Channel Islands Chapter
Chapter Officers' Biographies

Current Chapter Officers

Andrea Adams-Morden – President, Education Committee Chair, Invasive Exotics Chair, and Hikes Coordinator

Andrea has been active with the chapter, serving first as host for Santa Barbara area programs (2005-2015) and coordinating weed eradication and habitat restoration activities at Carpinteria Salt Marsh and Carpinteria Bluffs, where you can find her nearly every weekend.   She is a botanist specializing in habitat restoration and environmental education.   Andrea is currently serving as President (2015), Education Committee Chair (2009-2015), and Invasive Exotics Committee Chair (2009-2015), and has (as of July 2011) taken on the job of Hikes Coordinator.   She coordinated the chapter's first Home Gardens tour in April 2011 featuring home landscapes using mostly California native plants.

Andrea was born in Los Angeles.   Her interest in plants and weeds came from my parents garden (all exotics), but she learned about weeding from having to work on the Dichondra lawn (it had above the ground flowers).   Andrea's parents liked to visit natural areas, and she became intrigued by ethnobotany.   Andrea studied Anthropology and Psychology at UCLA and picked up a minor in history and a secondary teaching credential at California State University at Northridge.   She later earned a K-Adult credential to teach Life Science.   Andrea has taught in the Los Angeles and Carpinteria School Districts.   She was active in some of the outings programs with the Los Angeles Sierra Club.   Andrea worked as a docent in a program called "Babes in the Woods and Babes at the Beach" associated with the William O. Douglas Outdoor Classroom in the mountains of Beverly Hills.

Andrea became a Master Gardener through the Los Angeles office of the University of California Agricultural Cooperative.   Then she and her husband moved to Carpinteria and became a docent at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.   Andrea also became the coordinator of the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Friends.   This lead to organizing a docent and weeding program in the nature park.   She further educated herself through attending classes and conferences through Cal IPC, the California Native Grasslands Association, and several other associations.   She became a docent at the Arroyo Hondo Preserve.   Andrea also serves on the board of the Carpinteria Bluffs Advisory Board, Citizens for the Carpinteria Bluffs, the Carpinteria Creek Watershed Coalition, and the Carpinteria Creek Committee.

Scott Tomkinson – Vice President

Scott joined CNPS and the Channel Islands Chapter Board of Directors at the beginning of 2015, elected to the office of Vice President.

Scott is a restoration ecologist working for the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration at UCSB.   One of his primary responsibilties at UCSB is stewardship of the iconic UCSB Lagoon.

Heather Schneider, PhD. – Secretary, Newsletter Editor

Heather joined the Channel Islands Chapter in 2014 and has taken on the position of newsletter editor, starting with Volume 23: Issue 1 in winter of 2015.   She was elected as the chapter Secretary starting in 2015.

Heather grew up in the Chicago area, but has lived in California for almost 10 years.   She discovered CNPS as a graduate student and became an active member.   Heather holds a PhD in plant biology from UC Riverside, where she studied the effects of invasive plants and anthropogenic nitrogen deposition on native winter annuals in California’s deserts.   After completing her graduate degree, Heather took a job as an ecologist with the US Geological Survey.   There she continued her work with desert plants, but spent most of her time studying the Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii).   Although she enjoyed working on such charismatic creatures, Heather returned to her true passion when she took a job at UC Santa Barbara in 2013.   She is currently working as a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology studying the evolution of wild plants in response to climate change.   She is also part of a team of scientists creating the first nationwide research seed bank to study evolution of wild plants.   Her work takes her to beautiful places all over the western USA and she feels lucky to split her time between the office and her tent and to get paid for both!

In addition to research, Heather has dedicated much of her time to education and outreach.   As a graduate student, Heather co-founded the first-ever California Invasive Plant Council Student Chapter, through which she coordinated education and outreach events and worked with local weed management areas.   She is currently mentoring over 20 undergraduates at UC Santa Barbara and taught a 5-week botany course for high school students on weekends.   She is also an active member of the outreach committee for Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) at UC Santa Barbara.

