The Steering Committee of the California Landscape Stewardship Network consists of collaborative leaders from the non-profit, public, private, and academic sectors, many of whom also support regional networks across California working to steward cherished places. With diverse experiences and perspectives to bear, each of them brings a commitment to the practice, policy and performance of landscape stewardship. Read below to learn more about them!
Chief of Resource Management and Science, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
CA Network: Steering Committee
Darcie Goodman Collins
Executive Director, League to Save Lake Tahoe
Contact Darcie about: Collaboration, Fundraising, Citizen Science and Community Engagement, State and Federal Lobbying (Environmental Policy), Nonprofit Governance, Conservation Ecology (specifically lakes and coastal wetlands), Environmental Education
As executive director at the League to Save Lake Tahoe, Darcie is responsible for mobilizing the League to achieve the most effective protection of Lake Tahoe. She oversees all aspects of the organization’s management, leadership, and strategy. Darcie serves as an ambassador to advocate for the Lake with state and federal leaders, and ensures the League’s advocacy is grounded in the best available science.
Darcie earned her doctorate at the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her dissertation addressed the chemical, biological and ecological character of water bodies to determine how environmental science can integrate with community engagement to inform public policy. Prior to joining the League, Darcie had served as Habitat Restoration Director for Save the Bay and had provided research support for the University of California, Davis and the University of California, Santa Barbara, monitoring lake and stream chemistry and ecology.
Born and raised in South Lake Tahoe, Dr. Goodman Collins’s first became involved with the League as a summer intern in 1996. In 1997, she was the Tahoe community’s youth representative at the first Tahoe Presidential Summit. Darcie serves on the Lake Tahoe Federal Advisory Committee, is past board president of the Tahoe-Baikal Institute, and is a former board member of the League. Darcie joined the League staff in 2012.
- League to Save Lake Tahoe: Executive Director
- Lake Tahoe Basin Environmental Improvement Program: Partner
- CA Network: Steering Committee Member, Policy & Funding Working Group Member
Writer, Organizer, Policy Consultant
Shelana deSilva is a writer, organizer, and policy expert who is dedicated to creating a just and resilient society. She has a strong track record helping national and statewide nonprofits develop partnerships, lead campaigns and initiatives, design federal and state-focused legislative strategies, and secure public funding to achieve their missions. The proud daughter of Sri Lankan immigrants, Shelana has established the first government affairs program for a California-based, 100 year-old land trust, co-founded a new regional coalition focused on social equity and climate resilience, and helped secure tens of millions of dollars to steward California's landscapes, build parks, and support climate adaptation. Shelana holds a BA in Sociology, with a minor in Gender Studies from San Francisco State University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in writing from California College of the Arts. Working at the intersection of storytelling, justice, and land stewardship practice, Shelana is actively decolonizing land conservation in California. Her service on the California Landscape Stewardship Network's Steering Committee is an important expression of this horizon goal, given that this role enables her to work collaboratively towards systemic changes for the benefit of communities and the landscapes they cherish.
- Steering Committee member
- DEI Roundtable co-chair
- Funding and Legislation Working Group member
Strategic Stewardship Advisor; Steering Committee, Ca. Landscape Stewardship Network
Contact Sharon about: Collaborative Leadership, Project & Program Management, Ecological Restoration, Stewardship Program Delivery, Strategic Partnership Formation/Delivery, Community Engagement, Environmental Compliance
Sharon Farrell consults as a Strategic Advisor for the national Stewardship Network and other collaborative stewardship partnerships throughout California. Prior to this, she worked for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy for 20 years, most recently as the Executive Vice President of Projects, Stewardship & Science. Sharon and her team led the organization's project design and delivery, conservation initiatives, community science, restoration, and stewardship programs. This includes advancing opportunities for engaging partners, scientists and community members in research, monitoring and many aspects of land stewardship. During that time, Sharon helped found the California Landscape Stewardship Network in 2016. Sharon also worked closely with agency partners to oversee the One Tam Partnership, a community initiative to help ensure a healthy future for Mt. Tamalpais.
