California Native Plant Society

CNPS Staff

Daniel GluesenkampDaniel Gluesenkamp, Executive Director, works with staff and chapters to protect, understand, and celebrate California’s native flora. Dan first fell in love with California plants (and CNPS) as a student at UC Santa Cruz, and he earned his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley studying the ecology of native and invasive thistles. He previously worked as Executive Director of The Calflora Database, where he led development of exciting new tools for conservation and research, and as Director of Habitat Protection and Restoration for Audubon Canyon Ranch’s 30 preserves. His history with California plant conservation and research includes on-the-ground experience restoring native habitat, and experimental research on invasive turkey impacts, nitrogen deposition, and sierra meadows. Dan is a founder and past president of the California Invasive Plant Council, co-founder of the Bay Area Early Detection Network (BAEDN), and in 2009 discovered a presumed-extinct Franciscan manzanita plant growing on a traffic island at the Golden Gate Bridge.
Jennifer Buck, Vegetation EcologistJennifer Buck-Diaz, Vegetation Ecologist, works in the Vegetation Program to survey, classify, and map vegetation in California. She co-teaches a vernal pool taxonomy workshop and is currently focused on the classification of grassland vegetation types. She earned both a B.S. and an M.S. degree from the University of California, Davis in Plant Biology. Her thesis focused on temporal dynamics of vernal pool grassland vegetation and she recently participated in a state-wide classification project looking at fine-scale vegetation in vernal pools. Prior to joining CNPS, Jennifer worked as an ecologist with The Nature Conservancy at the Cosumnes River Preserve. Botany is her first love, and she has extensive experience working in different plant communities across the western United States, ranging from grasslands to forests, alpine peaks to saline marshes. Her favorite plant is Centunculus minimus.
Mack Casterman, East Bay Chapter Conservation AnalystMack Casterman, East Bay Chapter Conservation Analyst was born and raised on the Bay Area's Peninsula. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree at UC Davis, majoring in Environmental Biology and Natural Resources Management. During college, Mack spent his summers working for the San Mateo County Department of Parks as a seasonal park aid at Huddard, Wunderlich, and Edgewood County Parks. After graduating, he was selected for an internship at the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District where he assisted the District's operations department in managing their 60,000 acres of public open space preserves. Mack has always been interested in the environment and finding ways to ensure that precious natural resources remain protected, even as economic and social motivators spur development farther into the remaining natural areas of our world. He believes that the Conservation Analyst position will allow him to do just that, and is honored to be given the opportunity to work with CNPS on this challenging task. In his free time, Mack enjoys freestyle skiing, cycling, photography, gardening, and cooking.
Julie Evens, Senior Vegetation EcologistJulie Evens, Vegetation Program Director, manages the Vegetation Program and maintains standard methods for surveying, classifying, and mapping vegetation in California. She provides public workshops on vegetation surveying and mapping methods, archives and analyzes vegetation data from across the state. She works collaboratively with agencies and CNPS chapters on vegetation projects, including projects in Marin, Riverside, San Diego, San Benito, Santa Clara, Tuolumne, and Ventura counties. Julie also is working with John Sawyer and Todd Keeler-Wolf as a co-author of the second edition of A Manual of California Vegetation. Julie has a M.A. degree from Humboldt State University with a thesis on watercourse vegetation of the eastern Mojave Desert, and she holds two B.A. degrees from the University of California-Santa Cruz in Biology/Botany and Environmental Studies. She has worked as a vegetation ecologist and botanist for over 10 years with federal and state agencies including the National Park Service, US Geological Survey, University of California, and Department of Fish & Game. Her past work has included vegetation sampling and mapping projects in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks and the central Mojave Desert. She has worked for CNPS since April 2001.
Stacey Flowerdew, Membership and Deevlopment CoordinatorStacey Flowerdew, Membership and Development Coordinator, coordinates membership and development activities and provides general administrative support. Stacey has a B.A. in International Relations from the University of California, Davis. Prior to joining CNPS she worked as an IT Data Analyst in the healthcare industry. Stacey is a California native plant enthusiast as well as an amateur wildflower photographer, genealogist. She also enjoys history and middle Eastern style dancing. She is equally comfortable in the mountains (preferably above 6000 feet) or at home in Sacramento, in air conditioning, reading a book.
Caroline Garland Caroline Garland, Sales Coordinator, joined CNPS as a volunteer in Sept. 2010, where she soon worked her way into a staff position in Jan. 2011. Her primary role is managing the sales program at the state office, however, she also provides other various administrative support throughout the office. Caroline learned her passion for horticulture through her father who has owned a Landscape Construction company for over 35 years. From learning how to tend the garden as a little girl, to working with her dad on design/install projects in her spare time, she has always enjoyed seeing the beauty that can be created through landscape design and natural environments. Caroline graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a BS in Environmental Horticultural Science and a concentration in Landscape Design.