Heather earned her PhD at UC Riverside in Ivasive Plant Ecology.   Her dissertation title is "From Seed Banks to Communities: Effects of Plant Invasions and Nitrogen Deposition on Desert Annual Forbs".   Heather earned a B.S. in Biology from Elmhurst College.   She has worked as an ecologist with the U.S.G.S. prior to her current position at UCSB.

Stuart Bloom, MD – Treasurer

Stuart is a medical doctor with a family practice in mid-town Ventura.   He has served as the chapter treasurer since 2006, taking over from Liz Chattin.   Stuart is active in the community, including the Ventura Gem & Mineral Society and Audubon Society.   Stuart has assisted greatly with chapter events, such as the two Landscape Symposia, plant sales, and Patagonia's Salmon Run.

David L. Magney – Conservation Chair/Webmaster/Rare Plants

David has been a member of the Channel Islands Chapter since he first joined CNPS back in the late-1970s, serving the chapter as its Conservation Committee Chairman since 1987 (1987-1989, 1999-2003, 2013-2015).   He has also been active at the state level, representing the chapter starting in 1986, serving as Director-at-Large in 1989, CNPS President from 1991 to 1995, Vice-President for Legislation, and Vice-President for Conservation, and then serving as a Member of the Board of Directors (under the new state organization) from 2002 through 2007.   He was elected as Chairman of the Chapter Council for 2011, and re-elected for 2012, again for 2013, and again for 2014.   Mr. Magney began serving as the Channel Islands chapter President in early 2004 (2004-2015), and edited the chapter newsletter, Matilija Copy, as the interim editor for 5 years (2003-2008).   David has served on the chapter board as Legislation Chair (1995-2003), Vegetation Mapping and Monitoring Chair (2003-2005), and served on the Invasive Exotics Committee (2005).   He is also currently serving as the Rare Plants Coordinator (2005-2015) and Webmaster (2005-2015).   Mr. Magney was honored with CNPS Fellowship in December 2013, nominated by the Channel Islands Chapter.

David is a biologist/botanist and physical geographer with a thorough knowledge of the flora of California.   He has over 30 years of field experience in biological studies.   He earned a B.A. in Geography and Environmental Studies (emphasis in botany) in 1985 from the University of California, Santa Barbara.   David also holds an A.S. degree in Landscape Horticulture and a Certificate of Completion in Natural Resources (1975) from Ventura College, Ventura, California.   David is a Certified Arborist by the International Society for Arboriculture.   He has taught courses or given presentations on wetland impacts and mitigation, CEQA, Clean Water Act permitting, water quality, wetland delineation methodology, wetland plant identification, and how to identify plant families.   David Magney has authored two floras in California, many plant checklists (mostly for places in Ventura County), the checklist of Ventura County rare plants, and presented numerous papers on vegetation and water quality.   He is completing the manuscript for the Flora of Ventura County, for which research began in the late 1970s.   David published the very first complete checklist of vascular plants of Ventura County in 2011 and maintains a website dedicated to the flora of Ventura County.   He has also developed an published online checklists of bryophytes and lichens known to occur in Ventura County.   David was born in British Columbia, Canada, and grew up as a child on Hollywood Beach and Silver Strand, Ventura County, settling in Ojai in the 70s.   Besides living and working in Ojai, he shares a house with his wife, Jamie, in Grass Valley, California, where he is the Conservation Committee Chairman for the Redbud Chapter.

David Magney has worked on and managed a large variety of projects throughout the Pacific southwest.   These projects include: biological resource inventories, vegetation mapping and classification, wetland delineations and restoration, rare plant surveys and ecological studies, fisheries habitat assessment and mitigation design, fisheries monitoring, small mammal trapping and surveys, biological impact analysis and mitigation, and construction and mitigation monitoring.   He has managed and worked on a variety of projects, including energy, residential, commercial, flood control, and landfill projects.   David has also worked on mining, electrical, transmission/pipeline, communication corridor, transportation, restoration, and dam developments, and siting of trails for off-highway vehicles.   He formed his own company, David Magney Environmental Consulting (DMEC), in 1997 after spending 2 years with Fugro West, 6 years with Jones & Stokes Associates, and 3 years with Dames & Moore.   He has also taught science and photography at two private schools, and worked for the US Forest Service on the Los Padres National Forest performing rare plant surveys, and at the Herbarium at UCSB.

