Mission and History

All Californians Outdoors!

To expand equitable access to the outdoors for all Californians through cross-sector partnerships and collective impact. 

The California Outdoor Engagement Coalition was founded in 2015 following the Science for Parks, Parks for Science conference, a partnership between UC Berkeley, the National Park Service and National Geographic. In 2017, the Coalition became a component of the new Institute for Parks, People, and Biodiversity, when the inaugural Executive Director, Jon Jarvis, retired after 40 years at the National Park Service, including serving as its Director in the Obama Administration.

Founding Members

Thank you to the following individuals, who are the founding members of the California Outdoor Engagement Coalition and helped to shape the initial vision, mission and strategic priorities for this statewide initiative.

Most job titles reflect the positions held at the time of the founding of the Coalition.

California State Parks

  • Caryl Hart, Commissioner for California State Parks and Parks Forward; Director, Sonoma County Regional Parks (retired) 
  • Danita Rodriguez, District Superintendent, Bay Area and Channel Islands (retired) 

National Park Service

  • Sarah Allen, Ocean and Coastal Resources Program, Acting Californian Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit, Pacific West Region, National Park Service
  • Ben Becker, Research Coordinator, Point Reyes National Seashore
  • Christy Brigham, Chief of Resource Management and Science, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
  • Jesse Chakrin, Director, UC Merced Wilderness Education Center; Director, Yosemite WildLink Bridge Program
  • Kelli English, Chief of Interpretation and Education, Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site, John Muir National Historic Site, Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial, Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park
  • Sue Fritzke, Deputy Superintendent and Centennial Coordinator, Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site, John Muir National Historic Site, Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial, Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park
  • Ray Murray, Partnerships Program Chief, Pacific West Region, National Park Service
  • Kerry Olson, Chief of Interpretation, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
  • Shauna Potocky, Yosemite Education Branch Chief
  • Fernando Villalba, Natural Resource Specialist, Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site, John Muir National Historic Site, Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial, Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park

Natural Reserve System- University of California, Office of the President

  • Peggy Fiedler, Director
  • Erin Marnocha, Program Coordinator

San Francisco State University

  • Nina Roberts, Professor, Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism; Director, Pacific Leadership Institute

UC Berkeley

  • Jenny Mulholland-Beahrs, Founder and Director, California Outdoor Engagement Coalition
  • Lisa White, Assistant Director, Education and Public Programs, University of California Museum of Paleontology
  • Dan Zevin, Education Specialist, Multiverse, Space Sciences Lab

UC Merced

  • Steve Shackelton, Parks and Protected Area Management; Chancellor’s Office of Student Affairs - UC Sierra

Organizations

  • José González, Founder and Director, Latino Outdoors
  • Matt Holmes, Deputy Director, Groundwork Richmond
  • Sarah Ottley, Executive Director, Adventure Risk Challenge