Carrie Schneider | President
Carrie Schneider is a biologist who never fails to be entertained by the unique and fascinating qualities of San Diego's natural habitats. She grew up in the verdant countryside of the Hoosier state then moved to the east coast, where she earned a Ph.D from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is now a scientist at a San Diego biotechnology company. She led the Environmental Systems subcommittee for the City Wide Canyons Sewer Maintenance Task Force, whose proposed improvements to City procedures for accessing sewer infrastructure in open space parks were adopted by the City Council in 2002. She is a founder of San Diego Canyonlands, started the Friends of Switzer Canyon in North Park, and continues to lead volunteers to restore upland and stream-side habitat. She enjoys contributing to the Herbarium collections at the San Diego Natural History Museum as a trained parabotanist for the Plant Atlas project and was president of the San Diego chapter of the California Native Plant Society from 2002-2004.
Jim Marich | Secretary
Trained in biology (B.A. Cornell) and biochemistry (M.S. Texas A & M), Jim has been active in Friends of Switzer Canyon since 1999. He has lived in San Diego since 1985 and has developed an acute appreciation for the unique flora and fauna of southern California and Baja California Norte. During his travels, he has witnessed the worldwide problem of habitat degradation brought on by human activity especially through the introduction of non-native species. This awareness has motivated him to play an active role in the preservation and restoration of San Diego’s open spaces. As a former president of Great Outdoors, a volunteer GLBT outdoor recreational group, Jim has actively promoted participation in the natural environment. In 1987, he received a Congressional Service Award for work in establishing a community garden in Normal Heights. Jim’s professional career spans more than 25 years in the development of human medicines and diagnostics. He is the president of Marich & Associates Consulting, providing services for drug development and manufacturing. When Jim is not working or volunteering he likes to hike and camp in Baja California.
John Hanley | Treasurer
John is VP of Finance/Administration for the The Downtown San Diego Partnership (DSDP). DSDP is the leading advocate for the branding, revitalization, economic vitality, and growth of Downtown San Diego. They are a member-based, non-profit organization committed to the success of San Diego’s vibrant and world-class urban center. It also includes the Clean & Safe program, a Property and Business Improvement District (PBID), providing services to five downtown neighborhoods His prior professional experience has been in the hospitality industry and he worked in management at hotels and resorts for 20 years. He is the leader of the Friends of Olivia/47th Street Canyon since June 2009 and participates in monthly canyon cleanups in collaboration with the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department and I Love A Clean San Diego. He has lived in San Diego since 1988 and appreciates the natural beauty and great weather that San Diego has to offer.
Vicki Estrada | FASLA, APA
Vicki Estrada is a landscape architect and urban designer and President of Estrada Land Planning in San Diego. Estrada Land Planning provides land planning, landscape architecture, GIS, revegetation, visual analysis, and urban design services. Vicki is a graduate of Cal Poly SLO and has over 33 years of private practice experience, working for both public and private interests. She is currently Chair of the City of San Diego Community Forest Advisory Board and Chair if the San Diego Airport Public Art Advisory Committee and is on the County of San Diego Historic Site Board. She also served 9 years on the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and co-authored the White Paper on San Diego Canyonlands.
Kevin has enjoyed volunteering with the Friends of Ruffin Canyon and the Friends of Normal Heights Canyons over the last decade on cleanup days, invasive plant removal, native plant restoration projects, and community outreach. He works as a Land Use/Environmental Planner for the County of San Diego – Planning & Development Services. Kevin has a B.A. in Geography from Michigan State University and a Master’s Degree (MCP) in City Planning from San Diego State University. Kevin enjoys hikes throughout the County, and has also worked with the Cuyamaca State Park Volunteer Trails Maintenance Unit. Earlier in his career, Kevin served as a high school teacher for five years in the Detroit and Chicago Public School Districts. He taught courses in Travel and Tourism, Geography, and Computer Technology at Golightly Career and Technical Center and Tilden High School.
Jake Sibley combines over ten years of experience in marketing and digital media with an educational background in biology and ecology. Prior to his marketing career, he worked as a field ecologist for San Diego State University. He received a Bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, followed by graduate-level coursework and fieldwork at Northeastern University, University of the West Indies (Jamaica), and University of Washington. He is a member of the California Native Plant Society, founder of CaliforniaPlants.org, and author of an e-book on California native plant gardens. He remains committed to protecting and restoring native habitat in urban San Diego County.
Professor (Retired) Richard “Corky” Wharton
Professor Wharton [aka Corky] is a retired Professor of Law from the University of San Diego School of Law. During his 34 year tenure at USD law School he directed the USD Environmental Law clinic;was director and head coach of the nationally ranked USD National Mock Trial Team, taught Environmental law, and created and taught two advanced courses in Civil Legal Practice. He lectured at Trinity College in Dublin Ir. where he taught International Environmental Law. As Director of the ELC he represented ,among others, The Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth in the 12 year litigation involving San Onofre Nuclear Power plant, the Environmental Health coalition and many othe r groups and individuals in hundreds of environmental cases. While at USD Law School in 1971 he co-founded the California Public Interest Research Group [CALPIRG].He is co-author of The California Trial Book [West Publishing Co 1990] and has written numerous Appellate Briefs for State and Federal Courts including one to the D.C. Court of Appeals for a panel consisting of then justices Antonin Scalia, Robert Bork and Kenneth Starr. He has lived in San Diego since 1970. He and his wife Joyce were fortunate to find a house on Switzer Canyon in 1976 and have been living on and protecting canyons ever since.