California Naturalist
California Naturalist
California Naturalist
University of California
California Naturalist

Program Advisory Committee


The 2017-2018 California Naturalist Program Advisory Committee: Front Row: Mark Schwartz, Peggy Fiedler. Back Row: Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty, Fadzayi Mashiri, Jeremy James, Cameron Barrows, Susie Kocher, Jim Downing. Not pictured: Jessica Bautista.


The California Naturalist Program Advisory Committee (PAC) is appointed by the UCANR Vice President to advise California Naturalist Program leaders and enhance our statewide impact. The PAC members contribute to strategic and implementation planning. Specifically, the Committee helps evaluate progress toward goals, align priorities to better meet clientele needs, and identify strategic partnership and funding opportunities. The members of the PAC are selected based on their unique knowledge and experience within UCANR and the broader UC System.

California Naturalist Program Advisory Committee 2017-2018 

Cameron Barrows is an Associate Research Ecologist with UC Riverside coordinating the Center for Conservation Biology's Desert Studies Initiative. The initiative develops risk assessments and implements regional conservation programs for desert flora, fauna and natural communities and enhances secondary level science education in surrounding schools. 

Jessica Bautista is the 4-H STEM Academic Coordinator with UCANR’s Youth Families & Communities Program. As a native Californian, fluent Spanish speaker, and first-generation student of Mexican migrant parents, Bautista has fostered methods to make her research accessible and advocates for STEM career paths for underrepresented communities.

Jim Downing is the Executive Editor of California Agriculture, UCANR’s quarterly peer-reviewed journal reporting research, reviews and news on California’s agricultural, natural and human resources.  He has worked in natural resource management for over 20 years as a consultant, researcher and journalist.

Peggy L. Fiedler is the Systemwide Director of the UC Natural Reserve System, the largest university-administered suite of protected areas in the world.  She is a prolific author and plant conservation biologist, renowned for her work in conservation biology and rare-plant ecology and management.

Jeremy James is Director of the UC Sierra Foothills Research & Extension Center (SFREC), one of nine UCANR Research and Extension Centers. SFREC provides land, labor, and infrastructure to support research on critical rangeland issues and provides key site resource to support education and outreach efforts that explore these themes.

Susie Kocher is the Forestry and Natural Resources Advisor with UC Central Sierra Cooperative Extension and a California Registered Professional Forester. She is involved in a variety of public outreach efforts for forest management research at UC, and is a founder of the California Fire Science Consortium, an organization that facilitates the flow of fire science information and dialogue.

Fadzayi Mashiri is the UC Cooperative Extension Director for Mariposa County and the Livestock & Natural Resources Advisor for Mariposa, Merced and Madera counties. She specializes in rangeland ecology and adaptive grazing management, livestock management, and natural resources management.

Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty is the UC Cooperative Extension County Director for San Benito County and the 4-H Youth Development Advisor serving Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties. Her work on youth development programming in nonformal science takes multidisciplinary and integrated approaches to addressing California’s and the Nation’s decline in youth science performance and achievement.

Mark Schwartz is a Professor with UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy and the Associate Director of Education for the UC Davis John Muir Institute of the Environment. His management-relevant conservation interests include conservation decision support, assessing climate change vulnerability for natural resources, establishing policy for emerging conservation strategies, fire management in the western US, and building social capital for conservation.

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