Patt Wilson McDaniel – Horticulture Chair and Member-at-Large

A native Southern Californian and mostly a resident of Ventura County since 1957, she has lived in Ventura, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Santa Paula, and Ojai.   After graduating from Buena High School in Ventura, she attended San Francisco State University where she majored in Botany and enjoyed the rich arts curriculum and the cultural scene of the San Francisco area.   Upon moving to Oregon, she continued her botanical studies in the coastal rain forest.

Returning to Ventura, her studies in horticulture and art continued at Ventura College and she worked in horticulture and research at Conejo Recreation and Parks District, Ventura College, and Burpee’s Research and Development Greenhouses in Santa Paula.

An active volunteer for the environment, Patt has held many positions in the local chapter (Channel Islands Chapter) of the California Native Plant Society in the last 25 years, including 6 years as Chapter President (1989-1990, 1994), Past President (1991, 1992, 1995), 2 years as co-president and 1 year as Vice President (1988, 1999-2003), Member-At-Large (2005-2008), 2 years as Newsletter Editor (xxxx), acting Poster Sales Queen (1989), Plant Communities Chair (1993-1995), several stints as Conservation Chair (1990) at the chapter's last resort, a disastrous stint as secretary (2003) (please don’t ask her to take notes, she will look out the window and never rewrite them) as well as Horticulture Chair whenever allowed (1991-2005, 2008-2014).   She also served 4 years on the Executive Committee of the ‘old State Board’ (as Member-At-Large and Chapter Support VP) and 4 years on the new State Board of Directors.   She also served on citizens’ water advisory committees to the City of Ventura in 1990 and 1992.   She was the CNPS representative on the first board of the Friends of the Santa Clara River and was alternate representative for that organization to the Santa Clara River Enhancement and Management Plan Steering Committee.

Although Patt has always been involved in the arts and artistic endeavors, she began working with the Grass Valley Graphics Group artists and studying painting with artist E J Gold in 2001.   Her acrylic and watercolor paintings have since been exhibited and/or sold in Los Angeles, Malibu, Long Beach, San Diego, Grass Valley, Ventura, and Ojai, and Almonester, Spain.   Heidelberg Editions International states: “Whether traveling or retreating to her cabin home, Patt merges her life-long love of art and nature with pure expression to create subtle and beautiful landscape paintings imbued with her own unique style and lighthearted, gentle spirit”.   Many of her more recent works tend to be more abstract and impressionistic.

Patt began working in the insurance field in 1986.   She began McDaniel Insurance Services in July of 1991 in Ventura and moved the business to Ojai in 1998.   Her firm specializes in obtaining insurance for arts, education, and conservation organizations throughout California as well as professional liability for environmental consultants and other professionals.   They also provide coverages for a wide range of other clients including individual and group Health and life insurance.

David Torfeh - Member-At-Large

David Torfet is serving the chapter as a Member-At-Large, starting in summer 2010.   David has been a member for many years and has been, and is, very active with the Audubon Society and is an excellent birder.   He has lead, or co-lead, local botany hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains and Conejo Valley, and Sulphur Mountain.   He has also been assisting David Magney with his Flora of Ventura County, entering voucher specimen information into a database for several thousand collections.   Mr. Torfeh routinely assists at chapter events and activities with whatever task needs doing.

Past Chapter Officers

Ruth Krasner (1915-2006)

Ruth was one of the founders of the Channel Islands Chapter back in 1977.   She served as chapter president continuously until she was deposed in 1985 by CNPS President Jon Libby for failure to hold elections and inappropriately transfering chapter funds to the Channel Islands National Park (for their native plant landscaping).   However, this should not detract from the vision and dedication Ruth had for California native plants and conserving the local flora.   Ruth was a long-time resident of Oxnard and passed away in 2006 at the age of 91.

