The Sierra Nevada Alliance staff consists of 45+ full time staff members.
This includes Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps (SNAP) members, and Sierra Corps fellows. SNAP and Sierra Corps members are placed with host organizations throughout the Sierra.

jenny hatch

Jenny Hatch

Executive Director
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Jenny Hatch, Executive Director of the Sierra Nevada Alliance, has been leading conservation work, in collaboration with diverse partners, for over twenty years. Raised in the Sierra, Jenny earned a B.A. in Conservation Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno, in 2001. While in college, Jenny served two terms with AmeriCorps. Her career background includes work in watershed restoration, wildlife and conservation biology, horticulture as a Master Gardener, initiating the Aquatic Invasive Species prevention and control projects for Lake Tahoe, fisheries, working with recreational interests, policy and advocacy. Jenny balances her leadership role at the Alliance with mothering three children and many community volunteer commitments. Her hobbies include painting, yoga, playing and seeing live music with her husband, biking, trail running, skiing, traveling, and enjoying anything outdoors.

Seth Connolly

Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership Program Director
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Since graduating with a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Irvine in 2007, Seth has worked for several nonprofits throughout California on environmental issues related to land use and wildfire recovery. Most of his work has involved capacity-building and program development on behalf of a wide range of communities and stakeholder groups in both urban and rural areas. He has developed and managed several large-scale volunteer programs and has extensive experience building creative partnerships with a variety of military veteran, faith-based, and national service organizations. Originally from Boston, Seth currently lives in Sonora with his wife and two children, and enjoys exploration, travel, and meeting new people.

Alexa Finn

Education and Outreach Coordinator | SNAP Member
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Alexa grew up in the Bay Area, where her appreciation for the natural environment began by exploring the Tahoe region. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in Environmental Studies and a focus in Ecology. After graduation she moved up to Lake Tahoe where she worked as a Business Development Intern for an energy software startup. Influenced by childhood summers in the Sierra, she decided to switch gears and dedicate her time to protecting and serving the region. Alexa is excited to expand her understanding of the local environment and the organizations that serve it as an Education and Outreach Coordinator with the Sierra Nevada Alliance and Sierra Club.

Zoe Kusnick

CivicSpark Climate Fellow
Originally from the Bay Area, Zoe graduated from the George Washington University with a B.A. in International Affairs, Environmental Studies and Sustainability. Zoe’s passion for environmental conservation stems from a lifetime of hiking, backpacking, and climbing. She has tried to work outside as much as possible, from running the wilderness program at an Adirondack summer camp to guiding outdoor excursions for her university to facilitating leadership workshops on a low ropes course. As a CivicSpark Fellow, Zoe is excited to build climate resilience in Lake Tahoe and engage a variety of stakeholders on the implementation of the Climate Action Plan. More than anything, she is excited to support the Alliance and the City of South Lake Tahoe in preserving the very mountains from which her love for this work was born.

Jennifer Marshall

Development and Community Engagement Director
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For over twenty years, Jennifer has dedicated her time and energy to organizations with a cause - most recently in the environmental field. Her experience includes administration, finance, community education, merchandise management, fundraising, and event planning. She joined the Alliance in November 2021 and looks forward to improving efficiencies, raising funds, and building momentum to work together to protect the majestic Sierra Nevada. When she's not saving the Sierra, Jennifer enjoys going to live music events, hiking, cross-country skiing, traveling, and spending time with my dog Tallulah, husband Chad, sister Liz, and a wonderful group of friends. Jennifer grew up in the small town of Indian Lake, NY, and graduated in 2001 with a B.S. in Community Health Education and a minor in Exercise Science.

