Cal-IPC Awards

Each year, Cal-IPC honors members who have shown exceptional dedication and creativity in protecting California’s wildlands from invasive plants. Honorees receive their awards at the Symposium banquet in October. If you know someone who deserves one of our five awards, please share their name, accomplishments, and suggested award with Cal-IPC by July 31.

Jake Sigg Award for Vision and Dedicated Service

2019 Award Winners Wildland Stewardship and Jake Sigg

2019 Awardees: David Garmon accepting on behalf of Tubb Canyon Desert Conservancy for the Wildland Stewarship Policy Award and David Bakke, winner of the Jake Sigg Award. Photo: Claire F. Meyler

For years of tireless service and leadership on invasive plant issues in California. Named after Jake Sigg, longtime wildland weed worker, activist, and Cal-IPC supporter from San Francisco.

Ken Moore Wildlands Restoration Award

Winner of the 2019 Ken Moore Wildlands Restoration Award (AKA the Golden Weed Wrench) Arlee Montalvo. Photo: Claire F. Meyler

For land managers who exhibit exceptional dedication, passion, and ingenuity in their weed management. The Golden Weed Wrench Award was renamed to honor  legendary weed worker and tool innovator Ken Moore who passed away in 2021. View this remembrance video from the 2021 Symposium as well as Ken’s final tool video sharing a range of hard-won experience.

  • 2023: Allison Sanger, Lassen National Forest
  • 2022: JP Marié, California Native Grasslands Association
  • 2021: Henry DiRocco, Laguna Canyon Foundation
  • 2019: Arlee Montalvo, Riverside-Corona Resource Conservation District
  • 2018: Sue Hubbard, Bureau of Land Management, Ford Ord
  • 2017: Jennifer Prado, Conservation Lands Manager for the Friends of the Desert Mountains
  • 2016: Athena Demetry, Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks
  • 2015: Bill Neill, Riparian Repairs
  • 2014: Jim Dempsey, California State Parks
  • 2013: James Law, Santa Ana Watershed Association
  • 2012: Mark Heath, Shelterbelt Builders
  • 2011: Susan Donaldson, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
  • 2010: Sandra DeSimone, Audubon California, Starr Ranch Sanctuary
  • 2009: Joanna Clines, USDA Sierra National Forest
  • 2008: Janet Klein, Marin Municipal Water District
  • 2007: Bruce Delgado, Bureau of Land Management – Fort Ord
  • 2006: John Watson, Cache Creek Conservancy
  • 2005: Susan Mason, Friends of Bidwell Park
  • 2004: Ken Moore, Wildlands Restoration Team
  • 2003: Andrea Pickart, Humboldt Bay Wildlife Refuge

Ryan Jones Catalyst Award

A youth crew working with Ryan Jones. Photo: GGNPC

A youth crew working with Ryan Jones. Photo: GGNPC

For creatively spearheading actions or creating partnerships that make exceptional progress in protecting California from invasive plants. Named for Ryan Jones, an incredible artist and youth leader for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, who died much too young in 2008.

  • 2023: Don Hankins, Chico State University
  • 2019: Fabiàn Garcia, US Forest Service, Southern California Consortium
  • 2018: Hannah Wallis, Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office
  • 2017: Ron Vanderhoff, Orange County Chapter of California Native Plant Society
  • 2016: Judy Johnson, Bass Lake (Volunteer of the Year)
  • 2015: (not presented)
  • 2014: Joanne Drummond, Fire Safe Council of Nevada County, for creating the Scotch Broom Challange
  • 2013: Josh Volp, Orange County Conservation Corps
  • 2012: Susan Schwartz, Friends of Five Creeks
  • 2011: Andrea Williams and Daniel Gluesenkamp, for founding the Bay Area Early Detection Network
  • 2010: Jo Kitz, Mountains Restoration Trust
  • 2009: Graduate students Sara Jo Dickens and Heather Schneider of UC Riverside, for starting the Cal-IPC Student Chapter
  • 2008: John Anderson, Hedgerow Farms, for pioneering work incorporating native grasses into restoration projects
  • 2007: Richard Zembal, Santa Ana Watershed Association, for years of work promoting funding for arundo control
  • 2006: Sharon Farrell, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and Maria Alvarez, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, for years of getting the Bay Area to volunteer
  • 2005: Frank Wallace, Sacramento Weed Warriors, for getting the community out to work
  • 2004: Nicholas Staddon, Monrovia Nursery, for partnering on “Don’t Plant a Pest!” development
  • 2003: Carolyn Martus, San Diego CNPS, for contacting WalMart about pampas grass