Cynthia Leake (1916-2005)

Cynthia Leake was one of the founding members of Channel Islands Chapter.   Cynthia served on the chapter board from the beginning through 1994, serving as Vice President (1975-1984?, 1987), Treasurer (1986), Membership Chair (1986-1987), and Legislation Chair (1991-1994).   She was very active in conservation, focusing on a number of issues, including the proposed Weldon Canyon landfill near Ojai, Ormond Beach, Camarillo Regional Park, and many more issues.

Dorothy "Delee" Marshall (1918-2007)

Delee was one of the founding members of the Channel Islands Chapter.   Her landscaping of native plants at her Ventura home was a mecca for those looking for inspiration in gardening with natives.   Chapter board meetings were sometimes held at her home.   Delee was born in Paso Robles, California in January 1918 and lived most of her life in Ventura.   She passed away on 20 November 2007 at the age of 89.

Joy Ballinger (1921-2013)

Joy Ballinger served on the chapter board of directors for several years, serving as Secretary (1985-1992), Education Chair (1987), Fundraising (1989), Member-At-Large (1994-1999), Program Facilitator for Santa Barbara (1999-2000), and helped get the chapter active in Santa Barbara County, where about half the chapter members live.   Joy became a member of CNPS around 1983 after attending a chapter hike to the top of Dry Lakes Ridge.

John and Jacquie R. Broz

John Broz served on the Channel Islands Chapter board of directors for a couple of years, serving primarily as President in around 1984-85.   Records from this period are scant and additional research is required to determine the positions John and his wife, Jackie, held on the chapter board.   John took over after Ruth Krasner was removed from office by CNPS President Jon Libby.   The Broz's lived in Ventura at the time, and Jackie attended UCSB.

Sue Mills (1939-2009)

Sue Mills was on the Channel Islands Chapter board of directors for many years, serving primarily as Education Committee Chair until 2003.   Sue served on the chapter board from 1988, serving as Membership Chair (1988-1991), Secretary (1993-1995), Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Liason (1995), Education Chair (1994-1995, 1999-2003), and on the Horticulture Committee in charge of school gardens (2003).   She was very active in education, focusing on a the use of native plants in the garden and the interactions between native plants and insects (another of her passions).   She worked for the University of California Agriculture Extension, out of Ventura.

Serge Mallovsky

Serge Mallovsky served on the chapter board of directors as Legistation Committee Chairman in 1984.  

Darl Dumont

Darl Dumont served on the chapter board of directors for several years, serving as President (1985-1986), Past President (1987), Education Chair (1987-1988), Vice President (1989), Member-At-Large (1990), and helped get the chapter active in Santa Barbara County, where about half the chapter members live.   The chapter held several camping trips in the backcountry during his leadership, which are still fondly remembered by those who attended.

Rick Burgess

Rick Burgess served on the chapter board of directors for many years, serving as President (199x), Vice President (1985, 1990, 1994), Periodic Plant Watch Coordinator (1987-2008), Rare Plant Coordinator for Ventura County (1991-2005), and Director/Member-At-Large (1987-1989).   Rick is a land use planner with the City of Thousand Oaks.

Scott Olson

Scott Olson served on the chapter board of directors as Rare Plants Committee Chairman (1985-1990) and Member-At-Large (1991-1993).  

Gretchen Smeltzer-Buck

Gretchen Smeltzer-Buck served as chapter newsletter editor in 1985.  

Ron Wilkinson

Ron Wilkinson served on the chapter board of directors for several years, serving as Field Trips Coordinator (1985, 1987-1988), President (1987, 1993), Past President (1989, 1994), Poster Sales (1988-1989), and Plant Sales Coordinator (1990-1992).  

Helena Robinson

Helena Robinson served on the chapter board, in charge of Sales (1985) and Fundraising (1987-1988).  

Jean Dale

Jean Dale served on the chapter board as Publicity Chair (1985-1990), Programs Chair (1987-1991), Historian (1989), and Program Facilitator (1994).  

