Retired, Water Resource Planner, County of Santa Cruz
Donna earned a M.A. in Marine Biology from San Francisco State University through studies at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and a B.A. in Biology from UC Santa Cruz. Her 25 year career as a Water Resource Planner with the County of Santa Cruz focused on the preservation and enhancement of Santa Cruz County watershed resources, including ground and surface waters, water supply, and fish and wildlife. She first began working with Watsonville Wetlands Watch in 1994, as a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for the Watsonville Sloughs System Water Quality Study. Donna is a second generation native Californian who spends most of her free time outside growing vegetables and tending fruit trees.
Jerry Thomas, Vice President
Retired Farmer from Pajaro Valley
Teresa Delfino, Treasurer
Controller, Bio-Botanical Research
Teresa is the Controller for Bio-Botanical Research in Watsonville. She serves on the Board and Chairs the Finance Committee for Watsonville Wetlands Watch. She graduated from UCSC earning a BA in Economics with an emphasis in Business Administration. She is also a Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP).
She has worked in finance & administration in the Monterey Bay area in many management roles including agriculture, tourism, Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency, and Habitat for Humanity. She also volunteers for CASA.
Teresa and her husband Pete have four children and two grandchildren. They enjoy spending time with their family, playing pickleball, gardening, cooking, riding bikes, and walking their dog in our beautiful area.
Retired, California State Park Ranger and Superintendent
Bob’s career as a California State Park Ranger and Superintendent led him to appreciate the natural systems around us. He was one of the people that signed the incorporation papers to found Watsonville Wetlands Watch and has served on the WWW Board of Directors for over 30 years. He has contributed to the organization in many ways including serving as Chairperson of the board, heading committees, helping with educational program development, and leading many student and visitor field trips over the years. Bob is currently on the Board of Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency, a member of the Agricultural History Project, and an appointee to the County of Santa Cruz Commission on the Environment. He lives with his wife on an apple farm in the woodlands at the base of Mount Madonna by Green Valley Creek, where he enjoys visits from his four children and seven grandchildren.
Technical Service Provider with NRCS
Patrick J. Fitz
Owner, Fitz Fresh Mushrooms
Retired, Executive Director, Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County, Inc.
Christine Johnson-Lyons is an environmental and social justice community worker who lives in Watsonville. Her work has led to improvements to the lives of lower income individuals and environmental resources particularly in the Pajaro Valley. She was a founding member of Watsonville Wetlands Watch in 1991 and worked professionally as the Executive Director of the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County, Inc. for 27 years between 1986 and 2013. She loves spending time with her grandson, in her garden, and researching family and local history.
Program and Leadership Coordinator, MILPA
Karina Moreno (she/they) is a Program and Leadership Coordinator at the local non-profit organization MILPA. She learned first-hand about climate change, its impacts, and the disparities that small rural communities like hers commonly face and began merging her passion for social and environmental justice. She works to utilize her skills to bring opportunities for youth to develop the skills necessary to overcome criminalization, poverty, and dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline.
Karina has volunteered at the Monterey Bay Aquarium as an exhibit guide and science mentor to local high school students in Watsonville and Aptos. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Santa Cruz County Women’s Commission and Human Services Commission.
Dawn K. Reis
Owner and Senior Wildlife and Aquatic Ecologist, Ecological Studies
Dawn Reis started Ecological Studies (EcologicalStudies.com) in 2002. Evaluation of specific wildlife species within complex freshwater or estuarine ecosystems is Dawn’s specialty. She has expertise with aquatic ecology, raptors (birds of prey), and herpetology. She has a MS in Aquatic Ecology & Conservation Biology, and a BS in Environmental Studies with a concentration on Wildlife Conservation. Prior to starting her own business, her career in wildlife conservation extends back to 1987, with marine mammal research projects including work with dolphins, sea lions, and orcas. She has helped restore Peregrine Falcon and Bald Eagle populations.
Dawn has conducted fish passage studies in streams and wildlife monitoring studies. She has also designed and implemented studies to assess the hydrological function of both freshwater and estuarine environments. Dawn has conducted focused surveys, habitat evaluations, and biological assessments for state and/or federal “Threatened” and “Endangered” wildlife species, as well as, for state protected “Species of Special Concern” to facilitate formal consultation with the regulating agencies.
Dawn has performed several comprehensive studies on California Red-legged Frog ecology, including habitat studies of both adult frogs and tadpoles. She designed, in coordination with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, a California Red-legged Frog rearing facility to assist in the frog’s recovery effort. Every year since 2008 she has operated this tadpole rearing facility, raising tadpoles that would have otherwise stranded from water loss, and releasing them young froglets back into the wild.
Manager, Sierra Azul Nursery & Gardens
Alexa was born and raised in Watsonville. She earned a B.S. in Biology with a marine emphasis from Humboldt State University (now Cal Poly Humboldt). After a few years working and studying the subtidal kelp forests of the Monterey Bay, she returned to the land and the family business of Sierra Azul Nursery & Gardens / Rosendale Nursery where she grew up. She currently serves as manager of Sierra Azul and you can find her there most days helping connect people with plants. Growing up outside among plants helped her create a strong connection with nature, and she enjoys spending most of her free time outdoors - hiking, surfing, and going for walks on the beach.
Kim Carlos Tschantz
Retired, Owner, Cypress Environmental and Land Use Planning
Kim has lived in Santa Cruz County for over 45 years; most of this time in rural Aptos. He holds a Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning.from Florida State University. He is also a Certified Environmental Professional (CEP). Kim managed the County Planning Department's Environmental Review program for over 10 years followed by operating his own environmental planning consulting business for 20 years. He is passionate about improving the quality of our environment. In 1977 Kim co-founded Save Our Shores and was a Board member of that organization for 15 years. Prior to becoming a WWW Board member, he volunteered as a docent with WWW. He enjoys trail running through the redwoods, ocean swimming and kayaking, and backpacking in the Sierra Nevada.
Patty is a physical therapist. She lives in Watsonville and has 25 years of experience volunteering with various social justice organizations. She completed the Watsonville Wetlands Watch docent program in 2015, and since then she has volunteered in various capacities, most recently supporting community outreach for the urban forest project and at public events.
Student, Cabrillo College, and Intern, Santa Cruz County Office of Response, Recovery & Resilience
Jennifer Hernandez was born and raised in Watsonville and is currently attending Cabrillo College. She aspires to receive a liberal arts associate's degree and to then transfer and receive a bachelor's in Community and Regional Development, with an emphasis on Environmental Policy. Her involvement with Watsonville Wetlands Watch as a Pajaro Valley High School student sparked her love for nature, advocacy, and environmental justice. She participated in WWW’s Climate Corps Leadership Institute program and then worked as a WWW Restoration & Urban Forestry intern and environmental educator at the Watsonville YMCA alongside WWW staff. She is currently an intern with the Santa Cruz County Office of Response, Recovery & Resilience.