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).

Employee Bios

 

John Vollmar

President and Senior Ecologist

B.S. Natural History and Evolution, University of California, Berkeley, 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.

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B.S. Natural History and Evolution, University of California, Berkeley, 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.

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Jake Schweitzer

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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,

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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.

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Cassie Pinnell

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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,

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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.

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Roxanne Foss

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Senior Ecologist

M.S. Range Management (with Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Information, Science, and Technology), University of California, Berkeley, 2016
B.S. Conservation and Resource Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2010

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Senior Ecologist, 2018–present
  • Point Reyes National Seashore: Range Management Specialist, 2016-2018
  • University of Califronia, Berkeley: Graduate Student Researcher, 2014-2016
  • Condor Country Consulting, Inc.: Staff Biologist, 2013-2014
  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Staff Ecologist and GIS Analyst, 2009-2013
  • East Bay Regional Park District: Wildland Vegetation Intern, 2014, 2015
  • Yosemite National Park: Backcountry Botany Technician, 2011, 2012

Ms. Foss is an ecologist with a robust understanding of science-based adaptive land management, field survey protocols,

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M.S. Range Management (with Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Information, Science, and Technology), University of California, Berkeley, 2016
B.S. Conservation and Resource Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2010

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Senior Ecologist, 2018–present
  • Point Reyes National Seashore: Range Management Specialist, 2016-2018
  • University of Califronia, Berkeley: Graduate Student Researcher, 2014-2016
  • Condor Country Consulting, Inc.: Staff Biologist, 2013-2014
  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Staff Ecologist and GIS Analyst, 2009-2013
  • East Bay Regional Park District: Wildland Vegetation Intern, 2014, 2015
  • Yosemite National Park: Backcountry Botany Technician, 2011, 2012

Ms. Foss is an ecologist with a robust understanding of science-based adaptive land management, field survey protocols, and ecological principles. Ms. Foss is an ecologist with a robust understanding of science-based adaptive land management, field survey protocols, and ecological principles. A representation of the diversity of projects Ms. Foss has managed include: a water quality rangeland improvement grant; grassland mapping and rapid assessment; riparian restoration; native plant nursery operation and volunteer programs; rare plant population modelling; CEQA and NEPA compliance; and biological preserve monitoring. As a project manager, she has collaborated with agency partners, academic collaborators, private ranching operations, non-profit land trusts, environmental advocacy groups and volunteers. She has established positive and productive working relationships with contractors and sub-contractors in construction, biological consulting, and invasive plant management companies. She is active in local conservation groups and is currently on the Board of Directors for the California-Pacific Section of the Society for Rangeland Management.

Depending on project needs, Ms. Foss has conducted established industry-standard survey protocols, or where appropriate, has created and implemented biological survey protocols adapted to site-specific factors. She has coordinated and conducted rangeland monitoring, rare plant surveys, plant community mapping, floristic inventories, sensitive wildlife surveys, wetland delineations, and baseline inventories on sites throughout California.  She is familiar with state and federal regulations protecting special-status species.

Ms. Foss possesses strong geospatial and tabular data collection, management and statistical analysis capabilities. She has employed these skills to support sound science-based adaptive management decisions such as assessing effectivity of rare plant management, locating agricultural improvements, and selecting the most effective option for invasive pest management.  She is comfortable working with Garmin, Trimble GPS units, Juno GPS units, ArcGIS, TerraSync, ENVI, and R.

Selected wetlands project experience includes assisting with large branchiopod dip-net surveys, California tiger salamander seine and drift fence studies, California red-legged frog monitoring, California yellow-legged frog surveys and life cycle monitoring, fish seining, crab trapping, water quality testing, and wetland delineations.  Selected terrestrial project experience includes plant community mapping, forest composition monitoring, sub-alpine meadow monitoring, rare plant and botanical surveys.  She also has a strong familiarity of California amphibian, mammal and bird species.

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Eric Smith

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Geographic Information Science Specialist, Herpetologist

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

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Staff Ecologist and 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,

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

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Staff Ecologist and 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.

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John S. Hale

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Senior Botanist

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

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

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Vir McCoy

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Field Ecologist

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

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

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Linnea Neuhaus

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Staff Ecologist

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

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

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Ivy Poisson

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Staff Ecologist

Master of Environmental Science Management (MESM), Specializations in Conservation Planning and Coastal Marine Resources Management. University of California – Santa Barbara, 2014.

B.S. Environmental Management & Protection, Concentration in Environmental Law and Policy. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 2011.

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting Staff Ecologist 2019 – present
  • Sol Ecology Botanist 2019
  • MIG, Inc. Environmental Planner and Restoration Ecologist 2015 – 2018
  • Save the Bay Restoration Technician Intern 2014 – 2015
  • University of California, Santa Barbara Researcher 2012 – 2014
  • Bureau of Land Management Park Management Intern 2011, 2013

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

Ms. Poisson brings strong organizational and analytical skills to a variety of environmental projects learned from her experience working in the governmental,

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Master of Environmental Science Management (MESM), Specializations in Conservation Planning and Coastal Marine Resources Management. University of California – Santa Barbara, 2014.

B.S. Environmental Management & Protection, Concentration in Environmental Law and Policy. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 2011.

