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2020 One Tam Virtual Summit on Climate: Change and Resilience

2020 One Tam Virtual Summit on Climate: Change and Resilience

The 2020 One Tam Virtual Summit on Climate: Change and Resilience welcomed One Tam partner staff, scientists, community members, volunteers, and students from Marin and beyond, online every Thursday morning in October, 2020. We explored a range of topics including climate change impacts here in Marin, what One Tam partners and others in Marin are doing, how we can scale solutions, intersections with public health, and how equity is a cross-cutting issue across these themes. And more. 

Below you'll find the event program, recordings of the presentations, and additional resources to help you go deeper into the Summit's themes. If you don't see something you're looking for, check back in a few days as we will continue to update recordings and resources as they become available.

These special live sessions were also offered in addition to the webinars, and are now passed:

  • October 7, 11 am-12 pm: Special Live Session: Climate Change & Parks Q&A
  • October 15, 5-6 pm: Evolving Shorelines Adaptation Concepts Presentation for Bothin Marsh and the Mill Valley-Sausalito Pathway
  • October 27, 1 pm-3 pm: Environmental Allies: A Conversation about Equity And Environmentalism 
  • October 29, 1 pm-3 pm: Environmental Allies: A Conversation about Equity And Environmentalism (second opportunity)

You can also get ideas to TAKE ACTION on climate below.

The One Tam Summit is a biannual program that brings together One Tam partner staff, scientists, students, and community members to learn about the health of Mt. Tam, where we need more information, and how we can all help protect the mountain. The Summits bring actionable research to land managers, and provides a forum for sharing information with each other and with interested stakeholders and community members. 

Schedule and Resources by Day

October 1: Setting the Stage: Marin’s Ecological and Social Climate

9:00: Welcome - Janet Klein, Community Science Program Director, One Tam 

9:10: Marin’s changing climate - Rosa Schneider, Senior Environmental Scientist, California State Parks 

9:40: Centering equity, history and community in discussion of climate change - José González, Founder and Director Emeritus, Latino Outdoors; Partner, Avarna Group; and Principal, Conservation Cultura

10:05: Climate, equity, and emergency response - Liz Darby, Social Equity Program and Policy Coordinator, Marin County; Angela Nicholson, Assistant County Administrator, Marin County 

10:30: Break

10:45: Culture and collaborative leadership - Kevin Wright, External Affairs Coordinator, Marin County Parks 

11:05: Equitable access to parks in the COVID-19 era - Melissa Jones, Executive Director, Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiatives 

11:30: Youth Perspectives on Climate Change: We are the change we seek - LINC Alumni Ryan Chiang, 11th grade, Tamalpais High School; Summer Polster, Freshman at UC Berkeley (Business & Environmental Economics & Policy); Nate Wolford, 11th grade, 1327 High School (formerly known as Drake); with Grecia Pacheco, Youth Program Manager, One Tam 

12:15: Closing remarks

12:30: End

Building an inclusive climate movement:

Climate change science and communication:

  • California’s Climate Change Assessments contribute to the scientific foundation for understanding climate-related vulnerability at the local scale and informing resilience actions, while also directly informing State policies, plans, programs, and guidance, to promote effective and integrated action to safeguard California from climate change. Find the statewide, regional, and technical reports here, as well as mapping and visualization tools.
  • Climate Ready Vegetation Reports from the Terrestrial Biodiversity Climate Change Collaborative can be viewed for the North Bay. 
  • California Climate Action Day was Sept 24. Tune in for a day of in-depth conversations and panels about California’s actions to build a greener future.
  • Climate Adaptation: Managing the Effects of Climate Change in the Bay Area. In the fight against climate change, the Bay Area has two important responsibilities. We must reduce our carbon emissions through better regional planning, and we must prepare for some inevitable environmental change. SPUR's research and recommendations are laying the groundwork for how local governments can plan for both of these challenges.
  • National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI). NNOCCI is launching a new training opportunity: The NNOCCI Crash Course! This is a 6-week, 25-hour, fee-based online course for any climate communicator interested in improving their communication skills. Learn more about the course here.
  • Borrowed Time: a podcast Series from the Mill Valley Library. Borrowed Time is the Library’s new initiative to combat climate change through a series of events, activities and actions throughout 2020 - including this podcast series.

Climate, Parks, and Health:

Liz Darby, Social Equity Program and Policy Coordinator, Marin County

Liz Darby joined the County of Marin in January of 2015 as the Social Equity Program and Policy Coordinator. As part of the Community Development Agency, Liz’s work focuses on furthering fair housing and supporting the County’s equity initiatives to address disparities and barriers that limit access and opportunities to basic needs, housing, education and employment.

