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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.

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.

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.

Miranda Carrillo

Miranda Carrillo

Administrative Assistant

Miranda is a graduate from John Muir Charter School and obtained her Culinary Certificate from Rancho Cielo’s Culinary Program. In 2015 she moved to Watsonville to be closer to work, interacting closely with many folks in the farm and agricultural industry, leading her to eventually take Horticulture classes at Cabrillo College, where her love of farming began. In 2018, she moved to Royal Oaks, on a 10 acre property,where her and her partner farm hops, sell fresh eggs and carnation bouquets. Miranda enjoys being a part of an organization that teaches the youth the importance of preserving and restoring the wetlands, while also allowing her time to spend out on her farm. Her dream is to eventually open up their property to allow students who want to gain hands-on farming experience.

Stephanie Rios

Stephanie Rios

Education Programs Director

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. 

Jose Alanis

Jose Alanis

Bilingual Education and Outreach Specialist

Jose was born and raised in Watsonville, where he attended Pajaro Valley High School and participated in the Wetland Stewards program. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Environmental Earth Science and spent the next few years as an outdoor environmental educator in Yosemite. He taught 2nd Grade reading for a couple of years before joining Watsonville Wetlands Watch. Jose enjoys new experiences, hiking, playing board games, and spending quality time with friends and family.

Rodrigo Garcia

Rodrigo Garcia

Education Specialist

Rodrigo is a Watsonville native, Pajaro Valley High School graduate, and Wetland Stewards alumnus. He is currently working towards a degree in biology at Cabrillo College. Before returning to WWW, he worked as an instructor for other outdoor education organizations including the Bird School Project and the Ventana Wildlife Society where he gained experience creating meaningful outdoor experiences for students and families from Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. When he is not working, he enjoys trying new foods, birding, and spending time with friends and family.

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.

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.

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.

Amanda Romo

Amanda Romo

Restoration Specialist

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 received a bachelor’s 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. Amanda is a licensed arborist. She loves long hikes, cats, and snacks.

Saira Ramos-Mendoza

Saira Ramos-Mendoza

Restoration Technician

Saira has been interested in our wetlands and native flora and fauna since participating in programs with WWW and the Watsonville Nature Center as a student growing up in Watsonville. After graduating from Aptos High, she served in the California Conservation Corps for two years and then joined the California State Parks as a Forestry Aide in the Santa Cruz Mountains sector, gaining experience in watershed restoration, trails maintenance, native plants, fire management and recovery, and resource management. As a Watsonville local, Saira is excited to work on environmental restoration projects in her hometown and contribute to the well-being of her community.

Arianna Lara

Arianna Lara

Restoration Technician

Arianna grew up just east of the Monterey Peninsula on a farm where she tended to many animals and plants that provided a rich opportunity for her to explore, learn, and create a bond with nature. She holds a bachelor’s from CSU Monterey Bay, where she majored in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Environmental Education and minored in Environmental Science. Prior to joining WWW, she was a nature instructor and a biodynamic farm manager, where she acquired nursery experience and worked with herbs, vegetables, and flowers. Arianna’s passion lies in habitat restoration and the protection of our planet and environment. When not at WWW, Arianna enjoys running, camping, hiking, tending to her own garden, and tuning into her creative side.

 

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Contact

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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