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting Staff Ecologist 2019 – present
  • Sol Ecology Botanist 2019
  • MIG, Inc. Environmental Planner and Restoration Ecologist 2015 – 2018
  • Save the Bay Restoration Technician Intern 2014 – 2015
  • University of California, Santa Barbara Researcher 2012 – 2014
  • Bureau of Land Management Park Management Intern 2011, 2013

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

Ms. Poisson brings strong organizational and analytical skills to a variety of environmental projects learned from her experience working in the governmental, non-profit, academic, and private sectors. Her work has primarily focused on restoration projects in coastal, riparian, and marsh habitats along California’s central coast. Her driving motivators as an environmental professional are developing feasible/implementable solutions, maintaining partnerships with key stakeholders for coalition building, and collaborating on large-scale conservation planning efforts while also restoring degraded/impacted habitats.

Her field work experience includes conducting protocol-level plant surveys, wetland delineations, restoration implementation/oversight and monitoring, construction monitoring, water quality monitoring, fish relocation (e-fishing), and invasive species removal and management. She has both collected and managed the data collection from field efforts and translated that into defensible reports. She has created polished and succinct deliverables using a combination of ESRI’s, Adobe’s, and Microsoft’s suite of products.

She is keyed in to local conservation issues through her position as conservation committee member for the East Bay chapter of the California Native Plant Society. 

REPRESENTATIVE PROJECT EXPERIENCE 

Revegetation Monitoring at Various Midpen Sites (San Mateo and Santa Clara County, CA)

Staff Ecologist (2019)

Conducted photomonitoring and revegetation surveys for seven revegetation projects located at Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, Monte Bello Preserve, Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve, and Sierra Azul Preserve. Created maps and prepared annual revegetation monitoring reports for revegetation sites.

Fish and Amphibian Relocation and Construction Monitoring for Calwater Facility at Bear Gulch Station (Woodside, CA)

Biological Monitor (2017 – 2018)

Dewatering set-up, e-fish, and relocation of steelhead/rainbow trout and California giant salamander within work areas. Construction monitoring and reporting. Daily water testing. Tree removal monitoring. Riparian restoration and monitoring. Ensure compliance with the established mitigation monitoring and reporting plan.

Biological Services for the Los Gatos Bridge Replacement Project (San Jose, CA)

Biological Monitor (2017 – 2018)

Dewatering set-up, e-fish, and relocation of various fish, amphibious, and invertebrate species within creek segment to be dewatered. Construction monitoring and reporting. Riparian restoration and monitoring. Ensure compliance with the established mitigation monitoring and reporting plan.

On-call Biological Services for California State Parks (Various Locations, CA)

Field Biologist (2016 – 2018)

Field work took place at Carnegie SVRA (C), Prairie City SVRA (P), and Oceano Dunes SVRA (O).  Conducted multi-year floristic surveys (C), wetland delineations (P), small mammal trapping (C), biological assessments (P), construction monitoring (C), and protocol-level red-legged frog surveys (O).

Biological Resources Evaluation and EIR Addendum (Marin County, CA)

Environmental Planner (2016)

Conducted biological reconnaissance visits for seven open space sites managed by MCOSD, prepared a biological resource evaluation report for these sites, and completed an Addendum for the MCOSD Road and Trail Management Plan Tiered Programmatic EIR for the Inclusive Access Plan.

Marsh Transition Zone Restoration (Various sites within Bay Area, CA)

Restoration Technician (2014 – 2015)

Collected seeds, propagated native plant stock at Save the Bay’s nurseries, and installed native marsh plants at restoration sites within transition zones. Restoration sites include Bair Island State Marine Park, Eden Landing Ecological Reserve, Ravenswood Pond, and Oro Loma Sanitary District. The Oro Loma Sanitary District site consists of the horizonal levee pilot project.

Coastal Dune and Scrub Habitat Restoration (San Simeon, CA)

Restoration Lead (2011, 2013)

Led partnership efforts with Sierra Club, the California Conservation Corps, American Conservation Experience, UCSB graduate students, and many other organizations to remove invasive plant species (primarily ice plant [Carprobrotus spp.] and mustard [Brassica/Hirschfeldia spp.]) from dune and scrub habitat within the Piedras Blancas Outstanding Natural Area. The project site is a 210-acre property co-managed by California State Parks and BLM; this site contains various types of sensitive habitat, rare plant species, marine mammals, and pelagic birds. 

PROFESSIONAL TRAINING AND CERTIFICATIONS

Wetland Delineation Certification – 40 hours (2016) and Advanced Wetland Delineation Certification (2019)

Jepson Herbarium Workshops for Intro to Plant Families, 50 Plant Families, and Poaceae I

Rare Pond Species Workshop for California red-legged frog [Rana draytonii], western pond turtle [Actinemys marmorata], and California tiger salamander [Ambystoma californiense] (2017)

CRAM Training – Vernal Pool Module (February 2020)

Basic and Advanced CEQA training – Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP)

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS 

East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society – Conservation Committee

PERMITS 

2081 (a)-19-091-V Plant Voucher Collecting Permit 

PUBLICATIONS

Ku, I. and Lappinga, T. (2011). Rangeland Oak Regeneration, Rehabilitation, and Conservation in Varian Ranch, Arroyo Grande, California. Available for download at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1007&context=nrmsp

