Staff

Susannah Ferson

Division Director (707) 269-2058 sferson@rcaa.org

Susannah has 20 years of experience working in aquatic and terrestrial biology in Humboldt County. Her experience includes watershed and fisheries habitat restoration, eelgrass/estuarine ecological research, endangered species monitoring and habitat conservation, and invasive species research and removal. Susannah has collaborated extensively with a variety of agencies and landowners – including federal, state, county and tribal governments – to design and implement diverse research and restoration projects throughout the Pacific Northwest. She has particular interest in estuarine ecology research, climate change adaptability, and habitat restoration. In addition to her project management duties, Susannah also manages the Restoration Field Crew. She currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors for Friends of the Dunes and chairs the Humboldt Weed Management Area and the Humboldt County Regional Spartina Eradication Program working group, and participates in the Humboldt Bay Initiative work group. Susannah has a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and a M.S. in Natural Resource Management.

Morguine Sefcik

Projects Coordinator II (707) 269-2057 msefcik@rcaa.org

Morguine has worked in a variety of planning, community outreach, watershed, and stormwater projects at NRS since 2001. She helped develop and implement NRS’ first stormwater projects, the North Coast Stormwater Coalition’s (NCSC) Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Program and the NCSC’s Low Impact Development Pilot Project.  She has worked collaboratively with local and state government agencies (State of CA; Counties of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Del Norte; Cities of Arcata, Eureka, Fortuna, Fort Bragg; Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District), non-profit groups, community groups, private landowners, and educational institutions.  Morguine has a B.A. in Biology from Mills College and is a member of the NCSC.

Denise Newman

Projects Coordinator (707) 269-2060 dnewman@rcaa.org

Denise has been planning, developing and implementing natural resource interpretation and environmental education projects since 2002. Her interpretive signage projects include Humboldt County's Hammond Coastal Trail, BLM's Falk Headwaters Trail, City of Eureka's Hikshari' Trail, PALCO Marsh Trail and Sequoia Park Zoo Watershed Heroes Exhibit, Northcoast Regional Land Trust's Freshwater Farms Nature Trail and the most recent sections of the City of Eureka's Waterfront Trail. As an environmental educator, she develops grant-funded projects to bring watershed education into K-12 classrooms; from stormwater-focused 'Adopt a Storm Drain' cleanups to sea level rise climate science. She is currently working as an Environmental Literacy coach with the Humboldt County Office of Education and leading interpretive waterfront bike tours with youth groups through her 'Bikes on the Bay' project. Denise has a M.S. in Natural Resources Interpretation and Planning from Humboldt State University and works extensively with educators, environmental scientists, biologists and historians to deliver the most relevant and accurate natural and cultural stories of our area.

Jennifer Weiss

Projects Coordinator (707) 269-2062 jweiss@rcaa.org

Jenny is a graduate of Humboldt State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Natural Resources Planning and Interpretation. Since 2009, Jenny has been managing non-motorized transportation projects to support active living throughout Humboldt County and has considerable experience with Safe Routes to School, trail, and multimodal projects. She leads walkability assessments and bike rodeos, provides meeting facilitation, works to develop policy to support active transportation, and excels at creating engaging public participation graphics, materials, brochures, banners, and maps, including the Humboldt Bay Area Bicycle Map. She has also assisted tribes, local cities, and the County of Humboldt with preparing successful Active Transportation Program grant applications and non-infrastructure programs during Cycles 1, 2, 3, and 4. Jenny completed the Cascadia Leadership Training, the National Charrette Institute Certification Training, Designing for Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety OTS Training, Bicycle Traffic Skills 101, PICO’s Community Organizing Training, and was a Eureka City Schools Apple Pin recipient in 2017. 

Natalie Arroyo

Senior Planner (707) 269-2059 narroyo@rcaa.org

Natalie has been working on public health promotion, environmental health, community outreach, fisheries restoration and planning projects since 2005. She has led and supported projects in both the Active Living and Watershed programs of NRS, including multiple trail planning projects, North Coast Stormwater Coalition’s Non-Point Source Pollution Prevention Program, the Eureka Street Trees program, Loleta and Samoa Peninsula Community-building Initiatives, Mad River Watershed Management Plan, and many more. Natalie is particularly interested in projects that involve community engagement as well as a connection between habitat enhancement and healthy human communities. She is a graduate of the Cascadia Leadership Training program. She has many other community roles in public service which are an extension of her desire to create positive changes on the north coast.  Natalie is also completing her M.S. in Environmental Science and Management at Humboldt State University. 

