Sustain Environmental’s alliance of outstanding professionals is the result of working on myriad collaborative projects throughout California and its neighboring states over the past 30 years. These individuals have chosen to work with Sustain because we provide them the opportunity to work with integrity and purpose. We are honored to call them our associates. They are the folks who will be on the ground working for you when you contract for services with Sustain Environmental.
Wondering who any of these talented, experienced and dedicated people are?
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Rebecca L. Cull, Principal
Resource Ecology, Natural Resource Management, Environmental Permitting
Ms. Rebecca Cull is a founding principal and current president of Sustain Environmental. During her 30-year career, Rebecca has worked for small private firms, multimillion-dollar companies, universities, and state agencies in both business management and ecological studies. Her attention to detail, awareness of systems, and insight into animal behavior (humans included) make her an excellent project manager.
Rebecca’s specialties are designing, supervising and conducting ecological studies and developing adaptive management plans for monitoring and improving natural systems. Her reports are highly regarded by resource agency personnel and her astute assessments help reduce the need for prolonged environmental reviews under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). She has completed numerous projects requiring technical expertise in Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7 consults, Caltrans and Federal Highway Administration requirements and standards, wetlands permitting (US Army Corps of Engineers and California Department of Fish and Wildlife), and mitigation design and implementation. Well versed in federal and state survey protocols for listed and special-status wildlife species in the western United States, Rebecca has extensive field experience with raptors, terrestrial birds, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and vernal pool invertebrates.
Ms. Cull has managed and conducted environmental studies covering hundreds of miles for energy transmission and transportation projects that have crossed state lines as well as federal and private properties. She is particularly adept at tailoring work plans to meet the requirements of multiple jurisdictions. Years of supervising and working with field crews in remote areas, often under adverse conditions, have honed her ability to elicit cooperation and understanding from project personnel while meeting both permitting requirements and client needs.
A noted specialist in burrowing owls and Swainson’s hawks, Rebecca has conducted surveys, assisted with banding efforts, and participated in long-term monitoring of both species throughout northeastern and central California. An active member of the Burrowing Owl Consortium since 1992, Ms. Cull was a key participant in the development of the Burrowing Owl Survey Protocol and Mitigation Guidelines, informally adopted by the California Department of Fish and Game in 1995. She is the primary author of the “Status of Burrowing Owls in Northeastern California,” published in 2007.
Rebecca’s interest in sustainable living was piqued by her early childhood experiences and later travel to remote locations. An experienced coastal and blue water sailor, she was one of a four-person crew on the Unlikely VII during an eight-week oceanic passage from India to Israel that included ports of call in Oman, South Yemen and Sudan. More recent adventures took her on several trips to Kenya, and to French Polynesia. Wherever her journeys take her, she always brings a keen interest in the natural world and sensitivity to local cultures.
Jacquie Kramm, Principal
Communication, Graphic Design, Stewardship
Ms. Jacquie Kramm is a founding principal and the current secretary-treasurer of Sustain Environmental. With a background that combines environmental studies, child and family policy, and prevention research, Jacquie commands a broad understanding of the overarching concerns and needs of communities. As the firm’s publishing specialist, she brings 30 years of experience writing, editing and producing a wide variety of materials for private, non-profit and public agencies — running the gamut from periodicals and policy articles to technical reports, training curricula and posters.
Ms. Kramm serves as the project editor for all environmental documents that are submitted to agencies on behalf of our clients. In this capacity, Jacquie ensures that Sustain’s environmental documents present the client’s project with visual clarity while speaking directly and fairly to the issues. This approach has proven to speed the review process and has led to meaningful outcomes and improved community relations.
Ms. Kramm also works to advance community stewardship of public and private lands. She prepared the successful CALFED proposal for developing stewardship of the 230,000-acre multi-jurisdictional Grasslands Ecological Area, and served as the acting project manager during Phase 1 of the Grasslands Stewardship Plan. Jacquie was responsible for ensuring the successful production of Sustain’s interactive wetlands display and outreach materials for Merced County residents. As part of the Land Management Plan and Initial Study for the Mouth of Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area, Ms. Kramm researched and prepared the Balls Ferry Research and Education Center Conceptual Plan.
In recent years, Jacquie has expanded her skill set in visual narrative to include digital storytelling and web development. Sustain will begin phasing in its new web site with online publishing and interactive elements during 2013.