Prior to joining the Parks Conservancy in 2004, Sharon was the Executive Director of the Watershed Project. Her work included capacity building for “Friends” groups, with a focus on partnership and fund development with municipalities and local governments. Sharon developed training and grants programs to support this work, and forged regional partnerships with other Bay Area non-profit organizations to support community-based stakeholder groups.
Sharon has also worked as an ecologist and resource specialist with the National Park Service, a resource planner with the Presidio Trust, and as an environmental consultant. Sharon holds a MS in Park Management with emphasis on Ecological Restoration and Community Stewardship, and a BS in Chemistry.
Sharon is an avid backpacker, nature photographer, and explorer. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in the East Bay with her wife Sue. Together they are frequent hikers of the amazing landscapes on Mt. Tam, Point Reyes, and the Marin Headlands.
- Strategic Advisor, the Stewardship Network
- Ca. Landscape Stewardship Network: Steering Committee
- Network for Landscape Conservation: Executive Committee and Co-Chair Peer Learning Working Group
- USGS Land Management Research Program: Program Council
Vice President and Chief Conservation Officer, Irvine Ranch Conservancy
Nathan Gregory is currently the Vice President and Chief Conservation Officer at Irvine Ranch Conservancy (IRC), a non-profit conservation organization that manages approximately 30,000 acres of open space on behalf of public landowners in Orange County, California. He oversees natural resource stewardship, ecological restoration, fire prevention, monitoring, research, and community engagement.
Early in his career, Nathan worked on invasive species control and wildlife conservation and management issues in Hawaii, Alaska, and Colorado, and he later earned his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University, where he studied the effects of traditional land use practices on bird communities in Kenya. He then worked as a research ecologist and project manager for the non-profit Institute for Wildlife Studies (IWS), focusing on the conservation of the desert tortoise in the Mojave Desert and the San Clemente Island fox. After leaving IWS, Nathan served for two years as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the United States Agency for International Development. During his time in Washington and prior to joining the IRC in 2016, Nathan worked on biodiversity conservation and international development issues in multiple countries. Finally, Nathan is a lecturer on Global Conservation Strategies for the Master of Science in Island Biodiversity and Conservation program through the Jersey International Centre of Advanced Studies.
CA Network: Steering Committee Member
Director, Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy, University of Montana, and Network for Landscape Conservation
Shawn Johnson is Managing Director of the Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy at the University of Montana and co-director of the Center’s graduate certificate program in Natural Resources Conflict Resolution. Shawn organizes and leads strategic planning and capacity building workshops for a wide variety of organizations focused on natural resource policy and management and has served as a facilitator and mediator on issues ranging from land use planning and forest management to conservation priority setting and regional collaboration.
For the past ten years, he has helped advance a joint effort between the Center and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy on regional collaboration and large landscape conservation. The joint effort explores questions of policy, leadership, and governance at regional or landscape scales, where there is often a mismatch between the scale of an existing challenge or opportunity and that of existing organizations and jurisdictions. In May 2011, Shawn helped organize and convene a group of large landscape conservation practitioners that led to a new network of practitioners throughout North America who are working to improve community and conservation outcomes at the large landscape scale, the Practitioners’ Network for Large Landscape Conservation. Shawn is co-author, with Matthew McKinney, of Working Across Boundaries: People, Nature, and Regions (Lincoln Institute, 2009). He also contributed to Large Landscape Conservation, A Strategic Framework for Policy and Action (Lincoln Institute, 2010) and Remarkable Beyond Borders: People and Landscapes in the Crown of the Continent (Sonoran Institute, 2010). Prior to his work at the Center, Shawn earned a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School and spent three years as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Max Baucus.
- Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy, University of Montana: Managing Director
- Network for Landscape Conservation: Coordinating Committee Member
- CA Network: Steering Committee Co-lead
Consultant, Network Coordinator
Devin Landry serves as coordinator of the California Landscape Stewardship Network. In this role, he supports the Network’s mission of advancing cross-boundary, landscape-scale stewardship through tracking the Network’s various initiatives, drafting network-wide communications, and event planning. Devin also provides facilitative support to the Network for Landscape Conservation’s Catalyst Fund Peer Learning Cohort, as well as to the Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy at the University of Montana.
