Patrick Gardner, Land Acquisitions Program Manager
Patrick joined CNLM in 2023 as our Land Acquisitions Program Manager. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing and implementing CNLM’s conservation real estate program. Patrick manages all aspects of CNLM’s real estate acquisitions and projects and works with other CNLM staff, regulatory agencies, and external partners to ensure project success. When not managing acquisition projects, Patrick works to build and strengthen strategic partnerships with the goal of increasing acquisitions opportunities and working with CNLM staff and partners towards resolving extrinsic threats to our land trust’s role in perpetual conservation.
Patrick has a background in land conservation with over a decade of experience managing strategic conservation initiatives and complex real estate projects. Prior to CNLM, Patrick most recently worked across Colorado and the Southwest managing projects for the Trust for Public Land and Jefferson County in Golden, Colorado. Patrick’s experience in conservation includes managing fee simple acquisition and conservation easement projects and overseeing land exchanges, ranging from local community-driven acquisitions to more complex projects involving various agencies at the local, state, and federal level, including Department of Defense, U.S. Forest Service, and others.
Patrick earned his Bachelor’s degree in Communications from West Chester University and his Master’s in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Natural Resource Management from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Michelle Labbé, Conservation Analyst
Michelle Labbé joined CNLM in 2013. As our Conservation Analyst, Michelle undertakes projects that strengthen the scientific basis of stewardship plans and practices. Working with CNLM biological, spatial, and financial data, she plans and conducts analyses that contribute to organizational protocols and tools, aids in implementing principles of adaptive management, and determines appropriate methods for specific projects and program goals. Michelle undertakes research, reporting, and planning pertaining to the species and habitats that comprise CNLM’s wildland preserves in California, Washington, and Oregon, and offers primary support for CNLM’s novel cost analysis app (“PAR”) and its application to preserve endowment calculations.
Michelle has a background in conservation biology and spatial and statistical analysis in the San Francisco Bay Area and Northeastern United States. Michelle earned her Bachelor’s in Natural Resource Studies with a Minor in Wildlife Biology and Management as well as her Master’s in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Nicole Shaw, Stewardship Manager
Nicole joined CNLM in 2020 as our first (organization-wide) Stewardship Manager. In this role, she provides support to preserve managers with planning and documentation, quality control, and decision support for conservation easement compliance. With interests that include our preserves and preserve managers in California, Washington, and Oregon, her perspective and the capacity of her role will allow more attention to elevating and integrating conservation lessons learned and the practice of adaptive management organization-wide.
Nicole has a background in wildlife monitoring, spatial analysis, conservation program development, and research administration. Prior to joining CNLM, she worked as a conservation program manager at Lake Tahoe and as a staff scientist for a quantitative ecology non-profit organization. Her monitoring and project management experience covers many habitat types and ecoregions including forests and streams of the Sierra Nevada, the Sacramento Valley region, coastal sage scrub, and riparian corridors of the Great Basin and Sky Island region of the southwestern U.S.
Nicole earned a Bachelor’s degree in biology with a chemistry minor from Western Michigan University and a Master’s degree in conservation biogeography from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Kathleen Balazs, Preserve Manager, San Diego County
Kathleen came to CNLM with 10 years of prior experience in applied ecology and technical qualifications including a CDPR Qualified Applicator’s License. Kathleen conducted monitoring for restoration projects and applied research in Orange County in her collaborative role with the Irvine Ranch Conservancy and the Center for Environmental Biology at UC Irvine. Here she also mentored undergraduate interns in plant identification, vegetation monitoring, and data organization. Additionally, her doctoral research at Northern Arizona University focused on improving restoration outcomes including plant establishment and improvement of ecosystem functions related to erosion control and weed suppression. Her dissertation research, funded by the Bureau for Land Management’s Colorado Plateau Native Plant Program, included the analysis of restoration outcomes across the Colorado Plateau and a field experiment involving over 10,000 seedlings she planted across a networked restoration treatment experiment (RestoreNet) in collaboration with the USGS Restoration Assessment and Monitoring Program for the Southwest.
Kathleen received a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz and a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Northern Arizona University where she was a Presidential Fellow.