Liesbet Olaerts

Sierra Nevada 30x30 Organizer
Over the past eight years, Liesbet has worked on environmental projects in four different countries advocating for healthy ecosystems and serving the needs of communities for sustainable water supply. With a bachelor's in environmental engineering, she later returned to graduate school to better understand how science, projects, and planning can be woven together to serve communities more effectively. Her projects range from groundwater sustainability plans and equitable water policies in California's San Joaquin Valley, to water service delivery in Eastern Africa, and integrated regional water management plans in Brazil. Liesbet specializes in bringing diverse stakeholders together to develop collaborative approaches while strengthening our understanding of the intrinsic connection between sustaining people’s livelihoods and protecting natural resources. As a life-long learner and a true believer in the power of collaboration, Liesbet focuses on water resilience and equity, sustainable community development, protection of natural resources, and capacity building for communities. She is excited to leverage the 30x30 remarkable opportunity to fund projects that weave together biodiversity conservation, climate resilience, and improved equity for communities.

Taylor Parker, PhD

Forestry Program Director
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Taylor has been working in conservation since 2004, when he began restoring wetlands in Long Beach and throughout southern California. To do this, he built an environmental consultation company with his business partner called Tidal Influence, LLC. After working with coastal habitat protection in southern California, he returned to graduate school to study the human side of conservation. He received his masters and PhD in Conservation Social Science from Clemson University, with a focus on justice within forest communities, forest health, and conservation area management. Taylor has worked on conservation projects with local people and conservation professionals in Chile, Hawaii, the Saguaro, Yellowstone, Iceland, New Zealand, and Belize. As a conservation social scientist and advocate for conservation as part of our larger social justice issues to address, Taylor focuses on improved equity and access in conservation, rights and capacity building for all human and non-human partners, rare and endangered species, and sustainable futures for the communities we all exist within.

Sierra Riker

Monitoring and Outreach Specialist | SNAP Member
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Sierra was raised in the snowy city of Flagstaff, Arizona where they earned a degree in environmental science with an emphasis in environmental management and a minor in biology from Northern Arizona University. Sierra is currently serving with both Alpine Watershed Group and Sierra Nevada Alliance and is excited to work in conservation with both of these amazing organizations. Sierra can often be found reading, skiing, or riding their motorcycle in their time off.
jodi schmitz

Jodi Schmitz

Finance and Human Resource Director
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Jodi graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz with a B.S. in Environmental Studies. She moved to the Tahoe region in 2009 to pursue her career in conservation. She worked with the Tahoe RCD in the aquatic invasive species program for six years. She has always had a love and respect for the Tahoe Region since she was young coming up with her family and friends to snowboard. She enjoys boating, snowboarding, hiking, biking, paddle boarding and spending as much time out doors and with her family as possible. On a day to day basis you can find her crafting and running her business at Tahoe Modern Makers.

Rebecca Williams

Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership Program Operations Coordinator
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Rebecca Williams has had a diverse career in the environmental science and conservation field that began after graduating from the University of Connecticut with a B.S. in Natural Resource Management and Ecology. Rebecca's experience includes environmental surveys, NEPA, climate change education, stream/fisheries biology, environmental education and outreach, watershed management, bear awareness/management and various aspects of water utilities. Rebecca hosted many AmeriCorps members during her career and developed a great appreciation for AmeriCorps programs and a desire to support its members. After taking some time off full-time work to be a stay-at-home mama to her two children, Rebecca is very excited to work on the SNAP program. In her free time Rebecca focuses on her furry and human family while enjoying hiking, skiing, mountain biking, camping/backpacking, and living her “glamping” lifestyle at her home at 7800’ feet in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Laura Beaton

Laura Beaton

President
Laura Beaton is a long-time environmental activist turned lawyer, and is now an associate attorney at the law firm of Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP. Her work allows her to protect what she loves, and she frequently litigates cases on behalf of nonprofit organizations and community groups to protect wild places, wild animals, and clean air and water, including in the Sierra Nevada. She is also involved in helping to craft renewable-friendly energy policies across the United States. An avid hiker and outdoorsperson, she quickly fell in love with the Sierra upon moving to California, and she and her partner, Justin (a Nevada City native), get out of San Francisco and up to the Sierra whenever they can.
Christopher Wright