Since March, Liz has been a community liaison for Marin’s Health & Human Services, working to address the needs of residents in Marin City. Prior to Liz joining the County of Marin, she served as the Executive Director for the Marin City Community Development Corporation. Liz has been a Marin resident for over 25 years, and is the mother of two adult children

José G. González, Founder and Director Emeritus, Latino Outdoors; Partner, Avarna Group; and Principal, Conservation Cultura

José G. González is the Founder of Latino Outdoors. He is an experienced educator as a K-12 public education teacher, environmental education advisor, outdoor education instructor and coordinator, and university adjunct faculty. He is also an illustrator and science communicator.

Melissa Jones, MPA, Executive Director, Bay Area Regional Health Inequalities Initiative (BARHII)

Melissa Jones is passionate about creating the conditions that increase quality of life and makes life fairer for more people. Her work focuses on the intersection of social determinants of health, social inequity, and well-being.

Her experience includes work in municipal government and non-profits, in the Bay Area’s large and small cities. Melissa is an active community member in Oakland and also serves on the Association of Bay Area Government’s Regional Planning Committee, which advises on regional planning issues.

Before joining BARHII, Melissa served as Senior Program Officer at Boston Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), where she launched and ran Boston LISC’s Resilient Communities Resilient Families (RCRF) Initiative. The initiative works to ensure that residents of Boston’s Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan neighborhoods benefit from the rising tide of transit and other public investments. During her tenure, RCRF engaged several thousand residents and non-profits in neighborhood planning. The program has invested millions of dollars to fund affordable housing, leadership development, Family Financial Opportunity Center programs, and a local entrepreneurship pipeline program to ensure residents’ financial lives are improving. She was awarded the LISC’s President’s award in 2014 for her work on comprehensive community development.

Melissa has additional experience funding and implementing programs focused on community economic development, family financial stability, education, and civic empowerment. Specifically, she has served in youth empowerment organizations, as Program Specialist for the City of Alameda, and as Program Analyst for the City of Oakland’s Oakland Fund for Children and Youth. Early in her career, she served as Director of Professional Development for Partners in School Innovation where she trained staff to support school reform efforts in San Francisco Unified, San Jose Unified, and Oak Grove Unified school districts. 

Angela Nicholson, Assistant County Administrator, County of Marin

Since March 2020, Angela Nicholson has been serving as the Director of the Emergency Operation Center for Marin, initially focused on COVID-19, but focusing now on fire and PSPS. Prior to her EOC assignment, she led the implementation of the County’s new computer system, MUNIS, and led Countywide initiatives including COMPASS, the County’s 5 Year Business Plan, the Countywide Equity program and High Performing skills development. She has also led Budget and Communications in the prior years. Before working in the CAOs office, she was the Assistant Director of Human Resources for the County of Marin where she led the County’s Recruitment, Classification and Compensation, HCM, and Volunteers and Interns divisions. From 2008-2013 she led the County’s labor relations program, managing 12 collective bargaining agreements, and managed other divisions including Employee Relations, Payroll and Benefits, and Training and Organizational Development.

She earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, in 2002.

Rosa Schneider, Senior Environmental Scientist, California State Parks

Rosa Schneider Senior Environmental Scientist for California State Parks in the Bay Area District. Previously, Rosa worked for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy as a foundational staff member of the One Tam partnership, engaging the public in restoration and community science projects. She completed her undergraduate work in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz, followed by a teaching credential from Mills College in Oakland. She completed her M.S. in Biology at San Francisco State University, conducting research on endangered and invasive wetland plants. Rosa has also worked on regulatory permitting for the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, monitored effects of fire on vegetation for the National Park Service, and taught middle school and high school science.

Kevin Wright, Government Affairs Manager, Marin County Parks; Chair of the Policy Committee for the California Landscape Stewardship Network

Mr. Wright has a background in forestry and redwood ecology, active transportation planning, and partnership development. He is a Cultural Intelligence trainer at the County of Marin and participates in a Collaborative Leadership team focused on curriculum development for effective collaboration. Mr. Wright plays two prominent support roles in team settings: He helps to activate the ideas of others, brings humor and hard work, and challenges himself and team members to reconsider current ways of thinking and doing. 


October 8: Resilient Forests

9:00: Welcome - Mia Monroe, Park Ranger and Marin Community Liaison, National Park Service 

9:10: Human-caused climate change in forests and woodlands - Patrick Gonzalez, Principal Climate Change Scientist, U.S. National Park Service; Associate Adjunct Professor, University of California, Berkeley

9:35: Here We Stand  - Teresa Baker, Founder, Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge

10:10 Identifying problems and solutions: the work of the One Tam partnership - Danny Franco, Project Manager, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

10:30: Break

10:45: One Tam Forest Health Project: research update from MMWD - Richard Cobb, Assistant Professor, California Polytechnic State University

11:05: Understanding the 2020 fire season - Alison Forrestel, Chief of Natural Resource Management and Science, National Park Service, GGNRA

11:45: Connecting and caring in California’s redwood forests - Nicole Ardoin, Associate Professor & Faculty Director, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources, Stanford University; Maria DiGiano, Senior Research Associate, Stanford University

12:15: Closing remarks 

12:20: End




  • Fire Safe Marin: Living With Fire Webinar Series. Wildfire preparedness education program with leading experts in wildfire preparedness, defensible space and landscaping, home hardening and building science, and evacuation preparedness. Delivered online in a 60 minute monthly webinar format with a new topic covered each month.

