Board of Directors
Don Allan recently retired as the Director of the Natural Resources Services Division of the Redwood Community Action Agency in Eureka. He has worked with non-profit organizations for over 25 years and spent 11 years working in private business. Don brings invaluable personnel, financial, and non-profit management skills to his role on the SRF Board and as the SRF Board President.
Freddy Otte is the City Biologist for San Luis Obispo, which is very progressive in resource protection and enhancement. This position is unique in that there are very few municipalities that employ a biologist. As the City Biologist, he interacts closely with planners and engineers during project design. He is dedicated to ensuring the protection of steelhead whose survival is threatened by urban development, water pollution, and other factors.
Freddy is the coordinator of the Stormwater Management Program that is mandated by the State Water Quality Control Board and overseen by the City’s Natural Resources Program. Freddy is involved with the Tri-County FISH Team which consists of organizations from San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.
Anna Halligan is the North Coast Coho Project Coordinator for Trout Unlimited. She previously worked with the California Conservation Corps as a Fisheries Habitat Specialist, on implementation, planning, and monitoring of restoration efforts. She was also employed with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission to work with the Coastal Restoration Monitoring and Evaluation Program. She recently was the Watershed Conservation Coordinator with the Morro Bay National Estuary Program (NEP).
Brian LeNeve started fishing for steelhead in 1950, studying steelhead in 1959, and formally working to save steelhead in 2006 when he joined the Carmel River Steelhead Association. After graduating from college with a degree in business administration, he ran a family-owned painting contracting company for 47 years. During that time he grossed between one and three million annually with 10 to 100 employees. This prepared him for budgeting, legal, and personnel issues faced by every business and non-profit. He has been president of the Independent Painting Contractors of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, was on the state wide board for the California Native Plant Society, and is currently president of the Carmel River Steelhead Association — all of which has given him an understanding of the complexities of a non-profit organization and problems in particular of salmonid restoration.
Steve Allen is a licensed engineer working out of GHD's Eureka office. He combines his years of heavy construction experience and engineering background to work on restoration, fish passage, stormwater, and other watershed related projects in many sensitive environments in California, Oregon, Nevada, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands. He often helps clients from project inception through completion, assisting with writing grants and obtaining project funding, design, permitting, construction, post project monitoring and long term maintenance. He has volunteered on different Boards, including SRF, and has presented various aspects of different projects at various workshops and conferences over the years.
Eli Asarian is principal scientist at Riverbend Sciences, a consulting firm based in Eureka, California specializing in the study of freshwater aquatic ecosystems and watersheds. Trained as a biologist/ecologist, he also has extensive experience with water quality, hydrology, geographic information systems, and database management. He has authored many reports on Klamath River water quality and algae as a consultant to Klamath Basin Tribes. He assisted the National Marine Fisheries Service in developing recovery plans for salmon and steelhead, including an analysis of long-term trends in streamflow on the northern California coast. Other recent projects include research on the historical and current distributions of beavers in California.
Environmental Scientist, Department of Fish and Wildlife
Brionna Drescher’s background includes: working as a program manager for Federal Energy Regulatory Energy Commission Hydroelectric Projects and Water Rights related Section 401 water quality certifications, developing instream flow recommendations and objectives based on anadromous species in the Central Valley; and evaluating sediment and temperature issues as they relate to ecosystem health on California North Coast streams. Currently, she is an Environmental Scientist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Instream Flow Program. As a team member of the Instream Flow Program, she collaborates with other scientists and engineers to develop and conduct studies that identify the relationships between stream flow and physical stream habitat for critical aquatic species in various regions of California.
Jennifer Hemmert is an Environmental Scientist for the Reservoir Inland Fisheries Program for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife located out of Winchester and works with sport fish in Southern California. Although she is regionally based out of the Inland Deserts Region, she takes directive from Fisheries Branch and works on sport fish related management and assessments in impoundments throughout the entire State. She has worked with nonprofit organizations for 8 years while working on fisheries and water quality issues related to anadromous fish in California. She has worked previously for the Department of Water Resources, UC Davis - Environmental Sciences and Policy Department, and South Yuba River Citizens League (AmeriCorps program through Sierra Nevada Alliance). She brings her volunteerism background to the SRF Board and has been on the Board since 2011.
Cynthia LeDoux-Bloom, PhD
Lead Scientist- Habitat Division, Hoopa Valley Tribe
Cynthia LeDoux-Bloom has over 25 years of experience working on anadromous fish studies in California, Washington, and Gulf of Alaska. Her work focuses on investigating fish-habitat relationships, watershed assessment, and habitat restoration. She provides expertise on the impacts of water exports and other anthropogenic activities on fish health, physiology and behavior. Her research interests focus on assessing food quality availability for juvenile salmonids. Cynthia studied marine biology at UC Santa Cruz (B.S.) and Moss Landing Marine Laboratories thru San Jose State University (M.S.), and completed her Ph.D. in Animal Biology at UC Davis. Prior to joining the Hoopa Valley Tribe, Cynthia worked as a scientist for AECOM, the State of California (DFW and DWR) and Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Katrina Nystrom hails from the South Fork of the Eel River. During Katrina’s time at Humboldt State University she got an introduction to Environmental work with an internship with the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature while studying abroad in Jordan. After graduating from HSU with Bachelors in International Studies and Geography, she joined the Americorp Watershed Stewards Project where she learned about salmonid restoration and monitoring. Currently, Katrina is working at Sanctuary Forest doing water and forest conservation and stewardship.
