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 brings over 15 years of experience leading conservation work, in collaboration with diverse partners, to serve as the Sierra Nevada Alliance’s(SNA) Executive Director. Raised in the Sierra, Jenny is pleased to lead SNA in fulfilling its mission to protect and restore the natural resources of the Sierra Nevada for future generations while promoting sustainable communities. Jenny has partnered with SNA on a variety of projects, including the management of several AmeriCorps member conservation projects. Her career background leading up to this role included work in erosion control, wildlife management, horiticulture as a Master Gardner, initiating the Aquatic Invasive Species prevention and control projects for Lake Tahoe, watershed restoration, and to protect and restore native trout throughout the Northern Sierra. Jenny also has a strong background in fundraising, outreach, advocacy, and management. Jenny has a B.A. in Conservation Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno.
rachel durben

Rachel Durben

SNAP Program Director
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Rachel grew up in Arizona, exploring the desert and dreaming of the mountains. She left the city to study Zoology at Northern Arizona University, where she fell in love with the Ponderosa pines and mountain life. After earning her BS, Rachel traveled extensively, living and working in Maine, Spain, Colorado and the UK before returning to Flagstaff for graduate school. Back at NAU, she studied riparian ecology, focusing on community ecology and the linkages between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. This research led to an MS in Biology and ignited a love for field work and education. Rachel served an AmeriCorps term with Coconino Rural Environment Corps in Flagstaff, AZ, and was a SNAP member with Sierra Streams Institute in Nevada City. She is excited to be reconnected with the Alliance and the SNAP program and looks forward to bringing her background in ecological research, environmental education, nonprofit collaboration and program management to her role as SNAP Program Director. When she’s not working, you can find Rachel practicing and teaching yoga, hiking, running, skiing, boating, and traveling.
nicole lutkemuller

Nicole Lutkemuller

Sierra Corps Program Director
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Growing up in the Sierra Nevada foothills and Lake Tahoe fueled Nicole’s passion for exploring, conserving, and restoring the ecosystems of the Sierras. Nicole brings 6 years of experience in various conservation planning, project management, outreach and education, and environmental data analysis positions with government, non-profit and private sector organizations. Through these experiences Nicole decided that she wanted to pursue the rest of her career in the non-profit sector and is excited to continue down that path with the Sierra Nevada Alliance. Since completing a B.S. In Environmental Science from Sierra Nevada College in 2012 she has worked for the Maine Department of Conservation, Bureau of Land Management in NV, Alpine Watershed Group as a SNAP member, and for a private GIS data visualization firm in Truckee while also getting involved in local, state, and federal political organizing. Nicole has served on the North Tahoe Regional Advisory Council to Placer County since 2015. She is thrilled to bring her passion for protecting the Range of Light and experience and knowledge of the Sierra’s forest health issues to her position as Sierra Corps Program Director. Nicole enjoys rock climbing, hiking, biking, swimming, skiing, snowboarding, adventuring with her dogs and partner, Dave, and seeing as much live bluegrass music as possible.
sara monson

Sara Monson

Education & Communication Director
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Sara began her teaching career as a TEFL volunteer in Peace Corps, Romania. After discovering a passion for experiential education, Sara spent six years working in the field of environmental education where she taught a wide range of science topics. Sara also possesses experience in curriculum development, program and staff management, and program evaluation. Additionally, Sara possesses a Master’s degree in Science Education from the University of Northern Colorado and an undergraduate degree from UC Santa Barbara in Psychology and Spanish. After living in Colorado for three years, Sara is excited to be back in her home state of California, applying her passion for the environment and her experience in her role as Education and Communication Director at the Sierra Nevada Alliance.
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.
brooke boeger

Brooke Boeger

Recruitment Capacity and Outreach Coordinator SNAP Member
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Brooke was born and raised in little Yuba City, CA. She studied Anthropology and Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz. She is also an avid dog petter, mushroom forager, and an amateur sailor seeking a boat ride. Brooke enjoys spending her time outside with her two dogs Yeti and Winnie, skiing with her friends and riding her bike along the West Shore. She is interested in learning and interpreting people’s stories told by the environment.
Lexi Hager

Alexis Hager

Education and Outreach Coordinator / SNAP Member
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Lexi grew up in Oakland, California and recently graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in Environmental Policy. She started to gain a deeper interest in conservation through childhood visits to national parks and high school trips that focused on ecology and science education. At college, she realized that she was most interested in western land and water policy, and eager to return to the west coast. She is excited for the opportunity to contribute to the protection and restoration of the ecosystem and landscape of the Sierra Nevada at the Sierra Nevada Alliance!
meredith anderson

