A native of metro Detroit, Bryce graduated with a BSE in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan focusing on sustainable engineering principles and renewable energy. Additionally, he was a member of the Graham Sustainability Scholars Program and pursued a minor in Science, Technology and Society. He also completed the Master of Management program at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business, which mirrors the first year of an MBA. Bryce has been fortunate to study renewable energy and energy efficiency in Australia and Costa Rica, as well as conservation and resource management in Sumatra, Indonesia and the Amazon.
Bryce is really interested in how we can change our thinking about nature and the use of technology in nature. His experiences living with indigenous groups in the Amazon have led him to challenge the idea that a healthy ecosystem can only be achieved by removing humans and prohibiting any human use. But rather the importance of embracing the notion that humans can enhance or maintain biodiversity and natural resources by proper interactions that more closely mimic natural systems. As a Sierra Fellow Bryce will be working to help implement the bioenergy facility. Read Bryce’s blog posts.
Vincent Rogers: Basin-Wide Fish Assessment and Community Coordination Fellow
A native of Northern California, Vincent grew up moving between the small foothill and farm towns of the North State, exploring the outdoors when and wherever possible, doing so primarily through angling. After attending the University of California, Berkeley, where he completed a BA in Geography, Vincent worked in Northern California land conservation as a Land Steward with the Sutter Buttes Regional Land Trust. More recently, as a member in the AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards Program Vincent worked at the intersection of fisheries science, watershed education, and community service, working with the staff of the Marin Municipal Water District Fishery Program monitoring the salmon and trout populations on Lagunitas Creek in West Marin, educating area classrooms, and coordinating volunteer habitat restoration events and citizen science initiatives amidst other community outreach. Excited to be back working for conservation in the region where he grew up, as the Basin-Wide Fish Assessment Fellow Vincent will be helping to steer a basin-scale assessment of native fisheries in all of the Upper Feather River Basin in an effort to produce an informed, collaborative, landscape-level restoration strategy. In addition to holding a passion for native fisheries conservation, he is an enthusiastic scholar of many subjects, a music lover, and a self-taught guitarist of over a decade. Read Vincent’s blog posts.
Mary Sketch: Community and Forest Restoration Fellow
Mary holds a degree in Environmental Studies from Brown University. A native of North Carolina, she grew up wandering the pine forests of her area, quickly falling in love with forestry and land management. Her interest lies at the intersection of communities and resources. She fell in love with community-based conservation through a field semester in Northwestern Montana and continued to pursue this passion at Brown. As a Sierra Fellow, Mary worked with Calaveras Healthy Impact Product Solutions to help with forest restoration efforts across the region. She helped with community outreach and recovery, and worked with landowners and environmental collaboratives to create triple-bottom-line focused plans and contracts. In her free time Mary loves running, hiking, and cooking. Mary is now pursing graduate school. Read more about Mary’s Fellowship.
Robert Zellers: Bioenergy Fellow
Robert is a California native and has called the Sierra Nevada foothills his home for his entire life. He is a product of the California higher education system, beginning his academic career at Columbia College in Sonora, and then moved to Merced to study chemistry at the University of California. After earning a Bachelor of Science at UC Merced he decided to make a career change and joined the University of Nevada, Reno environmental engineering department as a graduate student. He is in the process of finishing his Masters and will graduate in Spring 2016. When he isn’t studying or working Robert likes to play guitar, act, and hike. As a Sierra Fellow Robert assisted with the planning stages of a bioenergy facility in Wilseyville, CA. This plant will utilize woody biomass harvested from overgrown forests to produce electricity, heat, and other value-added products while helping to reduce the risk of wildfires at the same time. Read Robert’s blog posts.
Courtney Gomola: Sierra Fellow
Courtney Gomola joined the Sierra Fellows Program in August 2014. An east coast native, Courtney has lived in areas throughout northern California, as well as Colorado, New York, and briefly in Montana! She recieved her Master’s degree in Ecology from Colorado State University, and has a bachelor’s in Environmental Biology from SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry.
During her Fellowship, Courtney worked with the Lake Almanor Watershed Group in facilitating their meetings and current projects. She was also active in connecting with local community members and groups to understand the challenges and concerns facing Plumas County residents in her efforts to help launch the Sierra Fellows Program and identify potential host communities and Fellowships. In addition to helping launch the Sierra Fellows Program in its inaugural year, Courtney facilitated field trips and restoration projects with the Natural Resource Academy at Greenville High School in Plumas County.