Susannah Ferson

Division Director (707) 269-2058

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. She currently serves as the 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.

Denise Newman

Projects Coordinator (707) 269-2060

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.

Natalie Arroyo

Projects Coordinator (707) 269-2059

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. 

Kristin Schmidt

Projects Coordinator (707) 269-3057

Kristin joined the Watershed Management staff at RCAA in spring of 2022. She has worked as a professional wildlife biologist her entire career, first with the US Forest Service and later the National Park Service.  She has a background in endangered species management and compliance and wildlife management and has actively participated in interdisciplinary work in watershed rehabilitation, forest restoration, fish habitat restoration and invasive plant management.  Kristin has spent many seasons working and recreating in our local mountains and coastal areas and is interested in projects that improve fish and wildlife habitats. She has a B.A. in Zoology from Humboldt State University and a M.S. in Environmental Biology. She loves bird watching, hiking, quilting and books of all kinds.  

Candace Reynolds

Planner II (707) 834-1141

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. In addition to her project management duties, Candace also manages the Restoration Field Crew. 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.

Matt Drummond

Garden Planner (707) 269-2071

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

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

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 facilitated and administered ATP pedestrian and bicycle safety lessons at local lower ed institutions and conducted vegetation surveys for agency projects. 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.