Meredith Anderson

CivicSpark Climate Fellow
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Originally from the Chicago area, Meredith Anderson recently graduated from Santa Clara University with a BS in Environmental Science and a minor in Political Science. She worked as an apprentice at Santa Clara University’s organic farm and hopes to pursue a career addressing the intersection between food systems and climate change. She is excited to be a CivicSpark Climate Fellow with the Sierra Nevada Alliance to broaden her knowledge of local climate change mitigation. In her spare time, she loves gardening, cooking, and backpacking..
sam runderman

Sam Ruderman

CivicSpark Climate Fellow
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Originally from New Hampshire, Sam graduated with a B.Sc in Environment – Renewable Resource Management from McGill University in Montreal, QC. His love for skiing and the mountains brought him west the following winter to pursue his dream to “ski bum” for a season, and the Lake Tahoe area was a natural fit. Sam is thrilled to be joining the Sierra Nevada Alliance and CivicSpark in order to gain valuable experience in the environmental field and build his skills in the realm of fighting climate change. He hopes to see how a variety of approaches to climate action are taken in both the public and private sectors and how different entities can work together to achieve their common goal of keeping the earth clean and green for generations to come.
Doug Carstens

Doug Carstens

Board President
Douglas Carstens is the Managing Partner of a five person petitioners’ environmental law firm, Chatten-Brown & Carstens LLP, based in Hermosa Beach and San Diego, and practicing throughout the state. The firm primarily represents environmental and community groups in seeking to enforce state environmental laws and protect natural resources. He recently helped groups in the Sierra Nevada foothills in opposition to an environmentally damaging strip mining project in Amador County. Doug is a frequent lecturer and panelist regarding environmental law, and has written many articles on the subject. Doug has facilitated California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) workshops in Southern California with the PCL Foundation and throughout the Sierra Nevada with CalTrout to ensure communities can participate effectively in the environmental review process. Doug is especially proud of the firm’s effective park advocacy and preservation of open space. Along with Jan Chatten-Brown, a past President of the Alliance, he has helped bring about the public acquisition of parklands in the Rio De Los Angeles State Park, the State Historic Park in downtown Los Angeles, and additions to the Kenneth Hahn State Park in Baldwin Hills, and a park known as Elephant Hill in East Los Angeles. Doug also enjoys an annual trip to Yosemite when attending the State Bar’s Environmental Law Conference, and has long attended the Sierra Nevada Alliance Annual Conference. Doug graduated from Cornell University and UCLA Law School. Prior to attending law school, he served as an officer in the Navy. He looks forward to working with the Alliance’s board, staff, and membership to promote conservation in and around the Sierra, and help the Alliance grow to become an even better force in helping member groups in accomplishing their missions.
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.
Laura Beaton

LAURA BEATON

Vice 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.
nicole-cartwright

NICOLE CARTWRIGHT

Treasurer
Nicole is the Executive Director at Tahoe Resource Conservation District. Nicole had her first exposure to the Sierra Nevada Alliance serving as an AmeriCorps member in 2007. Since her service she has worked for the Tahoe Resource Conservation District developing and implementing programs including aquatic invasive species control, watercraft inspections and public education. Being the first Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership Alumni to serve on the board she hopes to bring intimate insight into program development and planning for Alliance’s future. Living in South Lake Tahoe, Nicole enjoys playing in her “backyard” while mountain biking, backpacking, snowboarding, paddleboarding and spending time with her family and friends.
Steve Haze

STEVE HAZE

Steve and his wife Diane live in the old logging town of Auberry in the foothills of the Southern Sierra in eastern Fresno County. For over 50 years Steve has had a passion for this majestic range. He first worked at summer camps, and took frequent backpacking trips on the John Muir Trail. His favorite trip is Evolution Valley, Kings Canyon National Park. During the 1980’s and 90’s Steve and his wife Diane took volunteer work crews out to work on many of the trails in the backcountry of the Southern Sierra. While in the Bay Area working in the high tech and IT industry, he also served on the Board of Directors of organizations such as the Land Trust of Santa Clara County, Committee for Green Foothills, and Friends of Stevens Creek Trail and Wildlife Corridor. He has been an ardent supporter for over 12 years and the non-profit San Joaquin Valley Leadership Forum, which he founded, is a member of the Alliance. Steve’s passion for the environment, as well as cultural, historical preservation – and the betterment of communities has taken him to Mexico, the Middle East and Southern Africa. Steve currently serves on the Board of Friends of the Peace Parks, USA on behalf of the Peace Parks Foundation, South Africa in which he and his wife are founding members, and is also a member of the International Advisory Committee (IAC) for EcoPeace Middle East. Steve’s “8 to 5 job” is as the District Manager for the Sierra Resource Conservation District in eastern Fresno County.
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.
Pierre Zado

