Since 2009, SYRCL has partnered with the Sierra Nevada Alliance to form the Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP), a program in which AmeriCorps members assess and restore impaired watershed habitats and increase community stewardship by conducting watershed restoration and ecological monitoring, watershed education, and volunteer recruitment and support.
Each year these AmeriCorps members serve and protect the Sierra from October through September in different conservation organizations throughout the Sierra Nevada.
Our 2019/20 AmeriCorps team has completed their service with SYRCL. Jaclyn, Mary and Shannon graced the watershed with their hard work, smiles, and dedication to cleaning up, monitoring, and restoring the Yuba River.
We are excited to announce that Mary McDonnell will be joining SYRCL in a full-time staff role as our new Forest Conservation Coordinator. Over the past year, Mary has brought diligence and initiative to every task while sharing her impressive knowledge of Sierra Nevada ecology. She is excited to put her Forestry minor into practice engaging stakeholders in new forest health projects and leading our upcoming watershed-wide aspen assessment.
In addition, Shannon Hedge will be continuing on to serve another term as our Outreach & Education Coordinator. Shannon has shown a tremendous amount of dedication and enthusiasm in a time of significant transition in our River Ambassador, Outreach and Education programs. These programs typically offer dozens of in-person events through the spring, summer and fall seasons. Shannon has offered great support in re-visioning these programs and transitioning our offerings to engaging virtual opportunities.
Jaclyn has moved on to new watersheds. We will miss her and wish her the best in her next venture.
Please Join Us in Welcoming our New 2020/21 AmeriCorps Team Members:
Aliya Ingersoll & Kyle NcNeil
Aliya Ingersoll, AmeriCorps Restoration Coordinator
Aliya grew up in Nevada City, CA and spent her childhood backpacking with her family in the Sierra, swimming in the Yuba, and occasionally ditching class to go backcountry skiing with her dad after a good snowstorm.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the UC Santa Cruz, where she studied coevolution and mutualism between insects and plants in the John Thompson Laboratory. She fell in love with botany while completing a field research project on serpentine endemics in Big Sur, and she has since worked as a botanical technician and scientific communicator at Joshua Tree National Park and for the BLM throughout the sage steppe of eastern Oregon.
Aliya is delighted to be back in Nevada County working in the Yuba watershed with SYRCL, an organization that she has long admired. When not serving the Sierra, Aliya can be found gardening, playing her fiddle or banjo, baking bread, painting, tinkering with code projects, and dreaming of building a cobb house.
Kyle NcNeil, AmeriCorps River Monitoring Coordinator
Kyle grew up in the suburbs of Ventura County, CA. He moved to Davis for his undergraduate studies at UC Davis where he studied Environmental Science & Management and had a plethora of experiences in different research labs ranging from soil science, gut microbiota, environmental toxicity, to white abalone. During his time there, he also volunteered to reduce campus food waste and in his final year served as a coordinator for the 50th Annual Whole Earth Festival in 2019.
After graduating, Kyle moved to Sacramento, CA to work in stormwater permitting at the State Water Resources Control Board and volunteered at Effie Yeaw Nature Center helping to take care of the resident raptors and herps.
Kyle is excited to join our community organization focused on protection of the Yuba River watershed. In his free time, Kyle enjoys cooking, hiking, skiing, and playing board games with friends.
Mary McDonnell, Forest Conservation Coordinator
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 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.
Shannon Hedge, AmeriCorps Outreach & Education Coordinator
Shannon grew up in the suburbs around Houston, TX where she spent most days outside exploring anywhere where there was water. 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 education and 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 interacting directly with the community at SYRCL.
Outside of work, she can often be found cooking, crafting, or looking for frogs or other herps outside.