Nicole Ardoin, Emmett Faculty Scholar, Sykes Family Director of the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER) in the School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences

Nicole Ardoin, Emmett Faculty Scholar, is the Sykes Family Director of the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER) in the School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences. She is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education and a Senior Fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment. Professor Ardoin and her Social Ecology Lab group research motivations for and barriers to environmental behavior at the individual and collective scales. They use mixed-methods approaches--including participant observation, a variety of interview types, surveys, mapping, network analysis, and ethnography, among others--to consider the influence of place-based connections, environmental learning, and social-ecological interactions on participation in a range of environmental and sustainability-related decisionmaking processes. Professor Ardoin and her interdisciplinary group pursue their scholarship with a theoretical grounding and orientation focused on applications for practice; much of her lab's work is co-designed and implemented with community collaborators through a field-based, participatory frame. Professor Ardoin is an associate editor of the journal Environmental Education Research, a trustee of the George B. Storer Foundation, chair of NatureBridge's Education Advisory Council, an advisor to the Student Conservation Association and Teton Science Schools, among other areas of service to the field.

Teresa Baker, Founder, Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge

Teresa works to engage Non-Governmental Organizations, outdoor retailers, brands and government agencies in the work of equitable inclusion in the outdoors. She does this through speaking engagements, panel discussions, films and community events across the country. Teresa understands the importance of engaging audiences who are not adequately involved in the conversations and more importantly the work around environmental protections. She states" the environment will continue to suffer until we get comfortable with being uncomfortable in having difficult conversations around environmental protection and diversity with underrepresented communities." 

Richard Cobb, Assistant Professor, Cal Poly

Richard Cobb is from Payson, Arizona. He has a bachelor’s in Environmental Science from Northern Arizona University, a master’s in Forestry from the University of Maine, and a Ph.D. from UC Davis where he also did a post doc, both focusing on Sudden Oak Death. He joined Cal Poly as Assistant Professor of Forest Health where he teaches forest health, dendrology, and ecology. 

Maria DiGiano, Senior Research Associate, Stanford University

Maria DiGiano is a senior research consultant with the Stanford University Social Ecology Lab where she leads interdisciplinary research regarding how people interact with the environment with the end goal of fostering a more sustainable and just planet. Along with Professor Ardoin, she is currently exploring how hope and concern translate into action on climate change. Maria has worked for over two decades in the field of sustainability, serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Paraguay, conducting graduate research in the Brazilian Amazon and the Maya Forest of Mexico, and most recently working as a researcher and consultant to non-profit organizations such as The Nature Conservancy and Earth Innovation Institute.

Alison Forrestel, Chief of Natural Resources, Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Alison Forrestel, Ph.D., is the Chief of Natural Resources Management and Science at GGNRA. Alison has 15 years of experience working in National Park management with a focus on the ecology and restoration of coastal California ecosystems. Prior to working at GGNRA, Alison served as the Fire Ecologist for the San Francisco Bay Area Network of National Parks. Alison completed her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley where she studied the fire and disease ecology and the impacts of these disturbances on landscape-level ecological processes and change. 

Danny Franco, Project Manager, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

Danny Franco has been working with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy for 10 years primarily on natural resource conservation, vegetation management and landscape-scale habitat restoration projects. He is also currently managing parallel countywide projects in Marin and San Mateo to produce regional fine scale vegetation maps and LiDAR-derived GIS layers.

Patrick Gonzalez, Principal Climate Change Scientist, U.S. National Park Service; Associate Adjunct Professor, University of California, Berkeley

Patrick Gonzalez is a forest ecologist and climate change scientist, conducting research and helping national parks and policymakers apply the results to conservation and ecosystem carbon solutions. Patrick has conducted field research in Africa, Latin America, and the United States and published in Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, and other journals. He is a lead author on four reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the organization awarded a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Mia Monroe, Park Ranger and Marin Community Liaison, National Park Service 

Mia Monroe is an NPS ranger, currently working as the Marin Community Liaison yet still deeply rooted in several decades of park work at Muir Woods. She helped establish park nurseries, took part in restoring Redwood Creek Watershed from the lagoon at Muir Beach to the old-growth redwood forests, was part of the 2014 BioBlitz, and is currently in the thick of the new One Tam collaboration. Guided by Rachel Carson’s suggestion to foster a sense of wonder in youth, Mia believes that walking to observe and learn, and involving others in dialogue and stewardship, is the way to work. She watches out for monarch butterflies, has a fondness for ferns, and kisses banana slugs. 

