J. Scott Feierabend, Executive Director
John Petersen, Chief Operating Officer
Maurice "Skip" Schwartz, Senior Advisor and Executive Director Emeritus
Education, Conservation Science & Habitat Protection
John Kelly, Ph.D., Director of Conservation Science
Sherry Adams, Biologist & Preserve Manager, Modini Ingalls Ecological Preserve & Mayacamas Mountains Sanctuary
Emiko Condeso, Ecologist/GIS Specialist
Gwen Heistand, Resident Biologist, Martin Griffin Preserve
Julie Keating, Weekend Program Facilitator, Martin Griffin Preserve
Theo Michaels, Resource Ecologist, Bouverie Preserve
Sarah Millus, Helen Pratt Field Biologist
Jennifer Potts, Resource Ecologist, Bouverie Preserve
David Self, Naturalist, Mayacamas Mountains Sanctuary
Jeanne Wirka, Resident Biologist, Bouverie Preserve
Raquel Ximenes, Community Outreach Coordinator, Martin Griffin Preserve
David Greene, Land Steward, Cypress Grove Research Center
John Martin, Land Steward, Bouverie Preserve
Tomas Ruiz, Land Steward, Modini Ingalls Ecological Preserve
Steve Trivelpiece, Land Steward, Martin Griffin Preserve
Yvonne Pierce, Executive Administrator/Martin Griffin Preserve Manager
Leslie Sproul, Receptionist/Office Assistant, Martin Griffin Preserve
Nancy Trbovich, Bouverie Preserve Manager
Barbara Wechsberg, Cashier/Receptionist, Martin Griffin Preserve
Didi Wilson, Director of Development & Communications
Trisha Fontan, Administrative Aide
Jennifer Newman, Annual Fund and Communications Officer
Stephen Pozsgai, Controller
J. Scott Feierabend, Executive Director, is a native of Louisiana, born in the small delta town of Port Sulphur in the heart of bayou country. Scott received his B.Sc. in Biology from Emory University and M.Sc. in Wildlife Biology from West Virginia University, and has worked in the non-profit environmental community for almost 30 years. Starting as an intern with the National Wildlife Federation, Scott served the organization in a variety of capacities, including staff scientist, lobbyist, director and vice president. His career with NWF eventually took him to Anchorage, Alaska, where he supervised the Federation's Western Field Operations before going to work for The Nature Conservancy's Alaska Chapter as its Director of Conservation Programs. After a year in this position, Scott was hired as the Marin Conservation League's Executive Director where he joined the organization in October 2002. He left the League in October 2006 to begin serving as California Trout's Conservation Director and, while there, briefly served as its Interim Executive Director. Scott is married to Janel Worsley Feierabend and has two sons, Dashiell and Tristan, one a biologist with the National Park Service in Skagway, Alaska and the other a medical student at Albert Einstein University in New York City.
Sherry Adams - Biologist - is stationed at the Modini Ingalls Ecological Preserve. She earned a master's degree in Applied Ecology and Conservation Biology at Frostburg State University/University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Appalachian Laboratory and a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley. Her graduate research focused on the impact of an invasive grass on plant communities. Sherry brings to Audubon Canyon Ranch a decade of natural resources field experience with an emphasis on plant inventorying to support research questions, along with significant experience in fire ecology. At the Modini Ranch, Sherry is working on a natural resources management plan for the pristine property.
Emiko Condeso, Ecologist/GIS specialist, has a Master's Degree in Biology/Landscape Ecology from Sonoma State University and a dual B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz. Emiko's research interests include understanding how spatial patterns, particularly in human-altered landscapes, influence biological communities. Her graduate work focused on Sudden Oak Death and examined the role of the spatial pattern of host woodland on disease dynamics. At the Cypress Grove Research Center, Emiko manages Audubon Canyon Ranch's long-term biological monitoring projects and collaborates with staff and partners in conservation research. She is an active member of the local conservation GIS community.
Gwen Heistand has been Resident Biologist at ACR's Martin Griffin Preserve since August of 2002. She has a Master's Degree in Environmental Science & Management / Applied Ecology from UC Santa Barbara. Her graduate work focused on assessing cumulative impacts of land use on coastal wetland watersheds. Gwen has taught field and lab classes for both UC Santa Barbara and the College of Marin in limnology, invertebrate zoology, parasitology, mammalogy, introductory biology, and marine biology. She was curator for the invertebrate collection at UCSB's Museum of Ecology and Systematics. Gwen teaches classes to volunteers in all aspects of natural history and works with the ACR science staff on research and resource management programs specific to the Martin Griffin Preserve as well as the larger family of ACR preserves. Gwen sits on the Bolinas Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee and the Sanctuary Advisory Council for the Gulf of the Farallones.
