Solano RCD Staff
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Chris has eighteen years of experience implementing and managing restoration projects in the Sacramento Valley. Chris gained his first habitat restoration experience while working with Hedgerow Farms in the mid-nineties. Since then, Chris has managed and implemented habitat restoration projects for the Yolo County Resource Conservation District, Colusa County Resource Conservation District and was the Habitat Restoration Program Manager for Audubon California’s Landowner Stewardship Program for seven years. He now serves as the Executive Director for Solano RCD. Chris is a current board member of the Putah Creek Council and is a former president of the California Native Grasslands Association. Chris graduated from UC Davis with a degree in political science with an emphasis in environmental studies and planning and a minor in natural resources.
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Caitlyn has worked for Solano RCD since 2016. She wears many hats for the RCD including office manager, bookkeeper and Board Clerk for the Solano RCD Board of Directors. Her responsibilities also include coordinating payroll with Solano County, maintaining personnel records and general office management. She has over 10 years’ experience working in various office settings. Born and raised in Solano County, she loves that the RCD gives so much back to the community she calls home. Caitlyn earned a BA in History from UC Santa Barbara in 2011.
Deputy Executive Director
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Katherine manages and implements a wide diversity of restoration programs for Solano RCD. She works with a variety of public and private partners to eradicate invasive weeds, propagate and install native plants, design and install irrigation systems, and monitor program success. Her projects have included riparian corridor enhancement, on-farm conservation (hedgerows and wildlife ponds), and rangeland weed control. She chairs the Solano County Weed Management Area. Katherine has worked for Solano RCD since 2007; prior to that she worked for six years in resource management for California State Parks and eight years in recycling coordination for the city of Manteca. Katherine holds a BS in Biology/Botany from CSU Stanislaus and a PhD in Ecology from UC Davis.
Watershed Project Manager
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Amy has worked for Solano RCD since July 2008 and manages a variety of projects that aim to involve landowners, farmers and ranchers in creating wildlife habitat, controlling erosion, improving water quality and sequestering carbon on their land. She also monitors urban water quality for the cities of Fairfield, Suisun City and Vallejo in partnership with other Bay Area groups, and works with the Solano County Water Agency to manage a County-wide Small Grant program for flood control. Her previous work experience includes running a small landscaping business, conducting research on nutrient cycling and greenhouse gas emissions in agricultural systems, and environmental outreach on climate change and sustainable agriculture at UC Davis. She earned a BA in Biology from UC Santa Cruz in 1997 and an MS in Ecology from UC Davis in 2003.
Restoration Project Manager
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Sarah began working for Solano RCD in January 2016 as Restoration Project Manager, and since then has managed a variety of habitat restoration, enhancement, and invasive species management projects. Prior to joining the RCD, Sarah came with over 10 years of experience working with natural resource conservation organizations, including the California Department of Boating and Waterways, Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, Sacramento Area Creeks Council, The Nature Conservancy at Cosumnes River Preserve, and the Sacramento Tree Foundation. Her work and volunteer experiences have centered on native plant establishment, habitat restoration, invasive plant management, and vegetation monitoring throughout Sacramento Valley. Sarah earned a B.S. in Ecological Management and Restoration from U.C. Davis.
Andrea Mummert Puccini
Conservation Project Manager
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Since coming to Solano RCD in 2006, Andrea has managed projects focused on enhancing native plant communities and wildlife habitat on private and public lands. Andrea coordinates with the RCD’s federal partner—the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service—to provide technical and planning assistance to county residents and producers in order to achieve conservation goals on private lands. She also works with the Dixon-Solano RCD Water Quality Coalition, assisting agricultural producers to comply with state water quality regulations. Before coming to Solano RCD, Andrea held positions with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, California Resources Agency, and the California Department of Fish and Game. She was awarded a BA in English and Biology from Saint Mary’s College of Maryland in 1996 and a MS in Fisheries and Wildlife Science from Virginia Tech in 2001.
Restoration Program Manager
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Chris started at the Solano RCD in spring 2018 and manages a variety of restoration projects that aim to provide ecological services for farmers, waterways, and wildlife. Chris has worked in 8 western states: studying how fuel-reduction treatments and wildfire influence forest carbon storage; integrated weed management research in grasslands combining grazing, biocontrols and herbicides; developing monitoring strategies for restoration efforts; repeat historical photography; weed mapping and impact research; implementing citizen science projects; and working on long-term vegetation monitoring in Hawai’i and the desert Southwest. He has a B.S in Geography from the University of Oregon and an M.S. in Forestry from the University of Montana.
David joined Solano RCD in 2020. Originally from Contra Costa County, David spent the last 16 years working in community organizing, urban agriculture and environmental just in New York City. As Director of the East New York Farms! Project, he helped establish 5 new urban farms and developed collaborative research projects on specialty crops, native pollinators, composting, urban soil quality, and youth development. He first got involved in restoration as a crew leader in Northwest Youth Corps, and has been helping his family with a prairie and oak savannah restoration in Iowa for over a decade. He studied at Deep Springs College and received his BA at Columbia University.
