Team Directory

SYRCL Team Directory


Aaron Zettler-Mann

Executive 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.

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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. Initially Aaron was SYRCL's Watershed Science Director. In 2023, he became SYRCL's Executive Director. 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.

Andrea Mason

Finance & Administration Director

Andrea, a Nevada County resident since birth, joined our team 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.

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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.

Jessica Haro

Operations Manager

Her Latino father taught her that people are very different and the importance of embracing those differences. At the age of 20, Jessica decided to explore the world, learn English fluently, and move to San Francisco. There she worked in the medical tech industry as a CEO assistant and a project manager before she relocated to Grass Valley six years ago.

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Her Latino father taught her that people are very different and the importance of embracing those differences. At the age of 20, Jessica decided to explore the world, learn English fluently, and move to San Francisco. There she worked in the medical tech industry as a CEO assistant and a project manager before she relocated to Grass Valley six years ago.

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.

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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.

Katy White

Development Associate

Born and raised in the Midwest, Katy’s love for the outdoors formed while exploring the woods, creeks, and trails near her home in Indiana. This passion for wild places only amplified after a cross-country move to Missoula, MT where she received her M.A. in Public Administration from the University of Montana.

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Over the years, Katy has served in various roles to help address some of her communities’ most pressing needs, such as food security and educational opportunities in low-served areas. In recent years, Katy’s efforts have been geared towards conservation and helping to protect and steward the special places we live, work and play. In working at SYRCL as the Development Associate, Katy is excited to lend a hand in putting on some of SYRCL’s fabulous events, to build relationships with SYRCL’s community of supporters, members, and volunteers, and to spend time exploring the Yuba watershed. When not at the office, Katy is a daily runner, novice skier, newbie angler, and frequent restaurant and coffee shop goer.

Tony LeVeaux

Membership Assistant

Tony grew up Arizona. There he was immersed 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.

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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

Alecia Weisman

Watershed Science Director

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.

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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 teamsets 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.

Annie Kent

Headwaters Science Program Manager

Growing up in the foothills of the Cascades along the Skagit River, Annie developed a sense of home and belonging along the shores of the Salish Sea and amongst the canopies of the temperate rainforests. Enjoying outdoor sports and recreation brought a strong sense of responsibility to protect and enhance the resources that sustain such activities.

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Since graduating in 2019 from Skagit Valley College, Annie has dabbled in fisheries, environmental planning, environmental chemistry, and forestry work. Spending three seasons traveling with the Enterprise Program of the US Forest Service, she has worked on ten national forests in eight states! Annie is working towards an MS in Natural Resources from Oregon State University. Falling in love with the piney foothills of the Sierras through work, climbing, biking and paddling, she is so excited to put her effort towards enhancing the watershed that sustains the lives and cultures of those living and past along the Yuba. She is honored to be a part of SYRCL and work to advocate for and steward the ancestral lands of the Nisenan, Mountain Maidu, Konkow and Washoe peoples.

Kat Perlman

North Yuba Forest Project 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.

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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.

Danielle Conway

Fisheries Restoration Program Manager

A California local, 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.

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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.

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.

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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.

Summer Driscoll

Botany Technician

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.

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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.

Kyle McNeil


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.

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During his time at UC Davis, he 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.

Rose Ledford

Science and Education Project Manager

Rose grew up in the desert of southern California, mesmerized by the diversity in her backyard. She graduated from Sonoma State with degrees in Earth Science and Liberal Studies, as well as a minor in Geology. Her infectious curiosity and excitement for the natural world makes her a great educator and driven advocate for the natural wonders of the Sierra Nevada.

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Rose grew up in the desert of southern California, mesmerized by the diversity in her backyard. She graduated from Sonoma State with degrees in Earth Science and Liberal Studies, as well as a minor in Geology. Her infectious curiosity and excitement for the natural world makes her a great educator and driven advocate for the natural wonders of the Sierra Nevada.

Abby Messe

River Monitoring Coordinator

Abby grew up in Oak Park, a town in Ventura County, California where she spent much of her childhood exploring the outdoors.

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In June 2023 she graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies. During her college career her passion for protecting and restoring the environment grew with each class and opportunity. She took a sea turtle field course in Costa Rica and studied abroad in Ecuador immersing herself in learning about biodiversity, ecology, conservation, research, and fieldwork. At UC Santa Barbara she interned for a lab studying interactions in restored vernal pool communities. As SYRCL's River Monitoring Coordinator Abby is excited to work with her new community to protect the beautiful Yuba River watershed

Reed Herbison

Restoration Coordinator

Reed, a Georgia peach, grew up exploring his local neighborhood forests with friends by his side. Love for the outdoors has always been a part of his life. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a BS in Environmental Economics and Management along with a Sustainability Certificate

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With an affinity for traveling, he worked as a field technician in New Orleans and New Hampshire, and he worked seasonally as a commercial fisherman in Bristol Bay Alaska. During his off seasons, he chased good weather to go climbing at crags and in the alpine mountains all across North America. Now he has landed himself in Nevada City, setting roots and seeking to be a part of this wonderful community and give back to the Sierras and the Yuba River.

