Tuolumne River Trust Advisory Committee

The following are members of our Advisory Committee:

Ryan Blake
Ryan is a Bay Area native and currently works at Platinum Advisors as a lobbyist and political strategist. He has stood at the helm of some of San Francisco’s most influential policy and ballot initiatives and has managed a diverse set of projects and campaigns in and around San Francisco, Marin, Contra Costa, Santa Barbara, and Alameda Counties. Ryan works for a variety of both public and private clientele and has an in-depth understanding of regional issues, as well as the functions of individual governments and institutions throughout the Bay Area. Ryan lives in San Francisco but enjoys backcountry hiking in the Sierra whenever possible.

Abigail Blodgett
Abigail is an environmental attorney who has over a decade of experience with environmental law, advocacy, and science.  She has focused on improving water quality, reducing pollution, and advocating for smart land use policies.

Karyn Bryant
Karyn now serves as Director of California Major Gifts at American Rivers. She has written about TRT: “As my first river conservation position and after having been employed by TRT for over 7 years, I will always advocate for the health of the Tuolumne River as my favorite river. I believe in the leadership and experienced program staff of TRT and want to see the organization continue to grow and succeed.” 

Sally Chenault
Sally has a lifetime of personal experience along the Tuolumne River having grown up in Modesto. She is an attorney and mediator with offices  located in Sonora, CA and Modesto, CA. With excellent training from the Junior League of Santa Barbara, she brings skills of fundraising, public speaking, and lobbying to the Trust as well as a deep-rooted love of the Tuolumne and Clavey Rivers.

Ann Clark, Ph.D.
Ann has been an active supporter of the Tuolumne River Trust’s Bay Area program since its inception. During that time she has met with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and local environmental organizations to craft a Water System Improvement Project which would protect and conserve the Tuolumne River. For many years Ann has been active in San Francisco to facilitate grassroots outreach on a local level with groups such as SPUR, NRDC, the Commonwealth Club and Friends of Camp Mather to mention a few. She has a particular interest in outreach to school children in the classroom and on The River.

William Collins
Bill has spent over 45 years working on environmental issues and in politics. He has served as the President of the San Diego League of Conservation Voters and was the Water Committee Chair of the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club. He served on TRT’s Board of Directors from December 2011 to summer of 2013.

Joe Daly
In 1981, as a founding board member of the Tuolumne River Trust, Joe joined forces with a diverse bi-partisan team of river preservation pioneers who immediately focused their energy on making the Tuolumne Wild & Scenic. On September 13, 1984, Congress rewarded their fervor, granting Wild & Scenic status to the Tuolumne. As Board Chair from Nov. 1984 to Dec. 1997, Joe led a successful campaign to persuade the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject 5 dams on the Clavey – the Tuolumne’s largest tributary. He is a co-founder of Echo River Trips, which brought folks to the Tuolumne for 34 years to experience whitewater rafting. With Tuolumne loyalty still strong, he joined the advisory board in November, 2010.

Bradley Daniels
Bradley is a licensed civil engineer and environmental and water attorney.  His journey started out in the mountains, rivers, and lakes of Montana, Idaho, and Washington before heading to California to attend Stanford University.  The passion for water and its ecosystems continue to course in Bradley’s veins, sharpening his focus on protection of California’s great watercourses and all living things umbilically tied to them.  He is always on the hunt for broad-based environmental solutions that also enjoy broad support from stakeholders.  Bradley is most at home while fish spotting, trailrunning, and backpacking the great blue paths.

Aaron Dickinson
Aaron is the water program associate at the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Prior to his work with the Foundation, Aaron worked with Water Education for Latino Leaders, an LA-based non-profit that focuses on educating local elected officials on California water policy, where he was placed as a CivicSpark Water Action Fellow. He also has experience with water policy in Texas, having worked with Save Our Springs Alliance in Austin and Texas Campaign for the Environment in Dallas.

