Meet the Earth Team Staff 2016-17

Manuel Alonso

Executive Director

manuel@earthteam.net

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 25 years in Europe, Central and South America and the United States. H Manuel has been with EarthTeam since 2013.

Little Known Fact: Manuel loves to hike and has two big golden retrievers. In 1990 he founded and directed TUVA (United lands of Neighbors for the Environment), a non profit organization that helped saving over 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 Manager

jenna@earthteam.net

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 http://www.farmsterhub.org​

Phil Drobnicki

Logistics Coordinator / Project Lead at Antioch High School

phillip@earthteam.net

Phillip Drobnicki, Phil for short, grew up in San Diego CA. and gained a passion for the environment at a young age taking advantage of youth programs at San Diego Zoo and Sea World San Diego.  Initially wanting to study Journalism, Phil went to Palomar Community College with aspirations to work for Discovery Channel, Animal Planet or National Geographic making wildlife documentaries.  Wanting to learn more about the biology and animals he was writing about he decided to switch majors and transferred to Humboldt State University to study Zoology.  While there, Phil assisted his professors with beached whale necropsies, gathered data on Owl vocalization with graduate students and worked as a microbiology lab aide.  Phil has held jobs at various Zoo’s in California including San Diego Zoo where he worked on Giraffe and Elephant conservation and Oakland Zoo where he was an Education Aide. 

Little Known Fact:  In his free time Phil is an active home brewer and is working to start selling his craft “Philosophy Brew” and open a small brewery and art gallery with his wife.  He is also involved with his church youth group and is part of Solano’s Masters Swim Team.   

Joelle Alley

Program Associate / Project Lead at Skyline and JF Kennedy High Schools

joelle@earthteam.net

Joelle graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara with a degree in Environmental Studies. She focused her studies on environmental policy, primarily in relation to agriculture and water resource management. While living in Santa Barbara, Joelle worked as an outdoor educator at a local sustainable agriculture nonprofit called Fairview Gardens. She also worked as the regional intern at the Ventura, CA office of California Trout. During her last year as a student, Joelle spent the majority of her time researching for and writing her thesis about the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act in California. Joelle hopes to use her background as an educator and her passion for community engagement in environmental issues to make a difference in her childhood home, the wonderful East Bay.

Jordan DeSilva

Program Associate and Project Lead at Alhambra High and LPS Oakland R&D High

jordan@earthteam.net

Jordan is a recent Sonoma State graduate who majored in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in conservation and restoration and a minor in Biology.  Jordan grew up in the less developed Mendocino County where she developed a love for the natural world at a young age.  Jordan has worked for multiple non-profits participating in projects geared towards conservation, community engagement, and environmental education.  After graduation Jordan traveled to Ecuador to assist in restoration efforts where she developed a passion for outreach and education in the environmental field.  She believes earth team will give her the opportunity to make a lasting difference in the communities she will work in as well as allow her to be a valuable resource in developing the next generations successful green leaders.

Little Known Fact: Jordan loves the outdoors and when not at work can be found at the beach in the redwoods or floating down a river.  She has also participated in choir a majority of her life and loves to sing.

 

Natalie Escue

Program Associate / Project Lead San Lorenzo and Richmond High Schools

natalie@earthteam.net

Natalie graduated from UC Berkeley in 2015 with a degree in Forestry and Natural Resources and spends much of her time in nature. She previously worked for the Lawrence Hall of Science teaching environmental science and justice. She has also worked in outdoor education and utility vegetation management. As time has passed, she has become increasingly concerned about climate change and the state of our environment and is passionate about securing the earth as a place where humans and all animals can live healthy and sustainable lives. Born and raised in the East Bay, Natalie is excited to get to work in and with her community. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and spending time with her two dogs.

Little Known Fact: Natalie is an enthusiastic crafter and most recently took up wood carving and forest craft. She creates an assortment of projects ranging from wooden spoons and chopsticks to pine needle baskets.  

 

 

Paul Wicks

Consultant

paul.william.wicks@gmail.com

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.

Devin Cormia

Program Consultant

devin@earthteam.net

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.