©Carley Sweet/USFWS, licensed by cc 2.0
©Carley Sweet/USFWS, licensed by cc 2.0
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Officers 

 

President: Shawn Wagoner

I am excited to serve as the President-Elect for our TWS Central Coast Chapter and eager to bring more involvement and collaboration with the northern part of our Chapter range. As a wildlife biologist in the Monterey area, I will continue to develop and foster relationships between our northern and southern chapter members, students and professionals through lectures, workshops, and events. I am relatively new to the Chapter but look forward to engaging with our membership and working hard to see it grow and prosper as one of the perennial top Chapters in all of TWS.

President Elect: Rachel Perpignani

As a wildlife biologist, interpretive naturalist and passionate conservationist in the Monterey area, I look forward to using my skills and knowledge to best serve the CCC TWS membership in the role of President-Elect. A CSUMB graduate in Environmental Studies, I pride myself on an ability to communicate complex biological themes to individuals of all ages and backgrounds. With over a decade of experience working with special-status species in habitats impacted by invasive species, climate change, and a variety of anthropogenic factors, I have a unique appreciation for the positive role humans can and must have in conservation and restoration.  As President-Elect, my goals include expanding the CCC TWS membership base in Monterey County, contributing new ideas and venues for outreach and professional development events, and connecting with members to ensure that our programming meaningfully contributes to the realization of their professional and/or educational aspirations.

 

Past-President: Jackie Hancock

I have been volunteering with the Central Coast Chapter behind the scenes for several years and am excited to finally make an official commitment to serve on the board! I’ve seen this Chapter grow from a few casual gatherings to an impressive group of many professionals and students who participate in trainings, lectures, and symposiums. My goal as President Elect is to ensure that these wonderful opportunities continue to provide the relevant training and education for our members. I’ve been a biologist for almost 20 years at Fort Hunter Liggett in Monterey County and am hoping to build Chapter representation in this northern region. I look forward to meeting more of you and listening to your ideas and recommendations-together we will continue to make this Chapter excel.

Secretary: Jamie Miller

Jamie is delighted to join the California Central Coast Chapter Board as Secretary. She graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and has been working as a wildlife biologist on the Central Coast for over 15 years. She started out tracking California condors at Hi Mountain Lookout, studying kangaroo rat ecology in the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes and Carrizo Plains National Monument, and banding birds in the Amazon rain forest and Hawai’i. She recently earned her master’s from the UCSB Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, specializing in conservation planning and environmental data science. Her master’s thesis work involved updating habitat connectivity assessments for The Nature Conservancy and the Staying Connected Initiative in the Adirondack Mountains. For the last 10 years she has worked at Vandenberg Air Force Base examining factors impacting snowy plover productivity and survivorship, and the effectiveness and sustainability of restored coastal dune habitat as it pertains to plover productivity. She strives to integrate sustainable land use practices, evidence-based management and policy decisions, and public outreach to protect both human communities and the natural environment.

Treasurer: Michaela Robbins

Michaela has been a board member since 2013. She has served as secretary, president, past president, and as treasurer. And now as treasurer again. She is the recipient of the Central Coast Chapter’s 2021 Wildlifer of the Year. Michaela has developed many of the workshop events that have built this Chapter into what it is today. She initiated the lecture series and social hours, Chapter workshops, and Annual Wildlife Symposium. Michaela is a biologist at Caltrans District 5. Photo credit: Vince Gerwe.

Chapter Representative: David Kisner

David Kisner has been a Certified Wildlife Biologist since 2014 and has been working as an ecologist within central and southern California since 1993. David graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a BA in Evolution and Ecology and a MS in Biology from San Diego State University. His Master’s thesis examined the impact of Arundo donax (the giant reed; an aggressive non-native riparian plant) on the riparian bird community. Starting as an undergrad at UCSB, he started working with numerous listed bird species including least Bell’s vireo, southwestern willow flycatcher, snowy plover, least tern, Belding’s savannah sparrow, California gnatcatcher, and yellow billed cuckoo. Over the years he has branched out to include work with amphibians, reptiles, bird banding, plant identification, habitat restoration, and teaching.

David and his wife Johanna now run a small biological consulting firm with help from their three kids and numerous pets. They work on smaller habitat restoration projects, construction monitoring, ecological assessments, and avian-based research. David is looking forward to taking a more active role in The Wildlife Society and strengthening the biological community.

Appointed Positions

Professional Development Committee Chair: Open
Conservation Affairs Committee Chair: Kevin Cooper

Kevin Cooper began his career in 1980 at the University of Montana studying grizzly bear ecology and working summers as a backcountry ranger and wildlife researcher with the US Park Service at Mount Rainier and Crater Lake National Parks. After completing graduate school at the University of Alaska and Oregon State University studying Rocky Mountain elk he moved to San Luis Obispo in 1987 to work as a biologist on the Los Padres National Forest, where he work as a district, zone, and finally the Forest Biologist before retiring in 2018.

Kevin supervised the Los Padres Wildlife, Fisheries, Botany, Range, and Watershed Programs and worked with interdisciplinary teams to mitigate project impacts to wildlife, conduct wildlife surveys, write NEPA and Endangered species Act (ESA) reports, monitor project effects on wildlife, and respond to litigation regarding forest programs such as developed recreation, wilderness management, oil and gas development, range management, wildfire suppression, and watershed management. Kevin participated in Forest land management planning and worked with other federal and local agencies to manage species across political boundaries on efforts such as the California Condor Recovery Team.

Kevin also worked throughout his wildlife career as a firefighter on hand crews, and eventually became the Lead Resource Advisor and Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) leader, coordinator, and liaison for large wildfires such as the 2018 Thomas Fire where he was able to bring together all of his skills as a leader to help organize the interagency flood assessment before, during, and after the Montecito debris flows.

Kevin looks forward to bringing his experience working with various federal and local agencies to develop the Chapters Conservations Affairs Committee.

Diversity Committee Chair: Billy Fletcher

I have been involved with the Central Coast Chapter for a number of years attending events and volunteering informally on occasion, and look forward to the opportunity to participate in a more official capacity! I attended CSU Channel Islands, graduating with a degree in Environmental Science and Resource Management. I have worked as a biologist for environmental consulting firms for almost 10 years. I enjoy kayaking, hiking, birding, and watching baseball in my free time. Excited to be a part of the TWS CCCC team!

Membership Manager: Nicole Gaudendi

Nicole is a wildlife biologist with a B.S. in biology from the University of San Francisco and has over 6 years of ecological field experience. She has worked with a variety of animals in the Carrizo Plain National Monument and spent a few seasons nest-searching and banding birds in Marin County. She recently received her M.S. in biology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she studied blunt-nosed leopard lizards in the Carrizo Plain. She currently works for California State Parks monitoring snowy plovers and least terns at Oceano Dunes. She is looking forward to being more involved in the Central Coast chapter this year.

  Media Manager: Andrea Dransfield

Andrea is a wildlife biologist with a background in marine mammal research. Her Master’s thesis focused on humpback whale habitat modeling and reducing ship strike risk in the Bay Area and her undergraduate thesis focused on harbor porpoise habitat use in British Columbia. She has contributed to a variety of other projects researching harbor seals in Point Reyes National Seashore, monitoring gray whales along the coast of California, studying Irrawaddy dolphins in Thailand, and aerial and boat-based monitoring of large whales species such as blue whales at risk of ship strike in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Andrea enjoys biking, SUPing, horseback riding and scuba diving. She is a new member of The Wildlife Society and is thrilled to be a part of the team.

If you would like to contact the Chapter please email: cacentralcoastchaptertws@gmail.com