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Conservancy staff tour the new San Elijo Nursery
Our dedicated staff carries out the Conservancy's mission to protect and enhance the reserve.
Doug Gibson, Executive Director / Principal Scientist
Doug is a wetland ecologist. For 19 years, he has directed the science-based and community conservation programs for San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy. He completed the first experimental phase of the inlet opening at San Elijo Lagoon in the mid 1990s. At that time, the lagoon’s water quality was so poor that few fishes and invertebrates could survive. Proposed developments adjacent to the lagoon further threatened the vitality of one of San Diego’s largest coastal wetlands.
Securing funding for an endowment, and building member and donor support to carry on the mission of the Conservancy became key priorities. Gibson blends his extensive knowledge of Southern California coastal wetlands policy with scientific literacy, and fundraising outreach experience to his role as executive director and principal scientist. Continue...
Barry Lindgren, Associate Director
Barry was introduced to San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy as a volunteer in 2003. Today, he serves as the Conservancy’s Associate Director and Water Quality Specialist, overseeing stream flow gauges in the watershed and conducting water quality measurements in the lagoon. He also manages financial operations for the nonprofit Conservancy.
Barry is familiar with all the North County watersheds having been the Conservancy’s liaison with the Carlsbad Watershed Network’s Invasive Species Program. He is also the past president of San Diego Stream Team. Barry is co-founder of a local scientific instrument company, and brings more than 25 years experience in marketing and management. He has a B.A. in Physics from UC San Diego and a certificate in California Water Management and Ecosystem Restoration from UC Berkeley.
Jennifer Bright, Development Director
Jennifer joined the team in summer 2014 and works closely with the board of directors and staff on fundraising and stewardship campaigns. She coordinates major donor events, including the biennial Birds of a Feather gala that supports school and public programs.
She worked for several nonprofit agencies within San Diego County where she wrote grants, coordinated events, and developed an environmental education program for under-served populations. Prior to nonprofit, Jennifer led the corporate responsibility program at Neiman Marcus San Diego and brings 17 years of sales and management experience.
Jennifer grew up in Maine and fondly recalls her summers hiking, camping, and boating in the wilderness. An avid hiker and backpacker, she recently completed a 30-day solo hike on the John Muir Trail.
Jamie Consolo, Development Associate
Jamie joined the conservancy in December of 2015 as a Development Associate. After graduating from San Diego State University with a B.A. in Art and a minor in film and television, she began work as a freelance designer and continued pursing other opportunities gaining valuable experience in fields such as customer relations and data entry.
In her free time Jamie volunteers for a local animal shelter and a cat rescue in Los Angeles. She believes that the best way to find inspiration, lift your mood, and feel connected is to spend time outdoors enjoying nature and appreciating all it has to offer. She looks forward to growing with the conservancy.
Chris Lewis, Finance & Administration Director
Chris joined the Conservancy in January 2015. He graduated from California State University San Marcos with a B.S. in Business Administration - Accounting in 2013 and has been working with small business and nonprofit organizations for over 5 years. He is currently studying for the CPA exam and expects to finish the exams later this year. Chris grew up in San Diego and enjoys surfing, hiking, and being outdoors.
Amara Shaffer, Administrative Assistant
Amara joined the Conservancy in February 2016 after spending three months as an intern at the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii learning about native plant conservation and restoration. She has a master's degree in library and information science and a strong interest in conservation. During her free time, she spends time outside enjoying the natural beauty of Southern California.
Tara develops scientific curriculum-based environmental education programs that meet California Academic Content standards for schools. She is also responsible for public programs, and for recruiting and training docents.
Tara began her career in the environmental field as a Peace Corps volunteer in the 1980s, where she spent three years working on reforestation projects in Niger, West Africa. Upon returning to the states, Tara settled in Washington, D.C. where she was involved in environmental research and education while working for Ecological Society of America, National Park Service, and Audubon Naturalist Society.