Camille Remy Obad, JD, LEED®AP, Principal
Environmental Planning, Sustainable CEQA, Regulatory Permitting
Ms. Camille Remy Obad, JD, LEED®AP, is a founding principal of Sustain Environmental and its past president. Her deep understanding of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), combined with her early interest in sustainable planning, inform her vision as an environmental planner and set her ahead of the curve. Her legal, legislative policy and state agency background make her particularly adept at creating efficient environmental permitting solutions for our clients.
Ms. Remy Obad brings integrity and balance to complex resource management planning. Camille thrives on difficult management issues and has contributed to several multistate environmental planning efforts over the years, including Lake Tahoe, the Colorado River and the Bay Delta. As a principal of Sustain, Ms. Remy Obad was instrumental in securing a CALFED grant for Phase I of the Grasslands Stewardship Plan, a watershed approach to managing the long-term conservation of the 230,000-acre freshwater wetland complex in Merced County.
Water and energy infrastructure projects remain a focus of Camille’s career. An avid reader of all things sustainable and a LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified professional, Ms. Remy Obad is always on the cutting edge of smart solutions to the environmental challenges that arise during infrastructure projects.
Born and raised in the Sacramento Valley, Camille is now raising her own family in the nearby foothills. Travels to the Middle East, South America and Croatia, while broadening her horizons, have strengthened her appreciation for “home” and deepened her resolve to use our natural resources wisely.
Jonathan Berkey, MA
Facilitation, Public Scoping, Community Planning, Natural Resource Development
Mr. Jonathan Berkey, MA, has been facilitating watershed groups, spearheading the development of watershed management plans, and coordinating public outreach meetings and workshops on a wide variety of natural resource management issues for the past 20 years. Along the California central coast, Jonathan is well known for his community watershed planning and natural resource management work with the Elkhorn Slough Watershed Project, Carmel River Watershed Council, Garrapata Creek Watershed Council, and the Pajaro River Floodplain Authority (a multi-county planning effort).
Jonathan joined Sustain Environmental in 2008 to help bring the Grasslands Stewardship Plan to fruition. He worked effectively with the lead agency, project staff and Grasslands stakeholders to develop ground rules and decision-making processes that led to a defined buffer area of working landscapes surrounding the 230,000-acre Grasslands freshwater wetland complex. Jonathan’s proven ability to work well with all stakeholders — including landowners, rural residents, farmers, ranchers, private duck clubs, land trusts, public land managers, resource agency officials, scientists, technical experts, environmental groups, indigenous people, migrant workers, and local residents (to name a few!) — have made him a key asset in Sustain’s planning projects.
Jonathan honed his people skills while working with the Peace Corps in Africa for seven years — the first two years as a volunteer with the Center for Renewable Energy Development in Marrakech, Morocco, followed by five years in Kenya as a Peace Corps associate director overseeing five programs and supervising more than 200 volunteers. Since then, Mr. Berkey has served on the California Biodiversity Council, participated in the Kellogg Leadership Program in Sustainable Agriculture, and founded the Global Education Partnership based in Washington DC. He currently serves as board president of International School-to-School Partnerships, based in Carmel, California.
Field Biology, Environmental Monitoring and Inspection
Ms. Rhona Cheatwood has been bringing her “gitter done” attitude to the Sustain team since its inception in 2004. With an educational background in ecology, a long history of ranching and Native American heritage, Ms. Cheatwood is a person of many talents, including field biologist, environmental inspector, wrangler, ranch manager, business woman, Alaskan packer, hunter, and musician. Always busy, Rhona founded and manages Lone Tree Ranch, a boarding stable located on family land in the foothills southwest of Tracy, California.
As her capacity as an environmental inspector, Rhona is universally respected for her common-sense problem solving ability, vision of the bigger picture, understanding of construction, and easy way of getting people to do the right thing. Ms. Cheatwood also routinely assists Sustain with vegetation community mapping, rare plant and wildlife surveys, and conducts GPS mapping of sensitive resources. She has had focused training and extensive field experience conducting surveys for California red-legged frog, California tiger salamander and other special-status amphibians and has conducted surveys for a wide variety of special-status wildlife, including San Joaquin kit fox, burrowing owl, and other nesting raptors. Rhona’s expertise includes serving as a lead environmental inspector on natural gas development and electrical transmission projects in the western states.
