Staff

Grant Werschkull

Co-Executive Director

Grant began working on Smith River watershed issues in 1977 as a consultant to the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife’s Wild and Scenic Rivers Program. Since then, Grant has worked as staff and consultant for a wide range public and private sector clients throughout California including the Nature Conservancy, Redwood National Park, the interest-based Water Forum negotiations in the Sacramento region, and Lopez Agricultural Services. Grant received his M.S. in Ecosystems Management from Antioch University West and his B.S. in Resource Recreation Management from OSU’s School of Forestry.

Patty McCleary

Co-Executive Director

Patty McCleary shares the responsibility of managing the Smith River Alliance with Mr. Werschkull. Patty is also the Project Manager on all land conservation projects like the Lake Earl Wildlife Area expansion and additions to the Smith River National Recreation Area. Patty has over 20 years of experience working on conservation issues and has served as the Pacific Program Director for the Land Trust Alliance; Project Manager for the Trust for Public Land; Executive Director for the Washington Water Trust; and as National Conservation Representative for the Sierra Club. Patty received her B.A. from the U.C. California at Santa Barbara.

Marisa Parish Hanson

Program Director

Marisa is the Director for SRA’s estuary restoration program which involves private landowners and local, state, and federal agencies. In addition, she works with the SRA Executive team on priority watershed restoration and protection projects. Marisa has a M.S. in Natural Resources with a focus in Wildlife Biology from Humboldt State University and a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Colorado Mesa University in 2007.

Marisa Master’s thesis titled “Beaver bank lodge use, distribution, and influence on salmonid rearing habitat in the coastal plain of the Smith River” has provided important insights on the relationship between beaver-influenced habitat and use of this habitat by salmonids and other aquatic species. Marisa previously conducted juvenile salmonid surveys across the coastal plain and has also held a variety of field technician positions in forestry, ornithology, herpetology and fisheries with federal, state, and non-profit agencies.

Monica Scholey

Program Coordinator

Monica is the coordinator for the SRA’s estuary restoration program and works with the Program Director and project partners to plan, design and implement habitat restoration and land stewardship projects in the Smith River Plain. She is also involved in the Elk Creek Feasibility Study and is partnering with the Executive Director team, diverse stakeholders, agencies and private landowners to plan multi-benefit projects that will increase the resilience of this urban watershed. Monica received her B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Oregon in 2006, and comes to the Alliance with over 10 years of experience participating in and leading watershed restoration projects with Mattole Restoration Council.

Jolyon Walkley

Biologist and Fish Survey Crew Leader

Jolyon leads a group of dedicated and talented field technicians and coordinates with California Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists to implement salmonid distribution and abundance studies across the Smith River Basin and adjacent coastal watersheds. He is also involved in the development of the Mill Creek Lifecycle Monitoring Station. Jolyon has participated in or led investigations of fish and macroinvertebrate distribution, abundance and ecology over 15 years and has worked in both the public and private sector. Jolyon has both M.S. and B.S. in Fisheries Biology from Humboldt State University.

Darci Short

Associate Director

Darci has a M.S. degree in Natural Resources with an emphasis in Watershed Management and B.A. degree in Geology, both from Humboldt State University. She worked as a geologist with Redwood National Park for over 30 years on many projects and initiatives for restoration and protection of Redwood Creek. She has extensive background in project management ranging from project identification, field assessment, stake-holder engagement, grant writing, environmental compliance and contract oversight. 

Carole Petracek

Royal Bookkeeper

Carole helps manage the books by documenting daily transactions, preparing checks and serving on the annual audit team. She attended Syracuse University and loves travel, music, reading, Mah Jongg and a good joke. (Carole is in the middle of this group)

Sam Mosey

Rock Creek Ranch Caretaker

Sam and his family are the newest addition to the Smith River Alliance team. Sam has a broad range of experience maintaining and repairing systems and equipment, supervising landscape projects, and is experienced with construction, carpentry, and metal fabrication. He studied automotive and diesel technology before moving to Del Norte in 2015. His wife, Keri, is the Nonprofit Alliance Facilitator at the Wild Rivers Community Foundation, and works with the Tolowa Dunes Stewards. Their son Miles supervises all Ranch projects. He first began his career with SRA as Guest Caretaker at 2 months old. The entire Mosey family has fallen in love with Rock Creek Ranch since then, and look forward to being stewards of such an extraordinary place.

Vimal Golding

Field Biologist and Special Projects

Vimal has worked on the Smith River salmonid abundance and distribution surveys, including taking lead on the backcountry component of the summer juvenile surveys. Presently, he works on special projects and Smith River advocacy. Vimal holds a B.A. in Biology from Reed College and has worked for universities, federal and state agencies and non-profit organizations in fisheries, wildlife, ecological restoration and forestry.

When not working Vimal undertakes large-scale outdoor explorations and has logged over 10,000 miles on America’s long distance hiking trails, including earning his “triple crown of hiking” by completing the entirety of the Pacific Crest, Continental Divide and Appalachian Trails.

Gustavo Vasquez

Program Associate

Gustavo comes to us with years of experience in community engagement, outdoor recreation and volunteer programming. His previous roles including being a Park Program Assistant at Sonoma County Regional Parks, a Field Supervisor with Conservation Corps North Bay and AmeriCorps VISTA at Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County. He currently holds a a A.A. and B.A, in Fine Art and Studio Art, as well as pursuing his Masters in Public Administration from Sonoma State University. On his spare time, you can find him tinkering on vintage bicycles, using his camera or fishing.

 

Darell Warnock

Rock Creek Ranch Caretaker Emeritus

Darell now works on special projects at Rock Creek Ranch. He served as the caretaker at the Ranch from 2001 – 2013. In this role he managed a series of capital improvements designed to prepare Rock Creek Ranch for public use. An accomplished painter, Darell works in oils and specializes in paintings of rivers and landscapes. Darell is also a competent field biologist and also performs at-sea surveys for marbled murrelets. Darell studied Fine Arts at the University of New Mexico.

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