Advisory Board

The advisory board is comprised of leaders with a diverse range of perspectives and expertise and a shared passion for expanding access to the outdoors. We are grateful for their time, passion and commitment.

 

Cheryl N.E. Corbin

Ph.D. Candidate, UC Berkeley

Cheryl is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of California, Berkeley in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management within the Division of Society & Environment. Corbin’s research examines the relationships between society and nature within the built environment by investigating the concept of the green city within the United States. As an urban environmentalist and political ecologist her work focuses on how environmental policies and practices in cities impact low-income neighborhoods and communities of color and their access to public green spaces, urban nature. She uses media as a tool of investigation to understand how visual media represents and influences environmental thought and spatial understandings within the urban landscape.

Corbin is also a City of Oakland Parks and Recreation Advisory Commissioner (PRAC) whose main duties include researching, reporting, and making recommendations to the City Council on Park and Recreation policies. As part of the three member PRAC Park Ordinance Task Force, Corbin has been working with the Oakland community and the Parks and Recreation Department to update and create new park rules and regulations. She is also the PRAC Liaison to DeFremery Park, Mosswood Park, and Willie Keyes (Polar) recreation center. Corbin is dedicated to making sure that all urban residents have a place and space to enjoy their city’s nature.

 

Elyse Fitzsimons

UC Berkeley Student and California Outdoor Engagement Coalition Intern

Elyse is a second year at UC Berkeley with an intended major in Molecular Environmental Biology. She has volunteered at many public outreach and education events with the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, worked with the Alviso Boys and Girls Club in afterschool programs at the Don Edwards SF Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and is excited to continue encouraging members of the community to engage in the natural world with the coalition. She is president of the UC Berkeley Women’s Club Volleyball team and in her spare time enjoys hiking and reading.

 

 

 

Paola Flores

National Park Service Fellow and Program Manager, California Outdoor Engagement Coalition

Paola Flores is from the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. She believes in the importance of evolving outdoor spaces into more diverse, equitable, and inclusive areas for populations who are currently not taken into account. As Program Manager for the California Outdoor Engagement Coalition and in her current fellowship with the National Park Service serving as the Interpretation, Education, Volunteer, and Youth Fellow, Paola hopes to continue helping conduct programs whose aim is to diversify the outdoors. She has been honored by the North American Association for Environmental Education as one of North America's most notable youth, creating huge strides for the environment through education by receiving the NAAEE 30 Under 30 Award in 2016. Here, she is pictured with Secretary of Interior, Sally Jewell, who served in the administration of President Barack Obama.

 

J. Keith Gilless, Ph.D.

Dean of the College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

Gilless is the Dean of the College of Natural Resources (CNR) at UC Berkeley, and holds a joint professorial appointment in CNR’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and its Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Dean Gilless’ research program has encompassed issues in forest products trade and markets, regional economic analysis of resource-dependent communities, wildland fire protection planning, forestry decision support systems, and international development. He holds an appointment from California Governor Jerry Brown to the chair of the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, where he leads the development of general forest policy for the state and represents the state’s interest in federal forestland. He is a recipient of Berkeley’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and the co-author of two textbooks on forest resource management and economics. He has previously held visiting professor and researcher appointments at Beijing Forestry University and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. Gilless earned his B.S. in Forestry from Michigan State University and a joint Ph.D. in Forestry and Agricultural Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

 

Caryl Hart, Ph.D.

Director of Sonoma County Regional Parks

Caryl is the Director of Sonoma County Regional Parks, a system of more than fifty parks and regional trails. She was a member of the California State Parks Commission, appointed by three successive governors and serving from 2000 to 2013.  She led the Commission as chairperson for seven years, and was named an Honorary Park Ranger by the California State Park Rangers Association in 2007.   Hart co-founded the Sonoma County Parks Alliance, which supports innovative management of state parks in Sonoma County, including management of Annadel State Park by Sonoma County Regional Parks during the budget crisis of 2012-13.   She was appointed in 2013 to serve on the Parks Forward Commission evaluating the future of California State Parks.

 

Hart received her doctorate from UC Berkeley, where her focus was on the role of California State Parks in addressing the challenges of climate change, and she returned to UC Berkeley in 2010 as a Visiting Professor to teach a course on the history and challenges of the California State Park system.  She currently serves on the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources Advisory Board. Dr. Hart acted for 15 years as an advisor to the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, and was a founding member of LandPaths, an environmental land trust and land management non-profit dedicated to maximizing resource conservation while allowing managed public access.  In addition to her Ph.D. in environmental science policy and management from the College of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley, Hart received her J.D. at the University of San Francisco, and a B.A. in economics from Cornell University.

