Our team

Our team includes ten scientists with expertise covering aquatic and terrestrial wildlife biology, botany, vegetation ecology, formal vegetation classification and mapping, riparian and wetland ecology, wetland delineation, wetland and upland habitat restoration, and rare species research and restoration.  Our senior scientists are also versed in geology, geomorphology, and hydrology and water quality sampling as a basis for habitat and species assessments and restoration projects.  All of our senior scientists hold federal and state permits to conduct surveys California tiger salamander, California red-legged frog, listed vernal pool shrimp, and listed plants.  We also have expert GIS capabilities, two licensed drone pilots (with an in-house drone), and an employee with a dog trained for conducting rare species scent surveys (California tiger salamander and San Joaquin kit fox scat).

Bios

 

John Vollmar

President and Senior Ecologist

  • B.S. University of California, Berkeley: Natural History and Evolution, 1990
  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: President, Senior Ecologist, 1996–present
  • CytoCulture BioTechnology: Wetland Research Associate, 1996–1998
  • Garcia and Associates: Botanist / Wetland Ecologist, 1995–1997
  • BioSystems Analysis: Botanist, 1992–1995
  • WESCO Ecological Services: Botanist, 1991
  • Eldorado National Forest: Botanist, 1990

Mr. Vollmar is the founder of Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting (VNLC). As principal-in-charge, he is responsible for overall management and quality control of all company projects. Mr. Vollmar has more than 25 years’ professional experience. He has managed more than 350 projects during the course of his career ranging from small parcel assessments to large, multi-disciplinary regional conservation studies.

Read More
  • B.S. University of California, Berkeley: Natural History and Evolution, 1990
  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: President, Senior Ecologist, 1996–present
  • CytoCulture BioTechnology: Wetland Research Associate, 1996–1998
  • Garcia and Associates: Botanist / Wetland Ecologist, 1995–1997
  • BioSystems Analysis: Botanist, 1992–1995
  • WESCO Ecological Services: Botanist, 1991
  • Eldorado National Forest: Botanist, 1990

Mr. Vollmar is the founder of Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting (VNLC). As principal-in-charge, he is responsible for overall management and quality control of all company projects. Mr. Vollmar has more than 25 years’ professional experience. He has managed more than 350 projects during the course of his career ranging from small parcel assessments to large, multi-disciplinary regional conservation studies.

Mr. Vollmar is an expert botanist, vegetation ecologist, and wetland ecologist. He is also experienced with aquatic invertebrate and amphibian surveys in seasonal wetlands. His background combines strong technical experience and training with a thorough understanding of current environmental regulations pertaining to botanical and wetland resources. As a botanist, he has managed and conducted rare plant surveys, floristic inventories and habitat assessments throughout California and other western states. He has worked with dozens of rare plant species. He is familiar with the plant taxonomy of central California from the coast to the eastern Sierra as well as other regions in California, Nevada and New Mexico. As a wetland ecologist, Mr. Vollmar has managed and conducted numerous wetland delineations and habitat assessments, developed and implemented mitigation, restoration, and creation plans and monitoring plans for several wetland types including vernal pools, perennial and seasonal marsh, riparian habitats, and alkali sink scrub. Mr. Vollmar regularly advises clients on the requirements of Sections 7 and 10 of the Federal Endangered Species Act, Sections 401 and 404 of the Clean Water Act, CEQA, and various state and local environmental regulations. Mr. Vollmar holds a federal survey permit for federally-listed vernal pool fairy and tadpole shrimp and California tiger salamander and has surveyed more than 3,000 vernal pools and other seasonal wetlands for these species.

In recent years, Mr. Vollmar has applied his skills to regional conservation planning, mitigation banking, natural resources management, and land stewardship. From 1998-2005, he directed a vernal pool conservation program in eastern Merced County. Program elements included public workshops, working with ranchers to establish conservation easements, preparing easement documentation reports, and co-authoring a report on the effects of livestock grazing on vernal pools. In 2001-2002, he directed a major study of the ecology of eastern Merced County involving surveys of 45,000 acres of private rangelands for 40+ special-status species. Over the past two years, he has directed large-scale biological surveys, mitigation banking projects, and conservation land management projects in Merced, Madera, San Mateo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, Lassen, Siskiyou, Kern, and Los Angeles Counties.

Read Less
 

Jake Schweitzer

back to top

Senior Ecologist and Geographic Information Science Specialist

B.A. Physical Geography (concentration in ecology and geographic information science), University of California, Berkeley, 1995.

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Senior Ecologist and GIS Specialist, 2003–present
  • Wetlands and Water Resources: Wetland Ecologist/GIS Specialist Consultant, 2001-2005
  • UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources, CAMFER Lab: Ecologist/GIS Specialist Research Assistant, 2000-2001
  • Applied Geographics, Boston, MA: GIS Technical Manager, 1997-2000
  • City of Oakland: GIS Technician, 1996-1997
  • U.C. Berkeley Map Library: Assistant Librarian, 1993 – 1996

Federal and State Permits: CTS, CRF, Listed Vernal Pool Large Branchiopods
Mr. Schweitzer combines 16 years of experience as a professional vegetation and wetland ecologist with over 19 years of experience in cartography and geographic information science (GIS,

Read More

B.A. Physical Geography (concentration in ecology and geographic information science), University of California, Berkeley, 1995.