After moving to San Diego in 2003, Tara served as a docent for the Conservancy, and also worked for Solana Center for Environmental Innovation as Program Manager for school recycling. Tara has a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College and an M.S. in Biology from George Mason University, with an emphasis on nutrient cycling in Virginia wetland soils.
Elayna Flanders, Education Coordinator
Elayna joined conservancy staff in summer 2013 as education coordinator. She assists the environmental education department by coordinating and leading school field trips and public walks, assisting in annual docent-naturalist training, and developing teaching materials for all K-12 and public programs.
Elayna previously interned with San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy for three years, assisting in the creation of interpretive panels and an educational wildlife guide. She lead nature hikes, participated in restoration activities and coordinated the children's camp.
A native of Encinitas, Elayna is passionate about her local environment. Her love of hiking and running in San Elijo Lagoon deepens an appreciation that conservation and education are key to restoring natural reserves. Elayna holds a B.S. with a concentration in Ecology from California State University San Marcos. In her graduate work, she focused on knowledge gaps of conservation information in the Birds of North America reference series. She also instructed a biology lab and enjoyed teaching young children during her internship with San Diego Zoo's education department.
Shirley joined the Habitat Management team in 2015 to oversee the Invasive Plant Species Program. She is a biologist with more than 15 years experience in conducting sensitive plant and wildlife surveys, and wetland delineations. She has monitored habitat restoration projects; their budgets, and coordinated field efforts. Shirley has worked as a biologist in Hawaii, Northern California and San Diego County, work that has led to the gathering and organization of baseline data for environmental projects. Shirley is also proficient in providing technical and project development and management support to cooperative projects involving private, government, and nonprofit entities. She holds a B.S. in Ethnobotanical Ecology from California State University Chico.
Shirley grew up in south San Diego County and fondly remembers driving “up north” to see the lagoons with her parents. These very same coastal wetlands are what inspired her to continue her career in Southern California.
x 700, bradley [at] sanelijo [dot] org
Bradley joined the Habitat Management Program first as Community Habitat Restoration Volunteer Intern and then Water Quality Volunteer Intern. Now on staff (2013) Bradley assists staff in the coordination of Lagoon Platoon habitat restoration workshops and events. His primary duties include collecting water quality data in the reserve, photo monitoring inlet sedimentation, and managing the hydrologic monitoring database.
Bradley holds a B.S. in Optical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He is currently working on his Masters of Divinity at Claremont School of Theology. When he is not at the conservancy or studying for school, you may find Bradley practicing yoga, hiking, backpacking or gardening.
Joe DeWolf, Community Restoration Program Specialist
Joe joined the staff in 2015 to oversee Lagoon Platoon community habitat restoration, and to develop a native plant propagation program at the San Elijo Native Plant Nursery. Before pursuing a career in habitat restoration and ecology, Joe was a park ranger for various agencies, including City of San Diego and Yellowstone National Park. He gained extensive experience working with native plants at San Diego Botanic Garden, where he conducted experiments and research, including native plant seeds’ response to fire, smoke, charred wood, and other treatments.
Growing up in Encinitas, Joe spent countless hours exploring San Elijo Lagoon, and continues to be passionate about enhancing the health and beauty of this ecological reserve. Joe holds a B.A. in Anthropology from San Diego State University and is completing a Horticulture Certification at MiraCosta College. He keeps busy with his 1-year old son, and when there’s free time, he enjoys surfing, playing basketball, and hiking throughout San Diego County.
Kristie Hill, Associate Biologist | GIS Specialist
Kristie joined the conservancy in Fall 2015 as an associate biologist specializing in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). She has worked in wetland conservation ecology for more than six years in San Diego County, where she gained experience planning and performing restoration work, conducting plant and wildlife surveys, and maintaining environmental geodatabases.
She holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies and is pursuing a M.S. in GIS technologies from University of Southern California. Kristie is an Encinitas native who is passionate about conserving and enhancing local habitat. She enjoys playing drums, traveling, snowboarding, and watching old movies.
*Please note that staff offices are not located at the nature center.
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