 

Daniel Lopez

UC Berkeley almnus and California Outdoor Engagement Coalition intern

Daniel is a fourth year at UC Berkeley studying Conservation and Resource Studies with a minor in CalTeach. He spent the Spring 2016 semester abroad studying at the University of Melbourne. Daniel created our first coalition video and redesigned our website. He is also working with the Berkeley Student Cooperative as the Recruitment Coordinator, helping bring affordable housing to students of color across the Bay Area. Outside of the classroom, Daniel loves photography, graphic design, and astronomy. 

 

 

Ray Murray

Partnerships Program Chief, Pacific West Region, National Park Service

As Partnerships Program Chief, Ray Murray coordinates fundraising and partnership activities and programs and tourism for 63 National Park units and recreation grants and technical assistance programs for state and local agencies in the six states and territories of the Pacific West Region of the National Park Service. He also administers the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Federal Lands-to- Parks, National Heritage Areas and the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Programs. Serves as the Partnerships and Tourism Lead for the Pacific West Region. He has provided leadership in recent years on: Connecting People to the Outdoors, Children in Nature, Healthy Parks, Urban Parks, Economic Impacts of Parks, Rivers, Trails and Greenways, Visitor Use Management, Conflict Resolution, Arts in Parks, Fund Raising, Planned Giving, Park Friends Groups, the California Roundtable on Parks, Recreation and Tourism, the California Watchable Wildlife Committee, and Pacific Coast Immigration. Board experiences include: Freight and Salvage Coffee House, San Francisco Live Arts, New Games Foundation, and American Adventure Play Association.

 

Camila Quintana del Carpio

UC Berkeley Student and California Outdoor Engagement Coalition Intern

Camila is studying Environmental Science and Forestry at UC Berkeley and will graduate in May 2018. She is leading our Membership Outreach Campaign and played a pivotal role in the organization and implementation of the Spring 2016 Climate Change Action Internship and 2016 BioBlitzes.  Camila is currently a diversity ambassador for the Society of American Foresters, attended UC Berkeley’s Forestry Camp in summer 2016 and studied abroad with the School for Field Studies in Costa Rica in summer 2015. In her free time, Camila enjoys hiking and salsa dancing.

 

 

 

Nina Roberts, Ph.D.

Professor, SFSU

Roberts is a professor in the Department of Recreation, Parks, & Tourism at San Francisco State University, former director of the Pacific Leadership Institute (serving over 10,000 youth in the Bay Area annually), and currently the director of SF State's Institute for Civic & Community Engagement. Nina came to SFSU from the National Park Service where she began her work through a graduate internship in the Intermountain Region while completing her Ph.D. at Colorado State University. She later obtained permanent status as an Education & Outreach Specialist with the Natural Resource Program Center. During this time, she completed a 3-month detail in the Director’s office and was one of the contributors to the first time ever 2005 NPS Report to Congress on Diversity Initiatives.


A Fulbright Scholar (Indo-American Environmental Leadership Program, India), Nina has also worked with the Student Conservation Association and has served in a number of advisory and consulting roles, primarily focused on race/ethnicity, culture and natural resources. She has been acknowledged for her commitment to diversity and social justice with desire to break down barriers of inequality especially relating to park access and recreation opportunities on public lands. Her work provides leaders and managers in outdoor recreation/adventure, natural resource education, and conservation with ideas and resources needed to respond more effectively to changing demographics, as well as cultural shifts and trends across the U.S.

 

Danita Rodriguez

Superintendent of Channel Coast District, California State Parks

Danita is the Superintendent for the Channel Coast District, California State Parks. She has been a State Parks employee for almost 40 years. She has worked all over the state including the greater Bay Area and along the Gaviota Coast in Santa Barbara County as well as at a number of parks throughout the state park system in the Sierra Nevada, Central Valley, Redwoods, and a reservoir. Danita graduated from Chico State University with a degree in Recreation and Parks Management and obtained her Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certificate from Butte College. Most recently, Danita has served on the State Parks Transformation Team for the last 2 years, co-chairing the Partnerships Committee. She has worked directly with underserved youth for a number of years and continues to support efforts for parks to be relevant to all communities.

Many of her favorite activities are water-related such as scuba diving, kayaking, swimming, paddleboarding, snowboarding, and of course hiking and camping. Her love for a number of outdoor activities is attributed to family camping trips and living in the small Southern California mountain community of Wrightwood located in the San Gabriel Mountains while growing up.