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Senior Ecologist and GIS Specialist, 2003–present
  • Wetlands and Water Resources: Wetland Ecologist/GIS Specialist Consultant, 2001-2005
  • UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources, CAMFER Lab: Ecologist/GIS Specialist Research Assistant, 2000-2001
  • Applied Geographics, Boston, MA: GIS Technical Manager, 1997-2000
  • City of Oakland: GIS Technician, 1996-1997
  • U.C. Berkeley Map Library: Assistant Librarian, 1993 – 1996

Federal and State Permits: CTS, CRF, Listed Vernal Pool Large Branchiopods
Mr. Schweitzer combines 16 years of experience as a professional vegetation and wetland ecologist with over 19 years of experience in cartography and geographic information science (GIS, remote sensing/image analysis, and GPS technology). His ecological focus has been in botanical and wetland sciences. He holds federal and state permits to survey for listed fairy shrimp, California red-legged frog, and California tiger salamander and is certified in the vegetation mapping techniques developed by the California Native Plant Society and California Department of Fish and Wildlife. He is also trained to conduct California Rapid Assessment Method surveys. Mr. Schweitzer has been a docent for the past nine years at the East Bay Regional Park Botanic Garden, teaching native California plant ecology to the public.

Mr. Schweitzer has applied his skills to a wide array of projects, from surveying and modeling threats posed by Sudden Oak Death Syndrome, to performing large-scale botanical and aquatic wildlife surveys, to designing habitat restoration projects. He has served as lead field ecologist and GIS specialist for many of VNLC’s regional conservation and land use projects from the Bay Area to the San Joaquin Valley and surrounding foothill regions. He has led survey and mapping efforts at the 8,000-acre Walker Ridge Proposed Wind Energy Site (Colusa and Lake Counties), the 1,600-acre Tres Vaqueros Wind Energy Site (Contra Costa County), the 1,300-acre Calabazas Creek Open Space Preserve (Sonoma County), and the 16,000-acre Rancho Arroyo Seco Land Use and Mitigation Bank Project (Western Amador County). He is currently serving as the Principal Investigator for a federally funded project involving the propagation and reintroduction of the critically endangered large-flowered fiddleneck (Amsinckia grandiflora) into its historic range, and is also managing a project involving surveys and mapping biological resources on private ranchlands throughout California’s Central Coast Ranges.

Read Less
 

Cassie Pinnell

back to top

Senior Ecologist

M.S. Biology. San Francisco State University, Romberg Tiburon Center, 2016
B.A. Environmental Studies and Ethnic Studies (double major). Mills College, 2004

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Senior Ecologist, 2005–present
  • BMP Ecosciences: Botanist, 2003-2005
  • Mills College and CSU Stanislaus: Biological Research Assistant, 2003

Ms. Pinnell combines over 12 years as a professional wetland ecologist with over four years as Executive Director of a watershed restoration NGO in California. Her work has included conducting statewide surveys for special-status plant and wildlife species, using a variety of survey techniques in both wetland and upland environments. She has experience in assessing effectiveness of wetland, intertidal (eelgrass and oyster), and upland restoration projects, and using GIS and statistical software (R,

Read More

M.S. Biology. San Francisco State University, Romberg Tiburon Center, 2016
B.A. Environmental Studies and Ethnic Studies (double major). Mills College, 2004

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Senior Ecologist, 2005–present
  • BMP Ecosciences: Botanist, 2003-2005
  • Mills College and CSU Stanislaus: Biological Research Assistant, 2003

Ms. Pinnell combines over 12 years as a professional wetland ecologist with over four years as Executive Director of a watershed restoration NGO in California. Her work has included conducting statewide surveys for special-status plant and wildlife species, using a variety of survey techniques in both wetland and upland environments. She has experience in assessing effectiveness of wetland, intertidal (eelgrass and oyster), and upland restoration projects, and using GIS and statistical software (R, SPSS) to determine community-level responses to habitat modification and restoration. Ms. Pinnell has also worked on large-scale species distribution assessments and habitat analyses to supplement conservation planning in California.

In addition to her work as an ecologist, her work as an Executive Director of an environmental non-profit included extensive experience creating and maintaining working partnerships with public agencies, non-profits, universities, landowners, stakeholders, and technical advisory committees to best design, modify, and implement effective restoration and conservation projects, totaling approximately $1 million annually. Due to this experience, she has an excellent ability to clearly present scientific information.

Read Less
 

Eric Smith

back to top

Geographic Information Science Specialist, Herpetologist

B.A. University of California, Davis: Biology (concentration in evolution and ecology), 2006
GIS Certificate, San Jose State University, 2009

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Staff GIS Analyst, May 2011-present
  • FRP Games: Database Administrator, 2009-2011
  • Stepping Stone Tutors: Tutor, 2009-2011
  • Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes: Tutor, 2007-2009
  • Franklin-McKinley School District: Substitute Teacher, 2006-2008

Mr. Smith’s educational background is in terrestrial and wetland ecology, and the use of spatial data to understand and present biological information. His educational background includes graduate coursework in ecological study design and geographic information science, with research experience using GIS to investigate the dispersal dynamics of plethodontid salamanders.

