Patrick Koepele has been with the Trust since July of 2000. Prior to joining the Trust, Patrick worked as a Water Resources and Restoration Planner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, acquiring deep knowledge of restoration issues and activities throughout the Central Valley. Patrick’s experience includes surveying, groundwater, river and bank erosion studies.
Patrick KoepeleExecutive Director
Marisol began with the Trust in early 2016. She brings to the Trust over 10 years of financial and administrative management for various non-profits in California. Marisol has received a bachelor’s from UCLA and her accounting certificate from UC Berkeley Extension.
Marisol O’ConnorFinance Director
Peter Drekmeier, Policy Director, joined the Trust in August 2007. Raised in Palo Alto on Hetch Hetchy water, Peter knows the Bay Area well. In 1990 he founded Bay Area Action (now Acterra), and has coordinated two international Earth Day campaigns. He has extensive experience working on land use initiatives. Peter is a whitewater rafting guide and a former mayor of Palo Alto.
Peter DrekmeierPolicy Director
Lauren began her career in development at UC Santa Barbara. She comes to TRT from the Bay Area nonprofit sector with intricate knowledge of the complex challenges California faces at the nexus of healthy ecosystems, communities, and economies. She enjoys wearing many hats within her role and is particularly fond of grant writing, building partnerships, and creating original content that keeps the community engaged in TRT’s work.
When she’s not working behind the scenes to protect the Tuolumne River Watershed, you can find her backpacking the Sierra, perusing local farmers’ markets, or busting a move on the dance floor.
Lauren BarnumDirector of Partnerships
A native of Boston, Seth comes to the Trust after a decade in Southern California. Since graduating with a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Irvine in 2007, he has been active in land-use planning in both the public and nonprofit sectors in the San Diego region. He currently lives in Sonora with his wife and children.
Seth ConnollyRestoration Manager
Shanley Mitchell is a designer, researcher, and environmental advocate. She studied Integrated Design at Parsons School of Design in New York City, and Global Studies at The New School with a focus on political ecology. Shanley has worked with organizations such as Possible Health, The North Star Fund, And The Moxy Group. She has done extensive field research in Bhutan, discovering the relationship between the country’s branding and the sustainable habits of its citizens. In her free time, you’ll find her exploring California’s mountains, rivers, and chasing waves.
Shanley MitchellDevelopment Associate
Byron Krempl is the Trust’s Headwaters Program Director and is responsible for forest health, restoration, and resilience projects within the Tuolumne Watershed. He works on increasing the pace and scale of forest health and restoration projects, protecting and conserving the Sierra Nevada. When not working for the Trust, he can be found volunteering at a camp for individuals with special needs in the county or backpacking and photographing landscapes.
Byron KremplHeadwaters Program Director
Edgar Garibay grew up in Uruapan, Michoacán, Mexico, and came to Modesto at the age of 8. As a first generation college student, he graduated from California State University, Stanislaus, with a B.S. in Psychological Sciences and a B.S. in Biological Sciences with a minor in Chemistry. Edgar has served in the community through volunteer work at various community-based organizations for over 10 years.
Edgar GaribayCommunity Relations Manager
Ana C. Talavera
Ana was born and raised in rural Modesto, California. She has served as a volunteer for the Tuolumne River Trust since 2011. She has collaborated with Latino Outdoors as a translator for their Estamos Aqui project, as well as other environmental non-profit organizations. In addition, she has volunteered for several local political and grassroots environmental campaigns. After graduating from UCSC in 2017 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in dance, she returned to Modesto to reconnect with her community. Currently, she serves as the Support Coordinator of the TRAC and Activ8 programs to foster connections between youth, their community, and the outdoors. She is also a mentor for high school seniors under the 6 Cups to College Program and a counselor at a residential facility for youth. Ultimately, she hopes to foster positive mental health with the youth that she works with.
Ana C. TalaveraSupport Coordinator
Jason Smith manages field operations for the Trust’s Headwaters Forest Restoration program. A native of the Sierra foothills, he is also a contract forester for Calaveras County’s Tree Mortality Program and works with landowners throughout the Central Sierra to help them manage their forests.
Jason SmithField Operations Manager
Jenna was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado before migrating to CSU Chico to pursue her undergrad degree. During her time in school she was introduced to the Sierra Nevada mountains and was immediately hooked by their unparalleled beauty. After completing her degree in Environmental Science she began a several year stint as a vagabond, working in Tahoe, Santa Barbara, Yosemite and Colorado. Jenna joins the Tuolumne River Trust this year and is looking forward to growing her knowledge of the Yosemite watersheds while assisting in the protection and preservation of these places that have become home.
Jenna LevySierra Region Program Specialist
Caitlyn was born and raised in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada just north of Yosemite, where she became familiar with backcountry life. This summer she worked as a kayak guide on the Monterey Bay and in the Elkhorn Slough while she completed her degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. While in college Caitlyn conducted research on predator driven selection for various Ensatina salamander color morphs and participated in many field research courses. When she wasn’t studying you could find Caitlyn rock climbing, hiking, and kayaking. She is now excited to return back home this fall with new knowledge and experiences in order to educate her community and engage in local restoration projects.