LEADERSHIP

Martin Bourque
Executive Director

Since 2000, Martin has led the Ecology Center, a community-based organization incorporated on Earth Day in 1970. Under Martin's leadership, the Ecology Center is leveraging local direct community service programs to have state and national impact. Martin has spearheaded innovative efforts such as creating a farmers’ market industry group, pioneering electronic food stamp access and incentives at farmers’ markets, and passing the nation’s first Soda Tax. By linking local grassroots grit with highly competent program implementation, and increasingly effective policy advocacy, Martin has led the Ecology Center to become a high impact engine for change.

Martin's previous experience includes working as the Sustainable Agriculture Program Director for Food First, The Institute for Food and Development Policy where he helped build the international organic farming movement throughout the US, Caribbean, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. Martin also edited Sustainable Agriculture and Resistance: Transforming Food Production in Cuba, a compilation of Cuban authors on organic farming, and co-founded Californians for Pesticide Reform (CPR) to reduce the worst pesticides in California through public education and regulatory reform.

Martin served as the National Director of Training for ALTERTEC Guatemala where he helped develop a Guatemalan non-profit from a small organization into a leading Central American force promoting farmer-led sustainable agriculture. Martin led Freirian-based curricula development, trained trainers, and organized Meso-American Campesino Congresses on Organic Farming, Permaculture, and Alternative Technologies. Additionally, Martin facilitated the development of a national Guatemalan organic certification program, MayaCert.

Martin has served on the Community Food and Justice Coalition Advisory Committee, The Grassroots Recycling Network Board and the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board (StopWaste). Martin earned a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies and Environmental Policy from UC Berkeley, and a B.A. in Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior from UC San Diego.

Twitter: @MartinRBourque
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/martinbourque

OPERATIONS AND ADMINISTRATION

Deborah Beyea
Deputy Director
Deborah Beyea
Deputy Director
Staff since 2008, Debbie has developed the organization’s infrastructure allowing the Ecology Center to grow and thrive. She contributes to strategic planning for the organization and oversees finance, HR, and operations. Debbie is responsible for safety and risk management, contract negotiation, and ensures legal compliance for Ecology Center activities at two facilities and several off-site locations. Previously, Debbie worked in management positions at government agencies including the Oakland Police Department, the Department of Homeland Security – FEMA, and the Denton Fire Department. Debbie earned a Master of Public Administration and B.A. degrees in International Studies and English from the University of North Texas. Additionally, Debbie holds Professional in Human Resources Certification (PHR), and Certificates in Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, the Northern California Human Resources Management Association, and the American Society for Public Administration.
Jackie Yep
Administrative Services Manager
Jackie Yep
Administrative Services Manager
Jackie joined the Ecology Center in 2003 as a Financial Assistant and has steadily assumed increased responsibilities each year. Jackie manages payroll and benefits, and provides HR support to the Deputy Director and the Recycling Director, and all program staff. Previously, she worked in retail sales and management in settings ranging from small boutique shops to large department stores. Additionally, she is a very involved “scout mom” and school volunteer. Jackie attended City College of San Francisco.
Greg Morgan
Senior Accountant
Greg Morgan
Senior Accountant
Staff since 2015, Greg manages all aspects of the Ecology Center’s accounting and finance processes. Greg holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance from Chico State University. He brings several years of experience gained working as a staff accountant with a national smoothie and shake business. Greg appreciates working with a team that is committed to sustaining the natural environment. In his free time he enjoys getting outside into nature, whether it’s backpacking, snowboarding, mountain biking, climbing, fishing, or gardening.
Susan Miller
Accounting Associate
Susan Miller
Accounting Associate
A decades-long member of the Ecology Center, Susan has been fortunate to have the opportunity to support its programs by providing accounting assistance since 2010. She is strongly interested in local history, especially concerning early mining, smelting and manufacturing of explosives in the Bay Area and their effects on today's environment. Susan holds degrees in fine art practice from UC Berkeley and the San Francisco Art Institute.