Shanna GoebelShanna Goebel is CNPS's Sales and Administrative Assistant. Shanna attended San Joaquin Delta College where she studied psychology and english and was accepted as one of the school's elite Delta Singers, with whom she performed with for several years. Shanna comes to CNPS after six years as a Senior Advisor with Apple, and five years with AT&T as a Billing and Support Expert. As an avid hockey fan, Shanna enjoys contributing her time to the charity events held by the San Jose Sharks Foundation and is excited to work for another great cause - CNPS.
Vern Goehring, Legislative AdvisorVern Goehring, Legislative Advisor, has many years of experience in government management, legislative and regulatory advocacy, and policy making. Vern is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, in Economics and has completed graduate studies in Government at California State University, Sacramento. He worked for the State of California for 26 years in various administrative and management positions, including legislative advocate for the Departments of Transportation and Fish & Game. He started a private consulting practice in 1997 and assists clients on legislative and administrative advocacy, policy and strategy development, and organizational management. He is a registered lobbyist in California.
Bob HassBob Hass, Editor, Fremontia and CNPS Bulletin assumed the editorship of Fremontia in fall 2009, after serving as its copy editor since 2001. He has served as editor of the CNPS Bulletin since 2005. A past conservation co-chair for public policy and also public relations chair for the Milo Baker Chapter, he works as a freelance editor, writer, and publications consultant. From 2001-2008 he also worked part-time in the restoration program at the Sonoma Ecology Center on invasive plant management, and helped to prepare and track grant proposals. Prior to that he was a senior editor at UC Berkeley for many years. Bob is a past board member of the Northern California Earth Institute, which promotes self-directed group study courses on ways of creating a healthy and sustainable world. He is also an avid native plant gardener, a moderately accomplished cellist, and a chorus member. Bob has a B.A. in English from Earlham College, and a M.A. in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.
Daniel HastingsDaniel Hastings, Assistant Vegetation Ecologist, contributes to vegetation projects in many regions of California including the Central Coast Range, Sonoma County, Orange County, southern Sierra Nevada foothills and Sierra Nevada. He completed a bachelor's degree in environmental studies from Prescott College, where he fell in love with botany. Daniel is experienced as a field botanist throughout the western United States, where he has been conducting field surveys with a variety of governmental and non-profit organizations. He is particularly interested in hyper-accumulating plants. His favorite is Streptanthus polygaloides.
Deidre KennellyDeidre Kennelly, Communications Manager, supports the needs of members and chapters and works to make CNPS outreach even more expansive. She has managed programs and volunteer events as the Program Director for Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful and overseen statewide grants for AmeriCorps. Deidre was also an archaeologist and conducted fieldwork throughout California and Nevada to mitigate impact on cultural resources. Deidre is excited to combine her passion for conservation and community engagement with her experience to bring CNPS communications to the next level. As a native of California, Deidre loves exploring the natural world and the beautiful places the state has to offer.
Hei-ock KimHei-ock Kim, Special Projects Coordinator, creates and manages projects that support statewide and chapter efforts in native gardening and landscaping, and communications. Hei-ock's love for native California plants evolved out of a lifelong passion for gardening, and the pursuit of all things natural and healthy. She comes to CNPS after 12 years in the nonprofit world, where she focused on communications, community relations, and development. Formerly, she directed a program called Garden Native, which was fiscally sponsored by CNPS. It served to promote native California landscaping in Southern California for its direct positive impact on our community's health and well-being.
Susan KrzywickiSusan Krzywicki, Horticulture Program Director, envisions a California where native plants are widely available and routinely incorporated into public and private landscapes to conserve resources, extend habitat, and create a sense of place. Susan started as chair of the San Diego Chapter Gardening Committee which inaugurated the popular San Diego Native Garden Tour and the Native Garden Symposium, encouraging homeowners to experience the strategic benefits of low water use, habitat creation, and our unique ecological heritage. In addition to her work with CNPS, Susan chaired Surfrider Foundation's Ocean Friendly Gardens Programs Committee, taught the San Diego County Water Authority's California Friendly Landscape Training, and serves on the Port of San Diego Chula Vista Bayfront Cultural and Design Committee where she advocates for strong environmental partnerships with new development.
Mark Naftzger, WebmasterMark Naftzger, Webmaster, is a website design professional. He creates and maintains websites for clients in a wide range of industries and professions.
Cari Porter, Finance and Administration ManagerCari Porter, Finance and Administration Manager, is an economist with experience in all areas of non-profit management, including accounting, budget development, personnel management, fundraising, public relations, and marketing. Prior to working for CNPS, Cari served as Vice President for San Mateo County Economic Development Association (Samceda), San Mateo, CA. She also worked as a Financial Analyst at Blackburne & Brown Mortgage Company, Sacramento, CA, and as Assistant Production Manager at Jo-Lynns, Elk Grove, CA. Cari has a degree in Economics from Golden Gate University.