Christopher Wright

Vice President
Christopher Wright grew up in rural Calaveras County in the Sierra Nevada where his family has owned land for four generations. He spent his childhood hunting, fishing and hiking in the Mokelumne River Watershed. During this time he developed a commitment to preserving the environment as well as a determination to improve the well-being of people living in the Sierra Nevada. He continues to live in Calaveras with his wife and two children. Chris received a Bachelor’s Degree from Humboldt State University where he studied Natural Resources, Planning and Environmental Conservation. He worked in county government as a planner for Mendocino County and returned to Calaveras to work as the first executive director of the Foothill Conservancy where he fought to protect, restore, and sustain the natural and human environment in his childhood home. Elected in 2012, Chris served on Calaveras County Board of Supervisors until January of 2017. Christopher currently runs a small nonprofit Sierra CPR, working to conserve, protect and restore the “Range of Light”
lynn-baumgartner

Lynn Baumgartner

Secretary
Lynn moved to the Truckee-Tahoe area in 2010 to work in the environmental non-profit field. She earned her Master’s of Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara, studying environmental health and safety practices in the nanomaterials industry. Before attending graduate school, she completed a BA in environmental geology at Western Washington University and served as an AmeriCorps member. She has previously worked in outreach, fundraising, communication, research, and as the director for the Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership at the Sierra Nevada Alliance, the region’s only environment-focused AmeriCorps program. Lynn is passionate about environmental stewardship, national service, science literacy, and the Truckee-Tahoe region. When she’s not working, Lynn is likely mountain biking, snowboarding, swimming, or reading.
Sarah Buck

Sarah Buck

Sarah Buck first fell in love with the Tahoe-Truckee Watershed and the Sierra Nevada on her first trip to California as a participant in the Tahoe Baikal Institute’s (TBI) international watershed management exchange program. The experience opened her eyes to the importance of environmental stewardship and education as well as instilling in her a passion for water that has driven her career since then. After graduating from Middlebury College in 2010 with a BA in International Studies and a double minor in Russian and Political Science, Sarah lived on Lake Tahoe’s south shore for two and half years where she worked for TBI as their Program Director and as a naturalist for the Great Basin Outdoor School. During that time, she enjoyed all of the natural beauty and recreation the Sierra had to offer from kayaking and rafting to skiing and hiking and came to know firsthand many of the region’s challenges and the key players working to preserve it. Sarah grew up in New Hampshire and has since moved back to New England where she lives in the cabin her grandparents built on Long Lake in Bridgton, Maine with her husband, Shawn, and their fur babies (two dogs and two cats). She has spent the last eight plus years working for a national nonprofit network, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), and its regional affiliates, the Rural Community Assistance Corporation, based in West Sacramento, CA and RCAP Solutions, based in Worcester, MA. RCAP’s mission is to improve rural quality of life, starting at the tap through training, technical assistance, and local capacity building. Currently she is the Senior Director of Programs at the organization’s national office where she oversees all their environmental programming. Lake Tahoe and the larger Sierra Nevada changed the course of Sarah’s personal and professional life forever and she is very excited to give back to a region that has in turn given her so much.

Shannon Keener

Born and raised in the south bay area, Shannon developed a love for the outdoors through exploring the Santa Cruz mountains and visiting Lake Tahoe with friends and family. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon, the education and inspiration to study and protect the environment in all aspects strengthened. Shannon has taken every opportunity throughout the years to get involved in environmental programs including developing science programs for students, leading stewardship and restoration events, and collecting data on water quality, native species, and natural gas emissions. In 2016, Shannon was the communications intern for the Sierra Nevada Alliance and since then her work in the Tahoe Basin spurred, leading to her work with the Tahoe Resource Conservation District and Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships. Today, you can find Shannon living on an organic tomato farm in San Martin, California where she works for the City of Morgan Hill developing their Climate Action Plan and Urban Forestry Master Plan, as well as local ordinances aimed to protect creeks and streams, conserve water usage, and protect trees. Her free time is spent raising the sheep and goats on the farm, cooking together with family, and exploring the coast of nearby Monterey and Santa Cruz.
Julia Kim