Mr. Smith was a science and math educator for four years,

Read More

B.A. University of California, Davis: Biology (concentration in evolution and ecology), 2006
GIS Certificate, San Jose State University, 2009

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Staff GIS Analyst, May 2011-present
  • FRP Games: Database Administrator, 2009-2011
  • Stepping Stone Tutors: Tutor, 2009-2011
  • Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes: Tutor, 2007-2009
  • Franklin-McKinley School District: Substitute Teacher, 2006-2008

Mr. Smith’s educational background is in terrestrial and wetland ecology, and the use of spatial data to understand and present biological information. His educational background includes graduate coursework in ecological study design and geographic information science, with research experience using GIS to investigate the dispersal dynamics of plethodontid salamanders.

Mr. Smith was a science and math educator for four years, and he retains those communication skills for presenting technical data to both scientific and lay audiences. After completing his certificate in GIS, he moved on to spend two years as a database administrator, managing a 30,000+ record database. He now applies those database administration skills to the analysis of large biological datasets. He has been the data organization and processing lead on an analysis of the hydrology, botany, water quality, and invertebrate biology of over 450 created and natural vernal pools in California’s central valley. He is also the lead cartographer on an ongoing project to create ca. 7 acres of vernal pools in Madera County. His primary duties at VNLC are as a staff cartographer and GIS analyst, where he has analyzed survey data and produced maps for several projects set in the San Joaquin valley and the Coast Range.

Read Less
 

John S. Hale

back to top

Senior Botanist

M.S. California State University, Chico: Botany, 1997
B.S. California State University, San Francisco: Botany, 1974

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Senior Botanist, 2001 – present
  • Jones and Stokes Associates: Field Botanist, 1990-2001
  • CA Dept. of Fish and Game, Shasta County, CA: Vegetation Specialist, 1993
  • U.S. Forest Service, Modoc National Forest, CA: Seasonal Botanist, 1990-1991

Mr. Hale is a botanist and wetland ecologist with more than 15 years of professional experience. He is an expert on California’s flora and plant communities with particular knowledge of California’s Sierra Nevada and Central Valley regions. Mr. Hale has conducted botanical surveys throughout California in many plant communities including vernal pool, salt marsh,

Read More

M.S. California State University, Chico: Botany, 1997
B.S. California State University, San Francisco: Botany, 1974

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Senior Botanist, 2001 – present
  • Jones and Stokes Associates: Field Botanist, 1990-2001
  • CA Dept. of Fish and Game, Shasta County, CA: Vegetation Specialist, 1993
  • U.S. Forest Service, Modoc National Forest, CA: Seasonal Botanist, 1990-1991

Mr. Hale is a botanist and wetland ecologist with more than 15 years of professional experience. He is an expert on California’s flora and plant communities with particular knowledge of California’s Sierra Nevada and Central Valley regions. Mr. Hale has conducted botanical surveys throughout California in many plant communities including vernal pool, salt marsh, riparian, alkali and desert habitats. He recently took a specialized course in the Flora of the Northern Siskiyous through the U.C. Berkeley Jepson Herbarium and has served as a botanist for the Modoc National Forest. His expertise includes special-status plant surveys, floristic inventories, noxious weed surveys, vegetation mapping, wetland delineations, and vegetation/biological monitoring. Through his project work, Mr. Hale has discovered numerous rare plant occurrences including several significant range extensions.

Mr. Hale served as the Designated Biologist, approved by the California Energy Commission, for Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s Cosumnes Power Plant and Pipeline Project. He was responsible for conducting and supervising the implementation of the biological resources Conditions of Certification for the project. Mr. Hale has also served as the lead botanist on many large utility line projects including the Williams fiber optic installation from Pt. Arena to Sacramento, the Qwest fiber optic installation from Dunsmuir to Redding, and the Southern California Edison Big Creek hydroelectric relicensing.

Read Less
 

Vir McCoy

back to top

Field Ecologist

B.A. University of California, Berkeley: Physical Geography, 1992

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Field Ecologist, 1998-present
  • Chambers Group, Inc.: Biologist, 1995-1996
  • Ecosystems: Biologist, 1993-1995
  • U.C. Santa Cruz, Predatory Bird Group: Research Assistant, 1991-1992

Mr. McCoy has over 10 years’ professional experience in the fields of wildlife biology, habitat restoration, ecology, botany and geography. Mr. McCoy received a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley in 1992.

During his professional career, Mr. McCoy has been an integral part of numerous wildlife and ecological field studies, habitat assessments, large restoration projects, sensitive species surveys, database analysis and interpretation projects, species natural history summaries,

Read More

B.A. University of California, Berkeley: Physical Geography, 1992

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Field Ecologist, 1998-present
  • Chambers Group, Inc.: Biologist, 1995-1996
  • Ecosystems: Biologist, 1993-1995
  • U.C. Santa Cruz, Predatory Bird Group: Research Assistant, 1991-1992

Mr. McCoy has over 10 years’ professional experience in the fields of wildlife biology, habitat restoration, ecology, botany and geography. Mr. McCoy received a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley in 1992.

