community watershed restoration since 1983



Petrolia Staff

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.

AliPhotAli 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.

IMG_5087Hugh 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.


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.

Veronica Yates, Native Plant Nursery Manager                          

Veronica has been involved with various programs at the MRC since 2014, beginning as a field crew member. In 2015-2016 she served as a member of the Americorps Watershed Stewards Program here in the Mattole, where she helped build our new and improved native plant nursery and participated in many different local and regional restoration and education programs. She managed the nursery from 2016-2019, and after a short sailing journey has since returned to her beloved domain as nursery manager. She holds a B.S. in Chemistry with a concentration in Environmental Chemistry from UC Santa Cruz.

Eleonor (Jordan) Anderson, Fire Fuels and Forests Program Assistant.

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.

IMG_0559_0245_compressedPamela 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.

Squeaky Morlan, Office Manager

Over the years, Squeaky has worn many hats for the MRC: swamper, sawyer, chipper assistant, traffic controller, and even fire lookout. However, she has now settled into the position best suited to her skills and experience, office manager! Squeaky has been in and out of the Mattole since childhood, moving to the Morlan family property in Honeydew in 2005, where she raised her two children and dozens of animals. She has a BA in Russian Literature from Reed College and spent many years working in law offices and libraries.

Miles Kinman, Watershed Information Systems Technician

Miles began as a seasonal employee in June of 2020, working on Fire Planning and Fuels Reduction maps. In November of the same year he was brought on as a Watershed Information Systems Technician. Miles now holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and a minor in Geospatial Analysis after graduating from Humboldt State University in May 2020. Prior to working for the MRC, he interned and worked for HSU’s Campus Center for Appropriate Technology. When not at work he likes to spend most of his free time playing or listening to music.

Whitethorn Staff

P1010262C. Moss, Mattole Ecological Education Program Director

Moss joined the MRC staff in 2003 and was MEEP’s program coordinator and principal teacher in all 6 watershed schools from 2003-2012. Since 2012, Moss’s teaching focus has been in the two upriver schools–Whitethorn and Whale Gulch. Both through MEEP and in partnership with MSG, Sanctuary Forest, LCIA, and BLM, Moss’s education and restoration-focused work has encouraged students (as well as parents and community members) to plant hundreds of trees over the years, remove bioinvasives and do water quality monitoring throughout the watershed, and participate in countless other field trips and classes with a highly varied ecological and watershed education focus.

P1010804(3)Theresa Vallotton, Nick’s Interns Coordinator

In spring of 1977 Theresa and 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.