Arthur, S., Estrada, A., Ku, I., Sarquilla, L., & Wilson, N. (2014). Comparing Mitigation Alternatives at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History: Ecological Outcomes & Policy Implications. Available for download at: http://www.bren.ucsb.edu/research/2014Group_Projects/documents/Urban_Oaks_Final_Report.pdf

Experience obtained prior to joining VNLC

Name change from Ivy Ku to Ivy Poisson

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Kristen Chinn

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Staff Ecologist

B.S. Conservation and Resource Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2016
B.A. Geography, University of California, Berkeley, 2016

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Staff Ecologist, 2018-present
  • Soil and Environmental Biogeophysics Lab, UC Berkeley: Research Assistant, 2016

Ms. Chinn’s undergraduate work focused on agriculture, geography, and GIS. During her undergraduate degree, Ms. Chinn spent a year working under PhD candidate Sarick Matzen studying the ability of Pteris vittata to accumulate arsenic in contaminated soils. Her field survey technique experience includes seining and RMA surveys. She is proficient in ArcGIS, Microsoft Office, and Adobe Creative Suite software, and data collection using Trimble GPS units.

Ms. Chinn has applied her skills to a variety of projects in Northern California and the Central Valley with VNLC.

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B.S. Conservation and Resource Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2016
B.A. Geography, University of California, Berkeley, 2016

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting: Staff Ecologist, 2018-present
  • Soil and Environmental Biogeophysics Lab, UC Berkeley: Research Assistant, 2016

Ms. Chinn’s undergraduate work focused on agriculture, geography, and GIS. During her undergraduate degree, Ms. Chinn spent a year working under PhD candidate Sarick Matzen studying the ability of Pteris vittata to accumulate arsenic in contaminated soils. Her field survey technique experience includes seining and RMA surveys. She is proficient in ArcGIS, Microsoft Office, and Adobe Creative Suite software, and data collection using Trimble GPS units.

Ms. Chinn has applied her skills to a variety of projects in Northern California and the Central Valley with VNLC. She is trained in spatial analysis and aerial imagery interpretation, and has assisted on multiple mapping projects.  Her field experience includes biological inspections, general inspections, fish surveys, nesting bird surveys, and wetland delineations.

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Rachel Miller

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Staff Biologist

Certificate. Field Ecology. Sacramento City College, 2020
M.A. Education and teaching credential. UC Davis, 2011
B.S. Ecology and Evolution. UC Santa Cruz, 2006

  •  Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting Staff Biologist 2019-present
  • Heinrich Property Management Leasing Agent and Maintenance Technician 2016-2020
  • Academic Impact Math and Science Tutor 2016-2018
  • Seaside High School High School Science Teacher 2011-2015

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

Ms. Miller combines a professional and educational background in botany, field biology, and conservation with her experiences in the education field as a science teacher. Her experience with sampling and assessment techniques for flora and fauna in natural areas includes a broad range of fieldwork techniques, including floristic surveys,

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Certificate. Field Ecology. Sacramento City College, 2020
M.A. Education and teaching credential. UC Davis, 2011
B.S. Ecology and Evolution. UC Santa Cruz, 2006

  •  Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting Staff Biologist 2019-present
  • Heinrich Property Management Leasing Agent and Maintenance Technician 2016-2020
  • Academic Impact Math and Science Tutor 2016-2018
  • Seaside High School High School Science Teacher 2011-2015

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

Ms. Miller combines a professional and educational background in botany, field biology, and conservation with her experiences in the education field as a science teacher. Her experience with sampling and assessment techniques for flora and fauna in natural areas includes a broad range of fieldwork techniques, including floristic surveys, acoustic sampling, small mammal trapping, radio telemetry, electrofishing, and quadrat sampling. Her primary area of interest is California’s native plants and the preservation and restoration of native botanical communities.

She possesses a strong knowledge of environmental regulations, including CEPA & NEPA, wetland delineations, and clean water act regulations. Her background in education cultivated effective oral and written communication of technical and scientific concepts. She has a history of producing clear, concise, and comprehensive reports.

She has experience working with ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, GPS data collection, Microsoft Office Suite, and other specialized software programs.

REPRESENTATIVE PROJECT EXPERIENCE 

Hudeman Slough Boat Ramp Improvement Project

Staff Biologist (2020-present)

This Sonoma County Regional Parks (SCRP) project includes upgrading the existing 55-year old boat launch facility on Hudeman Slough. The project includes demolition and reconstruction of the existing facility as well as installation of a vegetated swale of approximately 5,400 square feet. SCRP would also remove approximately 1,147 square feet of perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) on the project site. Ms. Miller’s contributions on this project included wetland delineation and project reporting.

 

Magnolia Ranch Exotic Species Project

Student (2019)

This capstone project in the field ecology certificate program required a botanical survey of Magnolia Ranch in the California foothills, comparing the relative prevalence of native vs non-native plant species in grassland habitats compared to riparian habitats. All plant species within randomized plots were identified to species, and the species composition was analyzed to provide insight on year-to-year trends in invasive species management concerns and recommendations.

Botanical Collection Project

Student (2018)

Collected, identified, pressed, and displayed botanical specimens of California native plant species from a variety of natural ecosystems. Obtained permissions as needed for specimen collection.