During his professional career, Mr. McCoy has been an integral part of numerous wildlife and ecological field studies, habitat assessments, large restoration projects, sensitive species surveys, database analysis and interpretation projects, species natural history summaries, ecological risk assessments, long-term monitoring plans, wetland delineation and other habitat evaluations. As a wildlife biologist, he has conducted surveys for a range of species, including many State and Federally Threatened and Endangered species throughout California and Arizona. These surveys have been conducted in a variety of habitat types including fresh and salt marsh, seasonal wetlands, riparian wetlands, and upland annual grassland, shrub, and forest habitats. He has extensive experience with avian, mammalian, reptile, amphibian, fish and invertebrate species (fairy shrimp) including vernal pool and vernal pool associated wildlife surveys on several large ranches in Merced County and on properties in Solano County. Mr. McCoy has conducted surveys for California red-legged frogs, yellow-legged frogs and California tiger salamanders. He has successfully completed a large branchiopod identification course.

Read Less
 

Linnea Neuhaus

back to top

Staff Ecologist

B.S. University of California, Davis: Environmental Science and Management (concentration in ecology, biodiversity, and evolution), 2012

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Staff Ecologist, 2015-present
  • Zone 7 Water Agency: Technical Field Coordinator, 2015
  • Urban Creeks Council: Program/Field Manager, Program Coordinator, Intern, 2012-2015
  • U.C. Davis Herbarium: Intern, 2012
  • U.C. Davis Botanical Conservatory: Intern, 2012

Ms. Neuhaus has a unique professional background combining non-profit and government work. Her undergraduate work focused on ecology, botany, and GIS. Since earning her degree, she spent two years managing the Living Arroyos program, an environmental stewardship program to restore riparian habitat in Alameda County, and trained hundreds of volunteers in stream restoration tasks and native plant care.

Read More

B.S. University of California, Davis: Environmental Science and Management (concentration in ecology, biodiversity, and evolution), 2012

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Staff Ecologist, 2015-present
  • Zone 7 Water Agency: Technical Field Coordinator, 2015
  • Urban Creeks Council: Program/Field Manager, Program Coordinator, Intern, 2012-2015
  • U.C. Davis Herbarium: Intern, 2012
  • U.C. Davis Botanical Conservatory: Intern, 2012

Ms. Neuhaus has a unique professional background combining non-profit and government work. Her undergraduate work focused on ecology, botany, and GIS. Since earning her degree, she spent two years managing the Living Arroyos program, an environmental stewardship program to restore riparian habitat in Alameda County, and trained hundreds of volunteers in stream restoration tasks and native plant care. She has led and coordinated monitoring, reporting, and on-the-ground implementation for multiple riparian restoration projects in the Livermore-Amador Valley. She has experience with many field survey techniques, including California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM), electroshocking, seining, dipnetting, and water quality testing. She is proficient in ArcGIS, Microsoft Office, and Adobe Creative Suite software and data collection using Trimble GPS units.

Ms. Neuhaus has applied her skills to a variety of projects in Northern California. In her three years with Urban Creeks Council, she was involved in a baseline study of riparian habitat in eastern Alameda County conducting CRAM, vegetation, and fish surveys on thirty sites. She also worked with Point Blue Conservation Science to develop a method of using publicly available citizen science bird survey data to evaluate quality of riparian habitat, and worked on over twenty-five soil bioengineering projects using live willow material for bank stabilization and erosion control. Since joining VNLC, Ms. Neuhaus has conducted multiple different biological surveys including California tiger salamander larval seine surveys, California red-legged frog surveys, aquatic invertebrate surveys, botanical and rare plant surveys, visual encounter surveys and amphibian spotlight surveys.

Ms. Neuhaus holds federal permits to conduct surveys for California red-legged frog and larval surveys for California tiger salamander.

Read Less
 

Gillian Seymour

back to top

Staff Ecologist

B.S. University of California, Berkeley: Molecular Environmental Biology (concentration in ecology), 2015

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Staff Biologist, 2015 – present
  • ACRT, Inc.: Consulting Utility Forester, 2015
  • U.C. Berkeley College of Natural Resources, Scott Stephens Lab: Biological Technician, 2013-2014
  • Sulphur Springs Elementary School: Outdoor Educator, 2012-2013

Ms. Seymour is a staff biologist with VNLC. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Environmental Biology. Her educational background has focused on ecology, molecular, plant and invertebrate biology. While attending U.C. Berkeley, Ms. Seymour conducted a field experiment under the guidance of Plant Ecologist, David Ackerly. The project addressed the effects of fire severity and soil depth on germination of chaparral species (Adenostoma fasciculatum and Ceanothus sp.) in the Mount Diablo State Park area.

Read More

B.S. University of California, Berkeley: Molecular Environmental Biology (concentration in ecology), 2015

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Staff Biologist, 2015 – present
  • ACRT, Inc.: Consulting Utility Forester, 2015
  • U.C. Berkeley College of Natural Resources, Scott Stephens Lab: Biological Technician, 2013-2014
  • Sulphur Springs Elementary School: Outdoor Educator, 2012-2013

Ms. Seymour is a staff biologist with VNLC. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Environmental Biology. Her educational background has focused on ecology, molecular, plant and invertebrate biology. While attending U.C. Berkeley, Ms. Seymour conducted a field experiment under the guidance of Plant Ecologist, David Ackerly. The project addressed the effects of fire severity and soil depth on germination of chaparral species (Adenostoma fasciculatum and Ceanothus sp.) in the Mount Diablo State Park area. She developed hypotheses and experimental design, conducted field work and statistical analyses using R. The project results were then presented to an academic audience.