Pierre Zado

Married to Laura Crowe Zado and lives in San Francisco where he enjoys spending time with his nieces, going on runs with his golden retriever, attending various sporting events, as well as golfing, skiing and tennis. When they are not active in the bay they spend any free time they have in the Sierras, especially at their place in Tahoe City. Fun facts include having traveled to 5 continents by age 30, playing college football at USC and semi-professional rugby in New Zealand.
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.
Christopher Wright

Christopher Wright

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”
Erika Seward

Erika Seward

Erika fell in love with the outdoors at an early age. Growing up in Central Florida, most days were spent hiking trails or enjoying the nearby lakes, rivers and beaches. Summers were marked by visits to the family farm in Northern Virginia where her mother was raised. A natural talent for soccer propelled her along the competitive athlete path and would influence her professional career which began at ESPN while attending the University of Kansas for sports science and a Master’s Degree. During Erika’s tenure with ESPN, she served on the executive team that built brands and promotional strategies for the NFL, PGA Tour, USGA, LPGA, and X Games as well as oversight of corporate synergy across the Walt Disney Company’s entire portfolio. After a decade in sports and entertainment, Erika gained a strong appreciation for media’s influence and its potential to create impactful change. Erika has since consulted with grassroots and national organizations focused on the environment, homelessness, and women’s health, including the SIMA Humanitarian Fund, ProgressNow, Heal the Bay, Stop Hermosa Beach Oil, City of Hermosa Beach and more. She spent five years as Executive Director for ​Boarding for Breast (B4BC) Foundation in Los Angeles and is credited with elevating the cause with the support of professional athletes, Olympians, and global brands through purpose-driven content including two publications and an award-winning documentary and mobile app. In 2015, Erika moved to Nevada City, CA in the Tahoe National Forest to live “in the trees” and raise her young children. She is proud to serve as Co-Executive Director of Bear Yuba Land Trust and as an environmental conservation advocate through the Sierra Consortium and Land Trust Alliance.

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.

Brooke Boeger

Brooke Boeger

Position: Recruitment Capacity & Outreach Coordinator
Host Site: Sierra Nevada Alliance
Brooke was born and raised in little Yuba City, CA. She studied Anthropology and Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz. She is also an avid dog petter, mushroom forager, and an amateur sailor seeking a boat ride. Brooke enjoys spending her time outside with her two dogs Yeti and Winnie, skiing with her friends and riding her bike along the West Shore. She is interested in learning and interpreting people’s stories told by the environment.
Michael Burley

Michael Burley

Position: Environmental Educator
Host Site: South Tahoe Public Utility District/ Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
Michael was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and learned how amazing streams can be while wandering through Rock Creek Park. A desire to understand the stories Earth’s landscapes tell led Michael to study Geology at the University of Puget Sound, where he incidentally fell deeper in love with being outdoors and sharing his passions with others. After serving for one year with AmeriCorps CivicSpark in Lake County, Michael decided to double down on AmeriCorps and is happier for it. In his current role, when not educating middle-schoolers on some environmental topic, or finding ways to encourage high water users to cut-back, Michael can be found rock climbing, skiing, staring at fish, or lounging on his giant couch watching a movie.
Abby Evans

Abby Evans

Position: COSA Education Coordinator
Host Site: Bishop Paiute Tribe
Abby Evans was raised in Hilliard, Ohio and recently graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in Psychology. It was not until January of 2016 when she drove to Colorado that her interest in the outdoors, specifically the mountains took shape. After this experience she continued to explore mountainous regions on numerous road trips, and the summer of 2017 was when she finally had the opportunity to explore the Sierra Nevada. She also had the opportunity to intern for NOLS in Patagonia as an agricultural intern. Here she developed a deep passion for being close to the process of growing food. Abby also loves to climb and is excited to further explore the climbing possibilities in the Eastern Sierra!
Baylee Goodwin

