AmeriCorps Goodbyes

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Our 2014-2015 AmeriCorps Volunteers have finished their service with SYRCL for the year. Suzanne, Karl, and Svetlana have graced the watershed with their hard work, smiles, and dedication to cleaning up, monitoring, and restoring the Yuba River.  All three will be sorely missed by the SYRCL staff who have come to depend on them and call them our friends.

Suzanne Calkins, Stewardship Coordinator


Suzanne Calkins arrived in Nevada City from Bishop, CA and took on the role of Stewardship Coordinator.  She has spent the last 11 months educating this watershed about SYRCL’s programs and why it is important to pick up trash and keep the Yuba River clean.  Her efforts have resulted in pulling together dozens of volunteers to spend their weekends at the river keeping glass, dog poop, and trash from polluting the South Yuba canyon!

Karl Ronning, River Monitoring Coordinator

IMG_1208Karl Ronning started the SNAP program after finishing an AmeriCorps CCC program throughout California and Hawaii.  As SYRCL’s River Monitoring Coordinator, Karl spent a lot of time wandering around the Yuba watershed to collect water quality samples.  Karl’s efforts at SYRCL have resulted in the implementation of two new stream gage locations and the engagement of approximately 40 volunteers each month to collect water quality samples across the Yuba watershed.  Karl has probably seen more places on the Yuba than people who have lived here for more than 50 years!

Svetlana Vasilchenko, Restoration Coordinator

IMG_2508Svetlana Vasilchenko came to SYRCL from Boise, Idaho.  Svetlana pulled out dozens, if not hundreds, of Scotch broom plants; cut down lodgepole pines and white firs to help aspens grow; installed 10 groundwater wells; conducted meadow assessments; sampled greenhouse gases; and measured about 6,500 trees in the lower Yuba. To do this, Svetlana organized and worked along side over a hundred volunteers throughout the year.  She kept her volunteers safe by encouraging them to drink water to stay hydrated while collecting valuable data.



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