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Staff

Administration | Education | Restoration & Conservation Science

Administration Staff

Anne Morkill, Executive Director
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Anne has worked in wildlife conservation for more than three decades, including 24 years as a wildlife biologist and refuge manager with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System in Colorado, Alaska, Florida, and California, and six years as a wildlife biologist with the Bureau of Land Management in Alaska. She was most recently the manager of the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex which includes seven National Wildlife Refuges in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas and the Farallon Islands. Originally from Miami, Florida, Anne received a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University and a M.S. in Zoology from the University of Wyoming. Anne is passionate about restoring native habitats and conserving imperiled wildlife through promoting science-based climate adaption, fostering collaborative partnerships, and connecting people to nature. Anne lives in Sebastopol with her partner Harry and canine-friend Daisy, and they enjoy sailing, bicycling, traveling, and exploring the diverse natural, historical, and culinary venues that abound in northern California.
Adrienne Gause, Administrative Director
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Adrienne’s journey with the Laguna Foundation began as an intern in the Education Department and became a staff member in July of 2013 after graduating from Sonoma State University with a BS in Environmental Studies with a minor in Geography. Adrienne was awarded the SHRM-CP designation from the Society of Human Resource Management in 2020. Her career background includes working with local businesses and non-profit organizations in fundraising, advertising, graphic design, project management, accounting, and HR functions. When not in the office, she enjoys camping with her family, tending to her ever-growing succulent garden, and performing with the local dance troupe, Latin Elements.
Sierra Castillo, Development and Communications Assistant
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Sierra is a Sebastopol native whose close proximity to the Laguna instilled a great appreciation for wildlife and open space. Her background includes fund development, marketing and event planning, beekeeping and farming. Sierra also owns and operates Pollen & Fox Flower Farm, a small-scale flower farm dedicated to supporting pollinator health. Sierra is pleased to join Laguna Foundation to serve a mission that resonates with her heart.
Debra Wright, Accounting Manager
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Deb joined us in October 2021 and brings a diverse background in conservation science and non-profit management. She began her career trapping/radio-tracking opossums for her Masters, then worked with cassowaries in Papua New Guinea (PNG) for her PhD where she lived for two decades. While still a grad student she built a remote research station, organized and led biodiversity surveys, and began annual field training courses for PNG students. She then founded and for 8 years was Co-Director of Wildlife Conservation Society’s PNG Country program. Her work has included fund raising, logistics, budgeting, accounting/reporting, as well as mentoring/training university students in project design, field techniques, data analysis, scientific paper/proposal writing, and oral presentations. She traps and radio-tracks mammals, mist-nets birds and bats, makes museum vouchers, does plant work, has raised over $8 million for non-profit projects and has published scientific papers and book chapters. Deb is very happy to join the Laguna team and hopes to help in any way she can.

Heather Baggett, Administrative Assistant
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Heather graduated from Sonoma State University with a BA in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Conservation and Restoration and a minor in Biology. She has a background in international and wine country tourism as well as working as a safari tour guide for a local wildlife preserve. She loves to travel, garden, preserve food, and take her dog on hikes. She is very excited to join a team of like-minded individuals where she can pursue her passion of working with a local conservation organization.
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Education Programs Staff

Christine Fontaine, Director of Education
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Christine has been striving to connect people to nature since 1995. She has a BA in Sociology from Sonoma State University and a Multiple-Subject elementary school teaching credential from Dominican University. In addition to working in the formal education field, she has a background in business administration, volunteer management, and focused experience in environmental education and interpretation. Her work and volunteer experience naturally led to the non-profit field, serving as the Education Programs Coordinator for Point Reyes National Seashore Association, then as Point Reyes Field Seminars Director from 2001-07. In 2006 she began volunteering for the Laguna Foundation on the Education Program Committee and joined the staff in 2007.
Maggie Hart, Outreach Manager
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Maggie joined the Foundation staff in July 2005. Her background in nonprofit administration includes working for the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, San Francisco's Friends of the Urban Forest and Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center. Maggie holds an undergraduate degree in Ecology from Evergreen State University.
Carlos Barragan, Environmental Educator
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Carlos joined the Laguna staff in January 2022. As a Santa Rosa native, his childhood obsession with nature documentaries and insects instilled an appreciation for the natural world. He lived in San Diego for five years, where his studies focused on general biology. After a few years, he enrolled in Sonoma State University, where he pursued a B.A. in Geography, Environment, and Planning with an emphasis in Environmental Systems. His background includes many industries that earned him experience in project planning, vegetation control, 5-Star hospitality, and an internship with Point Blue Conservation focused on native avian populations and voice-over projects. He enjoys hikes, trips to museums or aquariums, reading fantasy novels, and watching movies when not working. His partner, Sunshine, and his dog, Argo, live with him in Santa Rosa.