Wildland Stewardship Policy Award

For support of legislative policies that address invasive plants

  • 2019: David Garmon, Tubb Canyon Desert Conservancy, for their work combining science and advocacy to advance biocontrols for Sahara mustard
  • 2018: Assembly Member Timothy S. Grayson (Concord), for co-authoring Assembly Bill 2470
  • 2013: Christy Boser, The Nature Conservancy, and Kate Faulkner, National Park Service, for their work on the California Islands BioSecurity Program
  • 2012: Karen Buhr, California Association of Resource Conservation Districts, for her work on the state’s Fish & Wildlife Strategic Vision Stakeholder Advisory Group
  • 2012: Bobbi Simpson, National Park Service Exotic Plant Management Team, for pursuing an interagency MOU on weed-free forage
  • 2012: Assemblymember Joan Buchanan (15th District), for authorizing legislation to control spongeplant in the Delta
  • 2011: USDA APHIS Plant Protection & Quarantine, for their work on Q-37 NAPPRA import regulations
  • 2010: Los Angeles Times, for their coverage of invasive plant issues
  • 2009: A.G. Kawamura, California Secretary of Food & Agriculture, for working for the creation of an Invasive Species Council and supporting weed programs
  • 2008: Abe Doherty, California Coastal Conservancy, for guiding the Ocean Protection Council towards evaluating pathways of introduction for aquatic invasive species
  • 2007: Robert Falconer, California Association of Nurseries & Garden Centers, for his leadership in working to prevent horticultural introduction of invasive plants
  • 2006: Andrea Fox, California Farm Bureau Federation, Assembly Member Dave Cogdill, and his Legislative Director Erin Guerrero, for their work on behalf of WMA funding (AB 2479)
  • 2005: Assembly Member Lois Wolk, for her efforts to strengthen interagency coordination through creation of an invasive species council (AB 2631)
  • 2004: Wendy West, El Dorado County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, for inventing and organizing California Invasive Weed Awareness Day at the Capitol
  • 2003: Kevin O’Neill, Office of Assembly Member Tim Leslie, for creating the Adopt-A-Riverway program to fund weed control

Wildland Stewardship Organization of the Year

  • 2019: Orange County CNPS Chapter
  • 2018: Resource Conservation District of Monterey County
  • 2017: Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association
  • 2016: California Conservation Corps, Fresno Satellite
  • 2015: Urban Corps of San Diego
  • 2014: River Partners
  • 2013: Southern California Mountains Foundation
  • 2012: California Coastal Conservancy, Invasive Spartina Project
  • 2011: Lake Tahoe Basin Weed Coordinating Group
  • 2010: Los Angeles Conservation Corps
  • 2009: The Nature Conservancy’s Global Invasive Species Team, for the resources they provided to weed workers around the world before they became a victim of budget cuts earlier this year
  • 2008: California Dept. of Food and Agriculture’s Integrated Pest Control Branch, for strengthening the Weed Management Area program while protecting it from budget cuts
  • 2007: Department of Defense, Land management units in southern California


Wildland Stewardship Conservation Corps of the Year Award


National Park Service Weedzilla Award

  • 2017: Joey Algiers, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
  • 2016: Richard Theil, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
  • 2015: Clark Cowen, Channel Island National Park
  • 2014: Irina Irvine, Santa Monica National Recreation Area
  • 2012: Garrett Dickman, Yosemite National Park
  • 2011: Michael Chasse, Golden Gate National Recreation Area
  • 2010: Martin Hutten, Yosemite National Park
  • 2009: Jen Gibson, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
  • 2008: Jay Goldsmith, Pacific West Regional Park
  • 2007: Brent Johnson, Yosemite National Park
  • 2006: Stassia Samuels, Redwood National Park
  • 2005: Andrea Williams, San Francisco Area Network
  • 2004: Christy Brigham, Santa Monica National Recreation Area
  • 2003: Athena Demetry, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Student Talks Contest

  • 2023: 1st Place, Robert Fitch, UC Santa Barbara; 2nd Place, Zoe Wood, UC Davis; 3rd Place, Jasime Rios, CSU Sacramento
  • 2022: 1st Place, Matthew Wells, Santa Monica Mountains NRA; 2nd Place, Robert Fitch, US Santa Barbara
  • 2022 (Lightning Talks): 1st Place, Clarissa Rodriguez, UC Riverside; 2nd Place, Stuart Schwab, UC Riverside; 3rd Place, Charlie Startin, USC
  • 2021: 1st Place, Sarah Gaffney, UC Davis; 2nd Place, Mark Mazhnyy, Cal Poly Pomona; 3rd Place, Robert Fitch, UC Santa Barbara
  • 2021 (Lightning Talks): 1st Place, Rebecca Nelson, UC Davis; 2nd Place: Joanna Tang, UC Santa Barbara
  • 2020: Only full-length student talk: Joanna Tang, UC Santa Barbara
  • 2020 (Lighting Talks): 1st Place, Clarissa Rodriguez, UC Riverside; 2nd Place, Katherine Brafford, UC Davis; 3rd Place, Stuart Schwab, UC Riverside
  • 2019: 1st Place, David Banuelas, UC Irvine; 2nd Place, Shane Dewees, UC Santa Barbara; 3rd Place, Stuart Schwab, UC Riverside
  • 2018: 1st Place (tie): Lindsay Marks, UC Santa Barbara & Shannon Lynch, UC Santa Cruz; 3rd Place, Jose Lesage, UC Santa Cruz
  • 2017: 1st Place, Karen Tanner, UC Santa Cruz; 2nd Place, Kerstin Kalchmayr, CSU San Francisco; 3rd Place, Brooke Pickett, UC Riverside
  • 2016: 1st Place, Daniel Winkler, UC Irvine; 2nd Place, Julea Shaw, UC Davis; 3rd Place, Brooke Pickett, UC Riverside
  • 2015: 1st Place, Justin Valliere, UC Riverside; 2nd Place, Ellen Esch, UC San Diego; 3rd Place, Cody Ender, Sonoma State University
  • 2014: 1st Place, Justin Valliere, UC Riverside; 2nd Place, Joan Dudney, UC Berkeley; 3rd Place, Erin Degenstein, Humboldt State
  • 2013: 1st Place, Chelsea Carey, UC Merced; 2nd Place, Justin Valliere, UC Riverside; 3rd Place, Bridget Hilbig, UC Riverside
  • 2012: 1st Place, Bridget Hilbig, UC Riverside; 2nd Place, Matt O’Neill, UC Riverside; 3rd Place, Christiana Conser, UC Davis
  • 2011: 1st Place, Kai Palenscar, UC Riverside; 2nd Place, Chelsea Carey, UC Merced; 3rd Place, Rachel Brownsey, UC Davis
  • 2010: 1st Place, Heather McGray, UC Irvine; 2nd Place, Annabelle Kleist, UC Davis; 3rd Place, Lynn Sweet, UC Riverside
  • 2009: 1st Place, Heather Schneider, UC Riverside; 2nd Place, Sara Jo Dickens, UC Riverside; 3rd Place, Gavin Archbald, San Francisco State University
  • 2008: 1st Place, Sara Jo Dickens, UC Riverside.