Bill Murphy

Bill Murphy served on the chapter board for several years, serving as head of the Demonstration Garden (1985), which was located at the corner of Seaward Avenue and Poli Street/Foothill Road in Ventura.   He also served as Treasurer (1987) and Member-At-Large (1988-1990).   Bill was a professional landscaper, working for a local landscape contractor.

Irene Wilkinson

Irene (Rene) Wilkinson served on the chapter board for several years, serving as Hospitality Chair (1985-1993), Treasurer (1988), Fundraising (1990-1993), and Vice President (1991-1993).  

Greg Donovan

Greg Donovan served on the chapter board as Rare Plant Coordintor for Santa Barbara County (1988-1994) and Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Liason (1993-1994).  

Sheila Johnson

Sheila Johnson served as chapter Newsletter Editor (1988-1989).  

Jackie Bowland

Jackie Bowland served as chapter Publicity Chair for major events only (1989-1999), Education Chair (1991-1993), Membership Chair (1992-1995), Newsletter Publisher (1992-1993), and Invasive Exotics Chair (1995-1999).  

Trisha Munro[-Burgess]

Trisha Munro(-Burgess) served on the chapter board as Field Trips Coordinator (1989-1994, 2009) and Plant Sales Coordinator (1999-2001).   Trisha was a cofounder of the Ormond Pointe Native Plant Nursery, established on City of Oxnard property on Ormond Beach, to teach school children about native plants and habitat restoration, in a hands-on manner.   She often helped out at the chapter's native plant sales.

Jerry Baird

Jerry Baird served as chapter Treasurer (1990-1995).   We usually see him recently on chapter field trips and programs in Ventura.

Nancy Dale

Nancy Dale served on the chapter board as Newsletter Editor (1990-1991).   Her most significant contribution to education and CNPS was the publication of her book, "Flowering Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains".   Nancy was a CNPS Fellow and also served the Santa Monica Mountains/Los Angeles Chapter of CNPS.

Connie Rutherford

Connie Rutherford served on the chapter board as President (1991-1992), Past President (1993), Conservation Chair (1991-1994), Vice President (1994-1995, 1999), Newsletter Editor (1992-1994), Secretary (1999), Publicity Coordinator (2001-2005).   Connie is a Botanist with the Ventura Field Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.   Prior to that she was a botanist with the Bureau of Land Management.

Kacy Stafford

Kacy Stafford served the chapter as Newsletter Publisher (1991) and Poster Sales Queen (1992).  

Tom Keeney

Tom Keeney served on the chapter board as Programs Chair (1992-1995, 1999-2000), President (1995-1999), and Plant Communities Chair (1999).   Tom worked for the Navy at Pt. Mugu for many years at the base's biologist.   He now works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers out of Los Angeles.

Kirk Waln

Kirk Waln served the chapter as Plant Sales Coordinator (1994-1995, 2003) and Member-At-Large (2001-2003), Sales [books, T-shirts, etc.] Coordinator (2003), Invasive Exotics Chair (2003).   Kirk has assisted with the plant sales every year through 2009.

Irene Isgur

Irene Isgur served as chapter Poster Sales Queen (1993-1995).   .

John Conlan

John Conlan served as chapter Newsletter Editor (1995).

Annette Morris (1925-1995)

Annette Morris served the chapter as Program Facilitator (1995).

Cathy Rose

Cathy Rose served the chapter as Field Trips Coordinator (1995-2001).

Kate Symonds

Kate Symonds served the chapter as Treasurer (1999).   Kate is the one who rediscovered the Ventura Marsh Milkvetch at the North Shore development site.

Steve Junak

Steve Junak served the chapter as Rare Plant Coordinator for Santa Barbara County (1999-2005).   Steve has studied the flora of the Channel Islands for decades and periodically leads field trips to the islands, and give programs about them, for the chapter.   He is the lead author of "A Flora of Santa Cruz Island".

Brett McDougall

Brett McDougal served the chapter as Membership Coordinator (1999-2001).

Rita DePuydt

Rita DePuydt served the chapter as Newsletter Editor (1999-2001), Programs Facilitator for Ventura (1999), Member-At-Large (2001), Membership Coordinator (2003-2007).