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Restoration & Conservation Science Programs Staff

Dr. Wendy Trowbridge, Director of Restoration and Conservation Science Programs
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Wendy became our Director of Restoration and Conservation Programs in January 2015. She is a wetland plant ecologist who has worked in a variety of systems from the Sacramento River to Ruby Lakes in Northern Nevada to rangelands in Western China. She received a PhD from UC Davis as part of a multidisciplinary study of riparian restoration on The Nature Conservancy's Cosumnes River Preserve. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was a research faculty member at the University of Nevada, Reno where her research focused on invasive species, wetland communities and aquatic food webs. In addition to her academic experience, she has taught environmental education, managed a native plant nursery, and volunteered counting hawks for the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory.
Brent Reed, Ecological Program Manager
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Brent's first professional experience with ecological restoration in the Laguna watershed was working on the Kelly Farm Demonstration Wetlands in 1989, while on summer break from studies for a B.S. degree in Natural Resources Management at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. After getting his degree, Brent moved back home to Sonoma County in 1995 and has been supervising, designing, and working in all facets of ecological restoration on projects throughout northern California as a former Restoration Specialist with Circuit Rider Productions and as an independent contractor. Before joining the Foundation in November of 2011, Brent was involved in multiple restoration projects and on-going vernal pool monitoring in the Laguna watershed, often in partnership with the Laguna Foundation.
Sarah Gordon, Conservation Science Program Manager
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Sarah joined the Laguna Foundation staff in February of 2017 and has been volunteering with the Foundation for over ten years, beginning with the docent training program (where she visited a vernal pool for the first time). More recently, she has provided volunteer support to the Vernal Pool Citizen Science Program. Sarah is a plant ecologist with experience in seasonal wetland plant ecology and rare plant conservation and mitigation. She completed her M.S. degree at Sonoma State University in 2006 and subsequently worked as a lecturer, research technician and ecological consultant, specializing in botany, rare plants and vernal pool ecosystems, primarily in Sonoma County.
Asa Voight, Preserve Manager
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Asa Voight, a Certified Master Naturalist, has been restoring and maintaining native habitats with the Laguna Foundation seasonally since 2015. Asa’s strong background of working closely with native flora and fauna began with 7 years as a sustainable farmer along the Russian River riparian zone. His past work in natural resource management as a Crew Supervisor with Conservation Corps North Bay has given him experience leading numerous resource conservation projects in a variety of local ecosystems. Asa is thrilled to be continuing his work in ecological restoration as a full time Restoration Technician with the Laguna Foundation, restoring and maintaining this Wetland of International Importance.
Elias Lopez, Restoration Field Supervisor
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Elias started at Laguna Foundation as a restoration intern back in December 2015. While working as an intern he finished his B.A. in Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies and Planning at Sonoma State. He then went on to complete his M.S. in Ecology and Sustainability at CSU Stanislaus in 2018. Before returning to the Laguna Foundation as the Restoration Field supervisor, he worked at LandPaths as a Bilingual Stewardship Specialist where he stewarded ecological preserves and connected people to the land. He is inspired to continue protecting and restoring critical habitats and educating the next generation of environmental stewards.
Ayla Mills, Native Plant Nursery Manager
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Ayla joined the staff in August of 2021. She graduated from Chico State University with an M.S. in biology focused on botany and has over ten years of experience in the habitat restoration field. Before joining the Foundation, Ayla worked at Floral Native Nursery and managed the nursery operations at Central Coast Wilds and the Sonoma Ecology Center’s native plant nursery. She has also worked as a botanical consultant, restoration technician, and teacher. Ayla has participated in California Native Plant Society conferences and Jepson Herbarium workshops and is passionate about conserving California’s native plant diversity.
Danielle Carney, Conservation Science Specialist
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Danielle began her career in Natural Resource Management at Sonoma County Regional Parks. In her five years at Parks, Danielle gained experience in land management including invasive species monitoring and removal, fuels management, and ecological restoration. She has a certificate in Natural Resource Management from Santa Rosa Junior College as well as a UC California Naturalist certificate. Danielle also holds a BS in Web Design and Development with a minor in Computer Science from CSU Monterey Bay. Danielle enjoys native plant gardening, mushroom foraging, and spending time outdoors with her wife and dog.
Shae Hopkins, Restoration Technician
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Shae’s passion to pursue a career in conservation began after taking a wilderness skills class at the Santa Rosa Junior College where she discovered the world of Natural Resource Management. Her first experience in the field was a summer internship with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Alaskan Kenai National Wildlife Refuge where she worked on an extensive trail network clearing, felling and conducting trails maintenance. After returning home, she continued her education in the Natural Resource Management program at Santa Rosa Junior College and started working with Sonoma County Regional Parks in the Natural Resources Management Division. There, she developed her skills working on a variety of projects including invasive species removal, fuels reduction, and a number of restoration projects across Sonoma County. As a child, she spent her time picking up any bug or animal she could find and exploring creeks within the Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed. She hopes to continue her career at the Laguna Foundation restoring those same creeks that she explored, in hopes that future generations can continue to experience the same beauty she did.
Kira Rowan, Restoration Technician
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Born and raised on the Garden Isle, Hawaii, Kira started her career in conservation after completing Kupu’s Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps Summer Program. She spent a year as an intern for a local nonprofit, Kokee Resource Conservation Program, and a summer in the native plant nursery of the National Tropical Botanical Garden-McBryde. Kira continued to learn more and more about restoration work and native ecosystems while volunteering and working with other organizations, and her passion for preserving biodiversity escalated. In 2018, she moved to Sonoma County to pursue a better education and begin her adult life away from home. Kira is ecstatic to be a part of a great restoration team and a wonderful organization that aligns with her environmental values. Currently, she is taking classes at Santa Rosa Junior College. She enjoys learning and exploring the little gems of the new ecosystems she is now introduced to in her free time.

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