Our Administrative Staff
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.
Rebeka Ruiz, Administrative Specialist
Rebeka Ruiz started with the RCD in July 2022. She is excited to use her 11 years of accounting & bookkeeping skills in her new position as the Administrative Specialist. She is honored to work for the RCD and wants to help the staff and community in any way she can.
Rebeka is Native American, she is Nahua, Zacateco and Naayarite born in Canoga Park, Ca. She honors her tribe and culture by beading jewelry like her ancestors did.
Rebeka is active and enjoys swimming, running and biking
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, Education Programs Supervisor
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, 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, 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.
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, 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.
Our Community Resilience Staff
Pauline Allen, Community Resilience Specialist
Pauline joined 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.
Cindy Pace, GrizzlyCorps Fellow
Cindy is joining the RCD’s community resilience team for her term of service as a GrizzlyCorps Fellow. As an LA native, she grew up with a curiosity for the marriage between natural spaces and the urban interface of Los Angeles. Cindy graduated UC Riverside in 2022 with a BS in Sustainability Studies and a BA in Political Science/International Affairs. During college, Cindy served as a committee member and Policy Director for UC Riverside’s Green Campus Action Plan, spearheading student-led sustainability initiatives and addressing environmental justice concerns housed in the Inland Empire. She believes building the capacity of local communities is crucial in addressing the differential risks posed by climate change, and will be working at RCDSMM to support people living in the wildland-urban interface to prepare their homes for wildfire.
Fun fact: Cindy also does a little work in the Climate Psychology space, writes music, and performs comedy in her spare time!
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 Rebeka|
|Marilyn Brody French||Education Programs Supervisor||x 103||Send an email to Marilyn|
|Jelly Kahler||Education & Communications Specialist||x 103||Send an email to Jelly|
|Pauline Allen||Community Resilience Specialist||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|