October 15: Changing Shorelines

9:00: Welcome

9:10: Sea level rise in Marin - Jeremy Lowe, Senior Environmental Scientist, San Francisco Estuary Institute

9:40: Perspectives from the Supervisor’s seat - Kate Sears, Supervisor, County of Marin

10:00: "Thrival" not Survival: Youth-led workshop on sea level rise - Grecia Pacheco, Youth Programs Manager, One Tam; Dominique Avila, Freshman, Santa Rosa Junior College; Sarah Nguyen,Freshman, Community College of Marin; Julissa Santana, 11th grade, Novato High School; Jayden Solis, 11th grade, Aspire Preparatory California Academy

10:45: Break

11:00: Fostering community resiliency during compounding crises - Douglas Mundo, Executive Director, Multicultural Center of Marin

11:30: When the impossible becomes possible: Lessons from Ocean Beach and beyond - Benjamin Grant, former Urban Design Policy Director, SPUR

12:00: One Tam and sea level rise - Claire Mooney, Director of Projects, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

12:15: End


Thursday, October 15, 5-6 pm: Evolving Shorelines Adaptation Concepts Presentation. The One Tam team is ready for a community conversation on three draft concepts for the enhancement of Bothin Marsh Open Space Preserve’s tidal marsh and elevating the Mill Valley-Sausalito Pathway. Please join us to learn more about the opportunities and challenges of each concept. We look forward to seeing you and hearing your comments on the concepts for adapting to sea level rise.For more information about the Evolving Shorelines Project at Bothin Marsh please read the Initial Planning Memo or visit

Dominique Avila, Freshman, Santa Rosa Junior College

Benjamin Grant, former Urban Design Policy Director, SPUR

Benjamin Grant is a city planner, urban designer, curator and teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since 2009 he has led SPUR's Ocean Beach Master Plan, an award-winning climate adaptation strategy for San Francisco's open coast. He leads SPUR's policy research on physical planning and urban design, including the 2013 report Getting to Great Places, supporting the transformation of San Jose and other suburban communities into walkable, sustainable places.

He has developed exhibitions on a range of urban issues, including Agents of Change, a historical survey of San Francisco urbanism for the opening of the SPUR Urban Center. He has been a lecturer and studio instructor in the graduate program in Urban and Regional Planning at San Jose State University and has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Benjamin has contributed to a range of planning and urban design projects in the Bay Area and beyond. His areas of practice include conceptual urban design, adaptive coastal management, open space planning and policy, code reform, transportation and land-use integration, and targeted client and stakeholder communications. He is a frequent commentator and participant in juries and studio reviews and has published dozens of articles and reports. Benjamin also co-founded CITY|SPACE, a nonprofit cultural institution exploring cities and urbanism through fine art, film, design and cultural landscape research.

Jeremy Lowe, Senior Environmental Scientist, San Francisco Estuary Institute

Jeremy Lowe is a coastal geomorphologist at the San Francisco Estuary Institute with 35 years of experience in tidal wetland restoration and sea-level rise adaptation planning on the Pacific Coast and in Europe. Career highlights include designing sea defenses to reduce flooding in Venice, Italy; designing marsh restorations for the Ballona Wetlands in Venice, California; and authoring tidal wetland restoration guidelines for San Francisco Bay, and the Lower Columbia River Estuary. He has lived in the Bay Area since 1999 and is currently working on sea-level rise adaptation planning for the Petaluma River baylands and for Highway 37.  

Sarah Nguyen, Freshman, Community College of Marin

Julissa Santana, 11th grade, Novato High School

Kate Sears, Supervisor, County of Marin

Marin County Supervisor Kate Sears has represented southern Marin since 2011. She serves on numerous county and regional boards and commissions, including the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District Board, the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority Governing Board, and chairs the Board of MCE Clean Energy. A key initiative is planning for sea level rise and climate change. Kate serves on the County’s Climate Action Plan Implementation subcommittee, leads the County’s BayWAVE sea level rise vulnerability and adaptation initiative, and in October 2017 launched “DRAWDOWN: Marin” – a campaign to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions community-wide.

A hallmark of Kate’s work in local government is bringing people together to find common ground and develop collaborative, creative, and effective solutions to the issues we face. Her goals include creating healthy and equitable communities, improving public transit options, taking care of our aging community, addressing our housing affordability crisis, enhancing renewable energy, and protecting our environment.

Prior to serving as a Marin County Supervisor, Kate was an attorney in private practice and then in the Consumer Law Section of the California Attorney General's Office, where she investigated and filed lawsuits on a wide range of fraudulent conduct related to the financial crisis.

Ms. Sears holds a BA from Carleton College, a MA from the University of Washington, a PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan, and a JD from Harvard.