Tim Eichenberg
Tim Eichenberg is an environmental lawyer and consultant, and teaches Ocean and Coastal Law at the Vermont Law School. As former Chief Counsel of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, he helped develop the nation’s first comprehensive policies and regulations on climate change. He also has served as legal counsel for the California Coastal Commission, The Ocean Conservancy, Oceana, the Marine Law Institute, and Environmental Defense Center, where he engaged in environmental litigation, lobbying and rulemaking. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Baykeeper and Friends of the Sea Otter, and the Board of Advisors of the Center for Urban Environmental Law at Golden Gate University.

Jim Greene, Jr.
Jim retired from the US Navy in 1995 having completed 32 years of active duty. He is currently on the faculty of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA and also consults for Defense Industry clients. Since retirement he has been actively involved with numerous land and river preservation non-profit organizations as a Board member or advisor including a five year term as Chair of the Henrys Fork Foundation dedicated to preserving the headwaters of the Snake River in SW Idaho . Jim is an avid fly fisherman and first encountered the Tuolumne River on a 1970 camping and fishing trip at Tuolumne Meadows.

Chris Guptill
Chris Guptill is married with two sons and lives in Modesto. He is a graduate of Humboldt State University. Guptill is a social science teacher at Grace M. Davis high school and has been a coach for many years.  He is the coordinator for the monthly volunteer cleanup effort called Operation 9-2-99.  He started this effort to clean up the Tuolumne River as it flows through Modesto.  They have hosted many cleanup events, had over 2,000 volunteers show up, removed over 500 tons of garbage and material from in and around the river including 904 shopping carts and 883 tires, and built many community partnerships.  In addition, this effort they have also built a 5-mile multi-use recreation trail along the river, refurbished trail access points, established trail markers and signage, and conducted vegetation management throughout the Tuolumne River Regional Park system. Guptill is a strong advocate for removing blight from our river, creek, parks, and open spaces and promoting recreational opportunities in its place.  He is a proponent of establishing a bike park, connections to our trail systems, an on-water recreation presence, and recreation-based community events to help make Modesto a better place to live, work, and play.

Sam Harned
Sam is a landscape architect with KLA in Sonora. As a child, his father instilled a love of nature in his brothers and him, and Sam passes this along to his own young children. Sam in interested in serving TRT because he appreciates the need to preserve and protect rivers as a resource for a healthy and sustainable environment. He brings passion as well as technical and architectural expertise to the Trust.

Noah Hughes
Noah teaches earth science and geology at Modesto Junior College. As an avid kayaker, Noah brings an intimate knowledge of the Upper and Lower Tuolumne River and is excited about using his expertise as an educator to further the mission of the Trust.

Brian Korpics
Brian is an environmental attorney with the California PUC. He looks forward to leveraging his professional skills and network to serve an organization that shares his values. He has spent a lot of time climbing, backpacking, and swimming near the headwaters of the Tuolumne, and has worked with other environmental non-profits including the Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Law Institute, and Clean Coalition.

Cecily Majerus
Cecily is a former Executive Director of the Tuolumne River Trust and has served as an Advisor since 2003. Most recently, she served on the Board of Directors from January 2012-December 2017. Before moving to California, Cecily lived in Maryland and was their Governor’s Coordinator for the Chesapeake Bay and is the former Chair of the Ocean Conservancy.

Homero Mejia
Homero grew up close to the Tuolumne River and still resides within a stones throw. He has extensive experience in outreach and engagement including advocacy through his involvement and leadership on various boards including Habitat for Humanity, City Ministry Network, South Modesto Partnerhsip, and King Kennedy Neighborhood Collaborative. His goal is to make an impact on the riverside communities that rely on the River through stewardship and teaching kids, including his own, to grow up loving and protecting the river for future generations.

Jerry Meral
Dr. Gerald H. Meral is the Natural Heritage Institute’s (NHI) Director of California Water Programs. Until the end of 2013, he served as Deputy Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency. At NHI, Dr. Meral is building a suite of new projects to forge consensus solutions to some of California’s most intractable water management problems, including implementation of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, sustainable management of California’s groundwater resources, realigning public funding for delta levees, and promoting water conservation. Dr. Meral previously served as Executive Director of the Planning and Conservation League (1983-2003), Deputy Director of the California Department of Water Resources (1975-1983), Director of the Western Water Program at the Environmental Defense Fund (1971-1975).

