Skills: Permitting, conservation on agricultural land, illegal dumping prevention
Fun Fact: Eagle Scout, former member of the University of California Marching Band, aspiring birder, and a Contra Costa native raised in Southern California.
Ben started working with Contra Costa RCD in January 2017 after receiving two Masters degrees from Indiana University in Natural Resource Management and Environmental Policy following undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley. Ben manages the Voluntary Local Program, the EcoStewards Program, and other conservation programs focused on agricultural lands.
Skills: Knowledge of various invasive plant removal techniques, knowledge of plant monitoring techniques, experienced in water quality monitoring, community outreach and environmental education.
Fun Fact: Fluent in Spanish, used to live in New Jersey, completed two AmeriCorps service terms and I like to hike and explore new nature areas.
Daniel grew up in New Jersey and just recently moved to California to work for the CCRCD as an EcoSteward Conservation Technician. He graduated from Stockton University with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Since graduating from college, Dan has been involved with numerous environmental restoration projects, environmental education, and community outreach. His previous working experiences includes interning at a USFW National Wildlife Refuge through an internship program with a non-profit organization called Hispanic Access Foundation. He has completed two Americorps term services: one as a New Jersey Watershed Ambassador in New Jersey and one as a Lead Wetland Restoration Technician with Truckee Meadows Park Foundation in Nevada. Dan's other areas of interest include water quality and stormwater management.
Skills: Vegetation management, horticulture, urban agriculture, facilitation, public speaking, writing.
Fun Fact: California native, spent a year as a monk at San Francisco Zen Center, spoke at conferences in five countries, did multi-day treks in Peru and Iceland.
Rachael developed a passion for native plants while living and working at Green Gulch Farm as a Land Steward Apprentice and is herself a California native. Before joining the CCRCD as an EcoSteward she worked as a gardener on a large private estate, managing fruit and vegetable production and performing ornamental landscape maintenance. Prior to her career in conservation, Rachael spent nearly a decade working in tech, coaching high performing software development teams and advocating for people-focused processes. A lifetime learner, Rachael has a Bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley in American Studies and is currently taking classes in Environmental Science.
Skills: Monitoring, CA native plants & animals identification, conducting biological surveys.
Fun Fact: Loves plant and wildlife photography, is fluent in Spanish, enjoys going to concerts and attending rodeos.
Tania grew up in La Puente, CA and just recently moved to Northern California to work for CCRCD as an EcoStewards Conservation Technician. She has a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology with a minor in Chicanx Studies from the University of California, Davis. As both a student and professional, Tania has been involved in many conservation and environmental monitoring projects. Prior to joining the CCRCD team, Tania worked as a biological monitor in Southern New Mexico, where she helped mitigate the negative environmental impacts construction had on desert habitat. Other areas of interest include environmental justice, birding, and herping.