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 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.
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.
ileana Ortega Brunetti
Development and Community Outreach Director
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!
Restoration Technician Supervisor
Aldo grew up in Oxnard, California before attending UC Santa Cruz to obtain a degree in Environmental Studies. After graduating he worked in environmental restoration, arboriculture and education throughout California before beginning a Master’s degree in environmental management with an emphasis on ecology at the University of San Francisco. He’s excited to bring his diverse skills and interests to his work on the restoration of Watsonville’s wetlands.
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.
Volunteer Coordinator & 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.
Laura is an alumna from UC Santa Cruz where she graduated with a degree in biology and anthropology. We were fortunate to have her as an intern during her final semester where we saw her excellent potential for educating Watsonville’s youth. Laura primarily works with the Wetland Stewards, Wetland Wonders, and Green Grizzlies programs. She’s excited to educate Watsonville’s youth about the wetlands and the environment.
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.
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.
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.