our fellows 

 2020-2021 

Alexis Wilkman

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Alexis graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2017 with degrees in Biology and Philosophy. Following her graduation, she served with the Student Conservation Association Massachusetts AmeriCorps program as an environmental educator and trail steward. She then returned to her home in the San Francisco Bay Area to intern with the Point Blue Conservation Science STRAW (Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed) Program, where she discovered a passion for plants and the importance of California grasslands. Recently, she began pursuing her Master's in International Environmental Policy at the Middlebury Institute. Alexis will be serving with Sequoia Riverlands Trust in Visalia, where she will help monitor and manage rangeland to improve carbon sequestration and plant composition.

Sequoia Riverlands Trust 

Brian Pimentel

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Brian Pimentel is the Soil Health Technician for Placer County Resource Conservation District. He is responsible for providing technical assistance to local producers, conducting outreach with community members and landowners throughout the county, and creating a successful Healthy Soils Program. Brian recently graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems. In 2020, he was a recipient of the Golden Opportunity Scholar award by the ASA-CSA-SSA. He is passionate about helping facilitate local change and generate a more resilient and resistant food system. Professionally, he hopes to assist farmers with the social and agronomic constraints of regenerative agriculture production.

Placer County Resource Conservation District 

Bryce Hutchins 

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A native of Humboldt County, Bryce Hutchins graduated from the University of California, Berkeley (2020) with a dual degree in Ecosystem Management and Forestry and Conservation Resource Studies. His academic interests have focused on community-led resource development in Latin America. In his final year as an undergraduate, he conducted his honors thesis research on emerging carbon markets within forest communities of southern Chile. In California, Bryce has worked on multiple Berkeley-based research projects around California and with the Jackson Demonstration State Forest in Fort Bragg. He hopes to continue pursuing his interests in forest-based climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies and learning about the role of community participation in forest management in California. Outside of his professional interests, Bryce loves to photograph while backpacking through natural areas in South America and elsewhere. He also enjoys finding time to work in the garden and care for his abundant houseplants. He is excited to engage with the Mendocino community during his service year with the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District as a GrizzlyCorps Rural Climate Fellow.

Mendocino County Resource Conservation District

Delphine Griffith 

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Delphine is  a recent graduate of Sarah Lawrence College in New York where she studied Environmental Studies and Music. Through interdisciplinary explorations of landscapes, ecosystems, and human/nature interactions, Delphine studied the estuaries and brackish tidal marshes of the Hudson River, Caribbean coral reefs, and American Eel migrations, among many amazing experiences and research. She served as the sustainability senator for the undergraduate student senate and was involved in environmental clubs and positions on campus, spending just as much time with campus compost as she did the worms. After a transformative class on Food, Agriculture, Environment and Development, however, she became even more motivated to help improve the food and agricultural structures in our country (and the world). Delphine thinks the most effective way of restoring balance and prosperity to those structures is through regenerative practices and sustainable relationships to the land’s resources. In a world that will continue to see drastic and destructive impacts of climate change and settler-colonial land management malpractices, she believes that the work that is being done through GrizzlyCorps is essential. Returning to Northern California where she was born and raised, Delphine is excited to work for the McConnell Foundation in Redding as they develop the best practices to increase soil carbon in Northern California rangelands, informing sustainable agriculture and cattle grazing practices in the surrounding regions. Through community outreach and work towards creating fire-resilient communities by doing prescribed burns, her service year at the McConnell Foundation will equip her with the groundwork/tools to understand how regenerative agriculture and fire resiliency is applied and innovated in the midst of increasing impacts of the climate crisis. Delphine is so excited to see what this year has in store for the McConnell Foundation, herself, and GrizzlyCorps in general!

The McConnell Foundation

Elliot Grant 

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Elliot Grant received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a double major in Economics and Environmental Studies, concentrating in Agroecology. At U.C. Santa Cruz he worked for the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) as a student assistant at the Chadwick Garden. He is currently a GrizzlyCorps member placed with Sustainable Conservation, working on developing a healthy soils program for farmers in the San Joaquin Valley. Elliot was raised in Marin County and currently resides in Santa Cruz where he enjoys surfing and growing flowers.

San Joaquin Valley Sustainable Conservation

Grace Ferguson

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Grace Ferguson is spending her GrizzlyCorps service year working with the Yolo County Resource Conservation District based out of Woodland, California. With the Yolo RCD, she will be working on projects to improve wildlife habitat, reintroduce native species to agricultural areas, and educate the local public and landowners about the importance of biodiversity conservation and sustainable farming practices. Grace just graduated from the UC Berkeley Rausser College of Natural Resources in May of 2020 with a degree in Conservation and Resource Studies, focusing on Ecology and Management of California's terrestrial systems. Before joining GrizzlyCorps, she gained experience working as a research assistant with the Huntsinger Range Lab and Bowles Lab, both in RCNR, and as a Carbon Farming Intern with the East Bay Regional Parks District in Fremont. She is excited to be using her newfound skills and lifelong experience to give back to the community she was raised in.

