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Jonathan Pilch

Jonathan Pilch
Executive Director
Jonathan holds a degree in Geography from the University of California Berkeley. He has held several positions within the Watsonville Wetlands Watch, beginning with directing the restoration programs in 2005. He began serving as the organizations Executive Director in 2017 and is passionate about the need for and impact of this great organization. Prior to working for Watsonville Wetlands Watch he worked for the University of California conducting research in integrated pest management and has enjoyed a variety of professional and volunteer experiences within the US and Latin America with habitat restoration and agroecology projects.

Ornella Bonamassa

Ornella Bonamassa
Administrative Manager
Ornella is a graduate from UCSC with a Ph.D. in Earth Science. After a career as a seismologist, software programmer, and university professor, she decided to focus on small scale farming and beekeeping. She is currently a Journeyman level student in the UC Davis Master Beekeeper Program, and concurrently taking classes in Accounting at Cabrillo, aspiring to become a licensed CPA. Thanks to her love for pollinators and interest in native plants, she connected with the Watsonville Wetlands Watch by volunteering on Friday mornings. She loves doing tedious jobs, such as separating seeds from chaff with the Prolific Propagators, and learning the Latin name of the plants she handles. She thinks in numbers and patterns and enjoys working on Finances in such a beautiful setting.

Cara Clark

Cara Clark

Restoration Director

Cara Clark has restored wetlands and associated habitats in the Monterey Bay area since 2003. She has an M.S. in Coastal and Watershed Science and Policy from CSUMB (2008) and a B.S. in Earth Sciences from UCSC (2003). Cara is an expert in monitoring, using a suite of techniques such as vegetation surveys, water quality testing, photo documentation, and rapid assessment of wetland health. Cara is very excited to work with the Watsonville community and make a positive impact on the land and water. Seeing people out enjoying the trails and connecting to the wetlands brings her joy. In her life outside of work she enjoys hiking, yoga, dancing, and music. 

Martha Arciniega

Martha Arciniega

Director of Education Programs

Martha is an environmental science educator and interdisciplinary ocean scientist.  She received her bachelors degree in marine biology and a masters degree in ocean sciences from the University of California Santa Cruz.  Prior to her work as the Education Programs Director, she worked for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Camp SeaLab, California Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and Hispanic Environmental Council Youth Institute.  She is passionate about serving the youth and community of the Watsonville area and leading environmental education programs that connect youth to the natural world,  build an environmental identity and leadership capacity, and support their mental, emotional, and physical health. 

Emily Howard

Emily Howard
Senior Education Projects Manager
Emily is our outgoing Education Programs Director and now serving as a Senior Education Projects Manager to help guide and support the ongoing success of Watsonville Wetlands Watch’s environmental education programs. Emily spent much of her young life exploring the outdoors and found her passion for connecting people to nature at a young age. After earning a degree in Environmental Science from Washington State University, she was hired as an educator for a summer camp in Big Sur and found her new home on the Central Coast. Emily worked with Return of the Natives at CSUMB for nine years before coming to Watsonville Wetlands Watch and is excited to continue the great work of connecting youth to nature through education and stewardship of the land and water.

Brooke Sampson

Brooke Sampson

Development and Community Outreach Director

Brooke is a Watsonville native and resident, who has been active in the local non-profit sector in various roles including Americorps member, volunteer, staff, and board member since 2005. A graduate of Watsonville High School, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Geography from UC Berkeley and master’s in Community Development from UC Davis. Her focus is on engaging local residents to build a healthier, more just community. Prior to joining WWW, Brooke focused her efforts on healthy food access, working for Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County, Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes, and Farm Discovery at Live Earth. She loves spending time in nature every day, walking with her daughter and dog, and is proud to contribute to WWW's mission to preserve and restore our local wetlands.

ileana Ortega Brunetti

ileana Ortega Brunetti

Development and Communications Associate

ileana is responsible for our donor relations and community engagement efforts. She was raised in Watsonville and the tri-county area. Prior to joining WWW as a staff member, she served as a WWW Board Member while at Ceiba Public Schools. She brings a deep wealth of knowledge and expertise in environmental non-profit communications, marketing, sustainability, and fund development. She holds a bachelor’s in Communication Studies from UC Santa Barbara and earned her double masters from Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in Business Administration, Sustainable Development and Finance and International Environmental Policy. In her free time, she enjoys reading and exploring nature with family and friends. ileana makes a great addition to WWW and we’re thrilled to have her with us!