Erik Gantenbein, Preserve Manager, Northern and Central California
Erik Gantenbein joined CNLM in 2012 and is the preserve manager for Preserves in Contra Costa, Solano, San Joaquin and Merced Counties. His responsibilities include management, biological resource monitoring and Conservation Easement compliance. These preserves provide protection for numerous State and Federally listed species, including California Red-legged Frog, California Tiger Salamander, San Joaquin Kit Fox and Vernal Pool Crustaceans and flora.
Erik’s multi-faceted background includes construction management, budget analysis and regulatory compliance and a strong knowledge of native flora and fauna as well as skills in managing native habitat. Erik has more than twenty years of experience working in habitat restoration including initial cost estimation, design review, contract management, and project implementation. He has participated on numerous habitat restoration projects including private, and governmental (city, county, state, and federal) projects. These projects involved diverse habitat types found in northern California including vernal pools, seasonal and perennial wetlands, oak woodlands, riparian woodlands and upland grasslands. He has a strong background in vegetation management and is a certified pesticide applicator. Erik has a lifelong appreciation for the outdoors and nature. He is a native Californian and grew up along the American River Parkway in Sacramento. He is an active volunteer with the American River Parkway Foundation and assists their efforts to educate the public and preserve the American River Parkway. He is also actively involved in the California Native Grassland Association (CNGA), a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, conservation, and restoration of California’s diverse grassland communities. He served two years as CNGA president and has served multiple times on the Board of Directors, active with fundraising, board recruitment and management, and public outreach.
Erik earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology, with an emphasis in marine ecology from Humboldt State University.
Brigit Harvey-Ayers, Preserve Manager, South Coast Region
Brigit Harvey-Ayers joined CNLM in 2022 and currently manages the Westridge Oaks Preserve within the newly established South Coast Region (Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties). As new preserves within the South Coast Region are acquired and added to Brigit’s portfolio, she will participate in developing and implementing new management plans, native habitat restoration, integrated pest management, biological monitoring of sensitive species, and documenting the stewardship of these preserves. These preserves contain multiple sensitive habitats including valley oak savanna/woodland, portions of the Santa Clara River floodplain, and a critically important wildlife corridor. In addition, these preserves support a variety of sensitive plants and wildlife such as the San Fernando valley spineflower, unarmored three-spine stickleback, least Bell’s vireo, rufous-crowned sparrow, two-striped garter snake, and southwestern pond turtle.
Brigit is passionate about bridging the gap between species conservation and community outreach. Prior to joining CNLM, she has over five years of dedicated conservation experience including that as an endangered species recovery researcher at UCLA and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research; an educator in field ecology and scientific communication at UCLA and Heal the Bay; and as a wildlife biologist for a private consulting company. Much of her professional field experience is related to conducting field surveys for sensitive habitats, listed and sensitive species, nesting birds, and compliance and mitigation monitoring across southern California. In addition, she is skilled in the preparation of a variety of documents in support of the CEQA/NEPA process including biological resource reports, biological assessments/evaluations, wetland delineations, incidental take permits, and multiple habitat and species-specific management plans.
Brigit earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Biology, with an emphasis on behavioral ecology and adaptive management, from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her graduate thesis work focused on developing and implementing a novel training methodology to improve captive breeding and reintroduction programs. She is an award-winning educator, community muralist, and passionate hiker in her spare time.
Christopher Hauser, Preserve Manager, Central Valley, California
Christopher Hauser joined CNLM in 2016 and co-manages the 26,400-acre Panoche Valley Preserve in the San Joaquin Desert ecoregion. His primary responsibilities include implementing habitat restoration projects, monitoring populations of sensitive plant and animal species, maintaining ranch and preserve infrastructure, and working with conservation partners to benefit biodiversity on large-scale projects.
Christopher has been restoring grasslands, woodlands, and wetlands since 2001. In previous positions, he was responsible for implementing habitat restoration projects, supervising restoration field crews, monitoring and restoring rare plant populations, and organizing volunteer stewardship and citizen science groups. He has expertise in preserve management including GIS mapping, seed harvest, plant propagation, vegetation surveys, prescribed burns, weed management, and ranch infrastructure.
Christopher earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo. He earned a master’s degree in biochemistry and a master’s degree in plant ecology from the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign. Also, he holds a California Qualified Applicator’s License for pesticide applications.