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Elizabeth graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2018 with a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. In 2016 she started assisting with ecological restoration along the California Central Coast at Younger Lagoon Reserve of the UC Natural Reserve system. While beginning her work ecological restoration, she has worked for two different plant ecology labs at UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis where she assisted in research on an invasive legume of the Pacific Northwest, plant fungal interactions, and species coexistence patterns along the California Coast. As one of the newer members of the Solano RCD team she is eager to learn more about ecological restoration practices, Solano county flora and fauna, and forming successful partnerships with local land owners and public entities.
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John studied Ecology and Evolution at CSU San Bernardino. He got started working in conservation and horticulture at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and the Bureau of Land Management. While living and working on a farm in the central Sierras, he learned about conservation practices in agriculture and began growing native plants for the farm. Following that experience, he has worked with many farmers on similar projects, and continues to do so now as a Restoration Technician with Solano RCD.
Water Quality Technician
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Kevin graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a major in Environmental Science with an emphasis in water pollution. He has assisted with research on Tamarisk and Phragmites with the RIVR Lab, as well as interned as an invasive mussel inspector with a WIT II certification and as a water resource intern with the Solano County Water Agency. As a Water Quality Technician and a certified SUAS pilot for Solano RCD, Kevin continues his exploration of the environmental science world and works to expand his skill base and passion for environmental stewardship.
Solano Resource Conservation District is a 2017 recipient of the Governors Economic and Environmental Leadership Award (GEELA) and the Soil and Water Conservation Society's Conservation Education Award (California/Nevada Chapter) for our outstanding environmental education and outdoor science programming.
The following are brief biographies for our education team.
Environmental Education Director
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Marianne has been managing Solano RCD's education program since 2008 and she has more than twenty years combined experience as a watershed educator. Marianne works collaboratively with partners and funders throughout the region to create and implement K-12 environmental education programs that reach over 10,000 students annually. Programs focus on water education and best reflect Solano County's priority environmental concerns. Marianne coordinates three large scale annual County cleanup events and acts as a liaison between Solano County, its cities and the California Coastal Commission. Marianne manages the Lake Berryessa Boater Outreach Program promoting water quality at the County's primary drinking water source, as well as other boater outreach programs throughout the County. In addition to managing programs, Marianne hires and manages a team of ten full and part-time educators. She holds a BA in Education and an MS in Natural Resources with an emphasis on sustainability. She has completed the New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors Americorps Program and several environmental internships in New Jersey, Maryland and Arizona during her career.
Environmental Education Program Manager
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Allison has been an environmental educator since 2007 and a program manager since 2012. She worked as a naturalist for the East Bay Regional Park District and Contra Costa Water District, as the education director for Micke Grove Zoo, and a guest experience supervisor with the Monterey Bay Aquarium. At Solano RCD, Allison is the curriculum specialist connecting all course material to Next Generation Science Standards. Allison is committed to improving the quality of teaching, learning, and inclusion in our outdoor science programs and provides support for all Solano RCD education programs. In addition to having a BS in Environmental Science, she is an active member of the National Association for Interpretation and has been a Certified Interpretive Manager since 2014.
Environmental Education Program Coordinator
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Laura holds a BS in Animal Biology from UC Davis where she completed research on monarch butterfly coloration and interned as an educator at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. She has been one of Solano RCD’s lead teachers since 2015 and works with thousands of students annually to implement our comprehensive, multidiscipline outdoor education strategies used in our K-12 field trips and classrooms lessons. These programs have a strong STEAM focus and promote student learning through hands-on science. Laura also coordinates the Solano County Water Education Program, providing both material and teaching resources to all Solano County teachers.
Environmental Education Program Coordinator
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Lidia received her degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz. From 2013-2018 her work in environmental education focused on the development of a community garden and the development of two science-based enrichment programs in Santa Cruz County. Her experience includes teaching Next Generation Science Standards in K-12 schools emphasizing STEM driven activities focused in natural phenomenon. At Solano RCD, Lidia is a lead teacher and works with all grades levels participating in our watershed education programming.
Arianna grew up in a small, rural town in the Sierra Nevada foothills. After graduating from UC Davis with a BS in Human Development, Arianna went on to pursue her MA in Child Development from Sac State. Over the years she has worked with students from PreK to high school and in a variety of settings. Arianna has recently combined her love of education and the outdoors in hopes of inspiring future generations to explore nature and care about the environment that surrounds them.
Gaia has Bachelor's degree in Literature from UC Santa Cruz. Her past experience includes working as a surf therapist in Southern California where she discovered first-hand the transformative potential of experiences in the outdoors relative to wellness, recovery, and personal and social development. From this experience, she is pursuing a Masters in Outdoor Education for which she is currently completing her dissertation.
Shannon received her degree in Environmental Studies from Washington College in Chestertown, MD. From 2016 to 2017 she worked with the Sultana Education Foundation as an environmental educator aboard an 18th century schooner teaching local watershed curriculum. Most recently, Shannon was a naturalist educator with Foothill Horizons Outdoor School.