Maureen Daggett, SPSWQ, REA, CPESC, CISEC
Stormwater, Erosion Control, Environmental Compliance Management
Stormwater permit and erosion specialist Ms. Maureen Daggett brings her lifetime career in environmental, health and safety regulatory compliance analysis, planning and management to the Sustain Environmental team. As the principal of ECM Services, Maureen specializes in regulatory compliance management for industrial operations. A certified ISO 14001 lead auditor, Ms. Daggett holds numerous other certifications in environmental program management, including erosion and sediment control specialist, storm water quality specialist, and certified inspector of sediment and erosion control. Lucky for our clients, Maureen has a great sense of humor!
Ms. Daggett is highly regarded for her extensive expertise in designing, implementing, and managing stormwater quality plans and permits. She has served as chair to the Industrial Permit Subcommittee for the California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA), is a member of the construction permit subcommittee, and is one of the original committee members who developed the state of California’s sampling guidance for construction activities. Maureen regularly teaches classes in stormwater management, monitoring and permitting.
Martin J. Gilroy, MS
Biology, Environmental Compliance Management, Raptor Research
A widely respected biologist and nationally regarded environmental inspector, Mr. Martin Gilroy has 30 years of experience in biological studies and environmental assessments, permitting and compliance management throughout the United States. Marty’s vast knowledge of wildlife ecology and infrastructure construction — in addition to his environmental compliance management experience on natural gas pipelines, electrical transmission lines, water pipelines and associated storage reservoirs —make him highly sought as lead environmental inspector by both utilities and permitting agencies. In his combined role as a lead environmental inspector and biologist, Mr. Gilroy advises clients on project route development surveys, provides constructability assessments, completes GPS/GIS mapping of proposed projects, and manages teams of compliance inspectors, environmental monitors and biologists. Marty is respected as much for his problem-solving skills and diplomacy as for his biological expertise and ability to synthesize vast quantities of highly technical information.
An east coast transplant, Mr. Gilroy began his career working with the eastern Peregrine Falcon reintroduction program run by The Peregrine Fund from Cornell University’s Laboratory of Ornithology. During his years working on and ultimately supervising the eastern Peregrine population restoration, Mr. Gilroy gained extensive insight into both the biology of this cliff-nesting raptor and the public-private coordination required to make the program successful. Marty transferred this experience to the private sector in the 1990s when he began working as a wildlife biologist and raptor specialist for large infrastructure projects throughout the United States.
Years of working with raptors have engendered his deep personal interest in all things aeronautical, inspiring Marty to become a pilot and small plane enthusiast. One of Marty’s many projects is restoring a 1942 Interstate Cadet.
Environmental Planning, Resource Management
Environmental planner Ms. Uma Hinman began collaborating with Sustain Environmental in 2010 to broaden our environmental planning and project management team. Now the principal of Uma Hinman Consulting based in Grass Valley, California, she continues to work closely with Sustain on planning projects. An excellent communicator, Uma is adept at integrating stakeholder input, engineering considerations, natural resource opportunities and constraints, and interactive GIS mapping into her work.
Ms. Hinman advises federal, state and local governmental agencies, as well as private organizations, on matters of land use and resource planning. In the area of resource management, she specializes in assessing the capacity of natural and man-made systems to accommodate projected development. In California, she is known regionally for her work on sphere of influence plans, municipal service reviews, water master plans, and CEQA analyses.
With more than 12 years of experience as an environmental planner in Northern California, Uma has supervised multiple complex projects, demonstrating her ability to work collaboratively with clients, agencies and the public. She has worked closely with local governments, water districts, state and federal agencies, private developers, and consultants.
Ms. Hinman has worked fulltime for two nationwide consulting firms, as a planner for Nevada County, and as a firefighter for the state of California. Uma cherishes time with her daughter, and enjoys kayaking, hiking, gardening, and travel.
Nancy Houlding, ISA Certified Consulting Arborist
Heritage Trees, Habitat Restoration, Cartography
Ms. Nancy Houlding is an ISA Certified Consulting Arborist and master gardener based in Davis, California. She has served as Sustain Environmental’s arborist since our inception. In 2001, Ms. Houlding completed a city-wide landmark tree survey for the Davis Tree Council and updated its database of trees. Nancy assists Sustain with heritage and specimen tree inventories and assessments, habitat restoration efforts, and cartography.
