Meet the Earth Team Staff 2016-17

Manuel Alonso

Executive Director

Born in Spain, Manuel is a cultural anthropologist interested in the protection of cultural and biological diversity. He has been working with non-profit organizations for more than 20 years in Europe, Central and South America and the United States focusing on ecology, education and the arts. Manuel has been with EarthTeam since the Spring of 2013.

Little Known Fact: Manuel loves to hike and has two big golden retrievers. In 1990 he founded TUVA, a non profit organization that helped save 1 million trees in the rainforests around Corcovado National Park, working with a coalition of local residents, land owners and loggers. According to National Geographic, Corcovado National Park contains the richest rainforests in the world.. 

Jenna Topper

Program Associate

Jenna graduated from Sonoma State majoring in Environmental Studies with an emphasis on conservation and restoration with a minor in Biology. She has been interested in wildlife from a young age and has worked along side a variety of animal rehabilitation and protection agencies. Throughout college her love for wildlife uncovered deeper intrinsic values she holds for nature and all it has to offer. She is inspired to use her background and experiences to promote environmental awareness throughout the community and to provide opportunities for youth to engage in environmental pursuits and sustainable actions. 

Little known fact: When Jenna is not in the office, she works hard as an Outreach Coordinator for a start up community farm project called Farmster that aims to grow, share, and innovate the local food system of Rohnert Park, CA by providing more opportunity for youth in agriculture. Check it out at​

Julia Dorosh

Program Associate

Prior to joining Earth Team, Julia was Sustainability Program Coordinator at California State University Channel Islands, and an Environmental Youth Mentor/Educator with NOAA. She was also Lead Ecological Researcher at Channel Island National Park, conducting field research on rocky intertidal zones and creating a long term ecological monitoring plan.

She was granted the funding to manage, implement, and network an independently created EE program aimed to educate and inspire underclassmen to become environmental stewards in their everyday lives. This was done by promoting events that involved fun project based learning coupled with ecological education.

She was moved by the understanding that in heavily urbanized areas young people need a bit of a push to take a walk in the wild side and she hopes that the passion and guiding light that turns on the green light bulb in young minds, will show them that the their city block is just as connected to the waterways and the natural world as she is to them. She wants to pursue further her education and receive a Master’s Degree in EE.

Vita Rodriguez

Program Associate

Vita grew up in Washington State right along the Colombia River and later moved to California. She then earn a degree from Sonoma State University in Environmental Conservation and Restoration along with a minor in Biology, with an emphasis on marine life. She has worked for Sonoma Land Trust and continues to intern at the UC Davis Bodega Bay Marine Laboratory. She works hard and diligently in order to inspire youth to explore the environment and build an intellectual connection as well as an emotional connection.

Little known fact: Growing up, Vita has always had a sense of adventure. As her family moved with the agriculture seasons – she experienced a multitude of landscapes, but one she missed out on was the ocean. Vita loves to spend as much time as she can along the coast, exploring the rocky intertidal and taste testing fish tacos along the way! She also has a weakness for hotdog stands.


Devin Cormia

Program Consultant

Devin graduated in 2012 from UC Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Community Studies, focusing on social movements in the agricultural & food systems. e has been an environmental educator working in Santa Cruz, Portland, Point Reyes, the SF Bay Area, and now in Grass Valley, CA.  He has worked as an EarthTeam Campus Coordinator for two school years leading after-school internships with American High School, Alameda High School, Helms Middle School, Pinole Valley High School and Skyline High School. As a Program Consultant for Earthteam, Devin will be advising the Executive Director and the program, staff to ensure the highest quality programs are designed and implemented for our students.  He also will maintain regular contact with program partners as needed.

Little Known FactLittle known fact: In his free time Devin can be found exploring his local watersheds by foot, bicycle, ski, snowshoe, kayak & canoe.

Paul Wicks


Paul studied at the University of Michigan, before earning a degree in graphic design at the Center for Creative Studies. Paul called Colorado home for about a third of his life, living in the mountains where it was clear that nature wasn't just an academic abstraction; that it includes everyone, even people with too many frequent flier miles. After years working in large corporations, he spent the last 10 years working in start-ups and non-profits in the San Francisco Bay area. He began contributing to EarthTeam in December 2015.

Little known fact: As a young man, Paul landed a job as photographers' assistant to a blind photographer. The photographer directed everything from the lighting to the queue of students on picture day. The job offered lessons in responsibility and respect for people's capabilities.

Polina Goncharova

Program Intern

Polina is a rising Junior at Pitzer College, a small liberal arts college in Southern California, studying Environmental Analysis. She is very passionate about environmental justice and biodiversity conservation as well as environmental education. Polina credits her environmental awakening to her summers spent at Oakland ZooCamp as a camper, teen assistant, intern, and teacher. Polina also teaches elementary school students about environmental issues in Ontario, CA as well as at her college through a club called A Cleaner Tomorrow. She will be studying abroad in Costa Rica this fall where she will be studying Tropical Ecology and Central American culture.

Little known fact: When Polina isn’t too busy she loves to play and nap with her hilarious fur balls (aka her extremely fluffy cats). She really misses them while she is away at school and makes her entire family Snapchat and text her pictures of them for her.