Baylee Goodwin

Position: Education Program Assistant
Host Site: Tahoe Environmental Research Center
Baylee was born and raised in Lake Tahoe, CA where her love for nature and wildlife developed at a young age. Her passion for animals followed her to Oregon where she graduated with a degree in Zoology from Oregon State University. Her plan has always been to work in wildlife conservation with the goal of saving endangered species. During her time at OSU, Baylee enjoyed volunteering at the local wildlife rehabilitation center, the OSU goat club, and a snake research laboratory on campus. She is always happiest when working with animals in any capacity. After graduating, Baylee moved to Costa Rica for a wildlife conservation internship where she worked with jaguars, sea turtles, and primates. This internship taught her how important conservation and education are to preserving vital ecosystems. Baylee is very excited to move home and join the SNAP team in educating people on the importance of the natural world.
Lexi Hager

Lexi Hager

Position: Education and Outreach Assistant
Host Site: Sierra Nevada Alliance
Lexi grew up in Oakland, California and recently graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in Environmental Policy. She started to gain a deeper interest in conservation through childhood visits to national parks and high school trips that focused on ecology and science education. At college, she realized that she was most interested in western land and water policy, and eager to return to the west coast. She is excited for the opportunity to contribute to the protection and restoration of the ecosystem and landscape of the Sierra Nevada at the Sierra Nevada Alliance!
Shannon Hedge

Shannon Hedge

Position: Stewardship Coordinator
Host Site: South Yuba River Citizens League
Shannon grew up in the suburbs around Houston, Texas where she spent spent most days outside exploring the swamplands she called home. She obtained a bachelors degree in Evolution and Ecology at The Ohio State University and helped work in diversity programming as an ambassador of the multicultural center. She found her true love of outreach while in graduate school at Humboldt State University as a teaching associate and volunteer coordinator for the citizen science program FrogWatch. She is excited to combine her passions of environmental conservation and working with the community at SYRCL. Outside of work, she can often be found cooking, crafting, or looking for animals outside.
Lauren Herbine

Lauren Herbine

Position: Sierra Field Technician
Host Site: Trout Unlimited
Lauren grew up on her father’s one-man sawmill operation in the Appalachian foothills of Virginia. After graduating from The College of William & Mary with a degree in Environmental Geology, she moved west to explore public land management, especially as it related to hydrology. Her first stop was a GeoCorps service term with the Forest Service in Oregon, then to the mountains of Southern California to work as an outdoor education instructor, and then on to western Montana to serve a year-long AmeriCorps term with Big Sky Watershed Corps. Having served two seasons with the federal government and a year with a small watershed group, she is excited to see what conservation looks like from the national non-profit perspective. Soccer has played a large roll in her life; she’s played, coached, refereed, and trained referees. In her downtime she enjoys backpacking, skiing, road-tripping, kayaking, and petting pups.
Andrea Johnson

Andrea Johnson

Position: Conservation Assistant
Host Site: El Dorado and Georgetown Divide Resource Conservation District
Andrea comes from a small city in northern Utah. She recently graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor’s degree in Conservation and Restoration Ecology. During her time at USU she enjoyed learning about plant biology and identification. This interest lead Andrea to conduct an undergraduate research project focusing on Lupine growth with a changing climate. After her time as an undergraduate she has increased her passion for plants by working at the Intermountain Herbarium. Andrea also loves working with people and has been helping people with disabilities obtain long-term employment. When Andrea is not working she enjoys camping, hiking, or snuggling her cat Mojito.
Sneha Kumar

Sneha Kumar

Position: Education Technician
Host Site: Sequoia Riverlands Trust
Sneha Kumar is serving as the Education Technician with Sequoia Riverlands Trust in Visalia, CA. She has moved to California from North Carolina, after graduating from UNC Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s in English. While in college, she gained lots of experience in education, and learned that her passion is helping others learn new things. In addition to teaching, Sneha loves to ride horses and hike mountains, and is excited to explore as much of the West Coast as possible!
Jenna Levy

Jenna Levy

Position: Sierra Region Program Specialist
Host Site: Tuolumne River Trust
Jenna was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado before migrating to CSU Chico to pursue her undergrad degree. During her time in school she was introduced to the Sierra Nevada mountains and was immediately hooked by their unparalleled beauty. After completing her degree in Environmental Science she began a several year stint as a vagabond, working in Tahoe, Santa Barbara, Yosemite and Colorado. Jenna joins the Tuolumne River Trust this year and is looking forward to growing her knowledge of the Yosemite watersheds while assisting in the protection and preservation of these places that have become home.
Daisy Mack