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Gabe Saron

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Staff Ecologist

B.S. Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis, December 2016

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting Staff Ecologist 2021 – present
  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Invasive Species Program Environmental Scientist 2020
  • WRA, Inc Construction Monitor 2020
  • University of California, Davis Junior Specialist 2017-2019
  • University of California, Davis Student Assistant 2015-2016

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

Mr. Saron is excited to join the Vollmar team! An aquatic ecologist at the start of his consulting career, he brings four years of scientific experience conducting interdisciplinary watershed science and invasive species management. Working as a Junior Specialist with the Johnson-Jeffres Lab at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences,

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B.S. Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis, December 2016

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting Staff Ecologist 2021 – present
  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Invasive Species Program Environmental Scientist 2020
  • WRA, Inc Construction Monitor 2020
  • University of California, Davis Junior Specialist 2017-2019
  • University of California, Davis Student Assistant 2015-2016

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

Mr. Saron is excited to join the Vollmar team! An aquatic ecologist at the start of his consulting career, he brings four years of scientific experience conducting interdisciplinary watershed science and invasive species management. Working as a Junior Specialist with the Johnson-Jeffres Lab at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, he worked on aquatic ecology studies of managed Central Valley floodplains, tidal wetlands and spring-fed stream restoration efforts. As zooplankton lead, he oversaw training of new hires, development of lab protocols, database design and lab organization. Mr. Saron is also experienced in monitoring for special-status salmonids such as Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytcha) and Coastal Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Working as a Construction Monitor for WRA, Inc, he assisted with salmonid salvage and relocation during the Novato Creek Sediment removal project. Building upon his invertebrate experience, he conducted invasive dreissenid mussel monitoring with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Invasive Species Program.

These efforts highlight Mr. Saron’s drive to understand landscape level ecological processes through rigorous field science. His outreach experience as an environmental educator, floodplain ecologist and invasive species monitor reflect his collaborative approach to conservation. His skillset includes a suite of fish and invertebrate sampling techniques, water quality sampling, hydroacoustic mapping, invertebrate and fish taxonomy, avian point counts, anadromous fish biotelemetry, boat operation and GIS.

REPRESENTATIVE PROJECT EXPERIENCE 

Quagga and Zebra Mussel Early Detection Monitoring for California Department of Fish and Wildlife Invasive Species Program (Sacramento, CA)

Environmental Scientist (2020)

Conducted early detection monitoring for invasive Quagga and Zebra mussels in waterbodies around inland and coastal southern California, in support of CDFW regional monitoring efforts. Conducted plankton tows, water quality sampling, artificial substrate sampling, surface surveys, data management, field crew supervision. Performed outreach and education with waterbody managers. Fulfilled monitoring objectives specified by Fish and Game Code Section 2032, Sport Fish Restoration Act Grant. Ensured compliance with CDFW Covid-19 safety protocols.

Novato Creek 2020 Maintenance Sediment Removal and Wetland Enhancement Project (Marin County, CA)

Construction Monitor (2020)

With WRA, Inc, assisted in salvage and relocation of special-status salmonids and other native fish during a creek dewatering. Conducted special status salmonid handling, data collection purse seining, dip netting, field crew coordination, pump operation.

Eyes and Ears Project (Sacramento and Butte Counties)

Junior Specialist (2020)

Extracted eye lenses and otoliths from carcasses collected during the CDFW returning Fall Run Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytcha) carcass survey on the mainstem Sacramento River.

Sutter Bypass Fish Study (Sacramento, Colusa, Butte and Sutter Counties)

Junior Specialist (2019)

With Johnson-Jeffres lab at UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, assisted in fish enclosure deployment, stocking, captive salmon monitoring, fish seining, zooplankton sampling and water quality sampling for study of Sutter Bypass floodplain processes and landscape-level effects. Conducted wild fish sampling with purse seines and dip nets. Performed outreach with landowners, agency and NGO partners. In lab, oversaw processing of zooplankton samples, fish dissections, gut contents analysis, delivery of samples to UC Davis Stable Isotope Facility. Participated in database design in MS Access and created data analysis products in Project R software. 

Cosumnes River Study (Sacramento County)

Junior Specialist (2019)

Assisted UC Davis M.S. Candidate Mollie Ogaz in a study of fish outmigration on the restored Triangle Marsh floodplain, Cosumnes river preserve. Conducted fish and invertebrate taxonomic ID, water quality and zooplankton sampling. Handled special status Spring run Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytcha). 

Fall River Project (Shasta County)

Junior Specialist (2018-2019)

Conducted Coastal Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) passive integrated transponder (PIT) tagging and array maintenance, installation and data download. Participated in stakeholder outreach at fish tagging events with partners CalTrout, CDFW and Fall River Conservancy. 

Little Shasta Project (Shasta County)

Junior Specialist (2017-2018)

Conducted aerial imagery survey, RTK Topographic survey, channel morphology and discharge surveys, water quality sampling and benthic macroinvertebrate sampling of restored spring-fed stream reaches.

Fish Food on Floodplain Farm Fields

Junior Specialist (2017-2018)

Conducted zooplankton and water quality sampling on managed agricultural floodplains, wetlands and river channels in the Sacramento Valley. In collaboration with NGO partner CalTrout and landowner partners Montna Farms, Yolo Rice Co and others landowners.

