Petrolia office telephone number: (707) 629-3514
Sarah Vroom, Executive Director
Sarah Vroom first became involved with the MRC in 2017 as a member of our Board of Directors. As our new Executive Director, Sarah brings a unique mix of experience in and out of the field. For 8 years, she owned and managed an edible landscaping and permaculture design company with a specialization in home scale water management solutions. Sarah has taught community college classes on permaculture, soil health and water management, and has been
a resident of the Mattole Valley for the last 5 years. Her field experience includes a wide variety of work ranging from fisheries technician to soil health consultant to fly fishing guide. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies from Mills College and is currently working on a Masters in
Natural Resource Management with a specialization in fire ecology.
Nathan Queener, Watershed Information Science Program Director
Nathan has worked for the MRC since 2007, with a focus on the design and implementation of approaches to monitoring in-stream sediment conditions in the watershed, and analysis of trends in stream habitat conditions. He holds an MS in Watershed, Wildland, and Forest Science from Humboldt State University (2014). Nathan served as the Executive Director from 2018-2020, and has now returned to his prior position as program Director for our Watershed Information Science Program.
Ali Freedlund, Working Lands Human Communities Program Director
Ali has been working for the Council continuously since 1996, beginning as a watershed advocate where forestry was concerned. Currently, she coordinates the Working Lands and Human Communities program for the Council. Most of the WLHC program projects in the past several years have been focusing on reducing the wildfire threat by implementing fuels reduction projects throughout the watershed with MRC’s many partners. She is also available to assist with information about the Mattole PTEIR, the watershed-wide permit for landowners wishing to do selection forestry.
Hugh McGee, Restoration Ecologist, Ecosystem Restoration Program Director
Hugh has spent the last 2 decades designing and implementing riparian, grasslands, in-stream and oak woodland restoration projects. Hugh joined the MRC in 2006. Prior to his time with the MRC, he worked for private ecological restoration firms, the National Park Service, and as a private consultant designing and implementing wetland and riparian restoration projects throughout the western United States. He holds a BS in Environmental Science (University of Vermont, 2002) with an emphasis on conservation biology and ecological restoration. He is a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner and a CA licensed contractor.
Jennifer Gilda, Mattole Youth Environmental Stewards (MYES) Program Coordinator
Jen began working with the MRC in 2007 as an AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards Project member. Since then she has worked in the field and as administrative staff, and is currently the MYES program coordinator. Jen has been working in environmental education for over twenty years. She has worked closely with our previous youth educators and is excited to continue this essencial work and build more programming. Jen received her BA in Natural Resources Planning and Interpretation with an emphasis in Environmental Education and Cultural Studies, and a minor in Native American Studies from Humboldt State University (2005). She holds an MS in Social Ecology with a focus in Permaculture from Prescott College (2017).
Flora Brain, Field Institute and Watershed Newsletter Project Coordinator
Flora joined the MRC staff in 2007 to work primarily as grantwriter. Her prior work experience includes leading trail crews in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, conducting soil and veg surveys for a private conservation firm, working on a citizen science invasive weeds mapping program for the University of Montana’s Wilderness Institute, and as a naturalist at an environmental school. Flora has a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Conservation from the University of Montana School of Forestry and in 2010, she reduced her MRC workload in order to earn a Master’s degree in Environment and Community Social Science. Her Master’s research was focused on the place she loves best: the Mattole River watershed.
Eleonore (Jordan) Anderson, Forest Restoration Project Coordinator.
Eleonore (Jordan) Anderson joined the MRC as a sawyer on the Fuels Reduction Crew, and has since stepped into the role of Fire, Fuels and Forests Program Assistant. Eleonore has spent over a decade in field-based positions from the High Sierra to the Cascades and has developed a passion for protecting our western natural landscapes. She has worked as a backcountry trail worker and wildland firefighter for the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service, and gained non-profit experience from her time with the Pacific Crest Trail Association. Now, Eleonore is excited to focus on wildland fire mitigation for the MRC. In her free time, Eleonore is an avid painter and photographer – and she is newly inspired by the beauty of the Mattole watershed.
Christina Cortez, Nursery Manager
Christina is joining the MRC Ecosystem Restoration Program after having worked in restoration for the past 4 and a half years here in Humboldt. She has a background in cultivation and specializes in native plant propagation. She is a graduate of Humboldt State University, with a degree in Rangeland Resource Science and Wildland Soils, and a minor in Wildlife Management. In her spare time, she also enjoys knitting, building and riding bicycles, blacksmithing, and creating anything with her hands. Christina has been local to Humboldt County for 12 years and can often be found enjoying outdoor adventures with her four legged and two legged friends.
