Meet the Staff

Administration

Melinda Booth, Executive Director

Melinda has been SYRCL’s Executive Director since 2017, after having served as Director of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival since 2011. Melinda brings more than 18 years of experience in environmental conservation and advocacy to her leadership.

Email Melinda  |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 202

Melinda has been SYRCL’s Executive Director since 2017, after having served as Director of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival since 2011. Melinda brings more than 18 years of experience in environmental conservation and advocacy to her leadership. Before joining SYRCL, she focused her career on saving iconic species like bears, wolves, and salmon in the American West. At Defenders of Wildlife, she led campaigns to keep bears alive and wild in the Tahoe basin and helped reintroduce the California Condor back to the wild. As Development Manager at the California Wolf Center, Melinda led education, conservation and research on the North American gray wolf, and specifically the reintroduction of Mexican gray wolves to the Southwest. Her passion for wildlife eventually drew her to the Sequoia Park Zoo Foundation where she served as Development Director, securing millions of dollars for their red panda habitat and an award-winning Native Predator exhibit featuring river otter, bald eagle, and salmon.

Melinda holds a MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, where she studied human-bear interactions in the wildland urban interface. Her publications span scientific journals, periodicals, and books. On a personal note, the Yuba River is central to Melinda’s everyday life. She and her husband live on a small slice of land overlooking the South Yuba. Not only is she professionally motivated to protect and restore the Yuba River watershed, she is also personally invested as a Yuba River homeowner.

Andrea Mason, Finance and Administration Director

Andrea, a Nevada County resident since birth, joined our team as the Finance Manager in October 2017. Having worked in accounting offices since she was 18, Andrea found that she had a natural affinity for numbers and appreciated the orderliness which only a cleanly balanced set of books can produce. 

Email Andrea  |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 206

Andrea, a Nevada County resident since birth, joined our team as the Finance Manager in October 2017. Having worked in accounting offices since she was 18, Andrea found she had a natural affinity for numbers and appreciated the orderliness which only a cleanly balanced set of books can produce.

In 2006 she pursued her BA in Accounting from University of Phoenix, graduating in 2009. At the same time, she was working for a Nevada City firm as their Quality Control Manager, ensuring accuracy and compliance on income tax returns and accounting projects.

Andrea brings with her a broad knowledge base, a commitment to excellence, a prodigious attention to detail, and a dedication to serving the people of the community she lives in and loves. In her free time, Andrea enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, painting, wine-tasting, and book collecting.

Development & Membership

Julie Pokrandt, Development Director

After graduate school, Julie became the first executive director for a wildlife rehabilitation group in San Diego. There she saw first-hand how devastating habitat loss can be, especially for raptors and songbirds.

Email Julie  |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 214

After graduate school, Julie became the first executive director for a wildlife rehabilitation group in San Diego. There she saw first-hand how devastating habitat loss can be, especially for raptors and songbirds. Urban areas, where streams and wetlands are often sacrificed to development, are tough on wildlife and this inspired her to make a change. She moved to northern California to help put habitat back in the ground and joined a river habitat restoration organization. There, as the development director, she helped recruit members and educate the public on how river systems and riparian areas not only benefit birds, fish and mammals, but people and whole communities too. After working in Tucson with a national environmental organization dedicated to protecting endangered species, Julie is pleased to be back in California and be a part of SYRCL. She and her partner Matthew love rivers, and are looking for their next canoe so they can get back on the water.

Tony LeVeaux, Membership Associate

Tony grew up Arizona. There he was emersed in the natural deserts of the Southwest.  A creative, he felt at home with local artists and actors.  A self-proclaimed science nerd, he was always attracted to natural sciences, eating up Earth Science and Biology courses with pleasure. In addition to serving as an officer in his high school Thespian Troupe, he became an eco-activist and was an officer in the Environmental Club.  Often as a young adult, he found himself in community leadership roles, advocating at city council meetings to save the arts and protect the environment. He participated in encouraging recycling programs, promoting green building, and cleaning up highways through the adopt a highway program.