Beavers in Sierra Nevada Meadows

Student Assistant (2016)

Conducted aerial imagery survey and RTK topographic survey, well depth measurements, water quality sampling, amphibian survey on experimental treatment and control sections of Sierra Nevada meadows. Treatments included beaver dam reach, cattle exclusion, beaver dam analog and grazing.

Spring fed vs. Snowmelt Rivers: Ecosystem Productivity

Student Assistant (2015-2016)

Working in the Upper Sacramento River watershed, conducted benthic macroinvertebrate sampling, taxonomic ID, benthic algae sampling, biomass analysis. 

Wildlife Use of Native Perennial Grasslands and Exotic Annual Grasslands

Student Assistant (2014-2015)

Assisted UC Davis doctoral candidate Kristina Wolf in study of wildlife use of restored and unrestored perennial grasslands. Conducted sherman rodent trapping, vegetation quadrat surveys, raptor surveys, field logistics.

UC Davis Wood Duck Project

Student Assisted (2014)

Conducted nest box surveys and PIT reader downloads in study of wood duck population dynamics and nest parasitism.

 

PROFESSIONAL TRAINING AND CERTIFICATIONS

Delta Smelt Field ID Workshop, UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences

Zooplankton Taxonomy Workshop, UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences

Larval and Juvenile Fish Taxonomy Workshop UC Davis Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology 

PUBLICATIONS

“A Flood Bypass in California’s Central Valley Provides Optimal Growth Conditions for Juvenile Chinook Salmon,” Saron, G.*, Holmes, E., Salvador, M., Tilcock, M., Corline, N., Cordelioni, F., Johnson, R., Jeffres, C. (Poster), American Fisheries Society and the Wildlife Society Joint Conference, 2019.

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Christopher R. Jasper

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Biologist

 M.S. Ecology and Conservation. University of California, Davis, 2020.
B.A. Watershed Science and Management Major, Wildlife and Fish Conservation Minor. University of California, Davis, 2015.

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting Biologist 2020-Present
  • University of California, Davis:
  • Center for Watershed Sciences Graduate Student Researcher 2018-2020
  • University of California, Davis:
  • Center for Watershed Sciences Fisheries Technician 2015-2018
  • University of California, Davis:
  • Center for Watershed Sciences Student Research Assistant 2012-2015

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

Mr. Jasper has 8 years of experience sampling and studying fish from a wide variety of California’s aquatic ecosystems. His work has included sampling and studying out-migrating Chinook Salmon, a drought impact study on fish populations through sampling rivers and creeks across California,

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 M.S. Ecology and Conservation. University of California, Davis, 2020.
B.A. Watershed Science and Management Major, Wildlife and Fish Conservation Minor. University of California, Davis, 2015.

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting Biologist 2020-Present
  • University of California, Davis:
  • Center for Watershed Sciences Graduate Student Researcher 2018-2020
  • University of California, Davis:
  • Center for Watershed Sciences Fisheries Technician 2015-2018
  • University of California, Davis:
  • Center for Watershed Sciences Student Research Assistant 2012-2015

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

Mr. Jasper has 8 years of experience sampling and studying fish from a wide variety of California’s aquatic ecosystems. His work has included sampling and studying out-migrating Chinook Salmon, a drought impact study on fish populations through sampling rivers and creeks across California, and monitoring fish populations in the northern California Delta and Suisun Marsh. From these studies, he has gained substantial knowledge in the life histories, ecology, and conservation challenges of California salmonids and other native species. With this, he has extensive experience in understanding the complications associated with undesirable introduced fish species on native fish populations and adverse human-related impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Mr. Jasper has experience in monitoring the succession of fish species and water quality prior, during, and following restoration of several large restoration projects in the California Delta and Suisun Marsh as well. Beyond fisheries work, he is well versed in water quality monitoring techniques along with visualization and analysis water quality data in ArcGIS and statistical software. He utilized his expertise in water quality monitoring to study the effects of watershed management on terminal slough systems in the California Delta for his thesis work at UC Davis.

EDUCATION 

M.S. Ecology and Conservation. University of California, Davis, 2020.

B.A. Watershed Science and Management Major, Wildlife and Fish Conservation Minor. University of California, Davis, 2015.

 

REPRESENTATIVE PROJECT EXPERIENCE

Montezuma Wetlands Tidal Restoration Project (Solano County, CA)

Wildlife/Fisheries Biologist (2020)

Montezuma Wetlands Project includes using approved dredged sediment to restore approximately 1,880 acres of diked and subsided former baylands to a tidal wetland ecosystem including some seasonal wetland features, and approximately 480 acres of upland transition zone habitat. There are approximately 600 acres of the property that have been restored into low intertidal marsh, high intertidal marsh, subtidal marsh, and transitional upland buffer zones. Recently in October of 2020 this area was breached, and the adjacent Montezuma Slough waters have inundated the site, beginning the process of ecological succession. Mr. Jasper has aided with the establishment of a fish monitoring plan for the site along with establishing performance criteria of the site for salmonids and other native fish species.

