Caleb Dardick, Executive Director, (530) 265-5961 ext. 207
Caleb Dardick returned to Nevada County in 2011 from the Bay Area with over 18 years experience in community outreach and advocacy to serve as the South Yuba River Citizens League’s (SYRCL) executive director.
Raised in Nevada County with a love for the Yuba River, Caleb is pleased to lead SYRCL in fulfilling its mission to unite the community to protect and restore the Yuba River watershed. Whenever possible, Caleb, his wife Carolyn, and their puppy, Roxy, head down to the Yuba to hike, swim and picnic.
In the mid-1990s, Caleb moved to Berkeley and served as acting chief-of-staff and legislative aide in the Berkeley Mayor’s Office. He then worked in UC Berkeley’s Office of Community Relations before starting his own consulting firm in 2000.
For nearly a decade, Caleb provided public relations and public affairs consulting to a broad range of clients in business, government, the nonprofit sector and politics, and earned a reputation for integrity and diplomacy. Caleb secured political and community support for a diverse array of community-serving projects including the Ed Roberts Campus, a community center for people with disabilities, and the David Brower Center, a center for environmental nonprofits.
From 2009-2011, Caleb served as Director of Local Government and Community Relations for UC Berkeley’s Office of the Chancellor, where he facilitated positive community engagement in what has frequently been a challenging town-gown environment.
Caleb earned a B.A. in History with honors at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Gary Reedy, River Science Director, (530) 265-5961 ext. 208
Gary was raised in the Bay Area with a creek in the backyard. He’s always been inspired by the Sierra Nevada and considers that he may have “peaked” at 22 while guiding in Desolation Wilderness. After graduating from UC Davis in Dec. 1989, the young biologist sought knowledge in Alaska (after a celebrated full-winter at Squaw Valley). As a field ecologist, he cut his teeth while working for the University of Alaska investigating impacts of the Exxon Valdez on intertidal communities. He began to turn “fishy” while studying stream ecology at Oregon State. With a salmon icon on the shingle (and paddle), his interest focused. Gary lived on the Smith River for five years, conducting a variety of research to understand California’s healthiest salmon and steelhead populations, and obtaining an MS in Fisheries from Humboldt State. Gary has always enjoyed a mix of scientific study and citizen involvement. Before coming to SYRCL, he consulted for a variety of watershed groups and developed an information system for publically sharing watershed and fisheries data. He’s taught at College of the Redwoods and founded an ongoing volunteer-based fish survey program on the Smith River. Gary met his wife, Katrina, while kayaking. He also loves to swim, ski, climb and play with his kids. Give a wave if you see him biking around Nevada City.
Melinda Booth, Director of Development and Wild & Scenic Events, (530) 265-5961 ext. 202
Melinda Booth spent her early years growing up in Texas exploring the nearby woods and catching crawdads. A move to the Bay Area at age 9 and subsequent exploration of the vast natural diversity of California had her hooked on nature. A graduate of UC Davis in Environmental Biology, Melinda began her career with Defenders of Wildlife and became a passionate advocate for wildlife conservation. Interested in exploring other spectacular regions of our country, Melinda headed to the University of Montana, Missoula where she received an M.S. in Environmental Studies and completed her thesis on public attitudes toward management of black bears in an urban-wildland interface. The development component of her expertise began in earnest during grad school organizing fundraising events as a means to an end, and has since continued full-force. After grad school and prior to joining the SYRCL team, Melinda worked for the California Wolf Center (Julian, CA) raising funds for wolf conservation, research and education; and for the Sequoia Park Zoo Foundation (Eureka, CA) furthering the education and conservation mission of a 21st Century zoo. While in Humboldt County, Melinda concurrently taught environmental grant writing at Humboldt State University. When not working, Melinda enjoys extreme tubing, hiking with her husband and two dogs, home improvement projects and dreaming of the garden she will have one day soon.
Miriam Limov, River People Manager, (530) 265-5961 ext. 201
Miriam Limov is a Chicagoan but while working in Yosemite National Park, she discovered her passion for the wilderness. She graduated with a degree in water quality engineering from Humboldt State University and taught for 10 years fitness, Nordic skiing and backpacking courses for Sierra College. After 17 years of volunteering for SYRCL, she is now enjoying the opportunity to put all of her energy into SYRCL’s efforts. As the River People Coordinator, she is busy organizing SYRCL’s events and coordinating the marvelous volunteers that SYRCL is lucky to have. Miriam’s favorite place to be is outdoors with her husband, Joe, and daughters Hannah and Abby, dog (Tucker), and friends either hiking, backpacking, fishing, or skiing! You will likely find her in the office listening to music with a plate of pumpkin chocolate chip, butterscotch chip cookies for you to enjoy!