Jayden Solis, 11th grade, Aspire Preparatory California Academy

October 22: Resilient Species

9:00: Welcome - Bill Merkle, Wildlife Ecologist, National Park Service

9:05: Climate, biodiversity, and resilience - Andrea Williams, Director of Plant Science, California Native Plant Society 

9:35: Statewide efforts to Protect Biodiversity in California - Kim Tenggardjaja, Biodiversity Coordinator, California Department of Fish and Wildlife 

9:45: Species Spotlight 

  • Fish - Darren Fong, Aquatic Ecologist, National Park Service
  • Red-legged frogs - Darren Fong, Aquatic Ecologist, National Park Service
  • Yellow-legged frogs - Kevin Weisman and Karla Marlow, Garcia & Associates 

10:15: Break

10:30: Species Spotlight:

  • Bats - Gabriel Reyes, Biologist, United States Geological Survey 
  • Birds - Mark Dettling, Avian Ecologist, Point Blue Conservation Science
  • Pollinators - Gretchen LeBuhn Professor, San Francisco State University 
  • Climate Resiliency through Early Detection Rapid Response - Rachel Kesel, Conservation Management Specialist, One Tam

11:10: Panel Conversation: What do you love about field work? - Lisette Arellano, Community Science Program Manager, One Tam; David Greenberger, Assistant Conservation Management Specialist, One Tam; Sara Leon Guerrero, One Tam Community Science Program Assistant, One Tam; Erin Lacour, Wildlife Technician, Marin County Parks

12:05: A global perspective on technology, extinction and radical cooperation - Jorge Ahumada, Executive Director, Wildlife Insights at Conservation International 

12:30: End




Jorge Ahumada, Executive Director, Wildlife Insights at Conservation International 

Dr. Jorge Ahumada is a Senior Wildlife Conservation Scientist with Conservation International's Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science and the Executive Director of Wildlife Insights. A native of Colombia and an ecologist by training, Jorge worked as an Associate Professor at Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, where he founded a research lab on population and community ecology of cloud forests before joining Conservation International​. He has 20 years of experience working in applied projects, including models of malaria transmission in Hawaiian birds, tropical tree dynamics and development of methods to monitor and analyze biodiversity data. At Conservation International he has championed the use of camera traps and the ​​Wildlife Picture Index as tools to monitor protected area effectiveness and ecosystem health as the Executive Director of the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network.Jorge has a BSc. in Biology from Universidad de Los Andes (Bogota) and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University.

Lisette Arellano, Community Science Program Manager, One Tam 

Lisette Arellano and her team support the health of Mt. Tamalpais through a variety of community (citizen) science activities that aim to address ecological data gaps, implement long-term monitoring, provide formal and informal science education, and promote curiosity and participation in a wide range of audiences. The current program includes mountain-wide monitoring of terrestrial mammals and insect pollinators as well as Bioblitz events in support of inventory and restoration efforts. Growing up in the Bay Area, she spent her time checking under logs for amphibians and exploring trails. She studied ecology, evolution, and marine biology at UC Santa Barbara and then earned her Ph.D. conducting parasite ecology research at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Lisette has also worked at zoos and museums, has a distinct affinity for salamanders and trail running, fears poison oak, and dabbles in filmmaking. 

Mark Dettling, Avian Ecologist, Point Blue Conservation Science

Mark started with Point Blue as an intern in 2006 and since then has worked on projects from the coast to the Central Valley. His work has focused on monitoring landbirds in riparian habitat. He also helps to supervise interns at Point Blue’s Palomarin Field Station.

Darren Fong, Aquatic Ecologist, Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Darren Fong has been the Aquatic Ecologist with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area since 1994 and works with the various creeping, crawling, and swimming organisms and the habitats that support them in the Park. Prior to this, he worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service. He has a M.S. in Wildland Resource Science from UC Berkeley along with a B.A. in Environmental Science.

David Greenberger, Assistant Conservation Management Specialist, One Tam 

David Greenberger has been with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy for over four years, first as a restoration technician and now as a conservationist for One Tam. He runs an early detection program that ranges across the several-hundred-mile road and trail network of Mt. Tam, monitors sensitive habitats across 50,000 acres including grasslands and serpentine barrens, and is always reveling in the rich biodiversity of the region. David holds a bachelor’s in Biology from UC Santa Cruz, has worked stints at the Marin Municipal Water District and Point Blue Conservation Science, and sits on the board of the Marin Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. 

Rachel Kesel, Conservation Management Specialist, One Tam 

Rachel Kesel is the Conservation Management Specialist for One Tam. Leading invasive plant early detection and rare plant surveys across the mountain, she thrives on a good search. Rachel has a fondness for grasslands, serpentine habitats, and the bounty of Bay Area biodiversity more generally. She’s a field course instructor for the California Invasive Plant Council and an active volunteer with the California Native Plant Society. When she’s not hiking or walking her dog, Rachel is probably biking and, even then, looking at the flora around her.

Erin Lacour, Wildlife Technician, Marin County Parks and graduate student, San Jose State University

Erin joined the One Tam team as an intern in the fall of 2017 and has been working for Marin County Parks for the past two years. She grew up in Ventura County and earned her bachelor’s in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UC Irvine, and has always been passionate about wildlife and working in conservation. As an intern she helped run habitat restoration volunteer events and supported other programs and projects such as the Wildlife Picture Index project With Marin County Parks she does monitoring and inventory of wildlife and protected species, and works on collaborative projects such as the Bat Roost Ecology project and continuing work on the Wildlife Picture Index.