Since joining VNLC, Ms. Seymour has assisted in conducting multiple biological surveys including California tiger salamander larval seine studies, California red-legged frog surveys, aquatic invertebrate dip-net surveys, water quality testing, baseline inventories, and rangeland management tasks. She has also assisted with rare plant and botanical surveys. She also manages field data collection and geographic analysis with Trimble GPS units and ArcGIS. Ms. Seymour is a member of the California Native Plant Society and a Certified Wilderness First Responder. In addition, she is multilingual and speaks Spanish, French, and Thai.

Read Less
 

Rebecca Wang

back to top

Staff Biologist

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting (VNLC): Staff Biologist, 2016 – present
  • U.C. Berkeley Geography Department: Cartography Intern, 2016
  • U.C. Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Zoology: Intern, 2012-2013

Ms. Wang’s undergraduate work focused on integrative biology, geography, and geographic information systems. During her undergraduate degree, Ms. Wang spent a year working under Dr. Eileen Lacey caring for and researching a colony of subterranean Argentinian tuco-tucos (family Ctenomyidae). She spent the months after earning her degree assisting her department’s graduate students with their cartographic needs. Her field survey technique experience includes dipnetting and water quality testing. She is proficient in ArcGIS, Microsoft Office, and Adobe Creative Suite software, as well as data collection using Trimble GPS units.

Read More
  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting (VNLC): Staff Biologist, 2016 – present
  • U.C. Berkeley Geography Department: Cartography Intern, 2016
  • U.C. Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Zoology: Intern, 2012-2013

Ms. Wang’s undergraduate work focused on integrative biology, geography, and geographic information systems. During her undergraduate degree, Ms. Wang spent a year working under Dr. Eileen Lacey caring for and researching a colony of subterranean Argentinian tuco-tucos (family Ctenomyidae). She spent the months after earning her degree assisting her department’s graduate students with their cartographic needs. Her field survey technique experience includes dipnetting and water quality testing. She is proficient in ArcGIS, Microsoft Office, and Adobe Creative Suite software, as well as data collection using Trimble GPS units. She is also a certified operator of unmanned aerial vehicles (‘drones’).

Ms. Wang has applied her skills to a variety of projects throughout California with VNLC. She has assisted in the development and maintenance of databases and mobile device collection applications for the purposes of vegetation mapping in Tanzania’s Kwa Kuchinja Corridor, the reintroduction of large-flowered fiddleneck (Amsinckia grandiflora), and the Loma Fire Habitat Study. She has also assisted with vegetation and aquatic invertebrate surveys throughout the Central Valley and Coast Ranges.

Read Less
 

Clare Randolph

back to top

Staff Biologist

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting (VNLC): Staff Biologist, 2017 – present
  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Intern, 2017
  • Rice University Ecology Department: Lab Assistant, 2014 – 2016

Ms. Randolph is early in her career, but already has a plethora of field experience and knowledge. During her undergrad, she focused on evolutionary biology and animal behavior. She worked on several field projects with the Ecology department at Rice University including field surveys of arthropods in Belize and water and soil quality testing in Texas state parks. During Ms. Randolph’s undergrad she worked in several labs, and got experience with grass evolution, insects, and fish anatomy. She has experience with many field survey techniques, including California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM),

Read More
  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting (VNLC): Staff Biologist, 2017 – present
  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Intern, 2017
  • Rice University Ecology Department: Lab Assistant, 2014 – 2016

Ms. Randolph is early in her career, but already has a plethora of field experience and knowledge. During her undergrad, she focused on evolutionary biology and animal behavior. She worked on several field projects with the Ecology department at Rice University including field surveys of arthropods in Belize and water and soil quality testing in Texas state parks. During Ms. Randolph’s undergrad she worked in several labs, and got experience with grass evolution, insects, and fish anatomy. She has experience with many field survey techniques, including California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM), seining, dipnetting, and water quality testing. She is proficient in Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, ArcGIS software, and data collection using Trimble GPS units.

Since joining VNLC, Ms. Randolph has helped with multiple different biological surveys including California tiger salamander larval seine surveys, aquatic invertebrate surveys, and botanical surveys including for rare plants. She has also helped with wetland mapping,

Read Less
 

Katie Young

back to top

Staff Ecologist

B.A. Environmental Studies, Mills College, May 2012

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting, Staff Ecologist, 2012 – Present
  • Jill Barrett Biology Research Program, Mills College, Student Researcher, Summer 2012
  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting, Intern, Summer 2011
  • School For Field Studies, Costa Rica, Student Researcher/Volunteer, Spring 2011

Ms. Young is a staff ecologist with VNLC. She has an interdisciplinary educational background including the study of ecology, policy, economics, and environmental ethics. Ms. Young has a degree in environmental studies with a focus in ecology and conservation biology. While attending Mills College, Ms. Young participated in the Jill Barrett Biology Research Program assisting in four studies including the implementation of a multi-year demographic study of the endangered serpentine endemic Calochortus tiburonensis,

Read More

B.A. Environmental Studies, Mills College, May 2012

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting, Staff Ecologist, 2012 – Present
  • Jill Barrett Biology Research Program, Mills College, Student Researcher, Summer 2012
  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting, Intern, Summer 2011
  • School For Field Studies, Costa Rica, Student Researcher/Volunteer, Spring 2011

Ms. Young is a staff ecologist with VNLC. She has an interdisciplinary educational background including the study of ecology, policy, economics, and environmental ethics. Ms. Young has a degree in environmental studies with a focus in ecology and conservation biology. While attending Mills College, Ms. Young participated in the Jill Barrett Biology Research Program assisting in four studies including the implementation of a multi-year demographic study of the endangered serpentine endemic Calochortus tiburonensis, a field experiment testing local adaptation in the highly invasive Centaurea solstitialis (yellow starthistle), as well as a study examining the long term trends associated with the recovery of rare serpentine grasslands following a fire. Other experience includes a semester at the Center for Sustainable Development in Guapiles, Costa Rica, where she participated in numerous field studies and a directed research program in natural resource management.