Julia Kim

Julia Kim leads the Climate Change Team at the Local Government Commission, a Sacramento-based non-profit working to advance transformative policies and build livable communities throughout California. Julia partners with public agencies and community leaders on place-based resilience initiatives while supporting the advancement of the adaptation field at-large. She focuses on the opportunities that climate change presents to redesign existing systems and processes while collaborating with diverse partners to implement equitable, innovative, and comprehensive climate solutions. Her current portfolio includes some of California’s most prominent adaptation programs, including the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARCCA) and the biennial California Adaptation Forum. In addition to her service with SNA, Julia serves on the board of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP) and several advisory committees including UCLA’s Climate Change Heat Impacts Community Advisory Committee and the 2019 California Climate Action Planning Conference Steering Committee. Julia earned a B.A. in political science and philosophy, and an M.P.P. in environmental policy and international security/economic policy, both from the University of Maryland.
sam runderman

Sam Ruderman

Originally from New Hampshire, Sam Ruderman moved to North Lake Tahoe in late 2016 to spend just one winter season ski bumming before returning to the east coast and getting a “real” job. Five years later, he couldn’t be happier that his love of the great outdoors and tight-knit community led him to the place that he now calls home. Sam has 5 years of experience in the environmental field and has worked in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. He currently works for Ascent Environmental as a Climate Change Analyst and assists local governments with climate change mitigation and adaptation/resilience projects. Before joining Ascent, Sam served as an AmeriCorps’ CivicSpark Climate Fellow for two years at the Sierra Nevada Alliance, where he co-led the climate action planning process for the City of South Lake Tahoe, along with a variety of similar projects in and around the Lake Tahoe Basin. He also worked as a Climate Change Mitigation Specialist at ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. Sam earned a B.Sc. in Renewable Resource Management from McGill University in Montreal, QC. Sam currently lives in Truckee, and when he isn't working, Sam enjoys spending time with friends skiing, fly fishing, backpacking, and mountain biking, and advocating for environmental, social justice, and political issues.

Coleen Shade

The Sierra Nevada has been Coleen Shade’s home for 35 years and counting. From Blairsden in Plumas County to Meyers in El Dorado County and currently Nevada City, Coleen’s work and recreation choices have allowed her to get to know the Range of Light on a personal level. She has passed along to her two daughters a love and respect for the Sierra Nevada. Since 1989 when Coleen accepted her first planning position with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency she has been a Natural Resource, Land Use and Environmental Planner in both the public and private sectors. Though her work does take her out of the mountains, she specializes in rural Sierra, comprehensive and community planning. She is a Senior Environmental Planner for Cardno, in their West Coast Science and Environment group where she leads the Planning, Environmental Compliance and Permitting team. Coleen has always filled in her spare time volunteering in community and resources advocacy.  She has previously been a board member of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, Sustainable Tahoe, South Shore Chamber, USFS Federal Advisory Committee, and taught public policy, biology and wilderness classes at Sierra Nevada College and the Lake Tahoe Community College. Coleen and her husband David enjoy hiking, camping, backpacking, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, and finding new and interesting wines to drink. Coleen received her Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Planning and her Masters in Environmental Education from Humboldt State University.
Steve Smallcombe