Email Tony  |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 210

Tony grew up Arizona. There he was emersed in the natural deserts of the Southwest.  A creative, he felt at home with local artists and actors.  A self-proclaimed science nerd, he was always attracted to natural sciences, eating up Earth Science and Biology courses with pleasure. In addition to serving as an officer in his high school Thespian Troupe, he became an eco-activist and was an officer in the Environmental Club.  Often as a young adult, he found himself in community leadership roles, advocating at city council meetings to save the arts and protect the environment. He participated in encouraging recycling programs, promoting green building, and cleaning up highways through the adopt a highway program.

Tony entered the nonprofit world in the early 2000s. With good mentorship and his own determination, he has become a seasoned membership professional.  Learning that collaboration is the key to advancing ideas, Tony enjoys working at the intersection of sectors. He loves creating partnerships and happily liaises to bring the right people together. 

Unfortunately, the greater Phoenix metropolitan area’s urban sprawl ate away at a once vibrant ecosystem, forcing wildlife out and transforming desert landscapes into heat islands.  Eventually, increasing temperatures and poor urban planning took away Tony’s childhood home in the desert.  Seeking respite from climate change, Tony relocated to the Bay area and eventually settled in Grass Valley by 2010. 

It wouldn’t be long before he became familiar with the Yuba River and all that the watershed region has to offer.   Tony recognizes the challenges the region faces and decided to leave his work supporting the arts and lend his skills and passion to SYRCL.  He is excited to advance the mission of SYRCL and help save the Yuba.

Watershed Science

Aaron Zettler-Mann, Watershed Science Director

Aaron grew up swimming and playing in the creeks and rivers near his coastal home in a small town in Humboldt County. Predictably, he found his way to working as a raft guide. He was a raft guide on rivers throughout the Sierra Nevada for nearly ten years.

Email Aaron  |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 221

Aaron grew up swimming and playing in the creeks and rivers near his coastal home in a small town in Humboldt County.

Predictably, he found his way to working as a raft guide. He was a raft guide on rivers throughout the Sierra Nevada for nearly ten years, and even met his wife (also a guide) while working on the South Fork of the American. In addition to guiding, Aaron worked ski patrol and construction. After many years playing and working seasonally, the future began to call.

Aaron is a Geographer at heart. He has completed three degrees in Geography; a BA at the University of Colorado at Boulder, a MA at the University of Denver, and a PhD at the University of Oregon. His academic training and research are in fluvial geomorphology and remote sensing. Aaron has taught a variety of courses including remote sensing, geomorphology, climatology, and geographic information systems. In addition, he has been involved in river research projects across the western US, and internationally. Aaron’s drive to protect and improve the health of the West’s watersheds led him to SYRCL. As Watershed Science Director, he will work closely with the community, government, and private entities to develop, implement, and monitor restoration efforts across the Yuba River watershed.

When not working, Aaron can almost certainly be found outdoors playing on the water with his wife. Whitewater kayaking and rafting, skiing, surfing, and mountain biking keep Aaron busy year-round. Aaron also enjoys cooking and baking.

Alecia Weisman, Watershed Science Program Manager

Growing up in North Georgia and Florida, Alecia had an eventful childhood full of creek hikes and beach visits. Her love for water has been a central theme in her life.

Email Alecia  |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 224

Growing up in North Georgia and Florida, Alecia had an eventful childhood full of creek hikes and beach visits. Her love for water has been a central theme in her life.

Alecia received her BS in Environmental Science from the University of Florida. As an Undergraduate researcher, she studied the relationship between Acacia trees and elephants in Chobe National Park, Botswana. Moving out west in 2009, Alecia worked with the Bureau of Land Management as a Conservation Land Management Intern in Pinedale, WY. While in Pinedale, she explored the Wind River Mountain Range and discovered her love of montane landscapes. Continuing further west, Alecia settled in Nevada County before attending Graduate school at The University of Nevada Reno.  During her graduate program, she managed the Castle Lake Limnological Laboratory in Mt. Shasta. Her graduate research had two facets: 1) she investigated community respiration rates in near-shore and open water habitats in lakes across a trophic gradient, and 2) she studied the response of community respiration to nutrient loading in Lake Atitlan, a deep, high elevation lake in Guatemala. Earning her MS degree in Hydrology, Alecia graduated in 2014, receiving the Outstanding Graduate Student Award.

