passion for conserving our natural environment to benefit both people and the planet. In her free time, she enjoys reading a good book, cracking the latest crossword, and hiking in the many landscapes of the Bay Area.
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.
NRCS Agricultural Engineer
As the Agricultural Engineer for NRCS in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, Dillon’s work focuses on the technical aspects of planning and designing conservation systems to conserve our soil, water, energy, plant, and wildlife resources. He graduated from Cal Poly with a Bachelors degree in BioResource and Agricultual Engineering with an emphasis in water resources and agricultural automation.