Bobby Kamansky, Preserve Manager, Central California
Bobby Kamansky joined CNLM in 2018 and is the CNLM Preserve Manager for Cholame Ranch, Pixley Vernal Pools, and Kreyenhagen Ranch Preserves, with shared responsibility (with the Central California Regional Preserve Manager) for Semitropic and Lokern Preserves. His responsibilities include preserve management, biological resource monitoring, and conservation easement compliance (for Kreyenhagen). These preserves provide protection for numerous sensitive, rare, and State and Federally listed species.
Bobby’s background includes 20 years of biological and ecological field work among a broad array of habitats and ecosystems in California and Europe. He planned, designed, monitored, and implemented numerous ecological restoration projects in the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains and Tulare Basin. These projects were set within landscape-scale, climate-adapted conservation plans and several habitat-focused plans, which Bobby co-authored. Bobby conducted biological studies, fire management and restoration activities in the Sierra Nevada and Tulare Basin for various agencies, including Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, US Forest Service, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, among others. As an adjunct biology and ecology professor at College of Sequoias, aside from teaching duties over eleven years, Bobby led several ecological field studies and undergraduate research groups focused on abiotic-biotic interactions among rare and declining vernal pool invertebrates; oak woodland ecology, genetics, drought, fire, development impacts, ecological restoration; and pollinator and native plant ecological interactions on student-led restoration projects.
For over 10 years, Bobby coordinated a Sierra Nevada-based natural resource collaborative group, focusing on water management in the Southern Sierra. This group integrates the interests of over 30 agencies and provides support for collaboration, natural resources management, and human communities.
Bobby is active in several professional organizations including The Wildlife Society, Ecological Society of America, California Society for Ecological Restoration, and the California Native Grasslands Association. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from Västerby College, in Sweden; a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Ecology Emphasis, and Minor in Cartography and GIS Systems; and a Masters of Science in Biology, from California State University, Fresno.
Kim Klementowski, Regional Preserve Manager, Riverside County
Kim Klementowski joined CNLM in 2008 and is the Regional Preserve Manager for Riverside County. In addition to providing support for staff in Riverside County, her responsibilities include preparing long-term and annual plans for preserve management, conducting day-to-day management of the preserves, monitoring sensitive plant and animal populations, providing weed control, and conducting native habitat enhancement.
Kim has extensive experience in habitat restoration, weed control, sensitive species monitoring, native plant propagation, and GIS applications. She has a strong background in species-specific habitat restoration, including habitat management for Chinook salmon, Southwestern willow flycatcher, and San Clemente loggerhead shrike. She has worked in a variety of habitats and ecotypes including valley oak woodland, desert riparian, vernal pools, blue oak savannah/woodland, coastal dunes, California bunch grasslands, and coastal sage scrub. Prior to joining CNLM, Kim worked for the San Diego State University Research Foundation, leading the San Clemente Island Native Habitat Restoration program and worked to restore a variety of vegetation communities in a post-goat grazing era. In addition, Kim also worked for the Bureau of Land Management in Yuma, Arizona performing habitat restoration and terrestrial and aquatic weed mapping along the lower Colorado River. Kim holds a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to monitor populations of the coastal California gnatcatcher a federally threatened species found a number of CNLM’s preserves.
Kim earned a bachelor’s in environmental geography with a certificate in Geographic Information Systems and a master’s in geography from California State University, Chico.
Hailey Laskey, Preserve Manager, Western Riverside County
Hailey Laskey joined CNLM in August 2019 and is the Preserve Manager for the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve and Plateau Conservation Lands in Western Riverside County. Hailey is responsible for managing the 62 sensitive species and habitats including western pond turtle, mountain lion, vernal pools, Engelmann oak woodlands, and native grasslands. The management techniques she utilizes include prescribed fire to promote native purple needlegrass dominance, native plant and animal species diversity and reduce non-native species thatch. Hailey also manages the Tenaja wildlife corridor that connects to the Cleveland National Forest and promotes large mammal movement throughout southern California.