Stephen Smallcombe

Steve is a retired scientist now living with his wife Rosemarie in Mariposa County near Yosemite National Park. Steve received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from U.C. Irvine with an emphasis on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), and then moved to Pasadena where he was a Senior Research Fellow on the Research Faculty at the California Institute of Technology. In 1974 Steve moved from academia to private industry with Varian Associates in Palo Alto, a major manufacturer of scientific instruments. Steve’s first real taste of the Sierra Nevada high country was when his research group at Caltech took on a 110-mile section of the John Muir Trail in 10 days without use of cached supplies, including a hike to the top of Split Mountain – one of the 14,000+ foot peaks in the Sierra. Now in retirement, Steve and Rosemarie have built a “green” home in Mariposa. In this case, “retirement” for Rosemarie includes serving as a County Supervisor; and Steve stays busy helping a variety of local environmental and community organizations. Steve uses his background in science to help educate the local community about climate change and things we can do to mitigate it. Currently Steve is heavily involved in dealing with the tree mortality issue in the Southern Sierra and trying to find beneficial use of the dead trees via generation of bioenergy and biochar – a way of sequestering forest carbon rather than burning and releasing that carbon. Steve and Rosemarie has enjoyed the Alliance Annual meetings and Steve is excited to now be on the Board of Directors.
Bill Templin

Bill Templin

Bill Templin is a retired Environmental Scientist with the California Department of Water Resources and Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. Previously Bill had a 30- year career with the Federal government (U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Forest Service). He served as Watershed Coordinator for the North Fork American River Watershed from June 2004 until October 2007, then began his State career. Bill is actively involved as a Board Member on several non-profit watershed and sportsmen's organizations in the Sacramento and Fresno areas.

Each year, the Sierra Nevada Alliance places 28 AmeriCorps members with partner conservation organizations throughout the Sierra Nevada. During their terms of service, members restore and monitor impaired Sierra watersheds, educate and outreach to Sierra residents and visitors on environmental issues, and recruit and manage volunteers for a variety of programs.

Caitlin Bell

Position: Forestry Health Technician
Host Site: Butte County Resource Conservation District
Growing up camping and recreating in the Northwoods of Minnesota, Cait began her environmental education at a young age. She pursued a Bachelor's of Science in Geography from the University of Minnesota where she researched the science of dendrochronology and had her first publication on historical burning on indigenous lands. After completing her undergraduate degree, she set off to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, where she discovered her love for the beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Cait is excited to serve for the Butte County Resource Conservation District, where she will be assisting on projects helping landowners in Butte County create a more fire resilient ecosystem through forest management. Outside of work, Cait's passions in life include long-distance hiking, climbing, alpine skiing, and nature photography.

Eloise Bellingham

Position: River Monitoring Coordinator
Host Site: South Yuba River Citizens League
Eloise grew up in the beautiful foothills of Colorado Springs, Colorado. She moved to Upstate New York for her undergraduate studies where she earned a BS in Geology and Global Studies.

Lauren Benefield

Position: Environmental Educator
Host Site: South Tahoe Public Utility District
Lauren got a taste for adventure at a young age from moving around the US and Europe while growing up. She received her B.A. in History from George Mason University and her MPhil in Medieval History from Trinity College-Dublin. Her love of traveling and adventure has had her on the move since completing her undergrad. She lived in Dublin, Ireland and Busan, South Korea before realizing her desire to combine her love of history and the outdoors by working with parks and non-profits back in the U.S. For the past year, she served as the MT State Parks AmeriCorps at Bannack State Park where she conducted cultural interpretation and got her feet wet developing environmental education programs for the park. This year she is excited to work with South Lake Tahoe Public Utility District as a Water Educator. She is eager to start serving the community by providing water education to all ages. Outside of work she loves trail running, rock climbing, snowboarding, and camping. Lauren is ready to start exploring the Sierras and meet new people!

Emma Burt

Position: Sierra Nevada Restoration Specialist
Host Site: Tuolumne River Trust
After spending her childhood basking in the Southern California sun, Emma took a meandering path throughout her college career, which eventually led her to finish a degree in Botany at Oregon State University. With most of her practical plant experience rooted in agriculture, Emma is excited to approach land use from a different lens and is eager to learn how forest health affects the health of the river and wider watershed. She is specifically interested in how we pursue creative solutions for land and water management that underscore the interdependence and continuity of plants, humans, animals, and all other organisms in our state’s increasingly dry and fragile ecosystems. In addition to an interest in land use, Emma is also passionate about place-based primary education and hopes to eventually integrate her experiences into teaching in some capacity. She is very excited to be exploring more of her home state and is looking forward to contributing to the TRT team!
McKenzie Dale