/ (916) 447-2677 ext 203
Jaime RatchfordJaime Ratchford, Associate Vegetation Ecologist, works in the Vegetation Program to survey, classify, and map vegetation. Initially in 2005, Jaime conducted field surveys for a vegetation mapping project in the northern Sierra Nevada foothills. Returning to CNPS in 2013, she participates in vegetation assessment projects throughout California such as in Sonoma and Orange Counties, the Mojave Desert, and the southern Sierra Nevada foothills. She also supports volunteer activities including sampling and mapping of rare plant communities. She earned both her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Humboldt State University in Biology. Her thesis examined ant diversity, abundance and composition in Darlingtonia fens and adjacent forests in the Siskiyou Mountains. Jaime previously was a research assistant at Oregon State University for the SageSTEP project, examining sagebrush steppe restoration methods including prescribed burning and clear-cutting of western juniper in eastern Oregon and northeastern California. In her free time, Jaime enjoys being outdoors with her son hiking, kayaking, riding bikes, and exploring the beauty of California.
Becky ReillyBecky Reilly, Events Coordinator, helps organize and support CNPS conferences, workshops, meetings, and other events. She earned her Bachelor's in Psychology from Eckerd College, and has since gained experience in both marketing and event planning. Becky moved to the West Coast in 2013, and though not a California native herself, she is very excited to learn more about the plants (and other things) that are, through both CNPS and her own adventures around the state. She loves camping in the mountains, going to the beach, and exploring new places every chance she gets.
Kendra Sikes, Vegetation EcologistKendra Sikes, Vegetation Ecologist, is coordinating field work for the Vegetation Program. She earned an M.S. in Botany (Ecology emphasis) from Oregon State University, where her research compared the community composition effects of two fuel treatments on chaparral in southwestern Oregon. She also has a B.A. in Biology from Brown University. Before joining CNPS, she worked for the National Park Service in the Santa Monica Mountains, for the Missouri Botanical Garden coordinating their Madagascar specimens and data, and in horticulture for Yerba Buena Nursery, one of the first nurseries to specialize in California natives.
Aaron Sims, Rare Plant  Botanist

Aaron Sims, Rare Plant Botanist, implements the CNPS Rare Plant Review Process in addition to maintaining and updating the CNPS Inventory.  He also assists with rare plant conservation work and various other tasks pertaining to rare plant science as time allows.  Prior to joining CNPS in June of 2010, Aaron worked in environmental consulting and as a biologist for California State Parks on the Central Coast, where he performed rare plant and vegetation surveys, aided in prescribed fire management, and produced a multitude of maps pertaining to sensitive resources, in addition to various other tasks.  Aaron also monitored nesting seabirds for USFWS on a remote island off the coast of Alaska during the summer of 2008.  Recent publications for California State Parks include the San Luis Obispo Coast District North Coast Acquisitions Natural Resource Inventory, 2008, and the Atlas of Sensitive Species of the Morro Bay Area, 2010, in collaboration with the Morro Bay National Estuary Program.  Aaron holds a B.S. from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, in Ecology and Systematic Biology with an emphasis in Botany.  In addition to his enthusiasm for field botany, Aaron enjoys hiking, backpacking, snowboarding, photography, travel, and ceramics in his free time.

Danny SlakeyDanny Slakey, Project Coordinator for the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt and Rare Plant Program Assistant helps to implement the rare plant status review process and organizes citizen-science surveys to document rare plants around the state. He earned his M.S. in biology from Western Washington University, where he studied plant invasion ecology in a Bay Area serpentine grassland. He also has a B.S. in natural resource management from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Danny has done botanical work for the BLM in Idaho, restored desert tortoise habitat in the Mojave Desert, and worked as an intern for the Presidio Native Plant Nursery in San Francisco. Danny enjoys numerous outdoor sports, including cycling, kayaking, climbing and backpacking. He is excited to be able to combine his enthusiasm for both native plants and adventure sports through the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt.
Greg Suba, Conservation Program DirectorGreg Suba, Conservation Program Director, coordinates the development of native plant conservation policies and initiatives for CNPS. Prior to joining CNPS, Greg worked to protect sensitive habitats at the urban / open space interface as watershed coordinator for the Laguna Creek Watershed Council in Sacramento County. His past work includes investigating reproductive strategies of seagrass populations along the west coast of North America, surveying forest inventory plots in California's National Forests, assessing riparian ecosystem health throughout Sacramento, El Dorado, and Placer Counties, and developing outdoor education and stewardship programs throughout northern California. Greg received his B.S. in Biology from Duke University, his M.S. in Marine Science from UNC-Chapel Hill, and continues to learn from those with whom he works, lives, and plays.
/ 916-447-2677 Ext. 206
Sara Marie TaylorSara Marie Taylor, Vegetation Field Lead, works in the Vegetation Program to map and assess vegetation across the many different habitats of California including fens, high-alpine coniferous forests, coastal sage scrub, and desert scrub to name a few. She received her master's degree from Oregon State University in Environmental Science with a minor in Botany, studying differences in native plant diversity and cover between remnant and restored wet prairie in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Sara also has worked as a botanist for Turnstone Consulting, and as a field biologist for the Inyo National Forest, River Partners, and The Nature Conservancy. Field work has opened her eyes to the incredible plant diversity of California, where she enjoys learning about the many unique landscapes this state contains.
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