Daphne Hallas

Daphne Hallas served the chapter as Poster Sales Queen (1999-2000).

Ronnie Glick

Ronnie Glick served the chapter as Plant Communities Chair (1999-2001).

Denise Steurer

Denise Steurer served the chapter as Invasive Exotics Chair (1999-2000).   Denise is now retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and lives in Ojai.

Connie Taft

Connie Taft served the chapter as Program Facilitator for Ventura (1999-2001).

Christy Miller

Christy Miller served the chapter as Publicity Chair (1999-2000).

Tom Kaufman

Tom Kaufman served the chapter as a Member-At-Large (1999-2001).

Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas served the chapter as a Member-At-Large (1999-2000).   He is retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and now lives in the Victorville area, and serves as President of the Mojave Chapter of CNPS.

Dirk Rodriguez

Dirk Rodriguez served the chapter as Treasurer (2001-2003).   Dirk works for the Channel Islands National Park, focusing on habitat restoration, and it usually on one of the islands.

Scott Brown

Scott Brown served the chapter as Member-At-Large (2003-2009) and Poster Sales King (2003-2009).

Cher Batchelor

Cher joined the Channel Islands Chapter Board of Directors in early 2004, and has served as Secretary (2005-2010) and Annual Meeting/Dinner Coordinator (2005-2008).   She has provided fabulous wildflower artwork for publicity of chapter events.

Ms. Batchelor was born in Thousand Oaks, California, where she grew up.   Cher earned a B.S. in Ecology and Systematic Biology (emphasis in Ecology), California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (1995).

Cher was a botanist/ecologist/project manager with Rincon Consultants, specializing in ecological studies of natural and disturbed ecosystems, gathering floristic and ecological data, and performing statistical data collection and design for analysis; however, she is now an expatriat living in Fort St. John in British Columbia, Canada (way inland near the border with Alberta) as a manager for a Canadian environmental consulting firm, Golder Associates. Ltd.   She has over ten years of field experience in biological studies and has a working knowledge of the California flora and fauna, and is now learning the flora of British Columbia.   Cher has conducted field surveys for botanical resources, including special-status species throughout Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles Counties.   Previously she worked for David Magney Environmental Consulting from 1998 to 2007.

She has performed biological surveys, special-status species surveys, and upland vegetation mapping and classification for the entire Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, the Unocal property on east Sulphur Mountain in Ventura County, the Ventura River from the mouth to the Matilija Dam (Ventura County), and the Bridle Ridge development site in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains (Santa Barbara County).   She has prepared biological assessments with detailed descriptions of all plant associations observed, following protocols developed by CNPS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Cher also excels as an event planner, for which the Channel Islands Chapter has benefited; she did most of the detailed planning for the chapter’s Annual Dinners in September 2004 and 2005.   She is also talented as a botanical illustrator, and drew the botanical illustrations for programs/invitations for the last two (2004 and 2005) chapter Annual Dinners, and the 2010 Native Landscape Symposium, for which she also coordinated the snacks and refreshments table.

Ken Niessen

Ken joined the chapter board in 2003 with interests in natural vegetation and invasive exotics, serving as Vegetation Program Chair (2003-2008) and also handled book sales (2005-2008), Member-At-Large (2008), and Invasive Exotics Chair (2005-2008).

He is a botanist specializing in vegetation mapping/inventorying and California floristics.   Ken has lead several hikes for the chapter.   Ken is a PhD candidate in Biology at UCLA with his dissertation on “Patterns of Asexual Reproduction in Mexican Sonoran Desert Cholla Cacti (Cylindropuntia)”.   He earned a M.A. in Botany for UC at Berkeley and a B.S. in Biology from UCLA.   He has conducted floristic field surveys in the Mojave Desert (Fort Irwin), rare plant surveys through the Mojave Desert associated with the Wy-Cal gas pipeline, and vegetation surveys and mapping in southern California, including in the Los Angeles basin, Ventura County, and Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara Islands.   Ken has also worked as a naturalist in the Peruvian Amazon, and as a Teaching Fellow and Assistant at UCLA and UC Berkeley, and as a Horticulturalist at the UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden.   He has authored or coauthored three botanical papers.

