Staff


Juliana Juliana Gonzales
Executive Director

Before joining The Watershed Project, Juliana was the Watershed Coordinator for SPAWNERS. She holds a PhD in Geography from Kings College, London, England and an MS in Environmental Sciences from the State University of New York. A native of Colombia, Juliana worked on watershed planning and policy development for the Andes of Southwestern Colombia. She is a founding Board member of Groundwork Richmond. Juliana lives with her husband and her two children in the Baxter Creek Watershed.

Martha Martha Berthelsen
Public Programs Manager

Martha has over 20 years of experience teaching environmental education and leading community engagement projects. In addition to working at The Watershed Project , she teaches Environmental Studies classes at Merritt College in Oakland, including creek restoration and wildlife gardening. Previously she was a naturalist at the Shorebird Nature Center in Berkeley, where she led field trips for school classes related to the ecology of the San Francisco Bay Estuary. Martha has a degree in Wildlife Conservation from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master's degree in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology from San Francisco State University. She serves on the steering committee of SPAWNERS, her local watershed group, and is a longtime resident of the San Pablo Creek Watershed.

Helen Helen Fitanides
Living Shorelines Manager

Helen manages the Living Shorelines Program for The Watershed Project, and is also the Watershed Coordinator for SPAWNERS. Helen grew up on the Central Coast of California and studied marine biology at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She went on to manage a research lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she investigated the impacts of nanomaterials on aquatic food webs. While the work was fascinating, what she really wanted to do was get outside and work with nonprofits. She moved to the Bay Area in 2013 to achieve that goal, and has since worked with San Francisco Baykeeper, Friends of Five Creeks, and Friends of Sausal Creek, as well as The Watershed Project and SPAWNERS. Helen lives in the Strawberry Creek watershed.

Nikki Nikki Muench
Educator, Climate Corps AmeriCorps

Nikki is a Climate Corps AmeriCorps Fellow with The Watershed Project, supporting the education department with curriculum and evaluation development and teaching. Nikki earned her B.A. in environmental studies, biology and earth sciences from UC Santa Cruz and her M.S. in environmental education and program evaluation from University of Michigan School of Natural Resources. A Bay Area local, she enjoys hiking in the Marin Headlands among redwoods and jumping into the ocean the most. Nikki lives in the Codornices Creek watershed.

Michelle Michelle Ochoa
Bookkeeper

Michelle joined The Watershed Project in March of 2015 as a part-time Bookkeeper. She has been managing the books and overseeing human resources for another environmental non-profit, Black Rock Solar, since 2011. Originally a Bay Area native, Michelle's career began at the young age of 16 when her first job was working as a bank teller. After graduating from U.C.S.B. with a B.A. in Latin American & Iberian Studies, she dabbled in everything from sales to high-tech public relations to box office management. She is happy to now be honing her bookkeeping skills to support non-profits doing great things in the world.

Liza Phaela Peck
Education Manager

Phaela is a science and environmental educator and curriculum developer with many years of experience working in the San Francisco Bay Area. Most recently, Phaela developed science curriculum with UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science. She has a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Reed College and a Masters in Environmental Education from Prescott College. Phaela is thrilled to be engaging students in exploration, appreciation and understanding of their local watersheds. She enjoys camping, kayaking, wildlife watching and traveling to new and far away places with her family. Phaela lives in the Strawberry Creek watershed.

Liza Kat Sawyer
Greening Urban Watersheds Program Manager

Kat is a rainwater catchment specialist with experience developing programs to strengthen urban stormwater infrastructure with rainwater harvesting and LID strategies for the San Francisco Unified School District, the City of San Francisco and the City of Oakland. She is inspired by activities that bring people together to enliven their communities and strives to build bridges between civic agencies and grassroots environmentalism. Kat brings these skills to The Watershed Project as a Program Manager for the Greening Urban Watersheds Initiative, implementing projects that green the city of Richmond. She holds an MA in Organic Architecture from the San Francisco Institute of Architecture.

Paula Paula White
Project Coordinator

Paula became involved with The Watershed Project through her interest in researching trash in local streams. She led the Richmond data collection effort for the Taking out the Trash Project and is currently the Project Coordinator for the Waste Matters Project, an environmental education program that involves students in hands-on actions to reduce their environmental footprint, such as composting lunch scraps and working in the school garden. Paula has an M.A. in Geography from San Francisco State University and also holds a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Chicago. She gets her kicks from playing soccer and fiddling in baroque orchestras and ensembles. She lives in the Potter Creek watershed but prefers hiking in her old 'hood, the Lion Creek watershed.

lauren Lauren Woodfill
Development and Communications Associate

Lauren is a recent University of California, Berkeley graduate with a B.S. from the College of Natural Resources, and a former The Watershed Project summer intern. She is excited to stay on with TWP and to continue making her community more sustainable. In her free time, she can be found traveling, reading, hiking, and enjoying the beauty of the SF Bay Area. Lauren lives in the Sausal Creek Watershed.

Luis Luis Martinez
Green Collar Corps

A junior in college, Luis hopes to become a marine biologist. For now, he's enjoying planting and cultivating our rain gardens and bioswales and working in our onsite native plant nursery. He loves seeing the steady progress of our projects as they grow. Luis lives in the Wildcat Creek watershed.

Brian Brian Severino
Green Collar Corps

Brian, native to El Cerrito, enjoys being in the water any chance he gets. He especially likes to swim in the ocean. A talented artist, Brian can often be found drawing. He aspires to become a professional artist one day. As part of the Green Collar Corps, he loves to see how plants can transform an entire landscape and loves being a part of this process. Brian lives in the Cerrito Creek watershed.

“We call upon the waters that rim the earth, horizon to horizon, that flow in our rivers and streams, that fall upon our gardens and fields, and ask that they teach us and show us the way.”

Chinook Indian Blessing