Kate Kane, MHSA
Communication, Documents and Systems
A core Sustain management team member since 2005, Ms. Kate Kane brings 30 years of diverse experience to our communication and protocol systems. With a journalism degree from Marquette University and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ms. Kane brings an objective eye to our documents, systems and outreach needs. Her background as an editor for several major medical publications provides skills critical to our quality control and quality assurance policy.
An energetic self-starter, Kate’s done everything from to managing accounting functions for multi-million dollar enterprises to starting and running her own catering and restaurant business. Prior to returning to Sacramento to support Sustain’s growing business, Ms. Kane was a long-time resident of Santa Cruz County (living near Freedom). During her sojourn there, she worked as the development director for a large public health organization and as a grower analyst/accounts manager for the largest producer of private label fresh-cut salads in North America. Back in Sacramento, Ms. Kane continues her pursuit of the perfect pizza crust, scours the streets for good eats at diners and dives, and promotes the Sacramento Valley’s “locavore” culture.
JoAnne Obata, MBA
Web Development, Social Media, Communication
Ms. JoAnne Obata, MBA, brings 20 years of “lessons learned” from the corporate marketing world to Sustain. In 2009, she set up shop as a front-end web developer and marketing specialist to help small businesses access and optimize their use of open-source software. Recently retained as Sustain’s web marketing specialist, JoAnne’s mission is to strengthen our presence as a local and regional business and to help us build a thriving online community in support of sustainable environmental consulting.
The ultimate team player, JoAnne excels at strategic planning in support of client objectives and goals. Integrity, open communication and honesty serve as her guiding principles in all phases of web development.
Ms. Obata has traveled throughout the United States and in Mexico, Canada, Africa, Japan, Thailand, China, Vietnam, France, Italy, Germany, Prague, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, and Australia. Next stops, she hopes, are India and South America. Here at home, JoAnne believes in living “small,” residing with her husband, pooch and zebra finch in an 800-square-foot 1930s bungalow.
Plant Ecology, Wetlands Delineations
Ms. Amy Parravano began her career in the early 1990s as a wetland ecologist for the Point Reyes National Seashore. Now the principal biologist and co-founder of Cal Ecology, she teams with Sustain on projects involving wetland ecology, habitat assessments and conservation planning. Her field expertise includes biological site assessments, functions and values assessments, wetland delineations, plant community mapping, and rare plant identification.
With a landscape-level perspective and attention to detail on the ground, Ms. Parravano develops and conducts long-term success monitoring of habitat restoration projects that involve quantitative vegetation sampling methods and contingency measures for habitat mitigation monitoring. Amy is also well versed in the management and preparation of technical reports, including biological constraints analyses, wetlands delineation reports, mitigation plans, vegetation management plans, wetlands permit applications, focused survey reports, federal- and state-listed species permitting, and biological resources reports in accordance with CEQA/NEPA.
Mana Raabe, MS
Field Biology, Adaptive Management Research
Ms. Mana Raabe, MS, recently joined the Sustain Environmental team. A highly competent biologist with a master’s degree in Avian Sciences, Ms. Raabe completed her graduate work on heron-human conflicts, focusing on the increasingly important area of urban wildlife and adaptive management practices. Over the past seven years, Mana has assisted the University of California (Davis) Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology with various research projects, including the National Science Foundation museum curation project, long-term disease ecology study of corvids in Davis, two-year breeding bird atlas project along Putah Creek (Solano-Yolo), National Institutes of Health avian influenza study, US Army Corps of Engineers Habitat Management Unit biodiversity surveys along the Lower Snake River (eastern Washington), and an Environmental Assessment and Habitat Management Plan for the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park (Aimakapa Fishpond Restoration Project) in Hawaii.
At Sustain, Ms. Raabe is currently assisting with mortality counts at a Rio Vista wind farm. An excellent addition to the Sustain ecological team, Mana is dependable, thorough and remarkably cheery in the face of changing field condition.
Kent A. Reeves, MS
Biology, Holistic Management, Education
A longtime associate and friend of Sustain Environmental, Mr. Kent Reeves is a recognized expert in wildlife-agriculture relationships, ecosystem and watershed management, and grazing ecology. As a certified professional in range management (with an extensive background in holistic management) and a certified wildlife biologist, Kent has conducted hundreds of biological surveys and habitat assessments throughout California over the past 25 years.