Ken lives in Meiners Oaks, Ojai Valley, with his wife and daughter.   He works hard at eradicating invasive exotics from natural areas, including on the Channel Islands and in the Los Padres National Forest.   Ken worked part-time at DMEC, volunteers for the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, and has worked and volunteered for the Ojai District of the Los Padres National Forest.

Chris Bysshe

Chris Bysshe served the chapter as Member-At-Large (2003-2005) and as a member of the Horticulture Committee (2005-2008).   Chris operates his own business as a landscape designer, mostly in western Los Angeles County.

Cathy Schwemm

Cathy Schwemm served the chapter as its web designer and first Webmaster (2003).   Cathy has worked for the Channel Islands National Park and now teaches at California State University, Channel Islands.   She is an expert in GIS.

Barbara Farnsworth

Barbara Farnsworth served the chapter as Santa Barbara Programs Facilitator (2003).


Elizabeth served the chapter as Treasurer (2005-2007) and on the Vegetation Mapping and Monitoring Committee (2005-2008).

Teri Reynolds

Teri Reynolds served the chapter as its second Webmaster (2005-2007) and trained David Magney in basic HTML.   She is an expert with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and work for David Magney Environmental Consulting for a couple of years before joining SAIC in Santa Barbara.

Marlane Malarkey

Marlane Malarkey served the chapter as Treasurer for 2007-2008.   She worked as a bookkeeper for several entities in the area, including David Magney Environmental Consulting for a few years.

Heidi Mauer

Heidi Mauer served the chapter as Publicity Chair (2006-2007).

William Abbott

William Abbott served the chapter as Newsletter Editor (2009) and Hikes coordinator (2009).   He assisted with many chapter functions and events, including the 2010 Native Plant Landscape Symposium.   William moved to New Hampshire where he manages a land conservancy.

Sally Hoover

Sally Hoover served the chapter as Publicity Chair (2008-2009) until she moved to Virginia.

Janet Takara - Volunteer Coordinator

Janet Takara served the chapter as as Poster Sales Queen (1990-1991), Member-At-Large (1991-1993), then returned to the board as Volunteer Coordinator starting in late 2010 through 2012.   Janet’s first encounter with CNPS was on a hike in the local mountains where she was impressed by the gentle way that the leader knelt down and softly parted the grasses to reveal the most amazing chocolate lilies (Fritillaria bicolor).   It was many years ago and on many more such CNPS hikes that Janet learned to identify native plants.

The idea of ecological restoration was revealed by another CNPS mentor, Doris Hoover.   Accompanying Doris into a canyon on the Malibu coastline, Janet pulled weeds as Doris chatted about how the removal of invasive non-native plants allowed the natives to emerge.   This empowering suggestion that humans may in fact positively affect the planet, lead Janet to work for thirteen years with the Santa Catalina Island Conservancy to develop a native plant nursery on the island.

Patt McDaniel was another of Janet’s CNPS heroines.   Early on in her island career, she learned from Patt that in their first year, shooting star seedlings develop only cotyledons which then promptly wither and die - not to emerge again with true leaves until a year later.   Thus, only that first flat of Dodecatheon seedlings were ever thrown out in dismay.

Working on Santa Catalina Island was a splendid opportunity to learn about wild land seed collecting and how to value plants from an ecological perspective.   Janet learned that some of the usual techniques from her Ornamental Horticulture studies at Cal Poly do not hold in restoration work.   Her last job however as nursery manager at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSA), re-awakened her anthropocentric horticultural love of beautiful, garden-adapted plants.

Recently returned to the Ventura County coast, Janet is pleased to be volunteering as the chapter’s Volunteer Coordinator.   In her previous non-profit nursery roles, she planned for and worked with many volunteers.   She believes strongly in the value of each individual and enjoys connecting people and getting them involved.   An organizer by nature, she stepped in to help pull together the 2011 Native Plant Landscape Symposium (Thank you, Janet!), while coordinating the chapter’s Plant Sales reminds her of the excitement (and exhaustion) of the annual plant sales at RSABG.