Daisy Mack

Position: Volunteer Coordinator
Host Site: Sequoia Riverlands Trust
You wouldn’t expect a young woman to discover herself at a summer camp for boys, but that is just what happened for Daisy Mack. Growing up and working at camp instilled a deep love of the natural world in her. In the northwoods of Wisconsin she explored nature, taking many canoe trips and hiking trips with family and friends. On the south shore of Lake Superior, Daisy found a passion in rivers and fresh water. In school, she wanted to take her love of lakes and rivers into her degree. She studied Chemical Engineering with the thoughts of clean waters on her mind. Feeling stuck in school, she turned to work that would help. Now, coming out west with the hopes of adventure and environmental work, she is ready to take on the Sierra Nevadas.
Elise Matera

Elise Matera

Position: Education Program Assistant
Host Site: Tahoe Environmental Research Center
Elise is from Chapel Hill, NC and spent the first half of her life in Cleveland, OH. She graduated from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY with a degree in Environmental Studies with focuses in Biology, Women’s Studies, and English. She is passionate about environmental and social justice. She is coming most recently from a job in sustainability and zero waste near Vail, Colorado and is excited to move even farther west. She spent a semester abroad in Zanzibar, Tanzania and studied human impacts on mangrove forests. She ran cross country and track in college and loves to run, hike, and camp.
Mary McDonnell

Mary McDonnell

Position: Restoration Coordinator
Host Site: South Yuba River Citizens League
Mary grew up near Sacramento, CA, spending summer vacations fostering a love for California’s many diverse landscapes. In college, she studied land management techniques, completing a major in Conservation and Resource Studies and a minor in Forestry from UC Berkeley. Mary has worked as a research assistant in range ecology and forest ecology, and most recently, as a land steward an organization that conserves open spaces. Mary is eager to learn more about community-based management practices, and feels she found the right place at SYRCL, an organization that is community founded and focused. In her free time, you can catch Mary dancing, reading, baking, and doing puzzles.
Amanda Milici

Amanda Milici

Position: Program Assistant and Outreach Specialist
Host Site: South Lake Tahoe Resource Conservation District
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Amanda knew she wanted to get out of the city. Growing up, she spent most of her time outdoors and quickly developed a love for the natural world and a passion for urban and natural environmental issues. After high school, Amanda went to the University of California, Davis, where she studied Environmental Science and Management with goals of pursuing a career in resource management, sustainability, and environmental justice. During her time in Davis, Amanda helped with Rangeland Ecology research looking into the effect of cattle on mountain meadow streams in the Sierra Nevada. Then, shortly after graduating, Amanda moved to the west shore of Lake Tahoe where she worked for California State Parks as a Special Events assistant. On her free time you can find her running, cycling, swimming, or rock climbing, and she is looking forward to continuing her life in the beautiful Sierra Nevada serving for SNAP
Dorothy Punderson

Dorothy Punderson

Position: Education Coordinator
Host Site: Sierra Streams Institute
Dorothy grew up in Weybridge, Vermont, where she has spent many years exploring the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks. Curiosity about Vermont’s landscapes led her to study biology at Middlebury College, where she focused on botany and conservation. Despite spending most of her life in Vermont, Dorothy has also taken opportunities to study abroad in Spain and Chile, where she became fluent in Spanish. Dorothy spent this past summer teaching preschool science camps at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, VT, and is excited to dive deeper into science education and communications with the Sierra Streams Institute this year. In her free time she enjoys cooking, playing music and getting outside in all seasons.

Hayley Reid

Position: Sierra Field Technician
Host Site: Trout Unlimited
When I'm not advocating for environmental protection you can find me skiing, rock climbing and mountain biking!
Caitlyn Rich

Caitlyn Rich

Position: Sierra Region Program Specialist
Host Site: Tuolumne River Trust
Caitlyn was born and raised in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada just north of Yosemite, where she became familiar with backcountry life. This summer she worked as a kayak guide on the Monterey Bay and in the Elkhorn Slough while she completed her degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. While in college Caitlyn conducted research on predator driven selection for various Ensatina salamander color morphs and participated in many field research courses. When she wasn’t studying you could find Caitlyn rock climbing, hiking, and kayaking. She is now excited to return back home this fall with new knowledge and experiences in order to educate her community and engage in local restoration projects.
Marie Ring

Marie Ring

Position: Education Coordinator
Host Site: Eastern Sierra Land Trust
Born and raised in Maine, Marie fell in love with the outdoors at a young age and has always dreamed of experiencing life in the Sierra Nevada. She recently graduated from the University of Maine in May 2018 with a degree in Biology and a minor in Ecology and Environmental Sciences and found an opportunity to travel out west. While serving with AmeriCorps at ESLT, Marie is looking forward to working with children to get them excited about the environment at a young age and connecting the community to the Eastern Sierra. When not working, you can often find Marie spending time outside exploring new hiking trails, reading in her hammock or trying to become friends with any dogs she comes across.
Daisy Schalich