Yolo County Resource Conservation District

Jacob McDaniel

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Jacob is excited to be serving at Sonoma Resource Conservation district during this GrizzlyCorps term. He will be working to increase climate resiliency and support implementation of regenerative agriculture practices among the RCD's partners. Jacob will be supporting the RCD's efforts around fuel reduction, post-fire restoration, their LandSmart programs, carbon farm planning, planning for healthy working forests, and pollinator habitat conservation. He holds a B.S. from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington where interdisciplinary learning allowed him to research agricultural soils, and focus his studies on botany, mycology, and ecology. He combines these skills with five years of experience working on diversified organic farms with both produce and livestock.

Sonoma County Resource Conservation District

Jason Landers

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Jason is the Forest Resilience Assessment and Outreach GrizzlyCorps Member at the El Dorado and Georgetown Divide Resource Conservation Districts located in Placerville, California. The goal of the RCD is to use a collaborative management approach to protect the water quality of the local communities and to reduce the scope and intensity of wildfire in the area. Jason works to increase the capacity of the RCD’s strategic partnerships, engage with community members, and implement projects. Prior to GrizzlyCorps, he worked at a food justice nonprofit called Food Forward where he played a key role in expanding the organization’s food recovery efforts while collaborating with volunteers, homeowners, and hunger relief organizations to get produce that would otherwise get thrown away into the hands of people who need it most. He also obtained a B.S. in Environmental Planning from Humboldt State University and worked for several environmental non-profits in northern California. He is currently pursuing a M.S. in Forest Sciences at Colorado State University. Jason is driven to work in service to other people, animals, and the planet. He is grateful to work with GrizzlyCorps and the El Dorado and Georgetown Divide Resource Conservation Districts to help improve forest and community resilience during a time of unprecedented socioeconomic and ecological crises. When he’s not working he can be found cooking delicious plant-based meals, reading by a river, or exploring mountains by foot or bike.

El Dorado Resource Conservation District

Jenna Waite 

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Jenna recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Political Science. At Berkeley, she discovered I wanted to use my passion for politics and policy to help the environment. She plans to get my master's in environmental policy after working for a few years. The GrizzlyCorps program piqued my interest because she wanted to work with environmental non-profits and programs and she was very excited to be placed with The McConnell Foundation in her hometown. Though Jenna wasn't originally planning on staying in my hometown after college, she couldn't let this opportunity go. She was happy to be placed with another member at The McConnell Foundation. Her main project revolves around rehabilitating hundreds of acres of rangeland that has been overtaken by weeds, sustainable agriculture and research, and community outreach. In addition, they will be working on carbon sequestration, soil health, and rotational grazing. Jenna plans to use this on-the-ground experience to continue to help the environment and inform future decisions to help slow down climate change.

The McConnell Foundation

Jessie Kanter 

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Jessie will be working with the University of California Cooperative Extension Small Farms and Specialty Crops program in Fresno County. She will work with small-scale diversified farms to identify and implement soil health and conservation practices, and assist with trainings on topics related to nonchemical weed management, beneficial insects for pest control, and use of equipment for compost application and cover crop seeding. Jessie is finishing a dual master's degree in International Agricultural Development and Soil Science from UC Davis as she transitions into her role as a Grizzly Corps member. She has always been interested in agriculture education and outreach. While in graduate school, Jessie worked to coordinate the internship program on the UC Davis Student Farm, worked with UC Cooperative Extension to conduct a statewide needs assessment for agronomic crop production, spent a summer in Cambodia to carry out a research project on soil management with the Royal University of Agriculture in Phnom Penh, and ran an elementary school garden club through Yolo Farm to Fork. Most recently, she worked as a field assistant for UCCE's Small and Organic Farms advisor in Yolo County and with the International Rescue Committee's urban farm in West Sacramento. Prior to coming to graduate school, Jessie worked on a couple of different small and diversified vegetable farms - she spent a year in Kigali, Rwanda working with Gardens for Health International and then helped operate a CSA on Gale Woods Farm in Minnetrista, Minnesota. She holds a B.A. in Biology and Environmental Science with a minor in Global Health from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

UC Cooperative Extension - Fresno County 

KM 

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Kathleen is serving with the Trinity County Resource Conservation District and graduated from UC Berkeley in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science (Biological). She is excited to gain professional experience in forest health management and community building to reduce local climate change impacts. Before joining GrizzyCorps, Kathleen worked in environmental planning and consulting and looks forward to applying her experience in a local government setting by assisting with County forest plan updates. In her free time (and sometimes during field work), she enjoys exploring public lands and new places.

