Bree (she/her) is a Naturalist Guide who splits her time between both ends of the LA Aqueduct (from the Mono Basin to the Los Angeles Basin) working to help relate people to place. She spent her college years loving her studies in Anthropology and Music, but itching to find meaning outside of a classroom. Since then, Bree has been fortunate enough to live in multiple National Parks, work on farms and homesteads, learn from Indigenous land protectors, and travel abroad as a solo brown femme. It’s been through these experiences and more that she’s cultivated her awareness of what it means to connect with the Earth. Read More
She is passionate about contributing to the ongoing healing and mobilizing of our communities by way of a connection to land and water, and always strives to challenge colonial concepts within herself, her peers, and our outdoor spaces. By feeling emotionally and somatically bonded with the cycles, patterns, rhythms, and language of the Earth, Bree believes that powerful shifts are possible. In the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, “There is no difference between healing ourselves and healing the Earth.”
More about Brian’s project coming soon!
Brian Gonzalez was born and raised in the Pasadena/ Altadena area where he is lucky to have the San Gabriel mountains as his backyard where he can frolic and brew his inner naturalist. He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology with an emphasis in Biodiversity and conservation from the University of Cal Poly Pomona. He is proud to say that, as an alumni of John Muir high school, he is a product of its Careers in Conservation program that was offered by the club generation green. He enjoys hobbies such as hiking, plant and rock identification, cooking, and spending time with his pug and family. Read More
As someone who is intermediate with dabbling in the world of environmental science, protection, advocacy, etc, he is dedicated to using his gained knowledge and skill to protect mother nature, who he now refers to with respect as Pachamama (Mother earth). Pachamama is a historical and ancient deity worshiped by the Indigenous people of the Andes. Pachamama is coined as a term, cemented in the culture, and even is significant to environmental policy and advocacy movements in the country of Ecuador, as nature there can be represented legally in their court, something he now respectfully carries in his mind and heart. Brian thanks everyone who believes in him! Brian is honored to be a part of this fantastic organization and grow with the rest of his comrades in his cohort.
More about DaZhanae’s project coming soon!
DaZhanae Howard is a Long Beach, CA native but has lived in many areas of Southern California such as Northridge, Corona and Compton. She graduated from Cal State Northridge with a Bachelors in Broadcast Journalism. Transitioning out of college she obtained her license in Real Estate, one of her many passions. Growing up between the age of 10-16 is when her love for nature began. Living in the corona hills exposed her to exploring mountain ways never walked, hiking trails rarely known and making friends with the animals. With her passion for nature she hopes to establish a career in anthropology to study mama earth to her full potential.
More about Gerardo’s project coming soon!
Gerardo Gurrola was born and raised in East Los Angeles. He is an alumni of UC Riverside and is currently an Agriculture inspector for L.A County Agricultural Commissioner. He has been an inspector for 25 years and discovered that although it’s been a wonderful experience, he’s ready for a new path.His interests are birding, hiking and biking. Although his experience with the community has been limited to volunteering, he’s looking forward to sharing his experiences and bringing hope to the world and becoming a better steward for mother nature.
More about Monica’s project coming soon!
Monica Obaga is an LA transplant from Kenya. She works as an Illustrator and Creative Assistant and is facilitating the waste reduction initiative at her workplace. She began gardening during the height of the pandemic and it was life changing. She is passionate about plants and regeneration and is here to learn how to keep Public Parks protected and accessible. She is excited to join the 20th class and connect with everyone.To practice, architecture means to provide services in connection with the creation of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that have human occupancy or use as their purpose.
Morgan is a junior at Pasadena High School (PHS) and is dedicated to social justice issues, community empowerment, and the education of marginalized communities and acts of resistance throughout history. At school, they are an enthusiastic Ethnic Studies student and also serves as the president of PHS’s Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA). Morgan is a leader in her school district’s Student Think Tank, an initiative in which high school students advocate for equity in the district, inclusive curriculum, and student empowerment through storytelling. Morgan is also a bird bander at Zuma Canyon and hopes to one day start a banding station centered around marginalized communities. Read More
They have also volunteered for the Pasadena Education Foundation, Pasadena Humane, among other organizations and is also an active contributor to community science platforms like iNaturalist and eBird. Morgan is proudly queer and biracial and hopes to study Ethnic Studies and biology at a college in California.
More about Rizalyn’s project coming soon!
Rizalyn is a conservationist and advocate of outdoor education. She is a naturalist who enjoys exploring California, camping, garden projects, and loves working as a field lead at her current job. Rizalyn aspires to be a good leader and resource to serve her community. She loves to participate in career and educational development opportunities regarding outdoor education, leadership, and California’s biodiversity. Plans on enrolling into school are perhaps in the future. For now, Rizalyn refers to more accessible training through organizations such as Sierra Club, Theodore Payne, and of course, Nature for All.
More about Ruth’s project coming soon!
Ruth is a daughter of Mexican immigrants and was born and raised in the Coachella Valley. She grew up in Mecca, a rural community, surrounded by desert and farmland where the outdoors was her playground. Ruth moved to Pomona for college and has spent the last 25 years teaching and serving hard working, resilient immigrant communities. Throughout these years, she has maintained a connection to nature by backpacking, hiking, and camping with her son, family, and friends as well as organizing nature-based field trips for her students. Read More
She relies heavily on the healing properties of nature to restore her peace of mind and strengthen her body so that she can show up as her best self. Her future goals include transitioning to outdoor education, working in state/national parks, and starting a non-profit that connects families to nature.
More about Sharnell’s project coming soon!
Sharnell Brown was 17 when she got her first chance to camp in Big Bear. She went with a large YMCA Youth Institute group for a week in the summer. She wore vans because it was all she could afford and she knew absolutely nothing about shoe traction and trail difficulty. Growing up, the mountains always felt so far and as she got older the air pollution made the stars difficult to observe. Internally she had just accepted that people like her (no vehicle transportation) would probably never stand on a mountain. Read More
In hindsight, she’s so glad that it wasn’t the truth and she wants to make it her purpose to remind others that they have always belonged! They deserve to take up space, reclaim land, teach others to heal the land and heal their spirits. Furthering the agenda to work on decolonizing the land, re-learning the soil as a community and producing sustainable systems including greener transportation. She’s honored and excited to be a part of cohort 20! Her recent joy is centered around nurturing her plants, going to art museums, herbs, art journaling, tea blends, hiking and learning more about micro farming!