Working with SYRCL, Alecia can be found heading up meadow restoration projects, helping out with the River Education Program and diving into datasets that tell a story about the amazing Yuba River. Outside of work, she enjoys yoga, mountain biking, stand up paddle boarding, gardening and exploring with her 2 German/Belgian Shepherds.

Kat Perlman, Forest Conservation Program Manager

Kat hails from north Georgia, where she grew up exploring the lush and vibrant forests of the Piedmont with her family and friends. She attended the University of Georgia and earned her BS in Wildlife Biology in 2011, where she focused her undergraduate studies on field and tropical ornithology.

Email Kat  |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 211

Kat hails from north Georgia, where she grew up exploring the lush and vibrant forests of the Piedmont with her family and friends. She attended the University of Georgia and earned her BS in Wildlife Biology in 2011, where she focused her undergraduate studies on field and tropical ornithology. She fell in love with natural resources and wildlife field work, and spent several years working as a tree surveyor and stream technician with the USGS.

Kat moved west in 2015 to attend graduate school at Oregon State University, where she earned her MS in Geography researching wildlife resource competition with a focus on northern spotted and barred owls. She then spent several years as a wildlife field technician, working throughout the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, and Argentina. Kat worked as a wildlife tech with the Forest Service on the Eldorado National Forest in 2020 and fell in love with the magical Sierra Nevada landscape. She then served as the lead wildlife technician on the Tahoe National Forest before joining the SYRCL team as the Forest Conservation Program Manager. Kat is thrilled to contribute her knowledge and experience to developing innovative means of managing our forestlands for health and resilience in a changing world.

Beyond her role with SYRCL, Kat enjoys hiking and backpacking all over the west coast, working in her garden, and cooking and eating local fresh foods every chance she gets.

Anne Marie Holt, Forest Conservation Project Manager

Anne Marie grew up in nearby Auburn and developed a love of the outdoors from a young age with the local river and mountains as her playground.

Email Anne Marie |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 216

Anne Marie grew up in nearby Auburn and developed a love of the outdoors from a young age with the local river and mountains as her playground.

For her bachelors she left California to study at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, where she received her BS in Zoology. After completing her undergraduate studies, Anne Marie moved back to the Sacramento area and worked for the California Department of Food and Agriculture in their Pest Detection and Emergency projects program.

For her graduate studies she attended Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands earning her MS in Biology with a focus on Ecology and Biodiversity.  During her time there her graduate research was comprised of two areas: 1) the distribution of vegetation in the India Muerta Wetlands in Uruguay as a remote sensory study, and 2) a remote methodology for a linguistic and ethnobotanical plant identification project in Guyana. After her studies, she came back to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and can now be found hiking and climbing in the summer and backcountry skiing and camping in the winter.  In SYRCL’s Forest Health program, Anne Marie’s role as the Forest Conservation Project Manager is often out in the field working on forest health assessments in the Yuba Watershed or researching new ways of managing forests for resiliency.

Danielle Conway, Fish Biologist

A California native, Danielle spent much of her time as she grew up exploring the Sierra Nevada foothills and mountains. The flora and fauna that inhabited these wild spaces inspired her to pursue a career in wildlife biology.

Email Danielle |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 229

A California native, Danielle spent much of her time as she grew up exploring the Sierra Nevada foothills and mountains. The flora and fauna that inhabited these wild spaces inspired her to pursue a career in wildlife biology. Danielle attended the University of California, Davis where she earned a degree in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology. After graduating, she discovered her passion for anadromous fisheries conservation and has worked on a variety of monitoring and research projects throughout California’s Central Valley. In her role as Fish Biologist with SYRCL, she is excited to channel her efforts in protecting the native fish populations of the Yuba River watershed.

Outside of work, Danielle finds joy in hiking, practicing yoga, rock climbing, cooking, and spending time on the river.

Kyle McNeil, Ecohydrologist

Kyle grew up in the suburbs of Ventura County, CA. He moved to Davis for his undergraduate studies at UC Davis where he studies Environmental Science & Management.

Email Kyle |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 213

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.

Wrenn Cleary, AmeriCorps Monitoring Coordinator

Wrenn comes to SYRCL from Virginia, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. She enjoyed spending time in the Shenandoah National Park hiking and learning about the watershed, which inspired her to pursue a career in the water field. 