Trinity County Resource Conservation District

Kestrel Grevatt

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Kestrel Grevatt is a GrizzlyCorps Fellow placed at Blodgett Forest Research Station, a Berkeley Forest site that is managed mainly for educational and research purposes. Kestrel will be working at Blodgett to contribute to forestry research and public outreach to promote prescribed burning and other resilient forestry techniques. Kestrel grew up in Vermont before attending the University of Southern California to get a B.S. in aerospace engineering, with the intention of decreasing aviation emissions, as her main passion has always been reducing human’s environmental and climate impacts. However, while in school she began working seasonally as a wildland firefighter for the US Forest Service and realized she had a passion for outdoors field work and forestry, so after graduation she accepted a position on the American River Hotshots based on the Tahoe NF. Working on forests throughout the US and seeing how profoundly wildfires impact communities and ecosystems inspired Kestrel to get involved in more long-term sustainable planning and prevention efforts, so she is very excited about GrizzlyCorps and the opportunity to contribute to climate change mitigation through this position at Blodgett. Kestrel is conscious of the fact that the US is a colonialist nation created through extreme violence towards Native peoples, and of the complexities and conflicting nature of land management for a country built on stolen lands. She believes it is critical for all land management stakeholders to work with Indigenous populations to incorporate their voices and rights.

Blodgett Forest Research Station

Kevin Price 

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Kevin Price is a GrizzlyCorps Fellow serving with the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment in Taylorsville, California. His service project is focused on developing natural resource programming with area partners including Sierra Institute staff, local teachers, and natural resource professionals to engage and inform the surrounding community about climate issues in the area and opportunities and ways in which we can address them. Kevin’s work will help to enhance the resilience of local communities by improving the capacity of students and residents to monitor the climate benefits of forest restoration. Kevin graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Psychology and has pursued opportunities in classroom and outdoor education. Prior to joining GrizzlyCorps, he spent a year abroad as an English teacher in Peru and substitute teaches. Kevin has also worked as an outdoor leader for middle and high school aged youth groups as well as a crew lead for the Sierra Institutes Plumas Conservation Restoration and Education in Watersheds (P-CREW) program which brings together youth ages fifteen to eighteen from rural and urban areas in working learner position that participate in collaborative projects with the United States Forest Service as well as other project partners.

Sierra Institute for Community and Environment

Liz McDonald

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Growing up in California's central valley, Liz recognized how agricultural practices and land management impacted the air, soil, and water quality around her. Through drought years and losing loved ones to Valley Fever, she became connected to the land and to understanding how we interact with it. Liz earned her degree in Earth Systems Science at the University of California, Merced. During her undergraduate career, Liz studied sustainability and environmental management abroad in New Zealand, and conservation biology in Costa Rica. Further, in her final year at university, she worked as the Campus Biologist Assistant, aiding in the monitoring and management of special status species on the Merced Vernal Pool and Grassland Reserve. Moving forward, Liz began looking to connect her technical background in ways that had practical, real-world implications. She was drawn to GrizzlyCorps because it offers a way to reach the folks who interact with and are most affected by California’s changing environment. Liz is completing my service year with the Upper Salinas-Las Tablas Resource Conservation District, connecting with landowners and working on Restoration projects, Carbon Farm Plans, and Irrigation System Evaluations.

Upper Salinas - Las Tablas Resource Conservation District

Madrona Quinn

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 Madrona grew up barefoot along the bayous and barrier islands of Coastal Mississippi. Her connection to the rich biodiversity there instilled a passion for environmental issues at an early age as she watched wetlands being developed throughout her childhood. She went on to study Environmental Sustainability at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Her senior thesis investigated the University’s development plans for sustainability issues and culminated in a community awareness campaign. Since graduating from Sewanee in 2016, she has served as a GIS technician for the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, a habitat restoration technician for the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, and as an outdoor educator in the Ojai Valley. She is a certified Wilderness First Responder and California Naturalist. She is also a certifiable van-dwelling vagrant and zero-waste fanatic. Madrona is serving at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center where she will help develop a regenerative grazing plan, a carbon farm plan, and prescribed burn plans. She is excited to support educational programs for children and adults on topics such as climate change, fire resiliency, and citizen science. She hopes to use her Americorps education award to begin post-graduate studies in Ecological Restoration.