Lori Van Laanen, Film Festival On Tour Senior Manager, (530) 265-5961 ext. 204
Lori Van Laanen has claimed Nevada County as home for the past twenty-six years although half of those years she has lived abroad in Japan and India. In 2009, Lori moved home with her family and began volunteering at SYRCL as a way to support the river she loves and as a means to reconnect with the community. Now in her role as Associate Producer of Wild & Scenic Events she gets to concentrate on the nationwide tour of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, which reaches over 100 venues per year.
Jerry Dion, Restoration Projects Manager, (530) 265-5961 ext. 205
Jerry is an applied ecologist with 16 years of experience in solving environmental problems. His experience ranges from the large-scale regional programmatic planning of restoration projects to the design of specific riparian areas. He has also worked in both the private and public sectors understanding the needs and requirements of both arenas. Jerry has also taken his experience in landscape ecology and focused his GIS experience on the graphical display of information and analysis. By approaching environmental issues from both a scientific and a design method, he is able to collaborate with other designers to develop high quality solutions.
Jane Theobald, Administrative Assistant, (530) 265-5961 ext. 210
Jane arrived in Nevada City just in time for the last film festival and has been involved with SYRCL ever since. She is absolutely delighted to be a part of this great organization and it has made her feel even more welcome in this community.
Jane comes from Cornwall, England, and both she and her spaniel are still making the transition from living by the ocean to living amongst trees! She has previously been a jeweler and a teacher and is mum to three fabulous extraordinary children.
As a jewelry and silversmithing teacher she always encouraged her students to be particularly aware of the negative effects of mining for precious metals and gems, so she feels that working with SYRCL has brought those interests full circle.
Sarah Phillips, River Science Program Assistant, (530) 265-5961 ext. 211
Born and raised as a southern girl, Sarah spent her first twenty years throughout the Southeast of the country, mostly in Atlanta, Georgia. She began her studies at Kennesaw State University, in Georgia, accomplishing her general education so that she could then transfer to a school that actually had an undergraduate program in Environmental Studies. At age 20, she ventured out to Northern California to find home sweet home, and to eventually finish her degree at Sonoma State University in Environmental Studies and Planning, concentrating in Restoration and Conservation with a minor in Biology. This broad degree allowed her ample room to intern in very diverse realms of Environmentalism. One example included working for Petaluma Bounty, a non-profit sustainable farm in Sonoma County that provides affordable, organic produce to low-income families. Recently, Sarah has had the honor of working with The Amazon Mycorenewal Project team in Lago Agrio, Ecuador. The main focus being to train and build healthy ties with indigenous peoples in effort to using mushrooms to remediate (Mycoremediation) petroleum-contaminated lands from Texaco-Chevron’s mess since the 1960’s.
Within the last year and a half, Sarah left the Bay Area to return to Nevada City, volunteering her services to SYRCL in any way fit. She is beyond excited to take on this new position through the AmeriCorps SNAP Program in serving SYRCL’s greater needs as their new Watershed Coordinator Specialist. She looks forward to getting to know the community in addition to restoring the Yuba Watershed one step at a time, for the overall greater good of the Yuba River and its tributaries.
Sari Hale-Alper, Development Assistant, (530) 265-5961 ext. 212
Sari is a suburban girl from South Jersey who spent the last ten years as an urban denizen, harbors dreams of rural farm life, and is currently enjoying living in small town California.
She attended Wellesley College in Massachusetts where she danced Ballet Folklorico, worked for Wellesley’s Board of Trustees, and graduated with majors in Anthropology and Spanish. She also spent a year living in Córdoba, Spain, taking classes at the local university and volunteering with a Red Cross needle exchange program. After college, Sari worked for two years as the Development Associate at the Carter Burden Center for the Aging, a social service agency in New York City. She then continued her academic training at Arizona State University and earned a Masters in Anthropology. After several years teaching courses on gender, ethnicity, and cultural diversity at various colleges in the Phoenix area, she decided it was time for a change and moved to Grass Valley, CA.
Her current pastimes include experimenting with permaculture techniques in her in-laws’ backyard, learning how to knit, and training for a 10K. She will make you the best potato latkes this side of the Mississippi, and as a former canoe instructor, can show you how to tell the bow from the stern (hint: you ‘bow’ forward).