UC DAVIS PROJECT EXPERIENCE: 

Watershed Management Drives Ecological Dynamics in California Estuarine Wetlands (Yolo County, CA)

Graduate Student Researcher (2018-2020)

Devised a thesis study in the California delta that has helped characterize areas which provide critical refuge habitat for native fishes, in particular, dead-end tidal sloughs that receive periodic upland flows from precipitation, agricultural discharge, and an artificial lake. These novel input sources have been associated with improved conditions for phytoplankton and zooplankton production in the sloughs. With the goal of understanding the linkages between natural/anthropogenic upland flows, slough habitat quality, and native fishes the findings of this thesis provide invaluable guidelines for future restoration projects and water export management of the Solano County Water Agency facilities.

Center for Watershed Sciences: Arc Project (Yolo County, CA)

Fisheries Technician (2015-2018) 

The Arc Project is a long- term monitoring project in the northern California delta that has studied fish, water quality, and zooplankton trends from 2012 to present. Mr. Jasper’s responsibilities included organizing and planning fieldwork sampling events, maintaining water quality and fish sampling equipment, and executing year-round field sampling expeditions. On this project he spent extensive time collecting water quality, zooplankton, and fish data on the north Delta and Suisun Marsh by conducting trawling, electro-fishing, water quality, and bathymetry sampling. He also contributed towards data analysis and writing for annual reports summarizing our project’s findings along with help apply for State and Federal Scientific Collecting Permits.

Putah Creek Chinook Salmon Out-migration

Senior Thesis (2015-2016)

Created a study to monitor the intermittent Chinook salmon population under the guidance of Dr. Peter Moyle. Weekly sampling by canoeing the creek and seining in the spring of 2015 and 2016 found specific habitat uses and migration timing of Chinook salmon smolt in relation to artificial flow pulses of the Monticello dam. These finding were used to inform future adaptive management flow releases intended to aid salmon migration along with future studies of salmon on Putah creek. 

UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences: Drought Study

Student Research Assistant (2012-2015)

Sampled fish a variety of small tributaries throughout the Central Valley, Coast Ranges and Sierras with backpack electrofishing equipment. Became experienced identifying the inland fishes of California and conducting habitat characterizations of water body conditions through bathymetry, flow profiles, and riparian vegetation health quantification. Used findings to inform the conditions of sensitive fish populations during the most severe California drought in recent history.

 

REPORTS/PUBLICATIONS 

Jasper, C. R. 2020. Watershed Management Drives Ecological Dynamics in California Estuarine Wetlands. University of California, Davis. ProQuest.

Durand, J. R., Jasper C., Williamson B., Kruger A., O’Rear T., Holleman, R., 2020. North Delta Arc Study 2019 annual report: Cache and Lindsey Slough water quality, productivity, and fisheries. UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences.

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Misaki Yonashiro

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Staff Biologist

B.S. Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis, 2019

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting (VNLC) Staff Biologist October 2019- present
  • UC Davis Center for Veterinary Genetics Field Technician June-Sept 2019
  • Soil Biogeochemistry Lab, UC Davis Department of Land, Air and Water Resources Lab Assistant 2017-2018
  • Moyle Biology Lab, UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences Lab Assistant 2017-2019

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

Ms. Yonashiro’s undergraduate work focused on wildlife taxonomy, ecology and conservation. Her main area of specialization is in the biology and ecology of California’s avian species. Ms. Yonashiro also has experience with other taxa, particularly aquatic invertebrates. During her undergraduate degree, Ms. Yonashiro spent two years working under Dr.

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B.S. Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis, 2019

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting (VNLC) Staff Biologist October 2019- present
  • UC Davis Center for Veterinary Genetics Field Technician June-Sept 2019
  • Soil Biogeochemistry Lab, UC Davis Department of Land, Air and Water Resources Lab Assistant 2017-2018
  • Moyle Biology Lab, UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences Lab Assistant 2017-2019

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY

Ms. Yonashiro’s undergraduate work focused on wildlife taxonomy, ecology and conservation. Her main area of specialization is in the biology and ecology of California’s avian species. Ms. Yonashiro also has experience with other taxa, particularly aquatic invertebrates. During her undergraduate degree, Ms. Yonashiro spent two years working under Dr. John Durand differentiating zooplankton species sampled from the Sacramento Delta for the Aquatic Research Collective project. In conjunction, she spent some time intermittently in the Soil Biogeochemistry Lab conducting nutrient analysis of water quality samples for various projects such as the Complete Marsh Project. In the summer of 2019, Ms. Yonashiro worked closely with PhD candidate Andrea Broad collecting carnivore scat samples and performing DNA extractions for the UC Davis North Coast Deer and Carnivore Project. Her interest in wildlife rehabilitation also brought her to work in the Sierra Wildlife Rescue Baby Bird Nursery for a summer where she rehabilitated baby and injured birds. She has experience with field survey methods such as zooplankton net sampling, water quality testing and sampling, otter trawling, and visual transect surveys.

Ms. Yonashiro has applied her skills to a few projects in Northern California and the Central Valley with VNLC. Her field experience includes biological inspections, general inspections, bird monitoring, conducting nesting bird surveys, wetland and upland vegetation monitoring, and wetland delineations.

Representative Project Experience

City of Newman Seasonal Inland Wetland Restoration Project (Merced County, CA)
Staff Biologist (2019 – Present)

Assisted in the wetland delineation of wetland and grassland habitat, and led the wetland delineation report preparation. Field surveys involved using Trimble GPS units for data collection.

