Steering Committee

Jeannette Halderman, TRWC Program Manager

Jeannette Halderman earned a BA from Cal State Fullerton, Botany and a MA from Cal State Fullerton, emphasis on Plant Ecology. During her time in college, she worked for Soil and Plant Lab as a Plant Pathology Technician, and assistant to the Soil Technicians. Jeannette also worked as a Landscape Maintenance Supervisor. Since 1991, Jeannette has worked as an environmental consultant, focusing on habitat restoration projects and sensitive plant surveys. In the course of this work, she has developed weed guides, management techniques and monitoring schemes.

Jeannette moved to Truckee in 1998. She has been a volunteer with the Truckee River Watershed Council since 1999. In April, 2012, she was hired as a Program Manager for the Truckee River Watershed Council. One of her responsibilities is to manage the Truckee River Watershed Council Weed Warriors program.

Rachel Arst McCullough

Rachel Arst McCullough earned an MS in Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois and a BS in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Cornell University. She spent her college days programming computers in a variety of languages and completed her Master's thesis after running many iterations of groundwater remediation optimization algorithms on a supercomputer. When Rachel first moved to Truckee, she took on the role of project manager at Integrated Environmental Restoration Services in Tahoe City and created the Monitoring and Research department. Her work, over 5 years, included conducting field research and analyzing data to develop specifications for soil restoration and native plant rehabilitation projects, creating and managing a soil and water analysis laboratory, conducting botanical surveys, and database management. She organized a weed clean-up day in Tahoe City, in conjunction with the Tahoe City Clean-Up Day and has volunteered with SWEP to bring science and plant knowledge to North Tahoe and Truckee students of all ages. Rachel has also volunteered as a group leader for many Truckee River Day projects.

Rachel now owns her own business, McCullough Web Services, and provides services for small businesses that range from Internet marketing to website usability, website development, and website tracking and analytics. If she isn't behind a computer keeping up with the latest technology and gadgets, you will find her teaching skiing at Northstar California, in the yoga studio, hiking Truckee-Tahoe's trails, or volunteering. Rachel is on the leadership team for Nevada County Online, an Internet marketing networking group out of Grass Valley, CA and can frequently be found at the Silicon Mountain Networking Group in Truckee. She currently uses her science and technology background, as well as her love for photography, to help the Weed Warriors with a variety of computer and field projects.

Deborah Croyle

Deborah is an attorney. She practiced law at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and at Heller Ehrman in San Francisco, focusing on matters involving antitrust issues. During that time, she also had an active pro bono practice centered on civil rights cases. Deborah received her JD from Georgetown University.

Before her legal career, Deborah worked for the U.S. government in the administration of U.S. international broadcasting and at the Department of Defense. For several years, her home base was in the Czech Republic, during which time she served on the board of the International Women's Association of Prague and wrote for the Prague Post. In addition to her law degree, Deborah holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and Bachelor of Arts in Russian Studies from Bryn Mawr College.

Deborah moved to Truckee in 2010 to pursue writing projects (and her passion for skiing and biking) full time. Since then, she has taken an active interest in the health of local habitats and other environmental issues. She joined the Truckee River Weed Warriors steering committee in 2012.

Her interest in weeds was piqued by moving to Truckee; first by observing non-natives in her own garden, and then by becoming aware of how the landscape around Truckee is changing because of invasive plants. She feels great about working to make a difference.

Dianne Kiser

Dianne has a BS in biology with an emphasis in Mycology, and worked in Integrated Pest Management at UC Davis, researching the effects of the Egyptian Alfalfa Weevil on alfalfa production. After that, Dianne worked with CDFA - Pest Exclusion at the southern border stations, later transferring to Truckee. She has also volunteered for the Bureau of Land Management, Range Division, Eastern San Bernardino County Ag Department, and the California Native Plant Society in Sacramento. These experiences increased her interest in weed /pest/plant management. During her 28 year career with Pest Exclusion, Dianne observed the various means of introduction of non-native species.

By helping the Weed Warriors to educate individuals and control invasive plants, Dianne feels she has a positive influence on the community.

Annaliese Miller

Annaliese is a freelance graphic designer, artist, and scientific illustrator with a B.A. in Biology and Environmental Conservation from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a certificate of Scientific Illustration from U.C. Santa Cruz. Upon graduating she worked for the Life Lab Science Education Program where she found her love of educating with fun informative visuals.

Throughout her 20 years in Truckee, she has been a field biologist for the US Forest Service - Tahoe National Forest, botanical illustrator for the Flora of North America grass volumes and graphic designer for the Town of Truckee Recycling Programs. Annaliese is the designer/illustrator of the Tahoe National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin weed guides and designed many Truckee River Day t-shirts. She has volunteered with the Tahoe Chapter of the California Native Plant Society and the Truckee River Watershed Council, and assisted in founding the Truckee River Watershed Council Weed Warriors.

Susi Urie

Susi Urie works for the US Forest Service as the East Zone Botanist of the Tahoe National Forest. She has been working in the Truckee area for the past twenty years. She has gained most of her botany experience in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with a background in plant ecology and mapping. Currently, her primary focus involves the management of sensitive plant species and invasive plant species in conjunction with the many projects that occur on the east side of the Tahoe National Forest. Her favorite volunteer activity is to reduce the spread of invasive plants in the Truckee River watershed. Susi earned an M.S. in Natural Resources Management from the University of Nevada, Reno and a B.A. in Botany from Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. Her passions include sailing, skiing, hiking and scuba diving.

Kathy Welch, Weed Warriors Steering Committee Chair

Kathy graduated with a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of California, Berkeley. After working in agriculture (industry, UC Cooperative Extension, commercial flower growing), she became involved in volunteering for various environmental causes. She was a docent at the University of California, Berkeley, Botanical Garden for almost 20 years during which time she was on the Board and chaired the docent steering committee. She also volunteered at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden where she helped develop educational programs.

Kathy has had an interest in the Sierras since 1990, when she began residing in the Truckee/Tahoe area for part of the year. With her husband, David Welch, Kathy was a founding Board Member of Sierra Watch, a non-profit organization that emphasizes protection of the incredible resources of the Sierra Nevada. Since moving to Northstar full time in 2009, she helped found the Truckee River Watershed Council Weed Warriors and serves as the Committee Chair on the steering committee. Kathy's current passion is to protect the land in our watershed from the plant invaders that threaten our local ecology.

Bonnie LaRue Wood

Bonnie LaRue Wood obtained an AS through Truckee Meadows Community College and is presently attending University of Nevada, Reno seeking a degree in Environmental Science with and emphasis on climate change. Bonnie is an avid volunteer and her passion is protecting the environment. She worked for one of the largest waste disposal companies in their hazard waste disposal division for many years and she learned then what kind of damage the industrial age is having on our environment. This experience led her to focus on protecting our environment through volunteerism; she especially loves sharing her passion and knowledge with others. Bonnie has a deep emotional tie to the Tahoe region, having vacationed and lived in this area since she was five. She feels volunteering for Weed Warriors is a small way to show the love and appreciation she has for this region.

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