Stephanie Rios

Stephanie Rios
Education Programs Coordinator
Stephanie holds a degree from CSU Monterey Bay in Environmental Science, Technology, and Policy. Before joining Watsonville Wetlands Watch in 2016, she worked for the City of Watsonville, and the non-profit Return of the Natives. Having grown up in California's Central Valley, she has enjoyed many outdoor adventures with her family, and loves to share her knowledge with others and encourage them to be more connected to nature. 

Chloe Wilson

Chloe Wilson

Administrative Assistant

Chloe grew up in Pacific Grove and holds a degree in Studio Art from the University of California at Davis. Since 2012 she has been pursuing her work as a painter, and in the last few years has been especially interested in the visual melding of the natural world with the factitious. She has six years of experience working in various roles at the arts nonprofit Youth Arts Collective, and in her free time she loves reading, gardening, and watching the many birds that pass through (and reside in) her backyard. She is thrilled to be bringing her skills and interests to an organization that does such positive, impactful, and important work in the Watsonville wetlands.

Noelle Fletcher

Noelle Fletcher
Volunteer Coordinator & Educator

Noelle grew up surrounded by nature in the hills of Salinas, where she developed an early love of wildlife and the outdoors encouraged and enriched by her biologist teacher parents. This excitement for wildlife conservation and the outdoors led her to an Environmental Studies and Planning degree at Sonoma State University, after which she moved to Arizona to obtain a Master of Science at Northern Arizona Univeristy, where she worked extensively with snakes and community science and outreach. Noelle has been thrilled to work with the amazing volunteers, staff, and student interns at WWW, and feels lucky to get to do great work in a beautiful place with wonderful people.

Yesenia Jimenez

Yesenia Jimenez

Watershed Education and Restoration Specialist

 

Yesenia is a Watsonville native who went to Watsonville High before going to UC Santa Cruz. After graduating, Yesenia gained experience in restoration and outreach via a number of positions at envrionmentally focused organizations including the Presidio of San Francisco. Since joining WWW, Yesenia has taken the reins on many public restoration events and our Green Grizzlies program at Pajaro Valley High School.

Aimée Mizuno

Aimée Mizuno

Education Specialist

Aimée has worked in public elementary schools in the Watsonville and Salinas areas for over 15 years. Having grown up in both rural Japan and an organic farm in New Jersey next to a wildlife refuge, she was raised with a deep appreciation for nature and a sense of stewardship and responsibility to the land. After graduating from Wellesley College with a degree in Japanese Studies, she came to Watsonville as an AmeriCorps literacy volunteer. Drawn to the rich sense of community and the beauty of the natural surroundings, she decided to settle here and pursue a career in education. She holds a multiple subjects teaching credential as well as a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from CSU Monterey Bay. Just before coming to WWW, she taught Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten for 6 years. Aimée brings a passion for social justice education as well as experiential learning that connects young people to the natural world and their sense of place. In her free time, she enjoys walking in parks, visiting farmer’s markets and volunteering in community events. 

Daniel Casella

Daniel Casella
Restoration Specialist
Daniel graduated from Dominican University of San Rafael with a BFA in studio arts. Before joining Watsonville Wetlands Watch, he was a nursery manager and project foreman for Rana Creek Habitat Restoration. When not at WWW he enjoys being a dad and working in his ceramics studio.

Amanda Romo

Amanda Romo

Restoration Technician

Amanda grew up in Modesto, California and moved to Watsonville when she was sixteen. After she graduated from Watsonville High School, she attended UC Davis where she got a degree in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology. She joined the California Conservation Corps in 2019 where she was introduced to the wonderful world of plants and restoration. She love long hikes, cats, and snacks.

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Watsonville Wetlands Watch
PO Box 1239
Freedom, CA 95019-1239
Voice: 831-728-1156
Fax: 831-728-6944
Offices at the Fitz Wetlands Educational Resource Center

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