Daisy Schadlich

Position: River Assessment & Restoration Assistant
Host Site: American Rivers
Daisy hails from the North Bay, but spent most of her time in Truckee through her teen years. Growing up, she enjoyed her summers of hiking, camping, and fly fishing with her family and her winters of ski racing. She became a river guide while studying Sustainable Environmental Design and Food Systems at UC Berkeley and decided she needed to take action to protect the rivers she loves. She did this first by working in a river food web ecology lab in college, then by advocating for a sustainable water future in California, and most recently by helping restore the coho salmon population in Sonoma County. Daisy is thrilled to take the next step by serving with American Rivers this year and looks forward to learning from her coworkers and fellow AmeriCorps members. This is a photo of her on one of her favorite rivers, the Rogue River.

Stefanie Studen

Position: Communication and Education Coordinator
Host Site: Sierra State Park Foundation
Stefanie moved back to Lake Tahoe at the beginning of 2020 so that she could surround herself with the Sierra Nevadas and all the amazing opportunities that arise from being immersed in such a beautiful place. Stefanie knows that nature will always be the compass that guides her to her truest and most authentic self and she is excited to work with all SNAP members as well as all those at the Sierra State Parks Foundation to ensure future generations can enjoy the Sierra Nevadas in the way that she has.
Jaclyn Sherman

Jaclyn Sherman

Position: River Monitoring Coordinator
Host Site: South Yuba River Citizens League
Jaclyn was born in Northern California and spent her early childhood exploring the redwood coast region. Her family later moved to Nashville,Tennessee where she spent her free time hiking in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains. In 2019, she graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a double major in Environmental Studies and Economics. Her passion for sustainability and food systems compelled her to take on jobs with the Santa Cruz Farmer’s Market and other local biodynamic farms. While in college, she studied abroad in New Zealand, was a member of the ocean paddling team, and spent her weekends backpacking, biking, and hiking on the west coast. She has recently returned from traveling in Nepal and Thailand and is excited to reacquaint herself with the Eastern Sierra.
Wes Slaughter

Wes Slaughter

Position: River Scientist
Host Site: Sierra Streams Institute
Wes grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, falling in love with nature in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. He moved to California after high school to study molecular environmental biology at UC Berkeley, with a minor in forestry. He became obsessed with river science and ecology working for a river food web ecology lab in college. This led him to work for the Watershed Stewards Program at California SeaGrant on the Russian River last year doing salmon life cycle monitoring. He’s really excited to learn as much as possible about all aspects of stream and river ecosystems, and is looking forward to achieving that goal as the river scientist at Sierra Streams Institute this year. He also loves backpacking, playing music, and just generally nerding out about anything from river science, to folk music, to the Lord of the Rings.
Shepard Smith

Shepard Smtih

Position: Conservation Project Specialist
Host Site: Butte County Resource Conservation District
Shepard is from Santa Clarita, CA, a suburb north of Los Angeles. Growing up, he enjoyed playing outside, reading about ecosystems, and identifying local flora. Upon taking AP Environmental Science in high school, he knew he wanted a career in ecological restoration. Shepard recently graduated from University of California, Davis with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Management. During his time at UCD he engaged with agricultural opportunities through his professional fraternity, Alpha Gamma Rho. He also familiarized himself with the economics of small and large businesses to be better prepared for managerial positions in the future. Shepard is excited to join the SNAP program as his first job post-graduation.
Claire Thompson

Claire Thompson

Position: Lands Conservation Technician
Host Site: Sequoia Riverlands Trust
Claire grew up in frigid Minnesota knowing she belonged elsewhere. She is now located in the warm central valley of California as a Conservation Technician with Sequoia Riverlands Trust. Growing up, Claire would collect northern leopard frogs and plant freeman maples in her backyard. She was raised with the quintessential “Minnesota cabin life” in north-central Minnesota, where she would spend summers fishing with her dad and swimming in Minnesota’s iconic lakes. She knew from a young age that her passion for life was ignited by a fascination with figuring out how the natural world operates. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management with emphases in earth science and forest ecology. She has previously served two AmeriCorps positions in Washington State through the Student Conservation Association with the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy working on habitat restoration and invasive species control. Claire likes to evaluate ecosystem restoration through a natural history lens by comparing previous environmental processes to the drastic environmental changes that are currently happening, and using that comparison to make conclusions on what steps should be taken to restore ecosystem function in a changing world. She enjoys the variety of work and the application of her past studies to her current position at Sequoia Riverlands Trust. In her free time she enjoys going on trips to photograph rare tree species and is very excited about all the unique trees California has.
Sydney Tichenor