Professionally, Ms. Young has assisted in conducting multiple biological surveys including aquatic invertebrate dip-net surveys, California tiger salamander surveys, water quality testing, wetland delineations, baseline inventories, blunt-nosed leopard lizard surveys, and reconnaissance level camera and track plate surveys for San Joaquin kit foxes. She has assisted with rare plant and botanical surveys and has experience in monitoring vernal pool construction projects. Ms. Young is proficient in field data collection with Trimble GPS units and in clean data management practices.

Ms. Young has a federal permit to conduct aquatic surveys for large branchiopods and California tiger salamanders.

Read Less
 

Kevin Knowles

back to top

Associate

B.A., Land Conservation Specialist

Mr. Knowles has acted as a real estate broker, consultant or principal on land conservation projects in California since 1989. He received his A.B. in American Studies from Stanford University in 1987 and is a licensed real estate broker with the State of California. Mr. Knowles is the Founder and President of Conservation Land Group based in Sausalito.

Mr. Knowles’ efforts have led to the permanent protection of over 100,000 acres of endangered species habitat, wetlands, wildlife corridors, working farms, coastal properties, and cultural/historic sites in the western U.S. VNLC provided ecological expertise for many of these projects. Mr. Knowles provides guidance to private landowners, non-profit conservancies and public agencies on land conservation priorities,

Read More

B.A., Land Conservation Specialist

Mr. Knowles has acted as a real estate broker, consultant or principal on land conservation projects in California since 1989. He received his A.B. in American Studies from Stanford University in 1987 and is a licensed real estate broker with the State of California. Mr. Knowles is the Founder and President of Conservation Land Group based in Sausalito.

Mr. Knowles’ efforts have led to the permanent protection of over 100,000 acres of endangered species habitat, wetlands, wildlife corridors, working farms, coastal properties, and cultural/historic sites in the western U.S. VNLC provided ecological expertise for many of these projects. Mr. Knowles provides guidance to private landowners, non-profit conservancies and public agencies on land conservation priorities, charitable planning related to land preservation and strategies for securing acquisition funding from a variety of federal, state, local and philanthropic sources.

Mr. Knowles has considerable experience working with elected officials and community groups to build partnerships and coalitions on complex, multi-year acquisition projects. His transactional work includes property due diligence, overseeing land appraisers and natural resource specialists, and assisting in the resolution of legal and tax matters. While with The Trust for Public Land between 1989 and 2005, Mr. Knowles served on the City of San Diego’s Multiple Species Conservation Program Working Group which oversaw the implementation of a 175,000-acre regional preserve system. Mr. Knowles also handles real estate matters and mitigation credit marketing and sales for several mitigation/conservation banks in California.

Read Less
 

Stuart Siegel

back to top

Associate

Ph.D., Environmental Scientist

Dr. Siegel has devoted his professional career to the conservation and restoration of wetland and aquatic systems with an emphasis on estuarine tidal wetlands. His combined work experience and graduate studies have built his expertise as an integrative physical scientist and geomorphologist with considerable emphasis on the related disciplines of ecology, environmental regulation and policy, contaminant remediation in estuarine environments, management, and business.

Dr. Siegel focuses on the integration of numerous disciplines into a comprehensive systems approach for regional ecosystem planning, ecosystem restoration projects, and scientific research into ecosystem restoration and management issues. His approach is now commonly referred to as “ecosystem-based” management. Dr. Siegel works primarily in the San Francisco Estuary and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta with other efforts elsewhere in coastal California as well as in the tropical Pacific.

Read More

Ph.D., Environmental Scientist

Dr. Siegel has devoted his professional career to the conservation and restoration of wetland and aquatic systems with an emphasis on estuarine tidal wetlands. His combined work experience and graduate studies have built his expertise as an integrative physical scientist and geomorphologist with considerable emphasis on the related disciplines of ecology, environmental regulation and policy, contaminant remediation in estuarine environments, management, and business.

Dr. Siegel focuses on the integration of numerous disciplines into a comprehensive systems approach for regional ecosystem planning, ecosystem restoration projects, and scientific research into ecosystem restoration and management issues. His approach is now commonly referred to as “ecosystem-based” management. Dr. Siegel works primarily in the San Francisco Estuary and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta with other efforts elsewhere in coastal California as well as in the tropical Pacific. Restoration projects range in size from a few acres to a few thousand acres. Science research investigates physical, chemical, and biological processes affecting outcomes of ecosystem restoration efforts and the effects of ecosystem management on water quality and biological resources; Dr. Siegel is the lead principal investigator for CALFED’s Integrated Regional Wetland Monitoring pilot project and for a State Board-funded investigation of low dissolved oxygen and methyl mercury production in Suisun Marsh managed wetlands. His current regional planning work includes being the technical lead for Governor Schwarzenegger’s Delta Vision Ecosystem Strategic Plan, a science co-lead for the CALFED Delta Restoration Plan, science input for habitat planning as part of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, and Science Advisor for the interagency Suisun Marsh Plan. Dr. Siegel is a certified Professional Wetland Scientist.

