Melodie leads program efforts and brings together partners to help further the mission of protecting and restoring Morro Bay. She is passionate about coastal habitat restoration and conservation and brings experience from working with Sea Grant, the Santa Monica Bay National Estuary Program, and the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo.
Her responsibilities include grant writing and grant management, strategic planning, and administrative functions. Formerly the Monitoring Program Manager for the organization, she continues to provide support in monitoring planning and protocol development.
Finance & Operations Administrator
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and has completed graduate coursework in Business Management. She keeps the Estuary Program’s books, provides accounting and administrative support, keeps the office running smoothly, and lends a hand to other staff members as needed. She works in tandem with the Estuary Program’s directors and the Bay Foundation Board to meet the administrative conditions for awarded Grants and to keep the required files in order. Chrystina enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, exploring local trails and natural areas.
Restoration Program Manager
Develops and oversees watershed and estuarine restoration projects and conservation efforts. Prior to joining the Estuary Program, Carolyn was an Environmental Scientist with the San Francisco Estuary Institute supporting research of river and estuarine environments. Before that, she worked as the Restoration Director for the Klamath Basin Rangeland Trust and oversaw implementation of stream restoration projects. She has worked on a variety of aquatic ecology and water quality monitoring studies with The Nature Conservancy, National Park Service, and USGS. Carolyn received a Masters in Environmental Planning at UC Berkeley focusing on watershed science. Her research evaluated stream restoration projects to inform restoration practices and planning in Oregon’s Klamath Basin. She also holds a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Studies from Aquinas College, MI.
Jenn coordinates and supports watershed and estuarine restoration projects at the Estuary Program. Jenn received a B.A. in Environmental Analysis from Pitzer College in 2015 and a Master’s of Science in Biology from California State University, Northridge in 2020. Her thesis work focused on the effects of climate change on Oregon tidepool ecosystem functioning. She was a California Sea Grant State Fellow at the State Coastal Conservancy in 2021, where she supported their Climate Ready Program and the Central Coast Climate Collaborative. Before that, Jenn worked with AmeriCorps and NatureBridge conducting environmental education, fisheries, estuarine, and habitat restoration projects. In her free time, you can find Jenn planning elaborate trail run adventures and contemplating how everything is connected.
Ben assists in the collection and management of water quality data throughout the watershed. He graduated from Cal Poly with a B.S. in Environmental Management and Protection and a minor in Biology. He focused his studies on hydrology and fisheries science. While in school, he volunteered with local steelhead monitoring efforts and spent the summers conducting watershed monitoring work in Idaho’s Rocky Mountains. Ben spends his free time enjoying the Central Coast through fishing, surfing, hiking, and kayaking.
Monitoring Projects Manager
Makenzie coordinates ongoing monitoring in the watershed through collaboration with local partners, agencies, and volunteers. Makenzie received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Ecology with a minor in Outdoor Adventure Leadership in 2015. Since then, she has worked in a variety of ecosystems, from salmon-bearing waters on the Klamath River, to the snow-covered slopes of the Truckee-Tahoe area. Outside of work, you can usually find Makenzie on her mountain bike or going on long hikes with her dog, Josie.
Nick is responsible for coordinating sampling events conducted within the estuary and generating a variety of water quality reports. He graduated from Cal Poly with a B.S. in Marine Sciences and minored in Statistics and Environmental Studies. While at Cal Poly, he worked as a research assistant studying phytoplankton and nearshore rockfish populations. Nick has lived in SLO County for most of his life and spends much of his free time surfing the local beach breaks.
Raine is responsible for assisting in the collection of water quality data throughout the watershed this spring. They previously supported the Estuary Program’s monitoring efforts during their 2021-2022 term of service with the Watershed Stewards Program, and they have been involved in the Chorro Creek Ecological Reserve Floodplain Restoration Project in various capacities since 2019. Raine’s other experience includes environmental education, English Learner instructional support, proposal writing, and more. They love to spend their free time exploring the outdoors, connecting with community, and enjoying art in all its forms.
Community Engagement Coordinator
Riley manages the Estuary Program social media pages, coordinates our events, and oversees the education components of our program. She has Bachelors degrees in Geography and Anthropology and a GIS certificate from the University of Minnesota Duluth, and a Masters degree in Environmental Studies from Western Washington University. She has experience in outdoor education, wilderness therapy, international trip leading, higher education, and has done various fieldwork, including her graduate thesis work on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Education & Outreach Specialist
Forest was born and raised on the Central Coast, and received their Bachelor's in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from UC Santa Cruz in 2015. Since graduating, they have had a variety of jobs in the outdoors and education, most recently as a naturalist at Camp Ocean Pines in Cambria. They are looking forward to combining their passions for education and community engagement in this role!