McKenzie Dale

Position: COSA Education Coordinator
Host Site: Bishop Paiute Tribe
McKenzie originally hails from the rainy forests of the Pacific Northwest, where she lived in Portland, OR from the day she was born until after graduating from Portland State University in 2016 with a degree in Linguistics. Through working for her university’s outdoor program, she realized that she likes outdoor education even more than Linguistics and since 2017 she has been working as an outdoor educator for a variety of organizations and schools located up and down the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. McKenzie is curious about the relationship between land and communities; she believes that interacting with our environment has the capacity to teach us many lessons and that nature tends to bring out the best in people. She is looking forward to serving with the SNAP program as a way to learn specific strategies for land stewardship and for the opportunity to give care to the places that she loves so dearly. Some of McKenzie’s favorite activities include rock climbing, ski touring, watercolor painting, garden growing, and singing really loud alone in the car.

Caitlin Edelmuth

Position: Restoration Coordinator
Host Site: South Yuba River Citizens League
Caitlin was born and raised in Northern California and spent her childhood picking up trash, taking care of animals, hiking, and learning about wild animals. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies from Knox College. Her summer as a Biological Science Technician in the Forest Service’s Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area made her fall back in love with restoration and the natural world. This coupled with her activism and campus leadership positions has made her excited to serve with SYRCL. When not working, Caitlin manages a local farm, hikes, crafts, cooks, and researches fire ecology.

Alexa Finn

Position: Education and Outreach Coordinator
Host Site: Sierra Nevada Alliance and Sierra Club
Alexa grew up in the Bay Area, where her appreciation for the natural environment began by exploring the Tahoe region. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in Environmental Studies and a focus in Ecology. After graduation she moved up to Lake Tahoe where she worked as a Business Development Intern for an energy software startup. Influenced by childhood summers in the Sierra, she decided to switch gears and dedicate her time to protecting and serving the region. Alexa is excited to expand her understanding of the local environment and the organizations that serve it as an Education and Outreach Coordinator with the Sierra Nevada Alliance and Sierra Club.

Hailey Gleason

Position: Sierra Nevada Restoration Specialist
Host Site: Tuolumne River Trust
Hailey grew up exploring the Sierra Nevada's, and has since devoted part of her education and career to pursuing efforts that restore and conserve the lands she loves for both herself and future generations to enjoy. She has recently graduated from the University of California, Davis with a degree in Environmental Science and Management focusing on ecology, biodiversity, and conservation within aquatic ecosystems. Her recent research has studied chinook salmon survivorship and coral reef demographics. In her free time, Hailey enjoys hiking, reading, and SCUBA diving. As a Sierra Nevada Restoration Specialist with the Tuolumne River Trust, Hailey is excited to continue work with a new team dedicated to watershed restoration and resiliency.

Emily Kastner

Position: Sierra Field Technician
Host Site: Trout Unlimited
Emily was born and raised in Denver, Colorado where she grew up hiking, camping, and skiing in the Rocky Mountains. She developed a passion for protecting the wild places that she and many others use to recreate and graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with degrees in Environmental Studies and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. She gained conservation experience by interning with the Nature Conservancy and recently managed a property crew at a local summer camp. Since moving to Tahoe for the ski season, Emily fell in love with the Sierras and wanted to experience more of what they have to offer. She is excited to serve with Trout Unlimited where she will primarily focus on watershed monitoring and restoration. Outside of work, Emily can most likely be found on skis, in a river, practicing yoga, or working on her dirt tan.

Dimitri Katsiouleris

Position: Stewardship Specialist
Host Site: Sequoia Riverlands Trust
Dimitri is a recent U.C. Santa Barbara graduate in Aquatic Biology whose interest in environmental restoration has led him to work with the Sequoia Riverlands Trust. He believes that restoration activities are crucial for diverse and resilient ecosystems that we can all enjoy and rely upon.