Email Wrenn|  (530) 265-5961 ext. 205

Wrenn comes to SYRCL from Virginia, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. She enjoyed spending time in the Shenandoah National Park hiking and learning about the watershed, which inspired her to pursue a career in the water field. Her thesis focused on the effects of a small-scale dam removal project. After graduating, she worked in both Arkansas and Greece, but is now excited to explore the Sierra and spend as much time as possible in the river.
In her off time, she enjoys backpacking and is looking forward to figuring out how to ski.

Summer Driscoll, AmeriCorps Restoration Coordinator

Summer grew up on the beautiful redwood coast of Humboldt enjoying forest and beach hikes. Her passion for nature lead her to UC Santa Cruz where she got her B.S. in Plant Science.

Email Summer |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 208

Summer grew up in beautiful, wild Humboldt County swimming in the rivers or hiking in the redwood forest. Her passion for nature ignited, she went to UC Santa Cruz to study plant science. During her time with UCSC Summer enjoyed volunteering in the greenhouses and interning with the UC Natural reserve in nearby Fort Ord. She focused on Cordylanthus rigidus ssp. littoralis, Seaside Bird’s-beak, working with the UCNR on mitigation efforts and sequencing its chloroplast genome. After getting her B.S. in plant science Summer worked at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and is now excited to be working with SYRCL and SNAP as a restoration coordinator.

In her free time, she is on the Board of Directors of her community center, hikes, knits, and researches fire ecology and indigenous foraging practices.

River People - Advocacy, Communications, Outreach, and Education

Daniel Elkin, Communications & Engagement Director

Daniel has lived in Nevada County for over two decades, spending the majority of that time in education, having been a high school English teacher and school director. 

Email Daniel  |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 220

Daniel became our Communications and Engagement Director in 2022. He has lived in Nevada County for over two decades, spending the majority of that time in education, having been a high school English teacher and school director. Daniel has also run his own marketing company and, in 2019, started Fieldmouse Press, a non-profit publishing company here in Grass Valley.

Daniel received his BA in English at Skidmore College and his teaching credential from California State University Sacramento. He brings to the Communications and Engagement Director position his attention to detail, creativity, affability, and storytelling abilities. In his free time, Daniel can be found spending time with his partner, their two dogs and cat, a good book, and a delicious sandwich.

Maddie Davis, Community Engagement Manager

Maddie grew up in Nevada County and spent her formative years exploring the Yuba Watershed and visiting the vast natural landscapes of California.

Email Maddie  |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 201

Maddie grew up in Nevada County and spent her childhood exploring the Yuba and the vast natural landscapes of California. During her time as a student at the Yuba River Charter School, she learned about local ecology and wildlife and grew highly motivated to educate herself and peers about climate change.

She graduated in 2018 from Mills College with a BA in Sociology. She focused her studies on restorative justice in education and environmental racism, ever interested in how people and systems interact. Upon graduation, she joined the development department at Mills where she organized volunteers, fundraised, and managed a telephone outreach program. She is delighted to be a part of the SYRCL team and support the protection and restoration of the Yuba Watershed.

In her free time, Maddie enjoys reading, writing, roller-skating, going for nature walks, and spending time with her pets.

Monique Streit,
River Education Manager

Growing up in Grand Canyon National Park, Monique’s connection to nature was cultivated at a young age by exploring the forest and canyon that lay outside her backdoor.

Email Monique  |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 218

Growing up in Grand Canyon National Park, Monique’s connection to nature was cultivated at a young age by exploring the forest and canyon that lied outside her backdoor. Early on, she was inspired to learn about the rivers, trees, rocks, flowers, and animals in her surroundings, which taught her the importance of protecting our natural resources. Monique found that through education she can share her love of the outdoors but can also teach others how they can be active environmental stewards.

Monique earned her BS in Elementary Education and went on to teach 4th grade in Flagstaff, AZ. Through incorporating environmental education into her classroom as much as possible, she decided to change career paths. Monique earned her MS in Environmental Education and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Southern Oregon University. She is particularly interested in providing students the skills, knowledge, and tools they need to make informed and sustainable decisions that will positively impact their community. She believes this can be achieved through hands-on, experiential outdoor learning opportunities. She is thrilled to join the SYRCL team and continue to give students meaningful environmental education experiences throughout the Yuba watershed.

