Exciting News! The National Park Service awarded Sierra Institute the Wes Henry Excellence in Wilderness Stewardship Award, in the “External Partner” category, for our Wilderness Fuels Module Crew's work in Lassen Volcanic National Park. Check out the Video Here.


Our Talented Team


Financial Manager & Youth Recreation Coordinator

For the past 30 years, Amy has led outdoor education and leadership training trips throughout the U.S., including the Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevada, Southwest, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska. At the Sierra Institute, she co-coordinates the summer P-CREW internship program and was instrumental in the development of the Greenville Outdoor Adventure Learning and Friday Night for Teens programs. In addition to the diverse experience in outdoor leadership programming Amy brings to our youth programs, she has also served as the financial manager for the organization since 1998. In her spare time, you can find Amy hiking with her dogs, working diligently in her garden, and serving as the community mom to the youth of Indian Valley.

Contact Information: (530) 284-1022 x 1003; Email: ahafsrud@sierrainstitute.us

Amy Stephens


P-CREW Assistant Coordinator

Amy joined the Sierra Institute for the 2019 P-CREW season as the Assistant Coordinator. She graduated from Northern Michigan University with degrees in Environmental Studies, Sustainability, and Spanish. Amy served three summers working on trails and performing data collection in the Kootenai National Forest in Montana, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, and the Ottawa National Forest in Michigan, which imparted to her a comprehensive and dynamic background in conservation and land management. In her free time, Amy enjoys mountain biking, hiking, painting, and exploring her new home in Indian Valley.

Contact Information: (530) 284-1022 x 1002; Email: astephens@sierrainstitute.us



P-CREW Manager

Ashley manages Plumas Conservation Restoration and Education in Watersheds (P-CREW), bringing rural and urban youth together to perform landscape restoration projects in the northern Sierra. She has a B.S. in Agronomy (Soil Science and Environmental Quality) and a minor in Geology from Iowa State University. She came to California in 2011 to join a conservation corps and immediately fell in love with the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the corps life. She’s thrilled to be in a position that helps youth from a variety of backgrounds have a positive experience living and working in the mountains while connecting with nature. Ashley is also an Indian Valley Parks and Recreation District Board member locally and helps coach the local 5th/6th grade soccer team.

Contact Information: (530) 284-1022 x 1008; Email: abomar@sierrainstitute.us



Stewardship Project Coordinator

Danielle began working for the Sierra Institute in 2019 as the Stewardship Project Coordinator and is involved in both the collaborative forest stewardship and wood utilization initiatives. Prior to this, she served as the Sierra Institutes' Collaborative Landscape Stewardship Apprentice. She recieved a B.S. in Biology from CSU Bakersfield and an M.S. in Environmental Policy and Management from UC Davis. Born and raised in the southern San Joaquin Valley, she spent her free time in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks where she revered the studies of John Muir and developed a passion for the outdoors. Throughout her time working within private, public, and NGOs sectors, Danielle has acquired a range of experiences and has come to recognize the importance of interdisciplinary communication in the implementation and effectiveness of environmental stewardship. As an advocate for the conservation of natural resources, she is interested in the application of environmental science to real-world environmental policy and management issues. When Danielle is not working you will likely find her partaking in the many adventures the Sierras have to offer.

Contact Information: (530) 284-1022 x 1018; Email: dberry@sierrainstitute.us



Watershed Coordinator

Dov began working for the Sierra Institute as the Watershed Coordinator and works to support and broaden the network of collaborative groups committed to forest and watershed management and rural development in the Sierra Nevada. He arrives with diverse experience in collaborative processes and community engagement that includes researching watershed governance issues with the Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy and serving as a coastal resource management Peace Corps volunteer for three years in the Philippines. Dov earned a MS in Environmental Justice and a graduate certificate in Natural Resources Conflict Resolution from the University of Montana. When he’s out of the office, Dov enjoys photography, creative writing, and trail running.

Contact Information: (530) 284-1022 x 1017; Email: dweinman@sierrainstitute.us



Rural Community Development Project Specialist

Hilary works in the Rural Community Development program at Sierra Institute, conducting socioeconomic monitoring to assess forest collaborative impacts on local communities and supporting the development of small-scale biomass utilization facilities across the Sierras. She earned her BS in Development Sociology with a minor in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences in 2018 from Cornell University, where she developed an interest in sustainable natural resource management and environmental justice. Her work at the Sierra Institute has taken her to many different rural communities in California, and she loves getting to know the communities and the people advancing important forest restoration work across the state. Outside of the office, Hilary enjoys hiking, baking, and teaching ballet at the local dance studio.