Candace Reynolds

Planner II (707) 834-1141 creynolds@rcaa.org

Over the last 21 years that Candace has lived in Humboldt, she’s built a relationship with both the natural world and the community here and feels a personal responsibility to conserving our natural resources. She worked as a Natural Resources Specialist in the local community for several years on management projects for the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, specializing in invasive plant removal and endangered species monitoring on the Lanphere and Ma-le’l Dunes, while building her leadership skills as a field coordinator. From 2015-2020 she was also a lead researcher for the Humboldt Coastal Resilience Project, a region-wide collaborative project addressing coastal resiliency and adaptation strategies to rising sea levels. Currently, Candace is most interested in ecological restoration and climate change adaptation and developing projects to benefit the RCAA team and community. Candace has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology and is currently pursuing a Masters in GIS through Penn State University. She is an active mother of two, who loves camping, hiking, cooking, and a good book.

Carla Avila-Martinez

Planner (707) 269-2055 cavila@rcaa.org

Carla is currently supporting multiple NRS projects including the Peninsula Community Collaborative, WCB Invasive Species Early Detection and Management, Bikes on the Bay, Arcata Annie and Mary Trail Connectivity Project, and more. Carla is a Humboldt State University graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science with an emphasis in ecological restoration. Carla also minored in Watershed Management, Soil Science, and Geography. She has experience in community outreach, classroom education, and is bilingual. Carla translates materials to Spanish and interprets for NRS RCAA as needed. Carla is a graduate of the Coastal Naturalist Training Program. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for Friends of the Dunes. Carla enjoys supporting healthier communities and environments in Humboldt County through her project work.

Matt Drummond

Garden Planner (707) 269-2071 mdrummond@rcaa.org

Matt graduated from Humboldt State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fisheries Biology. He pursued work in the fisheries field, surveying steams and rivers throughout California. Just recently he switched gears towards a career focused on community health. He started his work in the community as a Nutrition Education Coordinator for Food for People, promoting CalFresh and healthy eating county-wide. Matt now helps others gain the skills they need to start their own gardens. He is also the Coordinator of the North Coast Community Garden Collaborative (NCCGC), a network of community gardeners that work together to plan events, start new garden, and improve existing gardens. Outside of work, you can find Matt on local rivers and trails, fishing, hiking and mushroom hunting. He also spends countless hours in his garden and in his kitchen cooking. 

 

Sprout Plankton

Eureka Bike Kitchen Coordinator (707) 502-2260 eurekacommunitybikekitchen@gmail.com

Sprout has a passion for working with and for the community. Their background is in carpentry, natural building, manual labor, and bicycle mechanics, and they graduated from Humboldt State University with a BS in Ecological Restoration in 2011. Sprout loves helping others and being part of a team to accomplish goals for the greater good.  At RCAA, they are the lead coordinator of the Eureka Bike Kitchen, while also getting their hands dirty working in Abeulita's Garden, a community food project. They spend their time taking care of their ducks and chickens, roller skating, bicycling, exploring new hobbies, and skimboarding on some of the many beaches of Humboldt County.

Ashley Shannon

Planning Specialist (707) 269-2065 ashannon@rcaa.org

Ashley is actively supporting both the Watershed Management and Active Living sectors of NRS. She is a recent Humboldt State University graduate as of May 2021 and began working at RCAA in June 2021. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science & Management with a concentration in Ecological Restoration and a minor in Botany. Ashley was hired into the NRS family as a member of the Field Crew but has since transitioned into her role as a Planning Specialist. Ashley has a background in forestry field research across California, studying impacts to CA conifers from the 2014 drought, and multiple federal internships under her belt. She has led the ATP pedestrian safety lessons at local lower ed institutions, conducted vegetation surveys for agency projects, and is a fluent Spanish speaker who translates RCAA materials. Ashley spends her free time in nature with her pets, as they are her favorite thing in the entire world. She values environmental justice, education, and equality because she believes those things can make the world a better place, especially in Humboldt County.