Hailey has an extensive background in invasive species management, coastal sage scrub restoration, avian construction monitoring, and butterfly and rare plant conservation gained in part from her work with California State Parks and Endemic Environmental Services. She created community outreach programs and taught outdoor environmental education while working for Crystal Cove Conservancy. Hailey enjoys GIS mapping, and vegetation and bird monitoring. She has monitored and restored habitat for multiple federally endangered species including least Bell’s Vireo, California gnatcatcher, western pond turtle, California red-legged frog, Behren’s silverspot butterfly, western snowy plover, California least tern, and Coho salmon.
Hailey earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health and Environmental Science and a Master of Science in Conservation and Restoration Science from the University of California at Irvine.
Cathy Little, Regional Preserve Manager, Northern California
Cathy Little joined CNLM in 2010 and provides management or decision support for all of CNLM’s preserves in northern California and directly manages a number of preserves including Alkali Grasslands, Keeney, and Michael Remy.
Cathy has a strong interdisciplinary background in botany, vegetation ecology, and restoration with more than two decades of training and field experience in numerous regions of California. Before she came to CNLM, she worked for two environmental consulting companies where she focused on botanical resources, riparian issues, and preparing and implementing restoration and monitoring plans. She gained skills in the design, organization, and planning of field-based studies coupled with regulatory compliance writing. During her graduate studies she focused on the relationships between riparian vegetation communities and river processes and was involved in several research studies related to riparian restoration on the Sacramento River and its tributaries. Cathy has experience in managing, restoring, monitoring, and conducting research within vernal pool, grassland, seasonal wetland, freshwater marsh, riparian, and oak woodland habitats. In addition to a diverse range of monitoring and project management experience, Cathy has a permit to survey for California vernal pool crustaceans.
Cathy earned a bachelor’s in plant biology from University of California Davis and a master’s in botany from California State University, Chico.
Korie C. Merrill, Regional Preserve Manager, South Coast Region
Korie C. Merrill joined CNLM in 2017. She manages CNLM’s preserves in Orange County and is the Regional Preserve Manager for CNLM’s South Coast region (Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties).
Upon joining the staff of CNLM, Korie was already an experienced ecologist with years of management, monitoring, and stewardship experience. Her background includes working with endangered species, planning and implementing habitat restoration, native plant propagation, rare planting monitoring, and invasive species control.
Korie is passionate about conserving and managing rare habitats in southern California. Her primary focus is native habitat restoration and management through projects such as research on invasive ant ecology and management, native plant restoration, invasive plant management, and rare species monitoring. She has published on invasive species monitoring and management and endangered species management in scientific journals. Korie holds permits to monitor populations of the threatened coastal California gnatcatcher and the endangered Pacific pocket mouse. She also is permitted for use of pesticides through the California Department of Pesticide Regulation with a Qualified Applicators License, and practices integrated pest management to best effect for protection of the conservation values of the preserves in her portfolio.
Korie earned a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of Hawaii, Mānoa, and a Master of Science in entomology from the University of California, Riverside.
Ida Naughton, Preserve Manager, San Diego County
Ida Naughton joined CNLM in 2021 and formerly managed Rattlesnake Mountain, Sky Ranch, Blossom Valley, and Woodridge preserves in Eastern San Diego County. Ida has recently transitioned to a new role after a relocation. In her current capacity she is supporting the new preserve manager in San Diego as well as some CNLM activities in northern California.
Ida is dedicated to the conservation of California biodiversity and came to CNLM with eight years of conservation project management, ecological research, and biological fieldwork experience in California ecosystems. Her previous work centered on the impacts of eusocial insect invasions on native species assemblages and plant-pollinator mutualisms, and the capacity of native assemblages to recover following invader removal. She managed the Santa Cruz Island Argentine ant eradication project for six years, in which she collaborated with The Nature Conservancy and the National Park Service on developing treatment and post-treatment monitoring protocols for Argentine ants on sensitive conservation land. She has also worked with USGS on increasing an understanding of the impacts of invasive Yellowjackets on endemic plant-pollinator mutualisms in Hawaii and has conducted biological assessments within endangered Gaviota tarplant habitat as a biological consultant. She has a longstanding interest in arthropod diversity, and has contributed to baseline terrestrial arthropod surveys of the California Channel Islands, the Revillagigedos archipelago, and the Los Brasileros area of Baja California Sur.