Environmental Stewardship Foundation Preserves (Placer, El Dorado, & Sacramento Counties)
Staff Biologist (2019 – Present)

Assisted in the monitoring of 13 preserves managed by Environmental Stewardship Foundation. Habitat types include vernal pool grasslands, oak woodland, and riparian corridors. Conducted surveys including biological inspections and general inspections.

Montezuma Wetlands Project (Solano County, CA)
Staff Biologist (2019 – Present)

Conducted monthly bird monitoring, vegetation monitoring, and sediment and water quality monitoring.

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Henry Hwang

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Staff Ecologist

B.S. Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis, 2019

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting (VNLC) Staff Ecologist 2019 – present
  • United States Geological Survey (USGS) Biological Science Technician 2018-2019

Professional Summary

Mr. Hwang’s professional and educational background has focused on the study and conservation of a wide variety of California’s rare and threatened species. His main area of specialization is in the biology and ecology of California’s reptile and amphibian species such as the giant garter snake (Thamnophis gigas), California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) and the Mohave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii). Mr. Hwang also has experience working with other taxa including large freshwater branchiopods and other aquatic invertebrates.

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B.S. Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis, 2019

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting (VNLC) Staff Ecologist 2019 – present
  • United States Geological Survey (USGS) Biological Science Technician 2018-2019

Professional Summary

Mr. Hwang’s professional and educational background has focused on the study and conservation of a wide variety of California’s rare and threatened species. His main area of specialization is in the biology and ecology of California’s reptile and amphibian species such as the giant garter snake (Thamnophis gigas), California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) and the Mohave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii). Mr. Hwang also has experience working with other taxa including large freshwater branchiopods and other aquatic invertebrates. His fieldwork experience includes visual transect surveys, night spotlighting surveys, dipnetting, seining, trap checking and radio telemetry receiver operation.

During his undergraduate degree, Mr. Hwang assisted in several graduate and postdoctoral research projects at the University of California, Davis. One such project included sampling vernal pools across several locations in the Central Valley for fairy shrimp presence to assess the viability of environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling to detect vernal pool species. In another project, Mr. Hwang worked closely with postdoctoral candidate Richard Kim to study the interspecific interactions between giant garter snakes and invasive American bullfrogs. On this project Mr. Hwang played a crucial role in field collections, and designing research methods as well independently conducting research himself. He has also helped raise neonate giant garter snakes on a headstarting program with the goal of reintroducing giant garter snakes into restored wetlands. Through this exposure to a variety of different projects, Mr. Hwang has become adept at data collection, data management and other associated tasks essential for conducting high quality scientific research.

Representative Project Experience

USGS Giant Garter Snake Demographic Study (Solano, Sacramento, Yolo, Colusa, Sutter, Butte Counties, CA). Biological Science Technician. Conducted field surveys involving checking and maintaining traplines targeting the giant garter snake (Thamnophis gigas) in the Northern Central Valley. Captured snakes were processed to collect morphometric data and to provide individualized markings and PIT tags for later identification. Summer 2018, Summer 2019. 

Environmental DNA Monitoring for Vernal Pool Organisms (Sacramento and Merced Counties, CA).  Field Assistant for postdoctoral candidate, Shannon Kieran, in the Genomic Variation Lab , UC Davis. Surveyed over 80 vernal pools using a combination of dipnetting and eDNA sampling to detect the presence of vernal pool species. Winter 2017.

Rancho Seco Recreational Area Vernal Pool Monitoring Study (Sacramento County, CA). Field Assistant for graduate student Julia Michaels in the Eviner Lab, UC Davis. Monitored a complex of over 50 vernal pools to determine the effects grazing on vernal pool plant communities. Maintained fence lines, took measurements on pool hydrology and conducted plant species transect surveys. Winter 2018.  

Ironwood Consulting Desert Tortoise Surveying and Translocation (Clark County, NV). Field Technician. Participated in surveys and translocation efforts focused on a population of Mohave desert tortoises on a proposed solar farm. Duties included performing visual transects, burrow examinations and radio telemetry receiver operation. Summer 2018. 

Professional Development Coursework

California Red-Legged Frog Level II Workshop (Jeff Alvarez, The Wildlife Project). Point Reyes CA, Sonoma CA, August 2018.

Bullfrog Culling Workshop (Jeff Alvarez,The Wildlife Project). San Jose CA, October 2018.

Rancho Meling, Baja California Herpetological Survey and Workshop (Jeff Alvarez, The Wildlife Project). Ensenada Municipality, Baja California, April 2019.

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Associate Bios

 

Kevin Knowles

Associate

B.A.

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,

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B.A.

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.

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Stuart Siegel

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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.

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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.

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Todd Sloat

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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.

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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.

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Josh Phillips

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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.

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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.

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Brent Helm

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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;

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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.

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Jon Kelsey

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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.

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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.

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Denise Defreese

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Range Management Specialist

Certified Rangeland Manager #M106, State of California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, 2015

B.S. Natural Resources Management, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 1982.

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting,Range Management Specialist 2019 – Present
  • East Bay Regional Park District, Wildland Vegetation Program Manager 2013 – 2019
  • East Bay Regional Park District, Park Supervisor 1990 – 2013
  • East Bay Regional Park District, Park Ranger 1983 – 1990

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY
Ms. Defreese has over three decades of public land management experience gained as a wildland vegetation program manager, park supervisor and park ranger. As the range program manager for over 80,000 acres, she oversaw over 80 grazing licenses held by 43 ranchers using mostly cattle,

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Certified Rangeland Manager #M106, State of California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, 2015

B.S. Natural Resources Management, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 1982.

  • Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting,Range Management Specialist 2019 – Present
  • East Bay Regional Park District, Wildland Vegetation Program Manager 2013 – 2019
  • East Bay Regional Park District, Park Supervisor 1990 – 2013
  • East Bay Regional Park District, Park Ranger 1983 – 1990

PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY
Ms. Defreese has over three decades of public land management experience gained as a wildland vegetation program manager, park supervisor and park ranger. As the range program manager for over 80,000 acres, she oversaw over 80 grazing licenses held by 43 ranchers using mostly cattle, but also sheep and goats, to manage vegetation to reduce fuel loads and enhance grassland communities. Before becoming the vegetation program manager, she honed her skills on the ground as a park supervisor managing lands at Briones Regional Park, Morgan Territory, Round Valley, Brushy Peak, and Vasco Caves. Ms. Defreese managed grazing programs at each park to reduce weedy species and manage grasslands in support of listed or threatened species, such as California red-legged frog, California tiger salamander, Alameda whipsnake, golden eagle and western burrowing owl. As a park supervisor, she saw firsthand how managed livestock grazing affected vegetative change and supported special-status species.

Ms. Defreese has collaborated with agency partners, academic collaborators, public lands ranching operations, resource conservation districts, environmental advocacy groups, and volunteers. She is active in local conservation groups, as a steering committee member of the Central Coast Rangelands Coalition, and as chairperson of both the Awards Committee and the Certified Range Manager Committee of the California-Pacific Section of the Society for Rangeland Management.

She has coordinated, conducted, and trained staff in rangeland monitoring, rare plant surveys and floristic inventories on sites in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.  She is familiar with state and federal regulations protecting special-status species.  Selected terrestrial project experience includes plant community mapping, rare plant and botanical surveys.  She also has a strong familiarity of California amphibian, mammal and bird species.

REPRESENTATIVE PROJECT EXPERIENCE 

CA Rangeland Trust, Lazy K Ranch, Chowchilla, CA Annual RDM Monitoring Report
As the Certified Rangeland Manager reviewed previous RDM reports and the Grazing Plan. Completed RDM samples at ten sites, recommended changes for improvement. Wrote and submitted report.

EBRPD Vegetation Monitoring Program Review (Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, CA). Developed, implemented and led prioritized system to annually survey spring grassland vegetation over ten parks using existing staff with locations based on data gaps, specific management changes or rare plant communities. Directed and participated in annual rare plant surveys of Mount Diablo Buckwheat (Eriogonum truncatum); Santa Cruz tarplant (Holocarpha macradenia), and fragrant fritillary (Fritillaria liliacea). 

EBRPD Grazing Lease and Fee Schedule Program Review (Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, CA). As the program manager, wrote and reviewed requests for proposals for grazing leases. Researched public land agency proposals and developed rating systems to screen, rate and recommend qualified candidates. Organized, led and coordinated selection process to recommend new leaseholders. Summarized local public land licenses, lease lengths and protocols and recommended updates to EBRPD license for review. Reviewed, summarized and recommended changes to fee schedules and procedures to offer flexibility and better meet needs of the agency. 

Sunol Rangeland Resiliency Project (Alameda County CA). East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) lead in a complex watershed project on lands owned by San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and EBRPD. Alameda County Resource Conservation District, with assistance from Dina Robertson of AECOM, obtained grant funding from the Coastal Conservancy requiring matching funding from partner agencies to install rangeland improvements within two years (allowed a one-year extension due to permit issues).  Project involved collaboration with multiple partners, budget management, permit coordination, preconstruction plant survey coordination with partner landowner, contract management, planning and design for water development improvements that included two pond restorations, three spring redevelopments and a mile of new pipe and troughs. Project was completed on time and within budget.

Serpentine Prairie Restoration for Clarkia franciscana (Oakland, CA). Project manager from 2014-2019 coordinating and directing consultant in land management in support of federal and state listed species at Redwood Regional Park. Coordinated and managed targeted grazing as a new management tool initiated in 2015. Coordinated with integrated pest management staff annual volunteer event for weed removal. Reviewed and edited annual reports from 2014-2018.

EBRPD Rangeland Improvement Project Implementation (Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, CA). Project manager for over 35 rangeland improvement projects performed by contractors or range leaseholders annually. Coordinated and managed Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Improvement projects (EQIP) between leaseholders and District resulting in cost savings of $50,000-100,000 annually.   Reviewed, inspected, planned, designed and coordinated permits and construction needs with permit requirements to meet current conservation practices.

Delta Landbank Restoration Project (Contra Costa County). Developed and implemented a passive restoration management plan on a fallow 80-acre grassland and remnant dune site. Initial goals were to reduce target weedy species and nonnative annual grasses. Secondary goals were to increase native species, specifically California croton (Croton californicus). Worked collaboratively with the local rancher who brought in his small cattle herd at the recommended times. Target weed species were reduced by at least 75% by year 3. Annual grass biomass was reduced by half and California croton was abundant and expanding by year three.

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Don Bucknor

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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.

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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.

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