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Officers​

 

President: Brock Ortega

Brock Ortega previously served as Treasurer and Member-at-large, and currently serves as President. He attended Humboldt State University where he obtained a B.S. degree in wildlife management. He is a senior wildlife biologist and principal at Dudek where he has been employed for over 26 years. He hold federal permits for several listed species, and particularly enjoys working on wildlife movement and renewable energy projects. Mr. Ortega has been involved with TWS for 25 years and with the local TWS chapter for the last 12 or so.  Mr. Ortega lives in San Diego County, and is trying to deal with “empty nest syndrome” and he has three kids in college (2 at University of Missouri, Columbia and one at Northern Arizona University).

Contact: president@tws-socal.org

President-elect: Kim Klementowski

Kim Klementowski is the President-elect for the Southern California Chapter.  She is the Orange/Riverside Counties Regional Preserve Manager with the Center for Natural Lands Management, where she manages preserves set aside for threatened and endangered species.  Her work focuses on all aspects of conservation lands management, including weed control and habitat enhancement, surveys and population trends, and long-term vegetation monitoring, with emphasis on coastal California gnatcatcher, vernal pools and fairy shrimp, and burrowing owl.  After earning her master’s degree in Geography from CSU, Chico, Kim worked in various positions in the Lassen foothills, the Sonoran Desert, and San Clemente Island, before landing back in SoCal where she grew up.  When not working, she can be found rock climbing in the desert, snowboarding in the Sierras, or tearing apart her house for another DIY project.  She lives in Homeland with her partner Will and their “kids”, Jojin and Dalea.

Contact: presidentelect@tws-socal.org

Past-President: Wendy Loeffler

Ms. Loeffler is a senior project manager and senior biologist with RECON Environmental, Inc. She obtained both a B.A. and M.A in Biology from California State University, Fullerton, where she studied the diets of locally nesting seabirds. Upon completion of her advanced degree, Ms. Loeffler entered the environmental consulting world. She worked first and briefly in Orange County, and then settled with RECON in San Diego over 20 years ago. She holds a recovery permit to study and survey for the coastal California gnatcatcher, fairy shrimp, and the Quino checkerspot butterfly. She has trained and conducted surveys for desert tortoise and flat-tailed horned lizard, as well as focused surveys for rare plants, sensitive riparian bird species, burrowing owls and other sensitive raptors, and assisted with mammal trapping, insect inventories, and pitfall trapping.

Ms. Loeffler has been involved with the local chapter for over 7 years, starting out as the membership chair and subsequently being appointed as the Interim President when the previous leadership stepped down. She looks forward to growing the local chapter and seeing the program expand to provide greater benefit to southern California wildlife biologists. Ms. Loeffler resides in La Mesa, California with her son Garrett.

Contact: pastpresident@tws-socal.org

Secretary: Caroline Garcia

Caroline Garcia is a wildlife biologist for ECORP Consulting, Inc. She studied at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign where she earned a B.S. in Integrative Biology and minor in Animal Sciences with a pre-veterinary course track. She also studied geographic information systems at San Diego Mesa College. Her experience includes field surveys, biological monitoring, and technical report preparation for terrestrial biological resources in southern California. Her favorite part of her job is assisting with special-status species surveys for coastal California gnatcatcher, burrowing owl, least Bell’s vireo, light-footed Ridgway’s rail, desert tortoise, Quino checkerspot butterfly, and small mammals such as Mohave ground squirrel, San Bernardino kangaroo rat, giant kangaroo rat, Los Angeles pocket mouse, and Palm Springs pocket mouse. She currently also serves as the media communications committee chair sharing Chapter happenings and news on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Her love of wildlife comes from her original career path in veterinary medicine – an itch she still scratches by volunteering with wildlife rehabilitation organizations. Caroline has been involved with the Southern California Chapter for 4+ years.