Gretchen LeBuhn, Professor, San Francisco State University

Gretchen is a professor of Biology at San Francisco State University and the Director of the Great Sunflower Project  Her research spans the fields of ecology, biodiversity and conservation biology.  She has worked on understanding and conserving plant and pollinator systems from the mountains of Ecuador and California to the canyons of urban San Francisco.  

In other research, she works to develop standardized, cost-effective methods for monitoring biodiversity.  She has worked on spotted owls, prairie falcons, and bat, plant and bee communities.  She developed a monitoring program for  UN-FAO and was a lead author on the Intragovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.  She is a Fulbright Scholar and a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. She is the parent of twins.

Sara Leon Guerrero, Community Science Program Assistant

Sara Leon Guerrero is a program assistant with the One Tam Community Science team, where she helps further their vision to address ecological data gaps, implement long-term monitoring, provide formal and informal science education, and promote curiosity and participation in a wide range of audiences. She spends her time working in the field and with the public on the Marin Wildlife Picture Index Project, bioblitzes, and, soon, monitoring native pollinators. Prior to joining One Tam, Sara was a lab and project manager at the UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab studying bee-plant relationships and working with local farmers to install native bee habitat.

Karla R. Marlow, Garcia and Associates

Karla has over 20 years of experience in amphibian and fisheries projects including extensive involvement in a variety of projects to study and monitor the foothill yellow-legged frog (FYLF, Rana boylii) for the Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) watershed, as well as hydropower projects on the North Fork Feather, North Fork Mokelumne, and South Fork American rivers, and other private and public projects in northern California. Ms. Marlow continues to maintain extensive and long-term data sets, analysis, and reporting for several projects involving Rana boylii as well as other amphibian, fisheries, and benthic macroinvertebrate studies and projects. Ms. Marlow has collaborated with others in public resource agencies, academia, and the private sector to enhance conditions for FYLF as well as other special status amphibians and their habitats. For MMWD, she conducted habitat assessments and surveys as part of a feasibility study for the possible reintroduction of FYLF within historic sites of the district. This draft study was submitted to Marin Municipal Water District in 2010. 

Bill Merkle, Wildlife Ecologist, Golden Gate National Recreation Area 

William Merkle has been the Wildlife Ecologist for Golden Gate National Recreation Area since 2003. His work spans a wide range of terrestrial and marine wildlife species, particularly birds, mammals, and invertebrates. He received his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 2002. 

Gabriel Reyes, Biologist, U.S. Geological Survey

Gabe Reyes is a bat biologist with the US Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center, in Dixon, CA. Gabe completed his Master’s degree at Humboldt State, and has studied bats for over 8 years, and has been hiking and running around on Mt. Tam for most of his life. He has recently started a study to examine bat habitat use, foraging, and roosting ecology across Marin County open spaces. 

Kim Tenggardjaja, Biodiversity Coordinator, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Kim Tenggardjaja joined the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) last year as their first Biodiversity Coordinator. She also acts as the CDFW point of contact for habitat connectivity and serves as the lead coordinating staff for the California Landscape Conservation Partnership. Prior to this, Kim was an environmental scientist at the State Water Resources Control Board for several years. She earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from UC Santa Cruz and has a research background in genetics and marine biodiversity.

Andrea Williams, Director of Plant Science, California Native Plant Society

Andrea has two decades of experience in science-based public lands management: monitoring rare plants and plant communities, carrying out project compliance surveys, mapping and removing invasive plants, and responding to landscape-level threats such as Phytophthora, climate change, and altered disturbance regimes. She has worked in partnership to design indicators, metrics, status, and trends for land health; lead volunteers in botanical inventories; improve the quality and quantity of data submitted to CNDDB; and teach plant identification, field methods, and invasive plant management planning. She earned her B.S. in Biology from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, where she spent summers on field research at a coastal grassland studying species composition and demography of the host plant of an endangered butterfly and decided to become a land manager. For fun, she teaches grass identification and makes acronyms and plant lists.

Kevin D. Wiseman, Herpetologist, Garcia and Associates; Field Associate,  Department of Herpetology, California Academy of Sciences

Kevin obtained his B.A. in Integrative Biology with the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at U.C. Berkeley in 2002. Kevin’s current research includes several long-term ecological studies of Foothill Yellow-legged Frogs (Rana boylii) and Sierra Garter Snakes (Thamnophis couchii). He teaches a herpetology field course for San Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus, is an active artist and scientific illustrator (, and lover of all things natural history.