River People

Advocacy, Communications, Outreach, & Education

Daniel Elkin

Communications & Engagement Director

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.

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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 wife, their dog and cat, a good book, and a delicious sandwich.

Monique Streit

Education Director

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.

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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.

Traci Sheehan

Policy Manager

Originally from the East Coast, Traci’s love of the water began with her summers spent on the beach and in the ocean. She moved to California from Washington, DC, to help stop the proposed Auburn dam. Traci led a campaign to designate Wild and Scenic rivers and Wilderness in California. She has worked on state legislation and water issues with the Planning and Conservation League.

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Working with the Foothills Water Network, Traci worked on the relicensing proceeding for the Yuba and Bear rivers.  Most recently, she has thrown herself into the effort to stop the re-opening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine.  Traci is a former whitewater guide and loves to kayak, mountain bike, and backpack.  In her free time, she is outside somewhere with her two sons and dog, Ace.

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.

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During her time as a student at Yuba River Charter School, Maddie developed a strong interest in local ecology and wildlife, leading to a genuine motivation to educate both herself and her peers about climate change. Graduating in 2018 from Mills College with a BA in Sociology, her studies were centered around restorative justice in education and environmental racism, reflecting a sincere curiosity about the interactions between people and systems. Post-graduation, she became part of the Development Department at Mills, where she organized volunteers, fundraising efforts, and managed a telephone outreach program. Maddie initially joined SYRCL as a member of the Development Team in April of 2021, and later transitioned to become the Community Engagement Manager on the River People Team in April of 2022. She is enthusiastic about contributing to the protection and restoration of the Yuba Watershed and a proud member of SYRCL's J.E.D.I. (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Committee. In her free time, you can find Maddie writing and volunteering as a DJ on the local community radio station, KVMR.

Caitlin Martin

Education and Outreach Coordinator

Caitlin spent her childhood in the desert of Washington state rolling down hills, playing in the snow, and learning about salmon in her fifth grade year and has been a California resident ever since, getting to enjoy all the wonders this beautiful state has to offer. As a child, she loved any chance to hike, camp, kayak, play in the water and explore with her family.

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Her two greatest passions are working with children and being in the outdoors, and she has found her life’s work in outdoor education. Upon entering the world of outdoor education, she has become equally passionate about conservation and environmental stewardship, particularly instilling these ideals in our future generation. Caitlin brings with her over ten years of professional experience working with children, especially those from diverse backgrounds. This time working with students of all intersectional identities as well as her enthusiasm for social justice and background in psychology lends her a unique perspective when it comes to education and outreach. Caitlin is thrilled to become a part of the SYRCL team, and have a role in all the necessary work they are doing for the Yuba watershed. In her spare time, she loves adventuring with her husband and dog, reading, doing yoga, dancing, crafting, and being outside as much as possible (especially in the forest with mushrooms and around water).

Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Eric Dunn

Film Festival Director

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.

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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.

Jaimie des Tombe

On Tour Sales Manager

Jaimie is a lifelong resident of the Yuba Watershed, and has lived on a canyon high above the South Fork of the Yuba for most of her adult life. The Yuba has always been the center of her community in one way or another, and she brings her deep gratitude for this to her work. Jaimie is ever passionate about the protection of local cultural and natural resources, and is thrilled to work with an organization that shares her values.

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As a long time professional in the area of national and international sales, marketing, business and events, Jaimie is hard at work as Sales Manager for the Wild and Scenic Film Festival’s On Tour program. When not at work, Jaimie would like to be found enjoying time with family and friends, in the garden, in the kitchen, on the dance floor, or partaking in a live musical event.

Rebecca Walters

On Tour Coordinator and Programmer

Rebecca is the On Tour Coordinator for the Wild and Scenic Film Festival. She received her BFA in filmmaking from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. As a social impact filmmaker, coordinator, guest artist, festival agent, and programmer she has worked for the Sundance Institute, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Cucalorus Film Foundation, and Stowe Story Labs.

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Her work has screened at universities across the country and has premiered at several film festivals including the Austin Film Festival, Sidewalk Film Festival, Cucalorus Film Festival, and Ivy Film Festival. When Rebecca isn’t writing, directing or advocating for change, you can find her hiking in the mountains, or dancing on a beach somewhere!

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