Estrella Acosta, Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour Manager, (530) 265-5961 ext. 217
Estrella Acosta has lived in Nevada County for the last thirteen years with her son, Jeremiah. She spent her early years as a flower-child on the California coast in Big Sur and Mendocino soaking up the values of her health-loving, nature-loving parents. Majoring in the Latin American Studies program at the University of New Mexico sparked her social justice fires and cemented her love for the American West. Since then she has lived in Austin, Boise, Honolulu, and Santa Barbara. Everywhere she goes she loves tracking down the local swimming holes, hikes with the best views, favorite local wineries, best restaurants, and organic farms. She is thrilled to call Nevada City home with the Yuba River, wonderful scenic cycling routes, the Pacific Crest Trail and great skiing all in the same neighborhood. Since arriving in Nevada City she has worked for The Wild Duck Review: An Eco-Literary Journal , the New Moon Café—a favorite local restaurant specializing in local and sustainable foods, and the John Woolman School– a Quaker school teaching peace, justice & sustainability to high school students from across the country. She also produced a radio documentary with KVMR, the local community radio station– Blood, Gold, & Medicine: Healing Maidu Country. Working for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour is a dream job for Estrella. She loves documentaries in all genres‑-literature, radio, film –and is proud to be helping inspire activism across the country.
Adele Rife, AmeriCorps Member: Restoration Coordinator, (530) 265-5961 ext. 218
Adele was born and raised in Texas. In Texas, she grew up exploring the outdoors while fishing and camping with her family. She recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Geography and the Environment, where her love of the environment and her professors spurred her in the right direction. Adele was lucky enough to study abroad twice during her undergrad, in Mexico and in Chile, and loves to travel and practice her Spanish. During her studies, she discovered her passion for rivers and focused on fluvial geomorphology and river science. She completed an honors thesis entitled “Deforestation Impacts on Fluvial Systems in the Amazon River Basin.” Adele plans to continue her studies with graduate school in the near future.
Adele is very excited for her introduction into the environmental and river science professional field at SYRCL. She feels truly fortunate to begin a new chapter as the Restoration Coordinator at SYRCL and be a SNAP member for the 2013 year. Adele is very enthusiastic to get outdoors and experience the Yuba River and Sierra Nevada first hand with like-minded people!
Andrew Collins-Anderson, AmeriCorps Member: Stewardship Coordinator, (530) 265-5961 ext. 209
Andrew is very pleased to bring his passions for environmental stewardship and community building back to the South Yuba River. As a Nevada City native, he was inspired at a young age by the diverse forests and pristine rivers of the foothills to the Sierra Nevada.
Andrew graduated in 2010 with a degree in Environmental Science with a concentration in Ethics from Humboldt State University. He graduated with skills and great interest in community organizing, sustainable agriculture, water advocacy and alternative living practices. Andrew was President of the Civil Liberties Defense Center Humboldt Chapter, Co-founder of the Blue Lake Community Farmers and an active community member while in college.
After graduating he volunteered for several environmental groups across the country. Andrew volunteered for the Meg Perry Center for Environmental Peace and Justice in New Orleans after the BP oil spill. He also spent a month in Montana with the Buffalo Field Campaign to help protect the sacred and last 3,700 wild Buffalo.
In Nevada City Andrew has worked as an organic farmer, plays bass in his band Ghost Pines, works to bring diversity and resilience to the area, and is very excited to expand his commitment to the community and the amazing Yuba.
Marianne Pott, AmeriCorps Member: River Monitoring Coordinator, (530) 265-5961 ext. 213
Growing up in Midwest made Marianne long for the mountains, forests, rocks, and streams that she glimpsed on family vacations to the Appalachian Mountains. She joined a venture crew in high school so she could return to those areas and camp, mountain bike, raft, and kayak. Such experiences instilled in her a deep connection to the natural world and an eagerness to learn all about it.
That eagerness brought her to Valparaiso University in NW Indiana. While not studying for her B.S. in environmental sciences, Marianne spent her time playing in the dunes along Lake Michigan and kayaking the remains of the Grand Kankakee Marsh. Summers afforded her the excitement of escaping the Midwest and working in other parts of the country. She researched brackish marsh communities of coastal Louisiana at the National Wetlands Research Center and tidal wetlands of the Hudson River Valley in upstate New York.
After graduating, she continued her track in the watershed field with a position as a water quality analyst for a county government outside Seattle. A job in Montana working with a citizen-based watershed group and a statewide water education organization allowed her to sustain her stay in the west.
Marianne is very excited to be serving at SYRCL as the 2013 SNAP River Monitoring Coordinator. She looks forward to learning about the area’s history, exploring the Sierra Nevada, and connecting people with the incredible Yuba River!