Hopland Research & Extension Center (HREC)

Oia Walker-van Aalst

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Oia Walker-van Aalst earned a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies with a minor in CalTeach at UC Berkeley in 2020. Currently, Oia is serving as a GrizzlyCorps Fellow at the Marin Resource Conservation District (MRCD). In collaboration with its many partners, the MRCD is dedicated to providing services to the community related to riparian restoration, soil health, regenerative agriculture, and more. Prior to the MRCD, Oia held positions including research assistant at the Bowles Lab, board member at the Berkeley Student Food Collective, and science instructor for K-2nd graders. Oia is focused on promoting environmental justice and climate resiliency in equitable and systemic ways, building relationships in an interconnected world, and growing and cooking food for friends, family, and beyond.

Marin Resource Conservation District

Rachel Patteson 

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Rachel Patteson recently graduated from University College London with her M.Sc. in Earth Sciences and Paleoceanography. After getting accepted for a Ph.D., Rachel decided to defer her decision and volunteer throughout Southern France on permaculture farms. The weight of the global need for clean, sustainable, and equal access to natural systems and her time at the farms culminated in a desire to decline the academic route, and make a career switch that would turn her technical knowledge into applied change. Originally, Rachel grew up in Louisiana; impacted by Hurricane Katrina she wanted to learn more about Earth systems. For her B.Sc. at University of Missouri, she studied Soil, Environmental, and Atmospheric sciences. To gain holistic knowledge on Earth systems she combined her studies with research in Alaska on modeling sea ice melt, permafrost research in Yakutsk, Russia, and her work as a USDA soil microbiological technician and atmospheric research assistant at the University of Missouri. Now, she is wanting to aid and benefit communities impacted by worsening environmental crises and injustices. She believes that the heart of change is small-scale, community change; making big, global changes can start small and with our most essential needs. Where she wants to start is by ensuring equitable access to natural, clean, and sustainable food and water systems. Including, assisting farmers and local land-owners on techniques and projects that restore and conserve their land and therefore provide sustainable, natural food systems for the present and future. Rachel will be serving with East Merced Resource Conservation district and helping create and implement carbon farm plans and conservation projects as well as doing outreach and education.

East Merced Resource Conservation District

Rose Joseph

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Rose Joseph graduated from UC Berkeley this past May, where she studied Political Science and Human Rights. She is a fifth generation Californian with roots in agriculture reaching back four generations, and her family currently grows wine grapes in Sonoma County. During her time at Berkeley, she became interested in the politics of land, food systems, and climate change, particularly in the context of the global south. As Rose’s time at Berkeley progressed and as her family's vineyard faced the effects of drought and even had half of our land burned in a wildfire, she realized that she wanted to do more to address the significant challenges in how her home state manages its land and food systems especially in the context of a changing climate. She will be working with the Tehama County Resource Conservation District in Red Bluff, California. During her term of service, Rose will be working on projects ranging from the replanting of fish habitats along the Sacramento River to creating defensible space around the homes of vulnerable populations to creating Carbon Farm plans. She hopes to use these technical skills to pursue a career advocating for better land management and more equitable food systems both in California and globally. When not working, she is usually outdoors climbing on rocks, mountain biking, backpacking, and swimming in any body of water that crosses her path. Rose is beyond excited for this year of service!

Tehama County Resource Conservation District 

Rose Curley 

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Rose Curley is a 2020-21 GrizzlyCorps member, completing her 11-month term of service with Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) in Davis, CA. Rose has joined CAFF’s Climate Smart Farming team to support their on-farm research efforts, develop educational and extension resources for farmers, and facilitate farmer-to-farmer discussions on regenerative agriculture practices. Rose graduated from UC Berkeley in May with a degree in Molecular Environmental Biology and Food Systems. As an undergraduate, Rose was an honors research assistant in the Bowles Lab, studying the relationships between soil health and human health in agroecosystems. Rose also worked as a resident assistant for UC Berkeley ResLife and served as an intern at the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, CA. She was awarded the 2019-20 Bergeron Scholarship through the Cal New Experiences for Research and Diversity in Science program. Rose is from the foothills of the Central Valley of California and enjoys cooking, backpacking, and watercolor painting.

Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF)

Cayley Eller

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Cayley has worked in food systems and agriculture across California and Alaska through farm work, research, operations, and policy initiatives. Recently, she graduated with a Master’s of Science from Oregon Health & Science University, where her research emphasized the intersection of climate change, social equity, and agri-food systems. She aims to advance the coordination of food system and climate change planning across disciplines to mitigate the reproduction of inequities by climate instability.

GrizzlyCorps Improvement & Expansion Fellow

225 Bancroft Way               Tel: (510) 394-4089

 

Berkeley, CA 94720       

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As an AmeriCorps program, GrizzlyCorps is administered by CaliforniaVolunteers and sponsored by AmeriCorps.