Jane Dexter, Nursery Technician
Jane received a bachelor’s degree in Geology from Humboldt State University with a focus on hillslope morphology and watershed management. During which she began her love affair with the Mattole Valley. She conducted various studies of the wildly fascinating geology that comprises the mountains, valleys and beaches of the Mattole watershed. Since then she has also worked in solar design and sales for multiple start-ups. She has also worked in fields where she learned much of horticulture, and plant propagation. Jane is no stranger to the wonderful world of plants, but is new to native plant study and their propagation needs and is excited to learn!
Pamela Conn, Bookkeeper, Contract Manager
Pamela joined the MRC in 2007. She is a graduate from Humboldt State University and holds a BS in Wildlife with emphasis in Conservation Biology and Applied Vertebrate Ecology, and an MBA coupled with a certificate of study in natural resources policy & administration. Guilty of raptor rapture, Pam has participated in several research projects on birds of prey within northern CA. She is also an avid drag racer and dog lover.
Emily McDonald, Office Manager
Emily migrated to the Mattole Valley in 2011 after she graduated from Western Kentucky University with a BA in History. After getting settled she worked a wide variety of jobs in the valley, everything from helping with cattle brandings, years of administrative experience with various small businesses and co-operatives, and is a long time board member at the Mattole Valley Community Center. In her free time, Emily enjoys gardening, food preservation, hiking and swimming with her partner and 4 legged menagerie and tending to her chickens
Miles Kinman, Watershed Information Systems Technician
Miles graduated from Humboldt State University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and a minor in Geospatial Analysis. That June, he was hired as a seasonal employee by the MRC to update the Mattole Valley Volunteer Fire Atlas. In November of the same year he was then brought on as a Watershed Information Systems Technician. Prior to working for the MRC, he interned and worked for HSU’s Campus Center for Appropriate Technology.
Joseph Sandoval, Prescribed Fire & Forest Restoration Project Coordinator
Marty Maskill, Invasive Plant and Revegetation Crew Leader
Marty has been with the MRC since the 1990’s mostly in the capacity as a native plant and tree planting specialist. He has planted hundreds of thousands of native plants and trees for decades. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computers and Mathematics from Central Michigan University. While at CMU, he started his first environmental group, Clean Our World. He later attended Humboldt State University studying for his Masters in Natural Resources and Botany. In addition to working for the MRC, Marty has worked on many restoration projects all around the state for many years with many different companies and organizations. Marty also has experience and training in grassland and oak woodland restoration, in stream restoration, fish habitat restoration, fuels reduction, fire ecosystems and wilderness first aid. Marty has also been included in preserving some of the last great wild places for future generations and for all species.
Invasive Plant Crew
Currently working in the Humboldt Bay, the following staff members make up the Invasive Plant Crew:
from left to right: John Summers, Chandler Maskill, Mike Camilleri, Otter Anderson, Marty Maskill, Jillienne French, Miles Kinman (Not featured).
Sam Keener, Forest Restoration Crew Lead
Samuel Keener started working for the MRC Fuels Crew in 2019 on the Redwoods to the Sea Fuel Break project as a sawyer. A Northern California native, Sam grew up on the Van Duzen River in Hydesville, CA. Sam fell in love with the coast while Hiking in the NorCal mountains and surfing from Shelter Cove to Trinidad. Sam spent a couple of decades exploring and rambling all over from the West Coast to the East. In that time, he lived and worked in an isolated fire lookout in Southern Oregon and spent five years in New England learning timber frame construction. As it turns out, he prefers it here and resides in Honeydew, CA. We’re proud to call him our saw crew lead.
Forest Restoration Crew
from left to right: Shira Brown, Sam Keener, Dave Liming, Wyatt Leach, Bill Leach, Miles Oliart, Liam McPhee, Sam Epperson, and Jordan Anderson.
Theresa Vallotton, Nick’s Interns Coordinator
In spring of 1977 Theresa and her husband, Ken, brought their two young children to live in the headwaters of the Mattole River. She was a teacher’s aide at Whitethorn School in the 1980’s, fostered teens in the 90’s, then hired by MRC in 2003 to be an upriver landowner liaison for the Good Roads Clear Creeks program. In 2006 Theresa became Nick’s Interns Program Coordinator working with participating agencies, schools, staff and students. “I love this job! It connects me with so many wonderful people and brings life changing experience to the students we hire.” Theresa remains the upriver contact for the Whitethorn Office.