Ida earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D in Biology from the University of California, San Diego. Her dissertation focused on endemism and genetic diversity of ants on the California Channel Islands.
Brooke Prentice-Dekker, Preserve Manager, San Diego County
Brooke Prentice-Dekker joined CNLM in February of 2017. Currently, she is a Preserve Manager in San Diego County. CNLM preserves for which she provides management include Buena Vista Creek Ecological Preserve, Calavera Hills/Robertson Ranch, Manchester and Kelly Ranch. She is responsible for habitat restoration, non-native species removal, trail maintenance, and monitoring sensitive species. Her preserves host several federally and state listed species including San Diego thornmint, threadleaf brodiaea, California gnatcatcher, and least Bell’s vireo.
Brooke’s background includes restoration of conservation lands in southern California, including riparian areas, costal sage scrub, chaparral, grasslands, and wetlands. As part of a collaborative effort she developed a cost-benefit analysis for the removal of giant reed (Arundo) from the Santa Clara River, including modelling changes in water use, fire severity, and flooding. She has expertise in GIS mapping, data analysis, vegetation surveys, weed management, and habitat restoration. She worked at Conservation International creating a network flow analysis to determine priority areas for conservation in California based on species shifts due to climate change in decadal intervals. Currently she is interested in researching the plant-pollinator relationship of threadleaf brodiaea, for which little is currently known.
Brooke earned her Bachelor’s degree in environmental systems, with a focus in ecology, behavior, and evolution, from the University of California San Diego, and her Master’s in Environmental Science and Management, specializing in Conservation Planning and Coastal Marine Resources Management, from the University of California Santa Barbara.
Eric Olson, Preserve Manager, Sacramento Valley
Eric Olson joined CNLM in November 2011 and manages several of the CNLM’s Sacramento Valley preserves including Willey Wetlands and Prichard Lake His responsibilities include ensuring that these preserves are properly protected for the benefit of the threatened giant garter snake. In addition, Eric monitors 11 other preserves for conservation easement compliance.
Eric has a strong interdisciplinary background in wildlife biology, regulatory permitting, and GIS with more than a decade of training and field experience in the Sacramento Valley and San Francisco Bay Area. He has worked as a biologist with several consulting firms specializing in wildlife surveys with an emphasis in reptiles and amphibians. Eric has also obtained skills in land management, regulatory compliance writing including formal and informal consultations with the USFWS and Clean Water Act Section 401 and 404 permits, as well as field-based studies. During his graduate work he focused on studying and surveying a newly protected area of the Sutter Buttes for numerous herpetofauna through a comprehensive trapping program to determine which species were present and where they occurred. Eric has experience working with other wildlife species including Federal and State listed species including the giant garter snake, California tiger salamander, California red-legged frog, San Francisco garter snake, and Swainson’s hawk. He has experience monitoring within freshwater marsh, riparian and riverine systems, vernal pool, grassland, and coastal forest habitats. His background also includes working as a wildlife biologist for an ecological consulting company performing species surveys and biological monitoring as well as regulatory permitting experience by working at a Department of Defense facility in northern California.
Eric earned a bachelor’s in evolution and ecology from the University of California at Davis and a master’s in biological sciences from California State University, Chico.
Amy Richey, Preserve Manager, Northern California
Amy Richey joined CNLM in 2021. She is the East Bay Preserve Manager, conducting management, monitoring, and conservation easement compliance activities for four preserves: Dublin Ranch, Windemere Ranch, Connolly Ranch, and Patrick Connolly Preserve.
Amy has been working as an environmental professional in California since 2006. Prior to joining CNLM, she served as a biologist at a private consulting company, and as an environmental scientist at the San Francisco Estuary Institute. Her experience includes wildlife and plant surveying and reporting, permit compliance, restoration and mitigation planning and monitoring, conservation planning, field coordination, historical ecology research, and process-based ecological vision development in the Bay Area and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta regions. She has worked in a variety of habitats, including riparian areas, oak savannah, grassland, sycamore alluvial woodland, and saltwater and brackish marshes. Her skills include data visualization, mapping, biological assessment, and riparian restoration, as well as surveying for California rare plants, California tiger salamander, California red-legged frog, and nesting birds.