Janet believes that wild places are necessary for the Soul and seeks time in nature to rejuvenate and become whole again.   While working at the RSA, she co-lead monthly Walking Meditations in Nature and in 2009, she experienced her first solo retreat through Sacred Passages with the Way of Nature Fellowship.

Carol Haverty – Publicity/Public Relations

Carol serveed as the chapter's key communications contact, handling publicity and public relations (2011-2012).   She is a Master Gardener living in Camarillo and is involved in a number of local organizations.   Carol is interested in and working with Sustainable Landscape design, and have given talks on the subject.   She is a founding member of the Better Investing Channel Islands Chapter, which was founded in 1996.

Nancy Eldblom – Hike Leader & Publicity Bellringer

Nancy has served the Channel Islands Chapter by making sure that the chapter events are publicized (2008-2012) by taking the lead in publishing and mailing the event notice postcards.   She also lead botany walks along Shelf Road/Valley View Trail in Ojai regularly in the spring, always finding more species everywhere she hikes.   Nancy co-authored and published in 2010 the Plants of St. Lawrence County, NY, along with Anne M. Johnson.   Nancy now lives in Washington state near family members.   We miss her.

Richard Bradley – Ventura Program Facilitator

Richard served as the chapter's Ventura Program host and facilitator (2003-2012).   He worked for the City of San Buenaventura until 2012 (now "retired") and has been an outdoor enthusiast for many years, and is keen on restoring the San Jon coastal lagoon in Ventura.

David M. Brown – Member-at-Large and BioDiversity Hotspot Coordinator

David joined the Channel Islands Chapter in 2009 and has taken on several positions, including Member-at-Large (2009-2014) and has served as Conservation Committee Chairman and co-editor of the newsletter.   He worked for the Ventura County Planning Division through a grant to assist the Counth update its Local Coastal Plan, and to update the County's List of Species of Local Concern in 2012.   David previously worked, and currently works at David Magney Environmetal Consulting, and is very active with Giraffe conservation when not working for the County and on CNPS projects.

David drafted two newsletters but has now "retired" from that task to devote more time and energy on writing articles on the importance of native plants and biodiversity.   He is on the International Giraffe Working Group (IUCN Giraffe Specialist Sub-Group), and spent early July 2011 in Namibia at a Giraffe conservation meeting.

David earned a B.S. degree in Zoology from University of California, Davis in 1993, and a Master of Science degree in Ecology in 1997 also from UCD, and nearly completed a PhD program.

Lynne W. Kada – Vice President

Lynne joined CNPS and the Channel Islands Chapter Board of Directors in the mid-1990s.   She has served as the chapter President for several years (1999-2004), Vice President (2005-2015), served on the state CNPS Board of Directors until 2006 and completed a stint as the CNPS Chapter Council Chairperson in 2005.   She has also served as the chapter's Programs Chair (2003-2008), Member-At-Large (1998-1999), and coordinated the biannual native plant sale (2005-2009).

Lynne served as a member of the Ventura County Grand Jury (late 2005).   She has worked part-time periodically as a Senior Planner with DMEC, specializing in land use planning and impact assessments, particularly involving CEQA compliance.   She retired in 2001 from the Ventura County Planning Division after over 22 years there, working on every aspect of environmental review for the County, including commercial, solid waste, agriculture, mobile home parks, oil and gas developments, and as a LAFCO staff analyst.   She also has worked extensively writing (and winning) grant applications.   Lynne served as grant manager for the several large grants received by the County.   She has extensive experience making presentations to city councils and boards of supervisors.

Lynne earned a B.S. in Chemistry from San Diego State University with minors in mathematics, biology, and physical science, and an M.A. in Environmental Planning from California State University at Northridge.   She holds a general secondary life teaching credential from California, teaching chemistry, biology, physics, general math, physical and earth science, and algebra.   Lynne is working on completing a certificate for GIS from Ventura College, and has completed training in ESRI’s ArcView software.

Special thanks to Carlin Moyer for the beautiful illustrations on our site.

Last updated: 15 October 2015
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