October 29: Local Solutions

9:00: Welcome 

9:15: Looking beyond parks and accelerating the pace of change - Ellie Cohen, CEO, The Climate Center 

9:40: Introduction to Drawdown Marin: 29 Solutions - Alex Porteshawver, Senior Sustainability Coordinator, Drawdown Marin

10:05: Marin Biomass Study - Chad White, Team Member, Marin Biomass Study Team

10:30: Break 

10:45: Microgrids and Resiliency facilities - Sebastian Conn, Community Development Manager, Marin Clean Energy; Kurt Johnson, Director, Community Energy Resilience, The Climate Center

11:05: Resiliency Hubs - Marco Berger, Community Resilience Coordinator, Multicultural Center of Marin; Cory Bytof, Sustainability Program Manager, City of San Rafael

11:25: Communicating About Climate Change in the Time of COVID-19 - Adam Ratner, Associate Director of Conservation Education, The Marine Mammal Center

12:10: Conference Close - Chris Choo, Principal Watershed Planner, County of Marin; Max Korten, Director and General Manager, Marin County Parks

  • Drawdown: Marin. Community-driven campaign aligned with the approach of Project Drawdown, a global research organization working to “draw down” carbon emissions by researching and promoting viable climate solutions. 
  • Marin Biomass Study: presentation slides and full interview with team member Chad White discussing the study's background and approach.
  • The Climate Center. Advocacy group working to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas pollution at scale, starting in California.
  • Marin Carbon Project. Helping landowners and land managers of Marin's agricultural ecosystems to serve as stewards of soil health and to undertake carbon farming to sequester carbon,  improve farm productivity, and enhance ecosystems.
  • Multicultural Center of Marin. "The Multicultural Center of Marin works with diverse immigrant and underserved communities of Marin County in advancing their social, cultural, and economic well-being through self-empowerment programs that encourage participation in the broader civic life of U.S. society." 
  • Sunrise Movement. Sunrise is a movement of young people fighting to stop the climate crisis and create millions of good jobs in the process. Check out Marin's local hub on facebook or find your local hub here.
  • County of Marin: Climate and Adaptation. Community development agency taking action for climate in Marin County. Explore their online resources to find an interactive map showing progress of Marin communities on different metrics of climate action, and discover programs available to help community members save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Marin Community Choice Energy. Provides Clean energy options for Marin residents, including 60% renewable 100% California-produced renewable, and 100% locally-produced solar.
  • TOGETHER Bay Area coalition sees an urgent chance to intentionally develop a more green and just economy as the federal government negotiates future stimulus packages and state government considers an economic stimulus bond while working to pass a budget. TOGETHER Bay Area conducted a survey of our 56 member organizations to better understand how the collaborative work of nonprofits, public agencies, and Indigenous Tribes that are members of the coalition contributes to the regional jobs market, while providing multiple benefits to communities and the environment. Check out the full report here, or the executive summary for the short version.


Marco Berger, Community Resilience Coordinator, Multicultural Center of Marin 

Marco has been working with vulnerable communities for nearly three decades. He began as a bilingual teacher with underserved children and segued into non-profit work as a Community Engagement Specialist with Ethel Seiderman at Parent Services Project.  He then worked with Interactive Parenting Media producing the live weekly interactive Spanish language parenting show, Nuestros Niños, with host Doctora Marisol Muñoz-Kiehne. He has also facilitated early literacy workshops for parents around the SF Bay Area with Bring me a Book. As Education Program Manager with WildCare, he managed the Nature Van, the Nature Hike, and the Center Tours programs. Marco also led Family Adventures/Aventuras Familiares, a highly successful monthly bilingual hike around Marin’s parks and open spaces bringing together a diversity of families. He is enthusiastic about leading the important work of community resilience at MCM.

Cory Bytof, Sustainability Program Manager, City of San Rafael

Cory is the Sustainability Program Manager for the City of San Rafael. He co-authored and is responsible for implementing the City’s Climate Change Action Plan 2030, which is being used as a model by the other cities in Marin County. Cory approaches sustainability from an interdisciplinary lens with a focus on community + collaboration. Cory helped form the anti-litter coalition San Rafael Clean, is a member of the City’s Emergency Operations Center, and developed the City’s Emergency Volunteer Intake Center. In addition, Cory is past-chair of the Marin Climate Energy Partnership, a consortium of local governments and public utilities working together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Marin County. Cory has a degree in Interdisciplinary Social Science from San Francisco State University. He lives in San Rafael with his wife and has one adult daughter. In his free time, he writes musicals and enjoys traveling, cultural exchange, and adventures in nature.

Chris Choo, Principal Watershed Planner, County of Marin

Chris Choo, principal watershed planner for Marin County Dept. of Public Works supports Marin communities with sea level rise, flood protection, and watershed restoration. She currently manages BayWAVE, the sea level rise planning and adaptation program for the bay shoreline in Marin. Since starting with the county’s Watershed Program in 2008, she works to bring science and technical information to the public to make good decisions for better communities. She launched the website, identified project and funding options to reduce flooding and increase habitat with the community of Stinson Beach, developed a watershed guide for Southern Marin, and supports regional planning for water resources through the North Bay Watershed Association and the Bay Area Integrated Regional Water Management process. With BayWAVE, she hopes to increase resilience and awareness of the issues with climate change and help communities embrace the opportunities that come with change.