Sydney Tichenor

Position: Program Coordinator
Host Site: Forest Trails Alliance
Sydney was raised in Arlington, Virginia, but spent six weeks out of every summer in South Florida growing up. She has always enjoyed outdoors activities like camping, hiking, and swimming. But her interest in going into the environmental field didn’t start until one summer when volunteering at a nature center in Florida. Sydney graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelors in Science, where my major was Interdisciplinary Studies and a minor in Environmental Studies. She served an AmeriCorps term with the Virginia Service and Conservation Corps in District 5 as a resource crew member, where she helped maintain trails, prescribed burns, and other resources throughout Virginia State Parks. She would love to some day work with the ocean and studying turtles.
Grace Van Kan

Grace Van Kan

Position: Conservation Technician
Host Site: Sequoia Riverlands Trust
Grace spent most of her childhood in Maryland, taking delight in hikes with the family, trips throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and small-time adventures in the creek behind the house. In traveling with her family, she has attended high schools in Maryland, the Philippines, and Japan. After graduating, Grace took a gap year during which time she took part in a coral reef restoration and conservation project in Thailand, performing scientific dives and lectures, and solidifying her passion for environmental stewardship. In 2017, she served summer term with the Virginia DCR as a Youth Conservation Corps crew leader. Grace graduated from DePaul University with a BA in Environmental Studies, concentrating in sustainability. She spent her final spring breaks with DePaul Outdoor Recreation on service trips to Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia and Canyon Rims Recreation Area in Utah, volunteering with the Park Service and Bureau of Land Management, respectively.
Alex Wells

Alex Wells

Position: Program Coordinator
Host Site: Forest Trails Alliance
Alex Wells grew up in the High Rockies of Colorado, where he was seeded with a deep love of the outdoors and an interest in environmental issues. Both of these came to flower during his time at Middlebury College, from which he graduated in 2018 with a degree in Conservation Biology. Not quite ready to leave the Green Mountain State, he spent a year serving in the ECO AmeriCorps program at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, where he was the project coordinator for a statewide project monitoring vernal pools (which are very different in the northeast from in California). Though project coordination mostly seemed to involve sending emails, Alex enjoyed it nonetheless, and is excited to keep it up at Forest Trails Alliance. When not sending emails, Alex is a big fan rock climbing, trail running, and playing music (poorly).

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.

Katie Reidy

Katie Reidy

Position: Project Manager
Host Site: Sierra Valley Resource Conservation District
Katie Reidy will be working a two-year position with the Sierra Valley Resource Conservation District out of Sierraville through the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Grant Program. Katie’s work will focus on planning and implementing forest health and rangeland management projects for the RCD.
Katie grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, but as soon as she could she fled to the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Southeastern US, where she studied environmental ecology at the University of North Carolina Asheville. It was there that her passion for the outdoors, the environment, and conservation blossomed. After years of working and studying forest health, Katie began teaching environmental education for a variety of organizations. Her drive to teach about the environment brought her to CA, where she lived in Yosemite teaching young students about the importance of conservation. Katie is now eager to be a SNA Fellow and be back in action of helping protect local watersheds, by working alongside the US Forest Service and Sierraville RCD where she will assist in a range or projects. In her free time you can usually find Katie whitewater kayaking on local rivers, baking bread, or playing in the outdoors in some capacity.
Marlon Charneau

Marlon Charneau

Position: Program Coordinator
Host Site: Eastern California Water Association and American Forests
Marlon Charneau will be working a two-year position with the Eastern California Water Association and American Forests out of Mammoth Lakes through the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Grant Program. Marlon’s work will focus on building capacity in the Eastern Sierra for planning and prioritizing forest health and natural resource management projects.
Originally from a small island in the French Caribbean, Marlon moved to the United States for High School. He graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2014 with a B.A. in Psychology and a concentration in Wilderness Therapy where he integrated the power of nature to help marginalized individuals find direction. After spending five years in that field, Marlon realized his own passions and decided to pursue a career in Environmental Management. He is now in his second year of a Master’s Program in Environmental Policy and Management with a concentration in Data Analytics and Reporting. His aspirations are to create communities that utilize the environment as a force to build resilient economies and social wellbeing. Although the mountains are where Marlon feels most at home, California is a good fit for him because of his mutual love for the ocean. Dirt, snow, water, and trees are what make him feel alive!
Rubie Teffeteller

