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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.

Lise Peterson

Lise Peterson
Administrative Manager
Lise is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz, and worked for the Smucker Company for many years as a plant controller and production planning manager. Prior to joining Watsonville Wetlands Watch, she managed the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History. When not at work, Lise is a volunteer for the California Native Plant Society and is a dilettante birder.

Emily Howard

Emily Howard
Director of 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.

Mary Paul

Mary Paul
Stewardship Manager
Mary has been with the Watsonville Wetlands Watch since 2008. She moved to the Monterey Bay area in 2005 to work as a Conservation Associate at Fort Ord National Monument and to lead a native seed collection crew as part of the Seeds of Success Project. Prior to Watsonville Wetlands Watch, she worked with California Department of Parks and Recreation in the Monterey District as a Senior Resource Aide working on restoring coastal dune habitats throughout Monterey county.

Ria Mukerji

Ria Mukerji
Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator
Ria is a Southern California native and graduate of UC Santa Cruz. She became interested in wetlands while completing a research project in Ghana and developed a love for civic engagement and nonprofit work while serving as an AmeriCorps member after graduating from UCSC. Outside of coordinating volunteers, Ria can often be found volunteering herself around the community, by the ocean (reading, swimming, hula hooping, eating tacos) or searching for the best happy hour deal in Santa Cruz.

Stephanie Rios

Stephanie Rios
Environmental Educator
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 to encourage them to be more connected to nature. 

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.

Anthony Fuentes

Anthony Fuentes
Restoration Technician
Anthony is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Environmental Studies. As a student, he learned beginner nursery management skills while working in the campus greenhouses. His experience in restoration was acquired while interning for the Sempervirens Fund and Jodi McGraw Consulting. When he’s not aiding Watsonville Wetlands Watch in its projects, he’s going on bike rides and enjoying the many views of the central coast.

Lorena Mendoza

Lorena Mendoza
Restoration Technician
Lorena is a Watsonville native and works in our native plant nursery and assists with restoration projects. She is currently attending Cabrillo college and has a background and interest in permaculture and ecology.

John Pritchard

John Pritchard
Restoration Specialist
John began work on the Watsonville Wetlands Watch's restoration and stewardship staff in 2005. Previously he volunteered for the Wildlands Restoration Team in Santa Cruz, and worked for David Packard at Elkhorn Native Plant Nursery in Moss Landing as a habitat restoration project manager. John is a licensed landscape contractor, specializing in botany, rare plant conservation, invasive plant control, and quality revegetation projects.

Debbie Diersch

Debbie Diersch

Development and Marketing Director

Debbie earned her BS in Information Systems Management from the University of San Francisco and an MBA with Marketing Specialization from National University. She is currently taking classes at Cabrillo College to expand her digital publishing and graphic design skills. Having grown up on a farm in Pennsylvania, she has a life-long love of nature and wildlife. When she isn't working or in class you can probably find her out doing some bird watching in the wetlands.

Noelle Fletcher

Noelle Fletcher
Environmental Educator & Community Science Technician
Originally from Salinas, Noelle grew up always surrounded by nature and her science teacher parents helped her develop an early love and appreciation of reptiles. Noelle completed her undergrad degree at Sonoma State University before venturing to Arizona and receiving her Masters at Northern Arizona University. Her thesis focused on evaluating the use of citizen science in aiding the conservation of garter snakes.  Upon returning to California, she worked as an Environmental Educator and Naturalist at Elkhorn Slough Reserve. 

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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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