Field Course Instructors

Our team of instructors brings their collective experience from years in the field. New instructors are apprenticed with seasoned instructors for training.

Pat Akers

Pat Akers is an Associate Environmental Research Scientist (Entomologist) with the California Department of Food and Agriculture. His research interests include biological control of weeds, encompassing projects on salvinia, Russian thistle, yellow starthistle, and brooms. He received his PhD from UC Berkeley.

John Anderson

John Anderson is the owner of Hedgerow Farms in Yolo County and an experienced, active revegetation practitioner.

Sheila Barry

Sheila Barry is a Natural Resources and Livestock Advisor with UC Cooperative Extension specializing in watershed and rangeland management.

Peter Baye

Peter Baye works with the Annapolis Field Station.

Carl Bell

Carl Bell is a Regional Advisor for UC Cooperative Extension – San Diego with specialty in invasive plants.

Carla Bossard

Carla Bossard is a Professor of Biology at Saint Mary’s College of California, where she teaches environmental biology courses and performs research on the control of invasive plant species.

Robin Breckenridge

Robin Breckenridge is an Associate Agricultural Biologist with the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Plant and Integrated Pest Control Division.

Christy Brigham

Christy Brigham studies invasion biology and restoration ecology with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

Petey Brucker

Petey Brucker works with the Salmon River Restoration Council.

Jason Casanova

Jason “Cas” Casanova is the Staff Cartographer for the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council, where he manages their GIS database, provides GPS services/field data collection in support of Council projects/initiatives, and handles the map production requests for Council staff and stakeholders.

Bob Case

Bob has taught biology and environmental science classes in Bay Area colleges and community colleges for twenty-five years. Bob recently retired after 24 years of service with the Contra Costa County Department of Agriculture, where he served as a deputy commissioner, responsible for the implementation of biologically sound pest management practices, including the biological control of weeds.

Sarah Chaney

Sarah Chaney works with the Channel Islands National Park.

Ellen Dean

Ellen Dean formerly served as director of the UC Davis Herbarium.

Sandy DeSimone

Sandy DeSimone is the research director for Audubon California’s Starr Ranch Sanctuary.

Deanne DiPietro

Deanne DiPietro is the GIS and IS program manager for the Sonoma Ecology Center.

Joe DiTomaso

Joe DiTomaso specializes in the study of weeds in rangeland, forests, rights-of-way, roadside, wildlands with the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis.

Morgan Doran

Morgan Doran is a livestock advisor and study leader with the UC Cooperative Extension.

Tom Dudley

Tom Dudley studies invasive plants in western riparian areas with the Riparin Invasives Research Laboratory at UC Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute.

Sharon Farrell

Sharon is the Associate Director of Resource Conservation and Project Implementation for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy (GGNPC). She has more than 15 years of experience working in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, recently serving as the Park’s plant ecologist and the Presidio Trust’s natural resources planner/project manager. During her work as the Park’s plant ecologist, she implemented numerous large-scale invasive non-native plant control projects, including management of invasive trees (eucalyptus, Monterey pine and cypress), and conversion of invasive shrub and forb habitats to native riparian, grassland, coastal scrub and dune habitats.

Mike Forbert

Mike Forbert works with West Coast Wildlands.

Mark Frey

Mark Frey is an ecologist with the Presidio Trust and the Golden Gate Natural Recreation Area.

Jason Giessow

Jason Giessow, with the Santa Margarita and San Luis Rey Weed Management Area, has worked actively on large-scale Arundo eradication and habitat restoration programs in southern California since the mid 1990s. His main priorities are: implementing accurate and inexpensive mapping programs, aiding regional groups in the development of top-down watershed-based eradication programs, and facilitating the development of streamlined permitting.

Daniel Gluesenkamp

Dan is the Habitat Protection and Restoration Specialist for Audubon Canyon Ranch and leads in the development, implementation, and evaluation of conservation and restoration projects at ACR preserves. His work involves experimental evaluation of management techniques, oversight of stewardship activities such as control of invasive alien species, and collaboration with neighboring land owners and agencies to protect ACR lands.

Jeff Hart

Jeff Hart is the president of Hart Restoration, Inc., which specializes in wetland and ripariant habitat restoration.

Jim Hartman

Jim Hartman works with the Los Angeles County Department Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures.

Mark Heath

Mark Heath heads Shelterbelt Builders, Inc. as president, prepares restoration plans, designs and manages projects, prepares GIS—mapping products and still swings the Pulaski.

Dean Kelch

Dean Kelch is an Associate Plant Taxonomist with the CDFA Herbarium.

Mike Kelly

Mike Kelly works with the Friends of Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve.

Janet Klein

Janet Klein is a vegetation ecologist with the Marin Municipal Water District.

John Knapp

John is the Invasive Plant Program Manager for the Catalina Island Conservancy. He has conceptualized and developed the Conservancy’s ambitious invasive plant program from the ground up.

Marla Knight

Marla Knight is a botanist with the Klamath National Forest.

Guy Kyser

Guy Kyser works as a research associate specializing in invasive plants of non-crop environments with the Weed Research and Information Center through UC Cooperative Extension.

David Lile

David Lile is the county director for UC Cooperative Extension Lassen County.

Ken Moore

Ken Moore is the founder of the Wildlands Restoration Team, a volunteer program dedicated to the protection and restoration of biological diversity on state parklands in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Colleen Murphy-Vierra

Colleen Murphy-Vierra is a Plant – Integrated Pest Control Agricultural Technician III and mapping specialist for CDFA’s Noxious Weed Eradication Program.

Mark Newhouser

Mark works as Vegetation Management Project Director for the Sonoma Ecology Center’s Restoration Program. For the past nine years he has coordinated invasive weed eradication efforts in the Sonoma Creek watershed, and since April 2001 has managed Team Arundo del Norte’s Arundo Eradication and Coordination Program, which serves ten watersheds throughout northern California. He is also spearheading the development of a native plant nursery that collects and grows locally native plants for Sonoma Valley restoration projects and landscaping.

Steve Orloff

Steve Orloff is a Farm Advisor for Siskiyou County UC Cooperative Extension.

Ken Owen

Ken Owen is the executive director of Channel Islands Restoration, which restores habitat in sensitive and unique natural areas on the California Channel Islands and adjacent mainland.

Randi Paris

Randi Paris is a revegetation specialist with the Trinity County Resource Conservation District.

Carri Pirosko

Carri Pirosko is a biologist for the Redding East Noxious Weed District with the Plant – Integrated Pest Control division of CDFA.

Mike Pitcairn

Mike Pitcairn is program manager of CDFA’s Biological Control Program, where is is involved with yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) and Russian thistle (Salsola tragus) control research.

John Roncoroni

John Roncoroni is a farm advisor for UC Cooperative Extension Napa County.

Steve Schoenig

Steve Shoenig is…

Elizabeth Speith

Elizabeth Speith is a Biological Science and Data Management Technician responsible for the Weed Watchers Volunteer Program with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

Lew Stringer

Lew Stringer works with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor is a botanist with the El Dorado National Forest.

Peter Warner, CSP, Cal-IPC weed inventory

Peter Warner…

Andrea Williams

Andrea Williams is a Natural Resource Specialist and & Botanist with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s San Francisco Bay Area Network Inventory and Monitoring Program.

Rob Wilson

Rob Wilson is a farm advisor for Lassen County UC Cooperative Extension.