Rubie Teffeteller

Position: Project Manager
Host Site: Yosemite Sequoia Resource Conservation and Development Council and American Forests
Rubie Teffeteller will be working a one-year position with Yosemite Sequoia RCDC and American Forests out of North Fork through the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Grant Program. Her work will include collaborative project planning and prioritization for forest health restoration and biomass utilization.
Rubie Teffeteller will be working a one-year position with Yosemite Sequoia RCDC and American Forests out of North Fork through the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Grant Program. Her work will include collaborative project planning and prioritization for forest health restoration and biomass utilization. Originally from Pennsylvania, Rubie transplanted to Chico, CA in fall of 2018 to manifest her passions for environmental stewardship and positive change. She served an AmeriCorps term with Plumas National Forest through the SNAP program and accomplished a variety of work including environmental restoration, grant administration, and on the ground project implementation. Prior to her move, Rubie worked in plant pathology after graduating from Penn State Harrisburg with a B.S in Biology. Feeling deeply connected to the world around her, she is excited to strategically plan projects that will benefit the Sierra Nevada and strengthen her new, local community of North Fork and its surrounding areas. In collaboration with others, she plans to help improve forest resiliency and increase the capacity for land stewardship and socioeconomic growth in the regions of Madera, Mariposa, Tulare, and Fresno counties. In her spare time, Rubie enjoys cooking, traveling, live music, and all things outdoors. She has been a vegetarian for nearly a decade, is an undeniable animal lover, and can often be seen picking up strays on the sides of busy roads. No matter where she finds herself, she strives to be meaningful and firmly believes that every single individual can make a positive impact on the planet, no matter how big or small.
Thurman Roberts

Thurman Roberts

Position: Forest Restoration Program Liaison
Host Site: Calaveras Healthy Impact Product Solutions (CHIPS)
Thurman Roberts will continue working for Calaveras Healthy Impact Product Solutions, but in a new role as a Fellow, out of West Point and Woodfords through the Timber Regulation and Forest Restoration Fund. As a Fellow, Thurman will work on forest restoration project management and tribal community outreach and engagement for CHIPS’ continued triple bottom line programs.
Thurman grew up on the Eastern Slope of the Sierra Nevada on the Hung-A-Lel-Ti reservations of the Southern Band of the Washoe People. Not realizing his journey would ultimately be within the environmental realm, he attended college at Humboldt State University in Northern California on a path towards teaching. It was at HSU where he was a “Big Brother” to a local Native youth as part of the Indian Teacher Education Personnel Program or ITEPP, and where Thurman did health and education awareness outreach to local tribes. After fifteen years in Humboldt County he moved back to Hung-A-Lel-Ti to help his parents and see how he could help his small reservation. Within a year of returning Thurman learned of CHIPS’ triple bottom line approach of restoring the land, the local people, and local economies and was motivated to work with them for the past two years. He started as a crew member executing forest thinning projects, invasive plant removal, and trail, forest, aspen stand, and meadow restoration on the USFS Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Eventually Thurman also began doing payroll, accounts payable, and logging daily activities for a crew of 15 as a crew lead. Now as a Sierra Corps Fellow, he will hone his passions of community outreach, leadership development, community and forest health and education by reconnecting Native people to once again becoming Stewards of their traditional lands.
luis vidal

Luis Vidal

Position: Forest Restoration Fellow
Host Site: Eldorado National Forest and American Forests
Luis Vidal will be working a 10-month position with the Eldorado National Forest and American Forests out of Georgetown through the Timber Regulation and Forest Restoration Fund. Cash match for his position has been provided through a grant from the Bella Vista Foundation via American Forests. Luis's work will focus on reforestation efforts and regeneration research in the King Fire burn scar.
Luis was born in Lima, Peru and grew up in Northern Utah where he enjoyed running and road biking on country roads. During college he became interested in the natural sciences after adventuring on solo trips into the Great Salt Lake Desert. His interest in gaining an understanding the land and earth around him led to Luis graduating from the University of Utah with a B.S. in Geoscience in the summer of 2018. He then left for the hills in the Northern Sierra Nevada where he spent most of 2019 as a Natural Resource Assistant for the Plumas National Forest. There he discovered his passion for the Sierra Nevada along with his interest in forestry which he now pursues. Luis also enjoys traveling to historical sites, hot springs, and montane lakes. When not outside he enjoys reading books on science, philosophy, and classic literature.

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