A lifelong nature appreciator, Amy earned a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Northern Arizona University, a Master of Arts in Political Science from Northeastern University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science from the Colorado College.
Stephen Rink, Preserve Manager, San Diego County
Stephen Rink joined CNLM in 2012 as assistant preserve manager for San Diego County and was promoted in 2014 to preserve manager. His responsibilities include implementation of individual preserve work plans, preserve management, monitoring sensitive flora and fauna species, invasive and non-native species removal, and habitat restoration.
Stephen served for fifteen years as a consulting biologist for a San Diego-based environmental consulting firm. During this time, his responsibilities included biological assessments in upland and wetland habitats to identify the potential for adverse impacts to sensitive biological resources. As part of these assessments, Stephen surveyed rare and endangered species including the California gnatcatcher, quino checkerspot butterfly, and San Diego fairy shrimp. In addition to biological impact studies, he conducted upland and wetland habitat restoration and monitoring activities, marine fish community sampling, benthic invertebrate taxonomy, jurisdictional wetland delineations, and wetland habitat restoration.
Stephen received his bachelor’s in environmental biology from Humboldt State University, Arcata, California.
Ginny Short, Preserve Manager, Coachella Valley
Ginny Short joined CNLM in 2007 and manages CNLM’s Thousand Palms Oasis and Dos Palmas preserves. Her responsibilities include planning and instituting management and restoration projects, coordinating with local and regional landowners and officials, and managing a visitors’ center that hosts up to 30,000 people per year. In addition, she manages a large volunteer staff that provides visitors services for tourists visiting the area. She also conducts conservation easement compliance activities on several conservation easements held by CNLM in the Coachella Valley.
Ginny has more than fifteen years of experience as a wildlife biologist, with additional experience in monitoring, habitat restoration and GIS. Ginny has specialized expertise in wildlife and arid land ecology, and has used educational, professional, and volunteer opportunities to focus on the science and practice of bird conservation, specializing in nocturnal and diurnal birds of prey. She has many years of monitoring experience, including surveying for least Bell’s vireo, willow flycatcher, nesting birds, desert tortoise, Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard, flat-tailed horned lizard and rare plants including the Coachella Valley milkvetch and Mecca aster.
She holds a master bander permit for burrowing owls and for managing MAPS/MAWS stations. She also has many years of banding experience with terns, raptors, and songbirds. Her extensive research on the western burrowing owl has informed monitoring methods and conservation plans for this species and has been presented in numerous conference presentations. Through her work with this species, Ginny has integrated research with conservation planning, and has engaged regulatory agencies, management agencies, and volunteers.
Since joining CNLM Ginny has focused on the ecology and biology of the Desert pupfish, and studied the natural history of one of its primary competitors, the red-swamp crayfish. She has also focused on restoration ecology, geology and the science of hydrology and issues of water in the western U.S.
Ginny earned a bachelor’s in biology from California State University, Long Beach, and completed her master’s in evolution, ecology and organismal biology from the University of California, Riverside.
Ben Teton, Preserve Manager, Central California
Ben Teton joined CNLM in 2019 and manages the 26,400-acre Panoche Valley Preserve in San Benito and Fresno Counties. His responsibilities include the development and implementation of a comprehensive biological monitoring plan along with the full suite of stewardship and restoration activities necessary to promote the conservation values of this large and dynamic preserve.
Ben has been active in wilderness and wildlife conservation for over 10 years, in which time he has worked on projects that range from marine turtle conservation in Central America to California condor recovery in southern California. His primary interests are in the practical application of wildlife monitoring techniques to improve conservation management outcomes. Before joining CNLM, Ben worked as a wildlife biologist for the Tejon Ranch Conservancy in the Tehachapi Mountains of California, where he managed a host of wildlife-related research initiatives including long-term studies focused on the impacts of invasive wild pigs on the native ecology of Tejon. He has expertise in a variety of wildlife monitoring techniques including motion-sensing camera trapping, radio telemetry, and mark-recapture population analysis.
Ben earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree in ecology, evolution, and marine biology from the University of California Santa Barbara.
Greg Warrick, Regional Preserve Manager, Central California
Greg Warrick joined CNLM in 2000 and manages preserves encompassing approximately 8,000 acres in Kern, Tulare, and Los Angeles counties. His primary responsibilities include designing and implementing management and restoration projects on the preserves, monitoring populations of sensitive species, and conducting ecological field studies.