Ellie Cohen, CEO, The Climate Center

Ellie Cohen is a leader in catalyzing cross-boundary, collaborative, and just solutions to climate change and environmental degradation. An honors graduate of Duke University (botany) and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government (MPP), Ellie has received numerous accolades including the Beyond Duke Alumni Award for Service and Leadership (2019), the National Park Service Pacific West Region Partnership Award (2018) and the Bay Nature Environmental Hero Award (2012). She was named one of “100 Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet” in the US by the National Women’s History Project (2009) and was selected to participate in the Climate Reality Project’s second training with Vice President Al Gore (2007).

Ellie served as President and CEO of Point Blue Conservation Science for 20 years where she and the organization’s 160+ scientists developed climate-smart solutions for wildlife and people. Under her leadership, the organization grew five-fold to a workforce of 200 and was invited as an Observer NGO to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Ellie currently serves as an appointed member of the San Anselmo Sustainability Commission. You can follow Ellie on LinkedIn and Twitter. 

Sebastian Conn, Community Development Manager, Marin Clean Energy

As Community Development Manager with MCE, Sebastian serves as a liaison and key point of contact to local government, community-based organizations and business groups in Marin County and across MCE’s larger service area. In his role, Sebastian connects customers and community advocates alike to a wide range of MCE programs and services including battery storage for local resiliency, energy efficiency initiatives, and electric vehicle charging and infrastructure development, among others. Sebastian was born and raised here in the Bay Area, and has over 5 years of professional experience in community development and public affairs project management—he holds a MA in Public Affairs from the University of San Francisco and a BA in History from San Jose State University.  

Kurt Johnson, Director, Community Energy Resilience, The Climate Center

Kurt began working at the The Climate Center in August of 2019. He previously founded and directed a renewable energy project development consulting firm, bringing new projects online ranging from 8 kW to 8 MW. Kurt also founded a small hydropower trade association where he lobbied successfully for regulatory reform before Congress and the Colorado legislature. Kurt also worked in the solar industry for Recurrent Energy and also for the California Public Utilities Commission in San Francisco. Kurt worked at the U.S. EPA for eleven years where he founded the EPA renewable energy program, the Green Power Partnership. Kurt started his career in 1991 working on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC as a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Rep. Richard Swett (D-NH). Kurt holds an MS in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Johns Hopkins University and an MA and BA from Stanford University.

Max Korten, Director and General Manager, Marin County Parks

Max started with Marin County Parks in 2014 as parks and open space superintendent, and has been director and general manager since 2016. He has a history of working for both local and federal parks and natural resources programs, including Conservation Corps North Bay, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S Forest Service. Max graduated from Univeristy of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in Environmental Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Science in Natural Resources from Humboldt State University.

Alex Porteshawver, Senior Sustainability Coordinator, County of Marin

Alex Porteshawver is passionate about local solutions to climate change and an experienced sustainability planner. She has developed and implemented climate action and adaptation plans, designed community empowered campaigns, and helped advance smart energy policy. She is passionate about learning to stand as an ally to all people. Alex is currently managing the County of Marin’s central sustainability initiative, Drawdown: Marin, working with the community to design and implement climate change solutions that are viable and feasible right now.

Alex attended Emerson College and graduated with a dual undergraduate degree in Marketing and Management Communication, she received her Law degree from Marquette University, and a Masters degree in Environmental Law & Policy from Vermont Law School. She joined the Sustainability Team in September 2018 and is a 10-year Bay Area resident.

Adam Ratner, Associate Director of Conservation Education, The Marine Mammal Center

Adam Ratner began at The Marine Mammal Center in 2009 leading educational programs for high school students and visitors. Over the years, he has challenged people to think differently about ocean conservation using the stories of individual patients that are rescued by The Marine Mammal Center. By providing hopeful stories of action and tangible solutions, Adam helps people find inspiration and empowerment to become the heroes of their own environment and community. Today, as the Associate Director of Conservation Education, Adam serves as an expert on topics related to ocean health, such as climate change, ocean trash, and sustainable seafood. His ability to break down big and complex ideas helps people understand how their actions have an impact on the ocean. 

Adam was named one of the 30 under 30 Game Changers for the Planet by the North American Association for Environmental Education. Working collaboratively across sectors and geographic regions, he serves as the chair of the Training Committee of the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation and is currently the Executive Chair of the Bay Area Climate Literacy Impact Collaborative. He is also a member of the Zero Waste Marin Local Task Force, the Global Ghost Gear Initiative and the Pacific Ocean Aquafarms Stakeholder Advisor Group. 

Chad White, Team Member, Marin Biomass Study Team

Chad White is a program developer and project manager in the clean tech / climate tech space. He has a broad background in sustainable development, organizational change, and technology analysis. He is a thought leader about the emerging organics recovery system in California, and he leads a regional climate technology acceleration initiative called Climate Tech Finance. He participates in this project as an expert in systems analysis, air quality management, and climate change mitigation.