Kent’s work experience ranges from teaching, ranching and private consulting to increasingly responsible positions with municipal, county, state, and federal agencies. Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Reeves helped spearhead the development and implementation of a wildlife monitoring and riparian management program along the lower Mokelumne River as the wildlife biologist for East Bay Municipal Utility District. To support this program, he co-wrote and successfully solicited several CALFED-related grants in excess of $3 million. Mr. Reeves received EBMUD’s Employee Excellence Award for the Environment in 2007.
A skilled educator, facilitator, photographer, rancher — and cowboy poet to boot (he is a four-time invitee to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV), Kent founded The Whole Picture Consulting, LLC, early in his career to unite these perspectives. He has recently returned to this work, bringing his lifetime experience to bear on furthering “cowboy conservation.” Kent provides workshops and consultations in sustainable land practices, emphasizing sustainable agriculture, grazing planning and implementation, and livestock management.
Joseph P. Sullivan, PhD
Ecotoxicology, Wildlife Biology, Risk Assessment
A longtime associate of Sustain Environmental, Dr. Joseph Sullivan is an ecotoxicologist and certified wildlife biologist. His is the principal of Ardea Consulting, a Woodland-based firm that specializes in avian and wildlife toxicology. Dr. Sullivan’s field research has focused on the effects of agricultural pesticides on passerines, quail, and other wildlife as well as on bird nesting behavior in non-agricultural areas. His laboratory research has ranged from toxicity testing of pesticides to complex projects designed to determine biological and biochemical impacts of pesticides on bird reproduction.
While he primarily supports Sustain in matters related to risk assessment and the contamination of natural habitats, Joe is a pitch hitter and assists when he can with wildlife surveys, wetland delineations, and GIS analysis and mapping.
Field Biology, Wildlife Handling
Ms. Kristina VanBlaricom began her lifework studying and handling wildlife in 1977 as part of a nascent effort by Monterey County SPCA to establish a Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. The Wildlife Center quickly grew to become the only full-service wildlife rescue in Monterey County, taking in 2,000 animals a year as part of a working relationship with the then California Department of Fish and Game. Kristina worked directly under the Wildlife Center’s permitted biologist, developing highly technical skills and specialized knowledge in wildlife observation, behavior and handling. During her time there, she assisted in the capture, restraint, transport, and release of a wide array of wildlife, including mountain lions, sea otters, bobcats, coyotes, raccoons, opossums, weasels, rodents, eagles, hawks, owls, seabirds, and songbirds.
In 1984, as one of the few individuals with hands-on expertise in the care and handling of sea otters, Kristina was hired by the newly opened Monterey Bay Aquarium. She later became the Aquarium’s aviculturist and curator for its sandy shores exhibit and marine bird exhibit. The US Fish and Wildlife Service also retained Kristina’s services to assist with the translocation and reintroduction of sea otters to waters south of Monterey Bay. During this effort, Ms. VanBlaricom was recruited to assist in an ongoing USFWS/USGS longitudinal research study on endangered black abalone on San Nicolas Island. For the past 25 years, she has assisted with biannual abalone surveys, maintaining her naval security clearance for ecological studies on this westernmost Channel Island.
Ms. VanBlaricom is currently assisting Sustain with mortality counts at a wind farm in Rio Vista. Kristina’s broad experience with natural life cycles and predation, her familiarity with collateral damage to wildlife, and her respect for the role of science make her an invaluable addition to any project that requires both detachment and compassion.
Roland (Ron) E. White
GIS Analysis, Biology, Youth Development
After retiring from the San Jose city planning department in 2006, GIS analyst and biologist Roland White came on board with Sustain Environmental. During his tenure with the city, he created specialized maps for the city’s Strong Neighborhoods Initiative, translated image and data files to various formats for consultants with varying software capabilities, and prepared materials for neighborhood workshops and public outreach events.
An early champion of GIS technologies, Ron assisted in the initial design and set up of the GIS facilities at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories while completing graduate school in the early 1990s. His work included hardware installation, networking, and customization of GIS software. This lab is now heavily used by graduate students and visiting researchers. Staying abreast of the changes in GIS technology is Ron’s passion, and he is conversant in multiple GIS software applications.
A graduate of the Natural History Field Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Mr. White is an experienced biologist and nature photographer. Ron is ardent about providing opportunities for his daughter to experience nature in all its facets and has become a champion of getting kids outdoors.