Our Team

Deb Self, Executive Director

Deb Self, Executive Director

Deb brings to Greater Farallones Association more than thirty years of leadership in nonprofit organizational development and environment protection. Most recently, she was Executive Director of San Francisco Baykeeper, dedicated to protecting the Bay from pollution, sand-mining, invasive species, oil spills, and climate change. Deb served on the state’s oil spill response Technical Advisory Committee for eight years and helped pass numerous bills that increased funds for oil spill response and the rescue of oiled marine life.  She received the Coast Guard’s highest civilian honor for her role assessing the effectiveness of the response to the Cosco Busan oil spill in SF Bay in 2007. A transplant from the Southern Appalachian Mountains, where she studied geology and environmental sociology, Deb relocated to California in the mid-90’s. She lives with her wife Mandy and their two dogs in Oakland. Deb is an avid birder and is thrilled to join the team protecting the ecosystems of Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries.


Jean Alupay

Jean Alupay, PhD, is the Education Program Manager and JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Task Force Lead for Greater Farallones Association. She has a BS in Biological Science from UC Davis and a PhD in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley. Growing up in California, Jean loves the beach and its animals. She is particularly fond of cephalopods, the focus of her work as a Postdoctoral Researcher. Previously, Jean worked as an instructor at the Lawrence Hall of Science and the Marine Science Institute. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, exploring the great outdoors, and teaching cardio kickboxing.

Kate Bimrose

Kate Bimrose currently supports data management for the Beach Watch program on a part time basis. Previously, Kate coordinated the Greater Farallones Bolinas Lagoon Restoration Project, facilitating the implementation of restoration projects at Bolinas Lagoon through project planning, field work, outreach and education, and volunteer coordination. Kate received her undergraduate degree from UC Santa Barbara and graduated from the University of San Francisco’s Master of Science program in Environmental Management in 2009. Kate is a native of the area and loves the food, music, and outdoor activities that San Francisco has to offer! Go Giants!

Kayle Carter holds model of a whale while at sea

Kayla Carter is the Marine Science Education Fellow for the LiMPETS Program. She has a BS in Marine Biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. As a Bay Area native, Kayla has always had a passion for the ocean. She hopes to further her career in marine science education to inspire future generations to fight for our oceans. She also enjoys infodumping about marine mammals, trying to find the motivation to paint, and spending time with her cat Kiki.

Alayne Chappell

Alayne Chappell is the Director of Development and Communications for Greater Farallones Association. Her background is in communications, marine biology, and conservation advocacy. She earned a BA in Journalism from San Francisco State University and Master’s Degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Alayne has focused her career on helping to further science-based ocean conservation through storytelling, strategic communications, and high-impact fundraising. She is an avid SCUBA diver, shark enthusiast, and foster parent to dogs looking for their forever homes.

Gina Contolini

Gina Contolini, PhD, is a Kelp Restoration Specialist for the Kelp Restoration Program, working to investigate opportunities to restore and protect kelp forests on the northern California coastline. Gina has studied marine ecology all over the Pacific coast from Washington State to Panama. She studied intertidal community ecology for her PhD research at UC Santa Cruz, and kelp management during a postdoctoral fellowship with California Sea Grant and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. In her free time she enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, road biking, stand up paddleboarding, and playing with her two pet rabbits.

Julia and her dog

Julia Currier is a Marine Science Educator on the Greater Farallones Education Team working with the Oceans After School Program. She grew up in San Francisco and the Bay Area, but also spent time living in Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Georgia during parts of her childhood. She is currently studying Biology with a concentration in Zoology at San Francisco State University. Before her work with GFA, she worked at the Randall Museum in San Francisco as a field trip educator. She also worked with the animal care team and cared for animals such as owls, hawks, raccoons, crows, tarantulas, and many more. Julia enjoys taking her dog Hiro on hikes and going to Disneyland in her free time.

Dru Devlin

Dru Devlin has been a Research Associate for Beach Watch for over twenty years. She conducts beach surveys and assists with the recruitment, training and management of Beach Watch volunteers. She is a wildlife observer and team member of the ACCESS Partnership which conducts ocean research of northern and central California. Dru earned both her Masters of Public and Business Administration, and BA in Social Ecology from the University of California at Irvine. She resides in Half Moon Bay and spends time playing on the beach with her dog, Mango, traveling, kayaking and SCUBA diving.

Headshot of Chloé Evans

Chloé Evans is the Development Coordinator for the Greater Farallones Association. She holds a Master’s in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from UC San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and a BA in Environmental Studies from Saint Louis University. Chloé’s expertise lies in bridging the gap between science and the public, to aid in capacity building within local communities that rely on the ocean to support their livelihoods. In her free time, Chloé can be found freediving, hiking, and spending time outdoors with her dog, Kaiya.

Mattson Fields

Mattson Fields provides back-end support to the Greater Farallones Association team as the Administrative Coordinator. A Virginia native, he began his career with the National Park Service before moving to the Bay Area in 2016 to pursue an MFA combining his two loves: math and art. Since then, he has worked in the nonprofit finance sphere assisting CPAs and 501(c)(3)s alike to manage their cash flows. He moonlights as a visual artist and enjoys gallery hopping, tidepooling, and supporting local drag.

Julieta Gómez

Julieta Gómez is a Kelp Restoration Specialist for the Kelp Restoration Program, developing and implementing kelp restoration techniques along the Northern California coast. She received her BS in Marine Biology from UC Santa Cruz and is wrapping up her MS in Biology at Sonoma State University, which focuses on the feeding rates of purple urchins on the various life history stages of bull kelp under ambient and elevated temperatures. She is originally from Southern California and formed her passion for marine science and outreach through family beach trips to Dockweiler State Beach and volunteering at the Roundhouse Aquarium. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and roller skating.

Jordan Gorostiza

Jordan Gorostiza serves as Communications Associate for Greater Farallones Association. In this role, Jordan manages digital communications and supports advocacy and community outreach efforts. He holds a BA from California State University, Sacramento and an MS in Journalism and Media Communication from Colorado State University. Jordan’s expertise lies in translating complex scientific topics into engaging stories for the public. He is a Northern California native who loves to hike, surf, write, and explore the rich lands and waters of our region.

Chris Hernandez kneeling on a rocky intertidal shore with the ocean in the background. He is smiling and holding a transect.

Christopher Hernandez serves as a Marine Science Instructor with the Great Farallones Education Team. Here, he provides students direct engagement with ocean conservation through the Oceans After School program. Previously a member of the LiMPETS Team, he assisted and led monitoring events with students. He is working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from San Francisco State University. Christopher identifies as Mexican, and as a descendant of Cherokee and Apache tribes. His hobbies include birdwatching, hiking, ceramics, botany, geology, and playing guitar. He hopes to inspire the next generation of scientists.

Paul Hobi

Paul Hobi manages the Seabird Protection Network‘s efforts to reduce disturbances to sensitive seabird colonies using targeted outreach and education. Previous to Greater Farallones Association, he led grassroots outreach for the MPA Collaborative Network and Ocean Conservancy. He graduated from Northwestern University with a BA in History, studied in Chile as a Fulbright Scholar, and speaks fluent Spanish.

Rietta Hohman

Rietta Hohman is the Kelp Restoration Project Manager for Greater Farallones Association and Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Her role involves investigating and implementing strategies for kelp forest restoration and research in the Sanctuary, as well as advancing opportunities for stakeholder, community, and tribal engagement. Rietta is a dive instructor, a scientific diver, and holds an MS in Environmental Management from the University of San Francisco. Originally from the Sierra Nevada foothills, she now lives on the Sonoma coastline and loves to explore California’s mountains and forests in addition to underwater habitats.

Sara Hutto

Sara Hutto serves as Conservation Program Manager and coordinates the Ocean Climate Program, working to integrate climate-smart adaptation into Sanctuary management and provide training for marine protected area managers around the country to undertake climate-smart adaptation planning. Sara’s background is in rocky intertidal ecology, and she holds a Master of Science in Marine Science from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. Sara calls Santa Cruz home, and enjoys being a mom while exploring California’s mountains and coasts.

Wendy Kordesch

Wendy Kordesch, PhD, is the Geological Oceanographer. Wendy manages the Greater Farallones Association and Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary’s coastal resilience projects, leads efforts to implement the goals of the Sanctuary’s Coastal Resilience Sediment Plan, and provides technical and scientific expertise to the Ocean Climate Program. She holds a PhD in Paleoclimate from the National Oceanography Centre in the UK and an MS and BS in Earth and Ocean Science from UC Santa Cruz, and has taught at Santa Clara University. She grew up in the Bay Area and can be frequently spotted swimming in the Bay’s nearshore waters.

Monika Lynn Krach

Monika Lynn Krach is the Deputy Director for Greater Farallones Association. She earned her undergraduate degree in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University and master’s degree from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Along with researching California coastal ecology, she studies invertebrates living in extreme environments including deep-sea methane seeps and Antarctic winter waters. She is a SCUBA diving fanatic, adventurer, and avid fossil collector. She loves playing tennis, swimming, and watching action movies.

Kirsten Lindquist

Kirsten Lindquist is the Science Program Manager. She manages Beach Watch, a long-term monitoring program that utilizes the expertise of over 150 community scientists to collect data along the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary coastline. Kirsten earned a degree in Environmental Studies and Marine Conservation from Prescott College in 2001. Since then, she has worked in the remote field studying seabirds and marine mammals throughout the Pacific, Antarctica, and most notably here throughout the California Current. Kirsten is happily setting down roots here in the Bay Area which she has called home for ten years.

Tyler Mears

Tyler Mears is Research Associate with the Kelp Restoration Project. Formerly at GFA, Tyler served as Marine Science Instructor on the Greater Farallones Education Team, working with the Oceans After School Program, Family Workshops, At Your School, LiMPETS, and developing new education programs. Growing up in landlocked Columbus, Ohio, Tyler loves his new home by the sea in Pacifica. He has a BA in English and Creative Writing and a BS in Zoology and Conservation Biology from Ohio State University. He is especially fond of cephalopods and aspires to pursue his graduate degrees in their study. In his free time, he enjoys reading, traveling, and volunteering at the California Academy of Sciences as a SCUBA diver and biologist.

Tishma Patel

Tishma Patel serves as Sanctuary Engagement Coordinator for Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries. She previously held the positions of Development Assistant for Greater Farallones Association, Sanctuary Administrative Assistant for Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries, and Invasive Green Crab Removal Project Coordinator. She holds a BS in Marine Science from California State University, Monterey Bay and an MS in Interdisciplinary Marine and Estuarine Sciences from San Francisco State University. Her thesis research consists of a range-wide assessment on finless porpoises (Neophocaena), focusing on threats affecting their populations and conservation efforts throughout their distribution. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the outdoors, traveling, and reading.

Jaclyn and her dog, Dori, pose during field work along the coast

Jaclyn Schneider is Intertidal Ecologist and LiMPETS Program Coordinator. She is a California native with years of experience as an outdoor educator and enjoys exploring the ocean with students. Jaclyn earned a BS in Marine Biology from Humboldt State University, where she managed a benthic ecology lab. During low tide she can usually be found with her head under a rock searching for invertebrates. She also enjoys spending time volunteering with PISCO, scuba diving, and hiking with her dog, Dorid.

Summer Traylor

Summer Traylor is a LiMPETS Program Associate. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies & Earth Science from UC Santa Cruz and a MEM in Environmental Science and Management from Portland State University. She’s worked all over the West on several different types of natural resource field crews and worked with seabirds, shorebirds, fish, marine mammals, and plants. Her recent research focuses on quantifying microplastics in fish species that are culturally and economically important to the west coast. Her interest in marine debris was fostered during her time in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, where marine debris negatively impacts seabirds and marine mammals. Her favorite seabird is the Koa’e’ula.

Peter Winch

Peter Winch is the Visitor Center Naturalist and Education Specialist. He has a BS in Environmental Science from Plymouth University, England. He has studied seabirds in Alaska, Hawaii, Baja Mexico, and Oregon for the US Fish and Wildlife Service and The Island Ecology Group, and worked as a naturalist for Oceanic Society Expeditions on Whale Watching Trips off California for nine years. Peter surfs and dives, and explores the ocean whenever possible. After graduating he spent three years working as an activist for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and is an advocate for marine conservation. Peter is a filmmaker and an artist. He published his first book The Giant Ocean Coloring Book in September 2016.

Angela Zepp

Angela Zepp is a Kelp Restoration Specialist with Greater Farallones Association, helping to develop innovative and scalable solutions in the protection and restoration of local kelp forests. She is an accomplished scientific SCUBA diver and instructor who has over 700 dives in the temperate waters of Central California. Angela received her BS from Humboldt State University in 2012 where she double majored in Marine Biology and Zoology and minored in Scientific Diving. She holds an MS degree in Marine Science with an emphasis in Phycology from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. She is an avid hiker, traveler, and coffee drinker with a big passion for dogs.

Interested in joining the Greater Farallones Association Team?