John P. Kelly, Ph.D, serves as the Director of Conservation Science. He develops and oversees programs in conservation research, ecological restoration, and natural resources management on Audubon Canyon Ranch lands and associated systems, such as Tomales Bay. His scientific interests focus on habitat relationships, foraging, and energetics of coastal and estuarine birds, and on the breeding biology of herons and egrets in the San Francisco Bay Area. He also works on local and regional conservation issues, and serves on the Tomales Bay Watershed Council and the Tomales Bay Advisory Committee. Before coming to ACR in 1988, John worked as a biologist and educator for several public and private organizations, including the U. S. Forest Service, Humboldt State University, the National Audubon Society, Santa Rosa Junior College, and the Point Reyes Bird Observatory. He holds a doctorate in Ecology from the University of California, Davis, and a master's degree in Wildlife from Humboldt State University.
Theo Michaels has a background that ranges from horse training and ranch care to restoration management. She earned at Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing from UC San Diego, which allows her to observe and investigate the way the ecology of the landscape can tell one about the story of the land. After college and the opportunity to work in several different professions, Theo realized her need to work more closely to her values and turned her eye to restoration work. She began taking classes at Santa Rosa Junior College and interned with the Sonoma Land Trust before serving with Americorps from 2009 to 2010. During her Americorps term, she was placed at Point Reyes National Seashore assisting with habitat restoration, monitoring, and leading volunteer groups. Theo is excited to be working within a community of people who feel passionate about the needs and care of the environment and sharing this love with others.
Sarah Millus is ACR's Helen Pratt Field Biologist. Sarah monitors and tracks the progress of herons and egrets nesting at the Martin Griffin Preserve and at other heronries throughout the northern San Francisco Bay Area. Her work adds to more than forty years of heron and egret observations collected by ACR. Herons and egrets are recognized as key biological indicators of environmental change in wetlands, and understanding their nesting behaviors can be important in protecting the wetlands on which they depend. Sarah came to ACR after finishing work as a field assistant for a Ph.D. project studying the male reproductive strategies of white-faced capuchin monkeys in Costa Rica. Before that, she worked as a consulting biologist for SWCA Environmental Consultants in San Luis Obispo. Sarah graduated with a Masters in Biology from Cal State Fullerton where she studied the Xantus's Murrelet, a small seabird that nests on the Channel Islands. Sarah says she's "excited to be involved with research again after consulting and to contribute to, and be a part of, the amazing efforts to document what's been happening with these birds for the last forty years."
John Petersen is ACR's Chief Operating Officer. John began his tenure with ACR as the Bouverie Preserve Biologist in 1985 and holds a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science for California State University, Chico, a Master's degree in Biology from Sonoma State University, and an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of San Francisco.
Jennifer Potts - Resource Ecologist - has background ranging from fire ecology to farm work, and earned her Master's degree from UC Berkeley in Environmental Science, Policy and Management. She will be responsible for leading Bouverie Preserve's habitat protection and restoration projects, including oak woodland restoration, vernal pools and invasive species removal.
Maurice A. "Skip" Schwartz, Senior Advisor and Executive Director Emeritus, began working for Audubon Canyon Ranch in 1975. Skip's relationship with Audubon Canyon Ranch began when he and his wife took the docent training at Martin Griffin Preserve in 1972. Since then, he has become one of California's foremost wildlife sanctuary administrators, providing the organizational leadership and vision necessary to sustain ACR's success. In January, 2010, Skip transitioned from his role as executive director to a new part-time role - Senior Advisor and Executive Director Emeritus- which allows him to focus on special projects.
Jeanne Wirka is the Bouverie Preserve Resident Biologist. She came to ACR from Audubon-California (the state subsidiary of the National Audubon Society) where, as the project ecologist for the Landowner Stewardship Program in Yolo County, she worked with farmers and ranchers to restore and protect wildlife habitat on private lands. She received a Master's Degree in Ecology from U.C. Davis and a B.A. from Harvard University. Her primary area of expertise is in California plant community ecology with a focus on native grasslands, oak woodlands, and riparian habitats. She is a former president of the California Native Grasslands Association and has taught training courses in grassland ecology and restoration since 2000. She has a long history of working with volunteers in a variety of community and ecological projects and especially enjoys providing "hands-on" experience to school-age children. At Bouverie, Jeanne also teaches natural history classes to volunteers and works with the ACR science staff on research and resource management programs specific to the preserve.
Volunteers are also essential to all of Audubon Canyon Ranch's programs. We rely on the knowledge, commitment and experience of a large cadre of trained volunteers who we consider the "heart and soul" of this organization. Learn how to become an ACR volunteer.