Gary Peterson has worked as a biologist with non-profit organizations in the Mattole River watershed since 1980. He co-founded the Mattole Salmon Group, a leading NGO in community-based restoration and monitoring on the Northcoast. Gary held a seat on the SRF Board in their formative years, during the late 1980s, and was the very first Secretary of the group. He was also a recipient of SRF's Restorationist of the Year Award in 1995. His nickname, "Gary Fish," is derived from the focal species of his life's work in the Mattole, now at 35 years and counting. Gary is presently semi-retired and works part-time for the Mattole Salmon Group, and occasionally for the Mattole Restoration Council, primarily doing water-quality monitoring, instream structure consultation and installation, document editing and technical proofreading, and providing professional input on a variety of environmental projects.
Fisheries Habitat Consultant and General Contractor
Will Pier is a General Contractor who does riparian restoration consulting. He worked for the Sonoma Ecology Center for seven years. He ran for 1st District Supervisor in 2008 and received 48.3% of the vote. Will is a tireless advocate for watershed issues.
Elijah Portugal is a Projects Coordinator with the Natural Resources Services Division of Redwood Community Action Agency. He holds a BS in Fisheries Biology from Humboldt State University and an MS in Watershed Science from Utah State University. He has over 10 years’ experience working with fish habitat in fluvial environments throughout the West, including northern CA. He specializes in geomorphic and hydrologic assessments as well as planning, designing and monitoring novel, process-based instream restoration techniques including ‘Partnering with Beaver’ and High-Density Large Woody Debris additions. He is also experienced in developing adaptive beaver management plans and planning and implementing, ‘living with beaver’ strategies to mitigate for nuisance beaver behavior. Being raised in Humboldt County, he is particularly interested in the intersection between conservation and sustainable land-use which allows for working landscapes while preserving and enhancing the integrity of natural systems.
Dan Resnik has been involved in the restoration of salmonid habitat since 1998 and has worn many hats. For the last ten years he has worked as an Environmental Scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) where he manages grants for the Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP), conducts fish habitat assessments and is the upslope specialist for CDFW’s Bay Delta Region. Prior to working as an Environmental Scientist, Dan worked at Pacific Watershed Associates (PWA) as a Geologist Technician conducting sediment source assessments and implementing sediment reduction projects. He worked for Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission with the Coastal Restoration Monitoring and Evaluation Program, the California Conservation Corps as a Fish Habitat Specialist and Special Corps member as well as consulting with Eel River Watershed Improvement Group and the Mattole Salmon Group. Dan began volunteering implementing stream habitat restoration projects such as riparian fencing, tree planting, LWD habitat structures and removing non-native invasive plant species while attending Humboldt State University, Dan earned a BS in Environmental Science Technology and a minor in Watershed Management from HSU. After graduating he started his career in fisheries restoration as an AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards Project member with CDFW, Fortuna and Humboldt Fish Action Council (HFAC), Arcata. Dan has been a member of SRF since 2001 and is excited to extend his commitment to the restoration of anadromous watersheds by joining the board of SRF.
Emeritus Biology Professor
Dougald was a biology professor at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California for thirty-two years and has been retired since 2002. His teaching duties included Cell and Molecular Biology, Physiology, and numerous field courses in Natural History. In retirement, he has been able to pursue his passion for fly fishing and fisheries conservation. He served six years as Steelhead Conservation Committee Chair for the Northern California Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers where he became acquainted with SRF and its important work. His most recent interest is the education and promotion of the role of beaver in salmonid restoration.
Currently, Amber Villalobos is a Senior Environmental Scientist in the Ecosystem Conservation Division at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department). At the Department, Amber leads a dynamic team that ensures fish and wildlife needs are considered in water quality policy, regulation, and legislation; and collaborates with other state and federal agencies as well as non-governmental organizations. Previously, Amber was a project manager at the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board). At the State Water Board she crafted and managed Federal Energy Regulatory Energy Commission Hydroelectric Project and Water Rights related Section 401 water quality certifications and California Environmental Quality Act documents. Additionally, Amber served on the Bureau of Reclamation’s Interagency Fish Passage Steering Committee Steering Committee. Earlier in her career, as a contract employee for the Department through the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Watershed Stewards Project, Amber worked on salmonid related monitoring projects located in Mendocino, Marin, and Sonoma Counties Coastal Streams. Amber’s involvement with the Salmonid Restoration Federation extends back to 2009. Amber is a California native dedicated to preserving, enhancing and restoring the quality of California’s resources for the benefit of present and future generations.
Urban Streams Program Manager, Marin Resource Conservation District
Sarah Phillips received a degree in Environmental Studies & Planning: Restoration & Conservation with a minor in Biology from Sonoma State University in 2009. Over the years, Sarah worked in Ecuador to remediate oil contamination, created a restoration program at SYRCL (South Yuba River Citizen's League), spent time as a consultant working on Integrated Regional Water Management Plans, acted as the Restoration Specialist for Coastal San Luis RCD, then landed her dream job with the Marin Resource Conservation District as the Urban Streams Program Manager. Sarah currently serves on many boards and is eager to plug in to support SRF in its mission and restoration endeavors.