Devon Kelley

Position: Education Technician
Host Site: Sequoia Riverlands Trust
A Berkeley native, Devon left the Bay Area to attend college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating with a B.S. in Conservation Biology and Neurobiology. After working for the U.S. Forest Service conducting stream surveys in beautiful Montana and Idaho, Devon returned to California to serve their home state’s native flora and fauna. She hopes to soon attend graduate school along the Pacific coast studying marine ecology specifically related to benthic invertebrates and trophic ecology. Outside of environmental work, Devon enjoys long walks to the library, art of all sorts, kayaking, and oat milk cappuccinos.

Jessica Landesman

Position: Education Program Assistant
Host Site: Tahoe Environmental Resource Center
Jessica (Jesse) was born and raised in sunny Southern California. She developed a love for the outdoors at a young age when her parents would take their 3 kids camping and hiking all over California, Utah, and Colorado. She graduated from U.C. Davis with a degree in Environmental Science, focusing on soils and biogeochemistry, and a double minor in Psychology and Global and International Studies. At U.C. Davis, she conducted research on the use of enhanced silicate weathering to sequester atmospheric carbon into the soil. After graduating, she worked as an environmental scientist at CalRecycle. She is excited to join the U.C. Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center as an Education Program Associate. Jesse loves to knit, hike, forage for fungi, and laugh.

Claire Marvet

Position: Education Coordinator
Host Site: Eastern Sierra Land Trust
Claire grew up near Chicago and graduated from the University of Washington Seattle campus with a degree in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology. Since graduating, she has worked in field ecology, habitat restoration and trail work across the western and midwestern US. In addition to removing a lot of invasive weeds, she has studied a variety of species including Greater Sage-Grouse, Black Bears, raptors, deer, and some of the native plants in their habitats. She also spent a few winters falling in love with the Eastern Sierra while renting out skis and running the chair lifts in between field jobs. Claire is thrilled for this opportunity with ESLT to serve the community and foster an appreciation for the outdoor spaces she has come to love. Claire likes to snowboard, hike, read, rock climb, and is learning to skateboard.

Madeleine Page

Position: River Assessment and Restoration Assistant
Host Site: American Rivers
Originally from the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, Maddie grew up with a deep love of nature and appreciation of the outdoors. Maddie graduated from Oberlin College with degrees in Environmental Studies and Sociology and is passionate about conservation and increasing access to the outdoors for all. After completing a half SNAP term serving as a Forest Health Specialist with the Tuolumne River Trust, Maddie is excited to expand her knowledge on river restoration and the Sierra's. Outside of work Maddie can be found hiking, running, and baking bread.

Sierra Riker

Position: Monitoring and Outreach Specialist
Host Site: Sierra Nevada Alliance and Alpine Watershed Group
Sierra was raised in the snowy city of Flagstaff, Arizona where they earned a B.S. in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Environmental Management and a minor in Biology from Northern Arizona University. During their time in college, Sierra interned with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on their CCAST program and researched impacts of artificial light at night on rodent species. Sierra is excited to explore the Sierra Nevada’s while working to preserve the unique ecosystems found here. They can often be found reading, skiing, or riding their motorcycle in their time off.

Noah Shapiro

Position: Education Program Assistant
Host Site: Tahoe Environmental Research Center
Noah grew up in Portland, Oregon, where he gained an appreciation for the environment by spending time in city parks and on camping trips with his family. Today he loves to bike, hike, and kayak, and looks forward to exploring new snow-related activities while in Tahoe. Noah is a recent graduate of Pomona College, where he studied Media Studies and Environmental Analysis. He gained experience in outdoor education by working at an environmental summer camp and his college outdoor club. Noah will be primarily focusing on marketing, education, docent coordination, and writing the newsletter at the U.C. Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC). He is grateful for the opportunity to serve the Sierra and connect with others dedicated to preserving the environment throughout his term.