Contact Information: (530) 284-1022 x 1007; Email: hsanders@sierrainstitute.us

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Executive Director

Jonathan founded the Sierra Institute in 1993 and has directed the organization ever since. He received a Ph.D. in Natural Resource Sociology and Policy from U.C. Berkeley, where he was an instructor before launching Sierra Institute. His dissertation focused on how rural northern Sierra communities changed following the departure of their wood products anchor businesses. This work, at the intersection of community and forest and watershed health formed the basis for the Sierra Institute’s mission and approach. He also holds a Masters in Forest Science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Jonathan lives in Indian Valley with his wife, Amy, and two dogs, Dobby and Sadie. In the rare occasion that he’s not working to promote rural well-being or advance opportunities for his organization, you can find him hiking around the valley or coaching the varsity boys basketball team at Greenville High School.

Contact Information: (530) 284-1022 x 1001; Email: jkusel@sierrainstitute.us

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GrizzlyCorps Rural Climate Fellow

Kevin began working with the Sierra Institute in the summer of 2019 as a seasonal leader for their P-CREW program. He came with a background of working with youth and young adults in outdoor and educational settings as an English teacher abroad, a substitute teacher in his hometown of Palmdale, California and as an outdoor leader in college as well as two seasons with a non-profit out of Bodega, California. After a successful second season with P-CREW, Kevin acquired a full-time AmeriCorps position where he now works to help the Sierra Institute build their capacity to support and develop natural resource programming for the surrounding communities. Kevin holds a B.A. in Psychology from UC Santa Cruz and enjoys spending his free time in the outdoors and developing new skills or sharpening old ones that range from language study to sewing and keeping fresh and saltwater aquariums.

Contact Information: Email: kprice@sierrainstitute.us



Financial Assistance

Kristie joined the Sierra Institute in October 2019 to assist our Financial Manager Amy Hafsrud. Kristie grew up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in our neighboring town of Quincy, CA. She spent 10 years in upstate New York, in the Adirondack Mountains but returned to the area in 2010. Kristie has a variety of work experience in Billing, State and Federal Program Case Management and Human Services. When not at work she enjoys spending time with her boys and enjoying the abundant outdoor activities provided in Plumas County, including kayaking on the local lakes and rivers.

Contact Information: (530) 284-1022 x 1005; Email: kdailey@sierrainstitute.us



Collaborative Forestry Program Manager

At Sierra Institute, Kyle manages our work with a growing network of collaborative groups working on forest management issues across California, and rural development efforts focused on rebuilding capacity in forest communities across California. Kyle brings a diverse background to this work that includes surveying hemlock trees and monitoring bog turtles on the Blue Ridge Parkway, studying human dimensions of endangered species conservation planning across the Southeast, and prior work at the Sierra Institute on a range of projects from watershed coordination to youth programming. When he isn’t at the office, you might find him coaching youth soccer or hiking with his wife and dog. Kyle holds a BS in Conservation Biology from Clemson University and a MS in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from the University of Tennessee.

Contact Information: (530) 284-1022 x 1013; Email: krodgers@sierrainstitute.us



Director of Development

Moorea began her non-profit career at age nine stuffing envelopes after school at a nearby university office of advancement.   A frequent volunteer at UC California's Scripps Institution of Oceanography during high-school, she has always had a passion for maintaining the well-being of Earth's environment.  While completing her BA at Scripps College, she worked in the development and alumni office, taught literature and composition to disadvantaged high-school students, and during her Junior year abroad in France, volunteered at an elder care community.   While living in San Clemente, Moorea worked in the development office at Casa Romantica, a community cultural center and children’s education garden.  In 2002 she founded a business in kitchen design before moving to Indian Valley, in 2015.  Moorea is excited to pursue her passion for holistic approaches to community, economic, and environmental health by joining the team at the Sierra Institute.