Contact: secretary@tws-socal.org

Treasurer: Brian Parker

Brian Parker serves as the Treasurer for the Southern California Chapter. He has also been the chapter’s professional development chair since 2016, coordinating the educational and training workshops for the Chapter. He has an undergraduate degree in biology from UC San Diego, a master’s in ecology from UCLA, and an MBA from UC Davis. He has been a biologist in Southern California since 2001, and currently works at Busby Biological Services, Inc. He holds a federal recovery permit to survey for coastal California gnatcatcher and Quino checkerspot butterfly, and also regularly conducts surveys for arroyo toad, burrowing owl, flat-tailed horned lizard, and other plant and animal species. Most of his work focuses on city and county infrastructure projects.

Contact: treasurer@tws-socal.org

Chapter Representative to TWS Western Section: Colleen Wisinski

Colleen Wisinski works at San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance as a Conservation Program Manager in Recovery Ecology, where she leads the burrowing owl recovery program. Colleen’s main research focus is the ecology and conservation of burrowing owls in Southern California, particularly of the breeding population of burrowing owls in San Diego County. She is responsible for overseeing the field team, managing and analyzing data, and working with partners, including conservation planning and making recommendations about management of the species to local land and wildlife managers. Using direct observations, remote cameras, GPS transmitters, and color banding, she and the team are learning about survival, reproduction, and movement of the owls in the region. The team also uses translocation and conservation breeding to help bolster the burrowing owl population. Colleen earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, and her master’s degree in Fish and Wildlife Management from Montana State University in Bozeman, where she examined survival and habitat use of greater sage-grouse in southwestern Montana. Colleen has also worked as a wildlife rehabilitator where she trained several raptors for educational purposes, and as a whooping crane tracker where she used radio and satellite telemetry to monitor a reintroduced population of cranes. She has been a member of The Wildlife Society since college and has served the Southern California Chapter in multiple capacities since 2015. Colleen loves that she gets to work outdoors and be creative to figure out how to answer research questions in the field. Her love for animals and nature grew from her time spent outdoors in the North Woods of Wisconsin.

Contact: socal@tws-west.org

Member-at-Large: Olivia Koziel

Olivia Koziel is the Member at Large for the Southern California Chapter. Her involvement in The Wildlife Society began around 2017 when she received a student grant from the Chapter to attend an annual Western Section conference, and she has been a member since then. Olivia attended UC San Diego where she earned one of her bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Systems with a focus on Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution. Olivia has six years of experience working in the environmental field, having spent the majority of her career thus far working in southern California as a biological consultant and wildlife biologist at Dudek. She conducts various surveys, biological monitoring, and habitat assessments for nesting birds and for a variety of special-status wildlife species including coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica), burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia), least Bell’s vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus), and blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia sila). Olivia loves working in a field that she’s passionate about, and where her efforts help contribute to the conservation of species and sensitive biological resources. Olivia transforms into a dance teacher on the weekends and has been a dance instructor for eight years.

Contact: memberatlarge@tws-socal.org

Appointed Positions

Student Affairs Liaison – Colleen Wisinski & Lyell Buttermore – Contact: studentaffairs@tws-socal.org
Conservation Affairs Committee – Kiran Stacy – Contact: consaffairs@tws-socal.org
Professional Development Committee – Brian Parker – Contact: profdev@tws-socal.org
San Diego County Coordinator – Susanne Marczak – Contact: sandiego@tws-socal.org
Orange County Coordinator – Barry Nerhus – Contact: orange@tws-socal.org
Inland Empire (San Bernardino & Riverside Counties) Coordinators – Rheanna Neidinger and Kiran Stacy – Contact: riverside@tws-socal.org
Los Angeles County Coordinator – Vacant
Ventura County Coordinator – Vacant
Imperial County Coordinator – Vacant

If you are interested in becoming a County Coordinator for one of the vacancies listed above, please email: memberatlarge@tws-socal.org.