California Naturalist
California Naturalist
California Naturalist
University of California
California Naturalist

Leadership Team

Academic Leadership

Dr. Sabrina Drill, Interim Director
Dr. Sabrina Drill, Interim Director
 Dr. Sabrina Drill Dr. Sabrina Drill is California Naturalist (CalNat) Interim Director. Additionally, she is the UCCE Natural Resources Advisor for Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, where she helps communities, non-profits, and government agencies manage and restore aquatic ecosystems, from snorkel surveys for endangered steelhead trout, to working with volunteers to understand fishes and fishing in the LA River. She has worked around the country, as well as in East Africa, helping communities understand and conserve natural resources.


Greg Ira, Academic Coordinator
Greg Ira, Academic Coordinator
 Gregory “Greg” Ira is the CalNat Academic Coordinator involved in the planning, management and operations of the program and its many partnerships. After completing his Bachelors in Environmental Studies and Masters in Asian Studies, he worked for six years in the Philippines integrating conservation into the context of rural development. In Florida, he established statewide environmental education programs for students and teachers and managed sustainable initiatives including the Florida Green Lodging program. His areas of interest include field-based environmental education, volunteer water quality monitoring, tools for addressing culture in environmental programs and strategic program planning.


Dr. Adina Merenlender, Founding Director, Workgroup Chair
Dr. Adina Merenlender, Founding Director, Workgroup Chair
 Dr. Adina Merenlender is a Cooperative Extension Specialist at UC Berkeley and is an internationally recognized conservation biologist working on environmental problem solving at the landscape-scale. She has published extensively on the influence of land use on biodiversity. She is dedicated to bridging the gap between conservation science and practice through community led environmental stewardship, education, and citizen science. See more at her website.


Sarah-Mae Nelson, Academic Coordinator, Climate Stewards Initiative
Sarah-Mae Nelson, Academic Coordinator, Climate Stewards Initiative
Sarah-Mae Nelson leads the California Naturalist program’s Climate Stewards Initiative to incorporate climate science and climate change communication techniques into existing courses while developing a full climate stewards course which will be gradually rolled out to existing partners. An educator, science communicator, and climate change interpreter, she's worked for the Monterey Bay Aquarium as a Conservation Interpreter and Online Community Manager for ClimateInterpreter.org. Sarah-Mae is an active member of the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI), sitting on one of the leadership committees

Staff

Sarah Angulo, Community Education Specialist
Sarah Angulo, Community Education Specialist
Sarah Angulo advances new and continuing CalNat programs in the central California and Sierra region. Sarah has a background in environmental education, teaching California natural history to kindergarteners through adults in coastal, foothill, and high desert environments. She leads backpacking trips every summer for the Sierra Club. Sarah's special focus in the California Naturalist program is helping advance our Strategic Objective of leadership in citizen science.


Melissa Figueroa, Administrative Support
Melissa Figueroa, Administrative Support
 Melissa Figueroa provides essential part-time administrative support to the California Naturalist Program.

 

 

 

 

 


Eliot Freutal, Community Education Specialist
Eliot Freutal, Community Education Specialist
Eliot Freutal advances new and continuing CalNat programs in the Southern California region. Eliot has extensive experience working in marine environments as an outdoor education instructor and joins us most recently after working as an educator and climate resilience coordinator for an aquarium. In that capacity, Eliot developed two community outreach programs focused on bringing climate resilience strategies to underserved community members. He is multilingual (Spanish, Portuguese, and English), a shark and marine ecology expert, and happiest when he is outside or underwater.


Brook Gamble, Community Education Specialist
Brook Gamble, Community Education Specialist
Brook Gamble enhances the development of the CalNat community through communication, events, and marketing support. She has worked throughout California and Alaska first as a wildlife biologist and later in stakeholder engagement, science communication, and program management roles. She is interested in how a community of practice approach to building California Naturalist participation can increase capacity to address today's environmental challenges.


Michelle Hammer Coffer, Business Manager
Michelle Hammer Coffer, Business Manager
Michelle Hammer Coffer provides all financial services and support to the California Naturalist Program as our business manager. She brings to the job a tremendous amount of fiscal planning and operations experience from her work at UC Davis, before recently joining UC ANR.

Webmaster Email: canaturalist@ucanr.edu