Greg is a certified wildlife biologist (designated by The Wildlife Society) with more than twenty-five years of professional experience in California. He has authored and co-authored numerous scientific articles on a variety of wildlife species including kit foxes, bighorn sheep, leopard lizards, heteromyid rodents, and invertebrates. In previous positions, Greg has used population modeling and spatial analyses to evaluate the effects of oil field development, military activities, and farming on threatened and endangered species. He also has expertise in a variety of field techniques including aerial and ground radio-telemetry, live-trapping, scent-station and line-transect surveys, vegetation surveys, necropsies, and diet analyses.
Greg earned a bachelor’s in wildlife science from New Mexico State University and a master’s in wildlife and fisheries science from the University of Arizona.
Tobin Weatherson, Preserve Manager, San Diego County
Tobin Weatherson joined CNLM in the spring of 2023. He manages CNLM’s Blossom Valley, Woodridge, Sky Ranch, and Rattlesnake Mountain Preserves in East San Diego County. He is responsible for the monitoring and management of the preserves including rare species of special interest including coastal California gnatcatcher, Rufous crowned sparrow, orange-throated whiptail, San Diego goldenstar, Engelmann oak, coast barrel cactus, rush-like bristleweed, and delicate clarkia. Tobin is also responsible for the planning and implementation of preserve management activities such as non-native plant removal, native habitat restoration and the documentation and reporting of management activities on the preserves.
Tobin comes to CNLM with a strong background in conservation and restoration. He worked for five years with the San Diego Zoo assisting with the seed banking of San Diego County rare plant species, propagation of rare and common native plants for seed increases and reintroduction, cross-border rare species monitoring and Torrey Pines restoration research. He also has diverse experience in conservation prior to this; he has worked with the Institute for Applied Ecology monitoring rare plant species in Oregon, the Mattole Restoration Council in Northern California assisting with large scale watershed restoration projects and the USGS in Hawaii studying the development of native understory species in forest restoration. He has also worked with private contractors and consulting companies in Northern California conducting restoration planting, botanical surveys, and forestry field work.
Tobin received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Environmental Science with an emphasis in ecological restoration from Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA.
Sanders Freed, Pacific Northwest Preserve/Restoration Manager, South Puget Sound, WA
Sanders joined South Puget Sound program in 2003, and was part of the transition team, joining CNLM in 2011. His responsibilities include managing and implementing restoration activities on numerous private, public and partner agency lands in Thurston County. The majority of his efforts focus on the restoration of degraded prairie/oak lands for the reintroduction or retention of imperiled species including the Mazama pocket gopher, Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly and golden paintbrush.
Sanders has more than a decade of restoration experience, including all aspects of prairie restoration, noxious weed control and eradication, prescribed burns, native plant seeding and planting, and removal of invasive plant species. In addition, Sander’s expertise includes reptiles, amphibians and bats. A number of his current projects involve creating artificial habitat structures for bats and developing habitats suitable for the Oregon spotted frog and western pond turtle.
Sanders received a bachelor’s in environmental science from Oregon State, and a master’s in environmental studies from The Evergreen State College.
Anika Goldner, Nursery Program Supervisor, South Puget Sound, WA
Anika joined CNLM in 2020 and is currently the Nursery Program Supervisor for CNLM’s Native Plant Program in Washington State. In her position, she oversees three row-crop farm sites and one nursery and seed cleaning facility in Thurston County, WA. Anika supervises the seed production program that includes the growing and harvesting of approximately one hundred native — rare or endangered — species at any given time, from several ecoregions throughout the Pacific Northwest. Her responsibilities include managing over fifteen acres of production area, the farm staff, and harvesting and cleaning over1,700 lbs of native seed per year to be used in restoring prairie ecosystems.
Anika started working in the agricultural field in Washington in 2013 and has experience growing native plants, vegetables, and cut flowers and maintaining orchards and vineyards. She also has experience monitoring rare plants and native ecosystems throughout the state, training others in using dichotomous keys, and leading plant identification workshops.
Anika has a Bachelor of Science and Arts degree in Botany and Agriculture from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA.