Management & Outreach
Miranda Hyldahl | Programs & Outreach Coordinator
Ecological Restoration & GIS Staff
Marlon Bautista | Restoration Field Supervisor
David George | Restoration Ecologist / GIS Specialist
Elena McKeown | Restoration Technician
Michael Cassidy | Restoration Technician
Jason Crisostomo | Restoration Technician
Past Interns & Staff
Freddy Arthur | Field Supervisor - Ecological Restoration Crew
Jonathan Appelbaum| Restoration Ecologist/Biologist
Mr. Appelbaum joined Canyonlands as staff Restoration Ecologist / Biologist in August 2015. Mr. Appelbaum has over 15 years of experience in restoration ecology and natural resource management. Mr. Appelbaum specializes in planning, coordinating, and supervising community-based habitat restoration projects and land stewardship activites. Mr. Appelbaum holds a Masters in Environmental Science and Management (MESM) from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara. Mr. Appelbaum has worked with a number of environmentally-focused non-profit organizations including the Endangered Habitats Conservancy (EHC), Salmon Protection and Watershed Network (SPAWN), and Channel Islands Restoration. Mr. Appelbaum is a member of the Society for Ecoligical Restoration, California Chapter (SERCAL) and California Invasive Plant Council (CAL-IPC). When not working with SDCL, Jonathan serves on the San Diego Audubon Society's (SDAS) Conservation Committee and I Love a Clean San Diego's (ILACSD) Clean Committee. Mr. Appelbaum is an active volunteer with SDAS, ILACSD, and the San Diego River Park Foundation (SDRPF). Mr. Appelbaum hails from Chapel Hill, North Carolina by way of Nashville, TN and Atlanta, GA. Catch Jonathan at our weekly volunteer events in City Heights and beyond.
Tim Fraher | Project Coordinator: GIS Mapping - Habitat Restoration
Michael Grimes | Environmental Maintenance Associate
Michael Grimes is a native of City Heights, and was hired in 2013 as one of SDCL’s Environmental Maintenance Associates. He previously worked with the San Diego River Park Foundation in its Hire-A-Youth program, a time that he realized he wanted to work with the environment and help restore wildlife conditions in San Diego. Michael enjoys the feeling of giving back to the earth by cleaning our canyons and restoration native habitat. He loves the escape to nature and the feeling of tranquility he gets when he sees wild animals in the canyons. When he’s not toiling to restore San Diego’s many canyons, Michael enjoys playing guitar and drums.
Mike Hancock | Administrative Assistant
Mike Hancock joined San Diego Canyonlands in September, 2011. He has lived in the Azalea Park neighborhood of City Heights since early 2000 where the friendly and welcoming nature of his neighbors inspired him to get involved in community events such as canyon clean-ups. Mike is employed as a news reporter with a strong interest in "community-oriented" stories and is taking classes at City College to further polish his skills. Mike also has a passion for music which he expresses through his work as a DJ at community events. Mike plans to use the opportunity with SDCL to better understand the importance of canyon restoration and to help spread that message to City Heights residents.
Saul Jimenez | Environmental Maintenance Associate
Saul Jimenez began work for San Diego Canyonlands on June 2011 as a full-time Environmental Maintenance Associate. He’s also working towards a degree in Administration of Justice. His goal is to become a police officer and will pursue his goal of becoming a S.W.A.T. team member. Since working with San Diego Canyonlands, he has enjoyed learning about the plants and wildlife which has given him a new perspective of City Heights’ canyons.
Maseray Kamara | Environmental Maintenance Associate
Maseray Kamara joined San Diego Canyonlands in September, 2011. She was born in the country of Sierra Leone and moved to California in 2001. While attending Hoover High School she was active in sports as a member of the basketball team. She also loves to cook and enjoys the outdoors here in San Diego. Maseray would like to continue her education, studying Early Child Development, with a career working with children, possibly with an environmental focus. She takes pride in her work, and is enjoying everything she is learning while working in the canyons.
Jose Mendoza | Environmental Maintenance Associate
Jose began working as an Environmental Maintenance Associate for SDCL in early March of 2011. He began working while attending Hoover High School, and began studies at San Diego State University on scholarship in 2011. As a high school freshman he began to volunteer for SDCL, served as president of the Hoover High Eco Club and earned countywide recognition for his work in the Canyons as a Cox Conserves Heroes finalist. He brings the experience he developed through four years of helping the City Heights neighborhood through community service. Jose has worked and volunteered at the City Heights Farmers Market, Mid-City Community Advocacy Network, and the California Endowment Project. He enjoys restoring the four canyons in City Heights by leading volunteer work crews and maintaining already restored canyon areas. When he's not in the canyons, Jose is studying or playing football.
Arturo Olguin | Environmental Maintenance Associate
Arturo recently graduated from Hoover High School and joined San Diego Canyonlands in September 2011 as a full-time Environmental Maintenance Associate. He is studying administrative justice and wants to become a police officer one day. He’s interested in restoring and learning about native vegetation in the canyons, and helping with the movement to preserve the canyons in his home neighborhood of City Heights and all throughout San Diego.
Erika Lindstrom | Grant Writing Assistant
Erika Lindstrom graduated from San Diego State University in 2012, where she majored in both Dance and Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Public Policy. She began with San Diego Canyonlands in February 2012 as one of our Sustainable Stewareship Program Itners, where she focused on building the Friends of Marston Canyon (Hillcrest) and did a fantastic job. Since September 2012, she has provided valuable grant writing assistance. Erika enjoys seeing how natural ecosystems and the urban environment can interact to enhance a community. In the future, she hopes to continue her education and attend grad school to pursue her interests in urban planning and environmental justice.
Sydney Magner | GIS Intern
Laura Powell | Sustainable Stewardship Intern (Juniper)
Josh Truelson | Sustainable Stewardship Intern (Navajo)
Jane Westfall | Sustainable Stewardship Intern (Tecolote at Kelly)
Leah Bremer | KIPP-Adelante Program Leader (2011-12)
Leah Bremer worked with San Diego Canyonlands as the Program Leader for the KIPP-Adelante educational stewardship program in Florida Canyon, an environmental education and restoration program run jointly through SD Canyonlands, Outdoor Outreach, REI, and KIPP-Adelante Preparatory Academy. She is in her final year of the Joint Doctoral Program in Geography at SDSU and UC Santa Barbara, where her research focuses on compensation for ecosystem services programs in highland Andean grasslands (páramos) in Ecuador. Prior to her current graduate work, she worked in a variety of positions related to youth development, environmental education, and conservation biology in California, Washington, Hawai’i, New Zealand, and Australia. Viewing environmental and social issues as inherently interconnected, she was excited to be a part of SD Canyonlands restoration and education efforts that mutually benefit ecosystems and human well-being. She also enjoys trail running, mountain biking, hiking, surfing, and native plants and animals.
Rex Brunner | Sustainable Stewardship Intern (2012)
Rex Brunner served with San Diego Canyonlands as a Sustainable Stewardship Intern in 2012. He is a San Diego native, and grew up hiking the local canyons and surfing the local beaches. Naturally, he is passionate about the outdoors and keeping them pristine. Rex believes that local people play an integral role in the maintenance and upkeep of the local environment, and keeping it in a condition not only friendly to people, but also the other species that call San Diego home. Rex majored in Geography at SDSU, with an emphasis in environmental and natural resource analysis, and has worked for Rusty Surfboards for the past seven years. During his time with San Diego Canyonlands, Rex successfully built a friends group for the Mount Etna Entrance to Tecolote Canyon (MEET-Tecolote), a volunteer stewardship group for this northeast finger of Tecolote Canyon in his hometown of Clairemont.
Robert Chau | GIS Mapping Technician (2011)
Robert Chau contributed valuable support to the GIS team in City Heights throughout 2011 as a GIS Mapping Technician for San Diego Canyonlands. He graduated from Patrick Henry High School in 2010, and is currently a full-time undergraduate student at San Diego State University majoring in Geography with an emphasis in GIS. His interest in GIS - and Geography generally - was sparked when he was young by his parents, who put large atlases all around the house. He gained fieldwork experience in high school mapping invasive plants in Navajo Canyon alongside Park Ranger Jason Allen. After growing up in City Heights, Robert has always loved the outdoors, and particularly loves hiking in places near Chollas Lake.
Johnathan Fernandez | Sustainable Stewardship Intern (2012)
Johnathan Fernandez began working with San Diego Canyonlands in February of 2012 as a Sustainable Stewardship Intern. He has an Associate’s degree in Business Administration, and obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in City Planning from San Diego State University in the spring of 2012. As he went through his studies, he recognized the importance of preserving open space within concrete cities. The opportunity for people to escape the paved streets that surround them and enter into healthy, rich, and native ecological habitats that exist in their own backyard is at the forefront of his mind as he looks to work in public policy. Having climbed the amateur ranks in boxing he understand the hard work, discipline, and mental fortitude necessary to start something and see it through until the end. John’s work at SDCL helped build community awareness and volunteer stewardship of for Bell Canyon (Southeast San Diego) and Del Rey Canyon (Chula Vista).
Tim Fraher | GIS Mapping Intern (2011)
Tim Fraher began an internship with San Diego Canyonlands as a GIS Mapping Technician in early 2011, and recently completed his internship with the GIS field team, after helping to map the existing conditions of Swan Canyon in City Heights. He is a student of San Diego State University's School of Professional Studies, majoring in Public Administration with a focus in Environmental Studies. He also acts for San Diego Coastkeeper as Boating Community Outreach Coordinator, Skipper, and Water Quality Compliance Coordinator, where he monitors its Copper-Bottom Paint Mitigation and Pump-Out Monitoring programs. As he's said before, his goal is "to create a sustainable urban environment that will benefit everyone, not only in the short term, but for future generations as well."
Kenton Finkbeiner | GIS Mapping Technician (2011)
Kenton Finkbeiner joined SDCL as a GIS Mapping Technician in 2011, after earning a Master's Degree in Wildlife Science from New Mexico State University and working for the USGS. He contributed valuable knowledge to mapping the existing conditions of Swan Canyon in City Heights, as well as delineating the wetlands for Hollywood, Manzanita, and 47th Street Canyons. Kenton loves the outdoors, and volunteers with the San Diego Natural History Museum in reptile collection. He currently works as a biologist for the Hubbs Seaworld Research Institute.
Nikolas Kennedy | Canyon Enhancement Planning Intern (2011)
Nikolas Kennedy worked with SDCL in the Fall of 2011, focusing on Canyon Enhancement Planning and defining the future San Diego Regional Canyonlands Park. He is currently working with the Open Space Division of the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department to foster communication and promote public support of SDCL’s efforts. Nikolas is finishing up his graduate studies at San Diego State University and will graduate in Spring 2012 with a Masters in City Planning and an emphasis in Environmental Policy and Resource Conservation. He enjoys hiking, running, landscape design, and blogging through his organization, the San Diego Green Business Group.
Marc Leonard | Sustainable Stewardship Intern (2012)
Marc Leonard first joined the SDCL team in February of 2012 as a new Sustainable Stewardship Intern. He is currently a junior at San Diego State University where he studies Geography with an emphasis in Environmental Analysis. Marc is still unsure of his career path, but thrives in learning about sustainable land use and its implications on surrounding communities. He hopes to take his gained knowledge from SDCL and apply it to a job that promotes conservation and its availability to the general public. Marc has enjoyed learning about Geography through the recreational use of hiking, swimming and photography. He worked in the spring & summer of 2012 to build community awareness and volunteer stewardship of Library Canyon (Serra Mesa).
Sean Losee | GIS Mapping Technician Intern (2011)
In 2011 Sean Losee contributed invaluable GIS work for SDCL by helping to create maps documenting the existing conditions of Swan, Hollywood, and 47thStreet Canyons located in City Heights. Sean also generated trail maps of several canyons in Tierrasanta and participated in the Kids in the Canyon program. Sean recently graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in Methods of Geographical Analysis in May 2012 and is interning with the Padre Dam Water District’s Engineering Department. He hopes to one day work for the Department of Homeland Security as a GIS/Remote Sensing Technician and is confident that the skills and training that he acquired at SDCL will help him attain that goal. Sean also plans on eventually becoming a Canyoneer with the San Diego Natural History Museum, to lead nature hikes where he can share his love of San Diego’s undeveloped canyons with future generations.
Katie Smith | Canyon Enhancement Planning Intern (2011)
Katie Smith is a senior at San Diego State University, where she majors in Geography with an emphasis in Environmental Policy and Natural Resources. She is interested in protecting the biodiversity and enhancing the open spaces of the San Diego region, and wants to raise awareness of the importance of these issues. These interests originated from spending a good deal of time outdoors and traveling the country before moving to San Diego from the east coast. Katie assisted with the development of the Canyon Enhancement Planning (CEP) Guide, which will serve as a tool to stakeholders to cut time, cost and red tape for comprehensive canyon-enhancement plans and for implementing individual canyon projects.
Joseph Tilseth | Canyon Enhancement Planning Intern (2011-12)
Joseph Tilseth is a senior at San Diego State University, majoring in International Security and Conflict Resolution (ISCOR) with an emphasis in Environmental Security. He is currently serving on active duty in the United States Marine Corps and is in his senior year in the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Program (MECEP). Upon graduation in May of 2012, he will commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. He grew up in Wisconsin on an 80-acre hobby farm and has always had a deep connection with and appreciation for being outdoors. As an intern with San Diego Canyonlands, he assisted with our Dedication campaign to preserve over 10,000 acres of City-owned land as dedicated open space for future generations of San Diegans.