Jordan Vena

Position: Program Assistant and Outreach Specialist
Host Site: Tahoe Resource Conservation District
Jordan is a recent graduate from U.C. Santa Cruz. He moved to South Lake Tahoe to work with Tahoe Resource Conservation District and is excited to work toward the protection of the Sierra’s.

Emma Walker

Position: River Scientist
Host Site: Sierra Streams Institute
Emma grew up in Chicago, Illinois. She received a B.S. from the University of Miami with a double major in Biology and Ecosystem Science and Policy, and a minor in French. Emma has previously worked for several different nonprofits in a variety of roles, facilitating habitat restoration projects, supporting community sustainability and zero waste initiatives, and writing educational articles on climate change solutions. Most recently, she worked as a Natural Resource Field Technician for Devils Postpile National Monument, collecting data relating to water and air quality, as well as vegetation and wildlife population surveys. There, she fell in love with the Sierra Nevada Mountains and joined the Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP) to continue to work to protect this incredible area. She will be working with the Sierra Streams Institute as an AmeriCorps River Scientist, assisting their water quality monitoring programs. In her free time, Emma loves hiking, scuba diving, painting, and reading.

Sierra Corps is a Fellowship program that aims to increase workforce capacity for organizations and agencies implementing forest health and natural resource management projects throughout the Sierra. The program creates leaders in the conservation field by providing technical trainings and meaningful career development opportunities through the Fellowship positions.

The 2020-2022 terms are over and we’ll be hiring more Fellows in Autumn 2022.

Tim Bailey

Position: Forest Tech
Host Site: Plumas Corporation
Tim works on several projects for Plumas Corporation in both the northern and southern Sierra, including assisting with grant administration, and creation of maps and other digital information products as needed and skills align. In the Southern Sierra, Tim is focused on two projects in Sequoia National Forest/Monument, including monitoring giant sequoia groves and assessing and developing mitigation plans for giant sequoia hazard trees. In the Northern Sierra, Tim assist with a Forest Recovery Planning Project on Plumas National Forest.
Tim has spent the better part of the last thirty years working at the intersection of public safety, resource protection/management, community and regional planning. This service led to operational deployments, training, and stewardship assignments in southeast Asia, the middle east, central America and wide swaths of the western United States, including seasonal and permanent appointments to ten different National Park Service (NPS) units ranging from New York to California and many states in-between. Since leaving the National Park Service, Tim's work has focused on research and analysis of environmental impacts in the state of California, with time served as a CEQA practitioner, small business owner, and private consultant. A speaker of three languages, Tim holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in public policy with a specialization in California’s water scarcity.

Sarah Nasif

Position: Assistant Project Manager
Host Site: Plumas County Fire Safe Council
Sarah works closely with Plumas County Fire Safe Council staff to assist with a variety of project and program management tasks, focused on the development of a small firewood processing biomass project in conjunction with a contracted consultant/engineering company. Additionally, Sarah is helping coordinate with the Feather River Resource Conservation District on assisting the Emergency Forest Restoration Team (EFRT) with conducting landowner site visits, and providing operator oversight on FSC’s subcontracted site prep and reforestation work developed from the site assessments; participating in Firewise meetings and assisting with assessments and applications; conducting photo monitoring on current hazardous fuel reduction (HFR) projects; working with subcontracted Registered Professional Foresters on HFR projects; and helping with wildfire education outreach.
Sarah began her fellowship with Plumas County Fire Safe Council in August 2022. After two summer education seasons with Massachusetts Audubon Society during college, she developed a passion for habitat protection. Sarah received a Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in December 2021, majoring in Environmental Science with a minor in Natural Resources Management and concentration in wildlife habitat management. In between graduation and the Fire Safe Council, Sarah worked as a conservation intern for Native Plant Trust. In this role, Sarah furthered her experience in native ecology and plant population resistance to climate change. With the Fire Safe Council, Sarah hopes to learn more about forest ecology and sustainable conservation planning as she prepares to pursue her master’s degree in forest pathology and mycology.

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