Student Poster Contest

  • 2023: 1st Place, Serena Barasi, UC Santa Cruz; 2nd Place, Rebecca Nelson, UC Davis; 3rd Place, Meghan Jeffus, Cal Poly Pomona
  • 2022: Lily Law, San Jose State University
  • 2021: 1st Place: David Banuelas, UC Irvine; 2nd Place: Taylor Edwards, Cal Poly Pomona
  • 2020: 1st Place: Mark Mazhnyy, Cal Poly Pomona; 2nd Place, Justin Luong, UC Santa Cruz; 3rd Place, Andrew Lopez, UC Santa Cruz
  • 2019: 1st Place: Clarissa Rodriguez, UC Riverside; 2nd Place, Joanna Tang, UC Santa Barbara; 3rd Place, Stephanie Ma, UC Santa Barbara

    2019 Symposium Poster Session Clarissa Rodriguez

    Student Poster Winner (2019) Clarissa Rodriguez shares her work with attendees. Photo: Claire F. Meyler

  • 2018: 1st Place: Justin Luong, UC Santa Cruz; 2nd Place, Martin Genova, UC Santa Cruz; 3rd Place, Maddie Nolan, UC Santa Barbara
  • 2017: 1st Place: Monique Silva Crossman, Humboldt State University; 2nd Place: Noah Teller, UC Riverside Cooperative Extension; 3rd Place: Shelley Bennett, UC Santa Barbara
  • 2016: 1st Place: Michala Phillips, UC Riverside; 2nd Place: Marina LaForgia, UC Davis; 3rd Place: Julia Battisti, University of Montana
  • 2015: 1st Place: Kerstin Kalchmayr, San Francisco State University; 2nd Place: Annika Rose-Person, UC Santa Cruz; 3rd Place: Julia Michaels, UC Davis
  • 2014: 1st Place: Scot Parker, UC Irvine
  • 2013: 1st Place: Megan Engel, CSU San Bernardino; 2nd Place: Daniela Bruckman, UC Irvine; 3rd Place: Madison Hoffacker, Chapman University
  • 2010: 1st Place: Denise Knapp, UC Santa Barbara; 2nd Place: Tadj Schreck, UC Irvine; 3rd Place: Kai Palenscar, UC Riverside
  • 2009: 1st Place: Kristin Weathers, UC Riverside; 2nd Place: C.J. Rowe, University of Nevada-Reno; 3rd Place: Irina Irvine, UC Irvine
  • 2008: 1st Place: Taraneh Emam, Mills College

Other Awards

2019 Wildland Stewardship Volunteer of the Year: Joan Miller, Laguna Canyon Foundation
2016 Wildland Stewardship Volunteer of the Year: Judy Johnson, Bass Lake
2014 Career Service Award: Mary Pfeiffer, Shasta Count Dept. of Agriculture
2014 Career Service Award: Mike Boitano, Amador County Dept. of Agriculture
2014 Corpsmember of the Year for Wildland Stewardship: David Huerta, San Joaquin Regional Conservation Corps and Eric Popp, California Conservation Corps, Chico.
2014 Young Steward of the Year for Wildland Stewardship: Micheal Bruhn, California State University Chico
2012 Partnership Award for Wildland Stewardship: Marla Knight, Klamath National Forest, and Jodi Aceves, Siskiyou County Department of Agriculture


To Submit an Award Nomination

Submit a short description of the nominee’s achievements and the suggested award to Cal-IPC, by July 31, for consideration for that year’s Awards.