Read Less
 

Todd Sloat

back to top

Associate

M.S., Wildlife and Fisheries Biologist

Mr. Sloat is a wildlife and fisheries biologist with more than 15 years of experience, and extensive knowledge of biological resources throughout California. He has managed many projects ranging from small private land restoration to region-wide biological inventories. Mr. Sloat received his B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology in 1988 from the University of California, Davis, and his M.S. in Ecology in 1998 from U.C. Davis.

Mr. Sloat is an expert ornithologist, and also has extensive experience with threatened and endangered terrestrial and aquatic species. He excels at coordinating natural resource improvements by working with a diverse group of stakeholders. He currently coordinates a large-scale water-quality monitoring program focusing on collecting background physical and biological data for the major tributaries of the upper Pit River in northeastern California.

Read More

M.S., Wildlife and Fisheries Biologist

Mr. Sloat is a wildlife and fisheries biologist with more than 15 years of experience, and extensive knowledge of biological resources throughout California. He has managed many projects ranging from small private land restoration to region-wide biological inventories. Mr. Sloat received his B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology in 1988 from the University of California, Davis, and his M.S. in Ecology in 1998 from U.C. Davis.

Mr. Sloat is an expert ornithologist, and also has extensive experience with threatened and endangered terrestrial and aquatic species. He excels at coordinating natural resource improvements by working with a diverse group of stakeholders. He currently coordinates a large-scale water-quality monitoring program focusing on collecting background physical and biological data for the major tributaries of the upper Pit River in northeastern California. Working with private interest groups and state and federal agencies, project activities include the development of a watershed management strategy, and the coordination and management of several restoration projects.

Mr. Sloat’s biological experience covers a wide range of species and projects. He has conducted several large-scale biological inventories in northern California focused on documenting the distribution and abundance of wildlife species including northern goshawk, spotted owl, great gray owl, willow flycatcher, and rare carnivores. He served as the lead ornithologist to develop avian monitoring programs related to the management of Staten Island for waterfowl and shorebirds, and for documenting avian communities and habitat associations in eastern Merced County related to future landscape conservation planning. Mr. Sloat collected baseline data on the distribution and abundance of several anadromous fish species (e.g., coho salmon, king salmon, sea-run cutthroat trout), and developed a long-term monitoring strategy to document population trends of fish using private timberlands. He has also conducted biological surveys, habitat assessments, and impact analysis on a wide variety of utility, gas, and water holding facilities. For his graduate work, he studied waterfowl populations and habitat associations of artic nesting geese.

Read Less
 

Josh Phillips

back to top

Associate

M.E.S., Permitting Specialist

Mr. Phillips has over seven years of professional experience as a wildlife biologist and ecologist. He has a comprehensive understanding of the environmental planning process, including expertise in sensitive biological resources and the state and federal regulations protecting these resources (e.g., CEQA, the state and federal Endangered Species Acts, the federal Clean Water Act, and the California Fish and Game Code).

Mr. Phillips has extensive experience analyzing the effects of development projects on biological resources and has prepared numerous biological resource chapters of EIRs, Biological Assessments for Section 7 consultations, and Biological Constraints Evaluations. Mr. Phillips also has conducted special-status species surveys, habitat evaluations, wetland delineations, vegetation mapping, mitigation design and implementation, and coordinating with state and federal resource agencies.

Read More

M.E.S., Permitting Specialist

Mr. Phillips has over seven years of professional experience as a wildlife biologist and ecologist. He has a comprehensive understanding of the environmental planning process, including expertise in sensitive biological resources and the state and federal regulations protecting these resources (e.g., CEQA, the state and federal Endangered Species Acts, the federal Clean Water Act, and the California Fish and Game Code).

Mr. Phillips has extensive experience analyzing the effects of development projects on biological resources and has prepared numerous biological resource chapters of EIRs, Biological Assessments for Section 7 consultations, and Biological Constraints Evaluations. Mr. Phillips also has conducted special-status species surveys, habitat evaluations, wetland delineations, vegetation mapping, mitigation design and implementation, and coordinating with state and federal resource agencies. He holds a section 10(a)(1)(A) recovery permit to conduct surveys for federally-listed vernal pool branchiopods (i.e., fairy and tadpole shrimp) and has conducted numerous surveys for these species. He has also organized and conducted surveys for special-status plants, California red-legged frog, California tiger salamander, western pond turtle, western burrowing owl, nesting birds, Chinook salmon, and steelhead.

Mr. Phillips has managed and participated in large-scale projects involving complex biological issues throughout northern and southern California. He has worked on projects for a variety of public and private sector clients, including the cities of Hercules, Richmond, Pinole, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Watsonville, and Calistoga, as well as Caltrans, the University of California at Santa Cruz, the San Francisco Department of Public Works, Del Webb, Verizon, Newhall Ranch, and Tejon Ranch.

Read Less
 

Brent Helm

back to top

Associate

Ph.D., Wildlife Biologist/Wetland Ecologist

Dr. Helm is a senior biologist and wetland ecologist with over 18 years’ experience as a professional consultant, research scientist, and adjunct professor. Dr. Helm received his Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis in 1999. He also has an M.S. in Ecology from U.C. Davis (1996) and a B.S. in Wildlife Management from Humboldt State University (1988).