Prior to working in landscape conservation and stewardship, Devin conducted wildlife research across the U.S. Northern Rockies. Whether it’s his background in research, policy, or connecting the two through practice, he maintains a passion for understanding how people connect with nature and place to care for the land and their communities. Devin holds a B.A. in English and Religious Studies from Skidmore College and a M.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana, where he also gained certification in the Natural Resources Conflict Resolution Program.
- Network Coordinator
Executive Director, San Mateo Resource Conservation District
Contact Kellyx about: Project & Program Development, Management, and Implementation, Ecological and Habitat Restoration, Strategic Partnership Formation and Delivery, Outreach and Community, Engagement, Permitting Strategy, Organizational Capacity Building, Funding Strategy, Development, and Management
Kellyx Nelson has spent 28 years in the private and public sectors in program and project development and implementation, environmental education, organizational capacity building, community outreach, building partnerships, and developing solutions to difficult resource problems. She has served as the Executive Director of the Resource Conservation District since 2006. Her diverse career has included 14 years as an environmental educator for underserved communities in New York and San Francisco, driving a Freightliner cross-country as a long-haul trucker, delivering packages as a motorcycle messenger, and managing conservation projects for Peninsula Open Space Trust. She has an undergraduate degree from Columbia University in Political Science and Environmental Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from UC Berkeley.
Under her direction the RCD has achieved distinction, receiving the 2016 Sustainability Award from Sustainable San Mateo County and 2012 District of the Year from the California Association of RCDs. In 2015, Kellyx was inducted into the San Mateo County Women’s Hall of Fame in recognition of her contributions to the overall well-being of the County.
- San Mateo Resource Conservation District: Executive Director
- Santa Cruz Mountains Stewardship Network: Partner
- CA Network: Representative
650-712-7765 Ext. 102
Founder and CEO, O’Herron & Company
Contact Michelle about: Science Communication, Technical and Grant Writing, Events and Outreach, and Program/project Management, Landscape-scale Partnership Development
Michelle is Founder and CEO of O’Herron & Company. She has a BS in Biology, an MS in Conservation Biology, and 15+ years of experience working with a variety of government and nonprofit organizations in the areas of science communication, community engagement, technical and grant writing, and program/project management.
Previously, she was a project manager at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and before that, worked in diverse capacities on behalf of the National Park Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center. She has particularly deep experience in multi-agency environmental collaboratives, having played a key role in the development and implementation of both One Tam and Redwoods Rising.
- O’Herron & Company: Founder and CEO
- Redwoods Rising: Advising Consultant
- CA Network: Steering Committee Member, Working Group Member (Building the Movement)
Network Manager, Santa Cruz Mountains Stewardship Network
Dylan Skybrook is the Network Manager of the Santa Cruz Mountains Stewardship Network (SCMSN), a collaboration of 24 organizations that own, manage, or in some way steward, land in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Dylan helps to create the conditions which enable the member organizations of the SCMSN to collaborate.
Dylan believes that networks are an important and effective structure for collaboration and is grateful to be able to serve on the Steering Committee of the California Landscape Stewardship Network to help move the work of networks forward for landscape stewardship in California.
Prior to joining the SCMSN, Dylan worked with multiple organizations in the areas of systems leadership and network weaving, including the United Way, Arts Midwest, Impact Hub Minneapolis/Saint Paul, the Minnesota Social Innovation Lab, and others. Dylan taught a course called Ecosystems of Wellbeing and designed several online learning modules on systems thinking and complexity at the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota. Dylan has also been a guest lecturer on systems thinking and complexity at Kaos Pilots in Aarhus, Denmark and the Masters in Strategic Leadership toward Sustainability program at Blekinge Tekniska Högskola in Karlskrona, Sweden
- SCMSN: Network Manager
- CA Network: Steering Committee Member