In her free time, Monique enjoys exploring her natural surroundings, whether that means hiking, camping, backpacking, or floating down a river. She is excited to explore the Sierra Nevada and find the best places to sit back, relax, and soak up the breathtaking views.

Gianna Setoudeh, Policy Director

Gianna resides in Fair Oaks and spends much of her free time at the river, lake or beach capturing California’s immense beauty with her camera or paintbrush. She grew up taking summer trips to the mountains and the beach with her family, where she cultivated her love for nature and the outdoors.

Email Gianna |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 203

Gianna resides in Fair Oaks and spends much of her free time at the river, lake or beach capturing California’s immense beauty with her camera or paintbrush. She grew up taking summer trips to the mountains and the beach with her family, where she cultivated her love for nature and the outdoors.

A California native, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from California State University Sacramento and has strong experience in the government relations space, with expertise in the functions of the California State Legislature, Administration and state agencies. Prior to joining SYRCL, she worked for a nationally recognized law firm with a robust natural resource and environmental practice where she served as a legislative advocate on a multitude of issues and gained a strong interest in water policy. At SYRCL, she will lead the organization’s advocacy efforts by engaging in federal, state and local issues and policies to ensure SYRCL member’s voices are heard.

Gianna loves nature photography, hiking, picnics with her cat, and creating art inspired by nature.

Joe Gillespie, Digital Media Specialist

Born in Alaska, Joe spent his early childhood camping and exploring the outdoors with his family. He attended Sacramento State University where he earned a BA in English. After graduating, he’s worked as a Reporter, Website Designer and Ecommerce Copywriter. He and his wife love the river and make sure to jump in at least three times a week.

Email Joe  |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 219

Cynthia Ruelas, AmeriCorps Education and Outreach Coordinator

Cynthia Ruelas grew up in Los Angeles, CA. Growing up in the city did not come with too many nature opportunities. She took her first trip camping to Yosemite National Park right after graduating from High School. Spending time in nature for the first time, she was mesmerized by the beauty of what National Parks had to offer. 

Email Cynthia  |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 212

Cynthia Ruelas grew up in Los Angeles, CA. Growing up in the city did not come with too many nature opportunities. She took her first trip camping to Yosemite National Park right after graduating from High School. Spending time in nature for the first time, she was mesmerized by the beauty of what National Parks had to offer. She became obsessed with learning more about National Parks and planning more trips to visit them all. She attended Cal Poly Humboldt, graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Science Management with a Focus in Environmental Education and Interpretation. She has been working with kids teaching environmental education, working at after school programs, as a nanny, and a tutor for ten years. Aside from her work experience, she loves to go paddleboarding, hiking, swimming in the Yuba River, and traveling. 

Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Lívia Campos de Menezes, Film Festival Director

Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, Lívia is passionate about films and their power to raise awareness for issues that matter. Having a bachelor’s in International Relations and a master’s in History, she spent 6 years working in operations and market research before pivoting her career to work in the film industry.

Email Lívia  |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 230

Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, Lívia is passionate about films and their power to raise awareness for issues that matter. Having a bachelor’s in International Relations and a master’s in History, she spent 6 years working in operations and market research before pivoting her career to work in the film industry.

In 2014, Lívia returned to school to study Screenwriting and realized that, besides writing her stories, she liked helping others implement their creative visions. With that in mind, she moved to the United States, where she got an MFA in Creative Producing at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

After graduating in 2018, Lívia moved to San Francisco and often traveled to assume her seasonal film festival positions. Now, she is excited about settling down in Nevada City and joining the WSFF team to bring the festival back to the theaters in 2022!

Eric Dunn, Film Festival Producer

Growing up in the Midwest, Eric’s love of nature and waterways was established early at a summer camp with a focus on extended wilderness tripping in the north woods.

Email Eric  |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 223

Growing up in the Midwest, Eric’s love of nature and waterways was established early at a summer camp with a focus on extended wilderness tripping in the north woods. After crafting his own unique degree at The Ohio State University, Eric began his professional career with over a decade of experiences managing and booking musicians at high profile events around the globe. Following years of life in the Midwest he relocated to the Nevada City region in 2012. Over the past 7 years Eric was the owner & manager of an award-winning essential oils and aromatherapy products company with his partner of 16 years. Eric brings with him to Wild & Scenic a deep well of experience in logistics, marketing, & sales.  

