818-597-8627 info@rcdsmm.org

Staff

Our Administrative Staff

Clark Stevens Headshot

Clark Stevens, Executive Officer & Architect

Clark is a teacher, conservationist, and architect specializing in design for culturally and ecologically critical places. Ecological restoration to create recreational, educational, economic and spiritual value is at the core of his design practice.  He is the architect of the recently completed Malibu Lagoon Restoration Project and the recently released Liberty Canyon Wildlife Overpass, which will be the largest of its kind in the world.  In addition to leading his architectural and land planning practice, New West Land Company, Inc., Clark serves as Executive Officer of the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains.  A lifelong naturalist, Clark serves on the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission Board of Governors, is an instructor for and “Friend” of the Arid Lands Institute, a past advisory board member of Montana Audubon and a Life Member of Trout Unlimited.

John Hendra Headshot

John Hendra, Finance & Operations Officer

John Hendra started with the RCD as a Naturalist in Fall 2004, and moved into the office in November 2005. He handles the District’s financial, human resources, and office maintenance duties, and acts as Secretary for the Board of Directors. His goals are to update and streamline the District’s accounting procedures, improve employee benefits, create better organizational communication, and raise the District’s visibility within the community. Mr. Hendra holds B.A.s in English from UCLA and Environmental Biology from CSUN. He has experience editing a newspaper in Charlottesville, Virginia, managing the office of an academic research unit, coordinating events for the UCLA Alumni Association, and teaching high school science and English. Mr. Hendra is a native southern Californian, as is his wife Mary, both of whom have a deep concern for the region’s wildlife and environment.

Our Education Staff

Marilyn Brody French Headshot

Marilyn Brody French, Education Coordinator

Marilyn Brody French joined the RCD in 2020 as a Conservation Biologist, and in 2021 decided to further serve the RCD’s mission by taking on the role of Education Coordinator.

She began youth program development in 2017 while simultaneously achieving a masters from Cornell University in Conservation and Community Development, bringing real-world perspectives on earth stewardship and sustainability to youth programs. Throughout her 10 years of conservation research, her passion has always centered on sharing with young hearts the wonder of nature.

“Through my experience, I’ve learned that children, with their extraordinary curiosity, are the natural adventurers and scientists of our world and therefore the solutionists of our future. The RCD’s unique ability to weave local research into environmental education encourages kids to be just that – solutionists and caretakers of our land. And that’s why I’ve chosen to be here.”

Jelly Kahler Headshot

Jelly Kahler, Education & Communications Specialist

Angelica Kahler (pronouns: she, her, hers), better known as Jelly around the office, is the RCD’s Education and Communications Specialist. Jelly started with the RCD in October of 2018 as a Watershed Stewards Program (or WSP) Member. She graduated from Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA in 2016 with Bachelors of Science in Marine Biology. As the Education and Communications Specialist, Jelly will lead environmental education field programs as well as classroom science programs, develop education and outreach materials, expand upon current education programs and develop new opportunities for environmental education, develop and coordinate community-based science programs, and coordinate RCD outreach through social media, newsletters, blog posts, virtual fundraising campaigns and annual reports. Jelly will also be charged with coordinating volunteer events.

Our Research & Restoration Staff

Rosi Dagit Headshot

Rosi Dagit, Senior Conservation Biologist

Rosi has been working at the RCDSMM since she moved to Los Angeles in 1987. She has initiated and coordinated numerous research, restoration and monitoring projects throughout the Santa Monica Mountains, starting with studies of Malibu Lagoon, Leo Carrillo State Beach and moving inland to watershed level analysis and sensitive species monitoring. She has published numerous technical papers, as well as a children’s book, Grandmother Oak. Currently Rosi serves as a member of the Los Angeles County Environmental Review Board and leader of the Topanga Creek Stream Team and is a certified Arborist. Rosi is also a member of the Los Angeles County Beach Commission, technical advisor for the CA Oak Foundation and former member of the City of Malibu Environmental Review Board.

Dan Cooper_Staff Headshots (1)

Daniel S. Cooper, Ph.D, Senior Conservation Biologist

Dan is a lifelong resident of southern California, and is regarded as an expert on the birds and natural history in southern California. Through research and independent consulting, he has spent more than 20 years conducting surveys and drafting reports in the region, and co-authored a landmark conservation analysis for the Santa Monica Mountains Coastal Zone for L.A. Co. Department of Regional Planning in 2014. Prior to being an independent consultant, Dan was the Conservation Director for Audubon California in the early 2000s, where he helped develop the Audubon Center at Debs Park, and wrote Important Bird Areas of California. Dan has published several dozen peer-reviewed papers on biodiversity patterns and local plant and wildlife species, and was named a Research Associate in the Department of Ornithology at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum in 2020. Since 2012, he and his family have made their home in Oak Park.

Jamie King Headshot

Jamie King, Conservation Biologist

Jamie joins the RCDSMM with over 20 years of professional experience in resource conservation, restoration, environmental planning, and land management in Southern California. Jamie enjoys working with public, private and non-profit partners to problem solve local environmental issues and facilitate community involvement. She recently had the pleasure of supporting such projects as the Malibu Lagoon restoration, removal of barriers to steelhead migration along Arroyo Sequit Creek and planning for the removal of Rindge Dam, among others.  Her favorite days are spent tromping along local creeks surveying for special-status species and reconnecting to the land.

2021.11.8 Akosa for scale during Tree surveys

Akosa Ibekwe, Watershed Stewards Program Member

Akosa Ibekwe joins the RCD from the California Conservation Corps’ Los Padres center, where he worked on different projects including conducting fish passage barrier assessments, native plant propagation, and setting up a trail camp in Big Sur. He is very excited to blend his interests and continue to follow his curiosities while serving with the RCD. He will get involved with research and monitoring and educational programs, and while sharing his love of nature with the diverse communities in and around the Santa Monica Mountains, he will learn about what it means to build community resilience.

Our Community Resilience Staff

Pauline Allen Headshot

Pauline Allen, GrizzlyCorps Fellow

Pauline joins the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains as their first GrizzlyCorps Fellow, an Americorps program dedicated to increasing wildfire resilience and regenerative agriculture. She has a background in education, having worked for her family’s solar education nonprofit, The Rahus Institute in Northern California and taught preschool in Oregon. Pauline holds a B.S. in ecology from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and a certificate of fine art from Rønnongen Folkehøgskole in Oslo, Norway. She plans to combine her skills in ecology, education, and art to work in science communication and social justice. Pauline is concerned about the inequalities of climate change and disaster response/preparedness. At RCDSMM she’ll be working on community resiliency and helping people in the wildland-urban interface prepare their homes for wildfire. In her free time Pauline likes to bike, hike, and play music in community street bands.

Directory

To reach a staff member, dial 818-597-8627 plus the extension below.

Staff Member Position Extension Email address
Clark Stevens Executive Officer x 105 Send an email to Clark
John Hendra Finance & Operations Officer x 102 Send an email to John
Rebeka Ruiz Administrative Specialist x 101 Send an email to Kristen
Marilyn Brody French Education Coordinator x 103 Send an email to Marilyn
Jelly Kahler Education & Communications Specialist x 103 Send an email to Jelly
Pauline Allen GrizzlyCorps Fellow x 106 Send an email to Pauline
Rosi Dagit Senior Conservation Biologist x 106 Send an email to Rosi
Dan Cooper Senior Conservation Biologist x 101 Send an email to Dan
Jamie King Conservation Biologist x 106 Send and email to Jamie