As a consultant, Dr. Helm has served as project manager and principal investigator for a broad range of resource assessment, mitigation and conservation projects including many large-scale, complex, and controversial projects. These have included developing and implementing field surveys for special-status plant and wildlife species; assessing sensitive resource impacts and developing mitigation plans;

Read More

Ph.D., Wildlife Biologist/Wetland Ecologist

Dr. Helm is a senior biologist and wetland ecologist with over 18 years’ experience as a professional consultant, research scientist, and adjunct professor. Dr. Helm received his Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis in 1999. He also has an M.S. in Ecology from U.C. Davis (1996) and a B.S. in Wildlife Management from Humboldt State University (1988).

As a consultant, Dr. Helm has served as project manager and principal investigator for a broad range of resource assessment, mitigation and conservation projects including many large-scale, complex, and controversial projects. These have included developing and implementing field surveys for special-status plant and wildlife species; assessing sensitive resource impacts and developing mitigation plans; performing regional status surveys, assessing the relative significance of populations, and evaluating threats and endangerment status of species under consideration for listing; and preparing regional conservation and management plans.

Dr. Helm is an expert on the wildlife, ecology, restoration and creation of vernal pools, and is included on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) list of recognized specialists in fairy shrimp (Crustacea: Anostraca) identification. He developed current USFWS-approved procedures for the dry-season and wet-season sampling for federally listed large branchiopods. He prepared range maps from all known occurrences of California’s 23 fairy shrimp species for a book entitled “Fairy Shrimp of California’s Pools, Puddles, and Playas” (Ericsen and Belk 1999). He has conducted large branchiopod surveys in more than 7,000 vernal pools and other seasonal wetlands throughout 49 counties in California and five counties in Oregon (more than 200 individual projects). He has served as the project manager and principal scientist for broad-scale vernal pool conservation planning, mitigation, and management studies for listed large branchiopods in Merced, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Butte, and Yuba Counties. He has also served as a senior scientist and project manager for several Habitat Conservation Plans involving vernal pool resource issues including the North Natomas HCP, San Joaquin HCP, Sacramento HCP, and Yolo HCP.

Read Less
 

Jon Kelsey

back to top

Associate

B.S., Botanist

Mr. Kelsey is an agronomist and vegetation ecologist with over 20 years’ experience. His background includes botanical work, vegetation assessment, geologic work (specifically particle analysis and distribution in sedimentary deposits), soil assessments, and geo-morphologic descriptions including associated plant communities. Mr. Kelsey received his degree in Agronomy from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo in 1978.

Working as a botanist, Mr. Kelsey has conducted floristic surveys in conjunction with mined land reclamation plans, and rare plant surveys involving vernal pool, annual grassland, and oak woodland habitats in the San Joaquin Valley and adjacent Sierra foothills. Mr. Kelsey participated in the botanical field surveys for the ecological study of eastern Merced County’s vernal pool landscapes. Mr. Kelsey has prepared reclamation plans which have been approved under the State of California Surface Mine and Reclamation Act and continues to actively advise on such projects.

Read More

B.S., Botanist

Mr. Kelsey is an agronomist and vegetation ecologist with over 20 years’ experience. His background includes botanical work, vegetation assessment, geologic work (specifically particle analysis and distribution in sedimentary deposits), soil assessments, and geo-morphologic descriptions including associated plant communities. Mr. Kelsey received his degree in Agronomy from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo in 1978.

Working as a botanist, Mr. Kelsey has conducted floristic surveys in conjunction with mined land reclamation plans, and rare plant surveys involving vernal pool, annual grassland, and oak woodland habitats in the San Joaquin Valley and adjacent Sierra foothills. Mr. Kelsey participated in the botanical field surveys for the ecological study of eastern Merced County’s vernal pool landscapes. Mr. Kelsey has prepared reclamation plans which have been approved under the State of California Surface Mine and Reclamation Act and continues to actively advise on such projects. Mr. Kelsey’s expertise in the area of biomorphology is a result of extensive fieldwork, since 1989, involving geologic assessments in the lower Sierra Nevada foothills, identification of their associated soil types, and plant inventories in those areas. He has worked with landowners involving grant proposals, habitat and land form characterizations, plant surveys, regional conservation planning, mitigation banking and conservation easements. In 1992, Mr. Kelsey founded Merced River Mining & Reclamation Corp., a company which specializes in aggregate production from dredge tailings, reclamation of mined ground, and botanical reports. He has worked with botanists conducting rare plant and floristic inventories and bio-geographic research projects involving yearly data collection at project sites.

Mr. Kelsey currently is a Director on the East Merced County Resource Conservation District. He also is a member of the Board of Directors of Merced County Farm Bureau.

Read Less
 

Don Bucknor

back to top

Information Technology Specialist

Mr. Bucknor is a computer specialist who maintains the connectivity of networked computers and an intranet system that allows VNLC’s employees and associated subcontractors to access project management tools and project files from remote locations.

Read More

Information Technology Specialist

Mr. Bucknor is a computer specialist who maintains the connectivity of networked computers and an intranet system that allows VNLC’s employees and associated subcontractors to access project management tools and project files from remote locations.

Read Less