Today Eric continues to be an avid outdoorsman. He is an enthusiastic photographer, especially long exposure and astrophotography. He enjoys sharing his vision and the natural beauty of our earth to help connect others in appreciation and gratitude for the natural world. In his spare time Eric enjoys getting outside and exploring the region with his wife & dog in a variety of ways including hiking, camping, canoeing, skiing, & soaking in hot springs. 

Theresa Huck, On Tour Sales Manager

Theresa attended her first Wild and Scenic Film Festival in 2008 and it changed her entire life. Growing up in California and traveling all over has given her an immense love of nature and the environment.

Email Theresa  |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 204

Theresa attended her first Wild and Scenic Film Festival in 2008 and it changed her entire life. An avid camper and a fish in a previous life, she fell in love with the Yuba River and describes it as a spiritual experience. Growing up in California and traveling all over has given her an immense love of nature and the environment.

Theresa brings a lifetime of sales experience to the Wild and Scenic Film Festival team. As a social entrepreneur, her goal is to use Wild and Scenic On Tour as her voice for change. She considers her position as Sales Associate to be a dream come true. Her intention is to use her extensive experience in sales, business management and public relations combined with her passion for the environment, to grow SYRCL’S Wild and Scenic On Tour Program.

Lucy Logsdon, On Tour Events Program Manager

A Colorado native, Lucy moved to California and has spent most of her life exploring wild spaces. With a degree in Environmental Studies, her passion for environmental protection and nature photography both inform her advocacy work.

Email Lucy  |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 232

A Colorado native, Lucy moved to California and has spent most of her life exploring wild spaces. With a degree in Environmental Studies, her passion for environmental protection and nature photography both inform her advocacy work.

Lucy has centered conservation and the environment throughout her career. She has extensive experience in the documentary film industry, from production to distribution, as well as in the nonprofit sector. For the last 3 years Lucy has been an On Tour Host for Wild & Scenic and she is excited to bring an insider’s view to the position. Lucy loves the way that film can be used to bring people together, giving them a view into new aspects of life and the amazing world we are all a part of.

When not in the office, Lucy can usually be found in the garden, floating in a river, or on top of a mountain with a camera in hand.

Kira Greene, WSFF Coordinator

Although Kira was born and raised in Northern California, she has found herself at home in many watersheds around the world. Abroad, she was inspired by the diversity of ecosystems and human cultures and documented them through the camera lens as a primary mode of study. As much as she longs to continue to travel, she has become deeply satisfied by her deepening relationship with the land she lives on now, on Wolf Creek.

Email Kira  |  (530) 265-5961 ext. 233

Although Kira was born and raised in Northern California, she has found herself at home in many watersheds around the world. Abroad, she was inspired by the diversity of ecosystems and human cultures and documented them through the camera lens as a primary mode of study. As much as she longs to continue to travel, she has become deeply satisfied by her deepening relationship with the land she lives on now, on Wolf Creek.

Kira graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor’s degree in Film and Media Studies, and an emphasis in ethnographic films. During her years in college, living alongside the ocean, her curiosity about the natural world grew; she wondered why she didn’t major in Environmental Sciences, as many of her friends did. Instead, she studied it through the lens, thanks to UCSB’s many environmentally focused film courses.

Her time studying in Spain, and living in South America, further stimulated her interest in biodiversity. As she traveled, she studied the cultural and ecological diversity of South America – volunteering, WOOFing, and working on documentaries in the Andes and the Amazon.

Since settling into the Sierra Foothills, Kira has been working with Placer Nature Center, where she is currently the Program Director and Staff Naturalist. There she shares her love of nature with the next generation, leading their environmental education programs and coordinating habitat restoration work with their volunteers.

As a lover of lichens, Kira is inspired by symbiosis, and aspires to one day be in a mutualistic relationship with the natural world (or at least a commensalistic one). For now, she focuses on wild tending her backyard, trying to befriend her neighbors (the otters and mink of Wolf Creek), gardening, foraging for wild foods, and making herbal products for her CSA.