Amy Meyer
Amy is a founding member of the Tuolumne River Trust and was vice-president of the board for several years. She has been co-chairman of People for a Golden Gate National Recreation Area since 1971, was vice-chair of the GGNRA’s federal Advisory Commission for 28 years, and was a member of the board of the Presidio Trust. She is currently a chairman of People for the Presidio. She has been an advisor to the Trust since 2002.

Jenna Olsen
Former Executive Director of Tuolumne River Trust through 2005, Jenna currently is employed as Senior Manager Government Partnerships and Third Party Contracts with Pacific Gas & Electric.

David Ragland
David is a civil engineer and land surveyor. While working at Glen Aulin in 1986, he got to know the Tuolumne, and several years later fought forest fires in the watershed. These days, he floats, fishes, and hikes along the Tuolumne every chance he gets, and looks forward to sharing the benefits of river conservation with others.

Richard Roos-Collins
Richard is an attorney and member of the Natural Heritage Institute. He also served as President and Board member of Tuolumne River Trust for 10 years.

Jon Rosenfield, Ph.D.
Jon is a senior scientist at San Francisco Baykeeper. He brings a wealth of expertise on aquatic and landscape ecology, water policy and water politics of the Bay Area and Central Valley.

Norwood Scott
Technical Advisor, Pacific Islands Office, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Board President, American Whitewater; Former Board Member, Tuolumne River Trust (7 years); U.S. Wildwater Team 1998-2003.

Ron Stork
Ron is the Senior Policy Advocate for Friends of the River. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Agriculture at the University of California at Davis in Plant Science. In his occasional spare time, Ron can be found ambling around mountain trails or floating western rivers with a hand lens and a large Flora in hand searching for rare wildflowers. Ron served on the Trust Board for 20 years before joining the advisory committee in 2002.

Iris Stewart
Iris is on the faculty of Santa Clara University, her specialty is in hydrology and water resources. The main areas of her research and teaching are the effects of climate change on water resources, sustainable water management, groundwater pollution, and the just distribution of environmental benefits and burdens. She has a lifelong passion for protecting water and ecosystems and has worked with several environmental organizations. With TRT, Iris has worked on issues that range from watershed restoration, water distribution under drought, and environmental justice, and is looking forward to continuing that work. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening, running, and camping in nature.

Patricia “Tricia” Sullivan
Tricia studied Biology both as an undergraduate at UC Davis and in graduate school at Harvard. She joined PG&E in 1980, and in 1988, joined the Environmental Affairs Department, where she manages investigation and remediation of historically contaminated sites (such as former Manufactured Gas Plant sites). Tricia’s hobbies included hiking, backpacking and/or camping, bird watching and, in general, being in nature. She is a former Trust Board member and joined the Advisory Committee in 2002.

Steve Welch

Steve joined the Advisory Board of the Tuolumne River Trust in January 2011. As a resident of the Tuolumne River watershed, he has been a strong and generous supporter of the Trust for many years. Since 1984, he has been the general manager of ARTA River Trips (a non-profit since 1963). For the past 15 years, Steve has been President of the Tuolumne River Outfitters Association.

Holly Welles, Ph.D.
Holly Welles is the Communications and Outreach Manager for the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) at Princeton University. Holly transitioned from the Trust’s Board to the Advisory Committee in 2007 when she and her family moved from the Bay Area to Princeton, New Jersey. Prior to the transition, she was an Environmental Policy Manager at Pacific Gas and Electric Company. She misses Northern California and the Tuolumne family. Holly holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Planning from UC Berkeley and a Master of Forest Science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Jennifer M. White, Ph.D.
Former  Director for Education, U.C. Berkeley Botanical Garden; former staff Science educator Lawrence Hall of Science; Former member, Advisory Committee to Yosemite Park Concession Services. Jenny is an avid fly fisherman and outdoor enthusiast.

updated March 24, 2020