Contact Information: (530) 284-1022 x 1004; Email: mstout@sierrainstitute.us



Office Administrator and Communications Specialist

Nina joined the Sierra Institute in the fall of 2019 as the Office Administrator and Communications Specialist. She graduated with a Bachelors of Science in International Agricultural Development with an emphasis in community development and digital media. Additionally, she has a certificate in Outdoor Recreation and Leadership. Her varied experience working in marketing and media, program planning, and the outdoor industry gives her a well balanced approach to supporting the goals of Sierra Institute. As a Plumas County local, Nina is happy to be working in what she believes- is one of the most beautiful valleys in the high sierra and supporting the conservation and preservation of the places she loves. When she’s not in the office you will find her on the river, cruising the valley on a bike, or obsessing over her cat Juniper.

Contact Information: (530) 284-1022 x 1009; Email: nmartynn@sierrainstitute.us



Forest Biomass Utilization & Climate Change Program Coordinator

Sam joined the Sierra Institute in 2020 as the Forest Biomass Utilization & Climate Change Program Coordinator, working to support the development of a wood products campus in Indian Valley. She brings with her a commitment to rural community development spurred by her work promoting sustainable cashew production with the Peace Corps in Senegal. Recently, she delved into California forestry through her master’s project modeling cost-effective forest management for carbon storage, and through research on funding large-scale forest restoration with the Public Policy Institute of California. Sam holds a Master’s of Environmental Science & Management from UC Santa Barbara. Outside of the office, she likes to hike with other people’s dogs, read National Geographic, and do paddleboard yoga.

Contact Information: (530) 284-1022 x 1020; Email: ssmith@sierrainstitute.us



Resource Specialist

Sophie works with a team of NEPA specialists at Sierra Institute to plan for forest restoration projects within the South Lassen Watershed Group project boundaries. She brings experience with natural resource management and restoration through prior work for federal agencies, including the Tongass National Forest and the BLM in New Mexico, and with an environmental consulting firm performing wetland restoration and invasive cordgrass control. She has a BA from UC Davis in International Relations: Global Health & Environment and minors in Environmental Policy and Spanish. Raised in the SF Bay Area, Sophie grew up exploring the Sierra. She spent the last two winters skiing in Japan and is excited about the local recreation opportunities.

Contact Information: (530) 284-1022 x 1006; Email: scastleton@sierrainstitute.us

Zoe website


Rural Community Development Program Manager

Zoe joined the Sierra Institute in the Spring of 2020 as the Rural Community Development Program Manager. At the Sierra Institute, she works to improve rural water systems, secure rural forestry jobs, and support rural health and well-being. Zoe earned a BA in Political Science at UC Santa Barbara and an MS in Community Health at MSU Bozeman where she investigated the effect of climate change on food systems and women’s health in fishing communities in Arctic Greenland. She is
currently working toward a Ph.D. in Community Health from the OHSU/PSU School of Public Health. Her research has focused on social and environmental drivers of health inequities. This includes research on housing instability, food security, and air quality. Zoe grew up in the southern Cascades and enjoys skiing, mountain biking, rafting, and kayaking throughout the Cascades and the Sierras.

Contact Information: (530) 284-1022 x 1011; Email: zwatson@sierrainstitute.us

Board of Directors


Logan McCoy


Consultant, Environmental Resources Management (ERM)

Washington, DC


Gerry Gray

Vice President

Forest Policy Consultant for the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, & State Lands

Salt Lake City, UT


John Nickerson


Climate Action Reserve

Ukiah, California


Martha Davis


Executive Manager for Policy Development, Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA)

Nicasio, CA


Robert Doty

Board Member

Partner at Cox, Castle & Nicholson, LLP

San Fransisco, CA

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Sheri Elliott

Board Member

Retired Budget Director for the US Forest Service, Washington Office.

Nevada City, CA


Ken Roby

Board Member

Hydrologist-Aquatic Ecologist

Greenville, CA


Suzanne Plopper

Board Member

Public Health

Almanor Basin, CA


Terry Collins

Board Member

Collins Pine Company

Chester, CA


Beth Rose Middleton

Board Member

Associate Professor, University of California, Davis

Davis, CA


Zaheer Tajani

Board Member

Associate at Beverage & Diamond

Washington, D.C.


Jonathan Kusel

Board Member

Executive Director

Taylorsville, CA