FOOD AND FARMING

Carle Brinkman
Food & Farming Program Director
Carle Brinkman
Food & Farming Program Director
Carle leads the Ecology Center’s Farmers’ Market and Farm Fresh Choice produce stand operations, statewide Farmers’ Market Access and Equity programming, and food related education, policy, and coalition building efforts. For five years, Carle managed the Market Match program, California’s healthy food incentive program, which matches customers’ federal nutrition assistance benefits, like CalFresh and WIC, at hundreds of farmers’ markets across the state. Previously, Carle spent five years with the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA) as a Regional Manager—overseeing sixteen Certified Farmers’ Markets in Alameda and San Joaquin counties. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the California Small Farm Conference. Carle earned a B.F.A. in Art and a B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Oregon. She received a Permaculture Design Certificate, and attended two five-month leadership development trainings, the Ecology of Leadership, through the Regenerative Design Institute. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her bees.
Felipe Ocampo
Farmers' Market Program Manager
Felipe Ocampo
Farmers' Market Program Manager
Felipe joined the Ecology Center in 2017 to lead the Farmer's Market Program. Felipe is passionate about issues of inequality and access to resources in historically disadvantaged communities in the US and abroad. As such, he has worked toward social justice within the arenas of youth development and community empowerment. Felipe co-founded Colombia Conexion, a collective working to increase visibility and resources for the enactment of the Colombian peace process to ensure its sustainability. In his spare time Felipe loves to travel, snowboard, and play soccer. He graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from UC Berkeley.
Amanda Gordon
Farmers' Market Operations Manager
Amanda Gordon
Farmers' Market Operations Manager
Staff since 2013, Amanda staffs weekly Farmers’ Markets around Berkeley. Amanda conducts after-market accounting and maintains strong relationships among the Farmers’ Market vendors and customers. Amanda brings years of experience in local food, sustainability education, and food access issues to the Ecology Center. She moved to the Bay Area over a decade ago and has since enjoyed contributing to the Bay Area’s robust natural foods arena.
Jacquse Wyatt
Farmers' Market Manager
Jacquse Wyatt
Farmers' Market Manager
Jacquse joined the Ecology Center in the summer of 2015 through our Youth Environmental Academy (YEA). Through YEA he participated in several exciting projects including cooking workshops, field trips to local organic businesses, and bicycle outings to urban farms. Jacquse graduated from YEA and quickly transitioned to a Youth Intern. He currently assists us with operation of the Farmers’ Market in downtown Berkeley, distributing Market Match nutrition incentives to low-income shoppers using EBT. Jacquse graduated from Berkeley High in 2011 and now studies psychology at City College of San Francisco. As a teen, Jacquse traveled extensively through BayTech (Bay Area Technology School), to the following countries: France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, and Turkey.
Paul Stone
Farmers' Market Manager
Paul Stone
Farmers' Market Manager
Paul has been a leader in the natural foods movement for the past thirty years. Paul has served on the Farmers’ Market Community Advisory Committee for the past twenty years and has contributed significantly to the development of the vibrant local food movement in the Bay Area. Paul brings extensive experience to the Ecology Center from his positions as a pioneering Organic Produce Wholesaler and as a Distribution Manager for Westbrae Natural Foods and Whole Earth Access where he oversaw operations and more than fifty staff. You can find Paul at the Ecology Center booth at the Farmers’ Markets where he has managed day-to-day operations since 2012.
Leah Ricci
Farmers' Market Access & Equity Program Manager
Leah Ricci
Farmers' Market Access & Equity Program Manager
Leah comes to us from Fresh Approach/ Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association where she worked as a Program Manager. Leah has several years of experience developing strategies and conducting outreach to promote Market Match and CalFresh use at farmers’ markets. Leah’s experience also includes leading interactive science and ecology lessons in the outdoors, and teaching English in Chile. Leah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Anthropology from Bowdoin College in Maine, and she is fluent in Spanish.
Crystal Franco
Farmers' Market Access & Equity Program Coordinator
Crystal Franco
Farmers' Market Access & Equity Program Coordinator
Crystal joined Ecology Center in 2017. She has several years of experience working in nonprofit educational programs in the Santa Barbara area, including Explore Ecology, where she taught science and nutrition-based lessons to students ages 2-12 as a Garden Educator. Through the process of introducing and familiarizing her students, many of whom were underserved, to ways of building lasting connections to our Earth, Crystal’s passion for food justice and sustainability grew immensely. In this role, she looks forward to continuing to advocate for a healthy and equitable food system. Crystal holds a B.A. in Literature and Education from UCSC, and is a native Spanish speaker.
Lisa Roach
Farmers' Market Access & Equity Program Associate
Lisa Roach
Farmers' Market Access & Equity Program Associate
Lisa joined the Ecology Center in 2017. She is a Southern California native with an extensive background in food service, grocery, and farmers' markets. Her love for the environment and sustainable agriculture stems from visiting her grandparents' farm in Germany as a child, where she helped harvest vegetables and feed animals. She furthered her passion for local food by attending San Francisco State University where she majored in Family and Consumer Sciences, with an emphasis in Nutrition. While at SFSU, she helped start a community garden, launch the Sustainability Coalition, and lead the Real Food Challenge campaign. In her free time you may find her drawing, painting, cooking, gardening or arranging flowers.

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Giuliana Blasi
Youth Development Program Manager
Giuliana Blasi
Youth Development Program Manager
Staff since 2016, Giuliana leads the Youth Environmental Academy (YEA) and youth engagement efforts for the Ecology Center. She brings several years of experience working with teens and young adults through her previous roles in creative youth development programs at Destiny Arts in Oakland and Loco Bloco in San Francisco, where she served as director of programs. She holds a B.A. in Sociology and Education from UC Berkeley, and is a certified instructor of the Roots of Success Environmental Literacy curriculum.
Dante Kaleo Alnas-Benson
Farm Fresh Choice Program Coordinator
Dante Kaleo Alnas-Benson
Farm Fresh Choice Program Coordinator
Dante has been with the Ecology Center’s Farm Fresh Choice program since 2011. As a teen, Dante helped to shape the Youth Environmental Academy, and has since contributed to the Ecology Center by working in a range of capacities. Since becoming the coordinator for the Farm Fresh Choice program, he has led efforts to revamp social media presence for the program, introducing Market Match to Farm Fresh Choice, and creating a written document of the history of Farm Fresh Choice. Additionally, Dante has been involved in the Rooted in Community National Youth Conference, convening with other food justice related individuals and groups. Dante’s accomplishments include being the 2015 recipient of the 50 Fund Rookie Playmaker grant, for his work in Farm Fresh Choice, and spearheading the Yes on Measure D campaign efforts among youth. Dante is a graduate of Berkeley High School and is currently studying multimedia arts at Berkeley City College.
Natalia Gomez
Farm Fresh Choice Program Associate
Natalia Gomez
Farm Fresh Choice Program Associate
Natalia joined the Ecology Center’s Food and Farming team in November 2016. As the Farm Fresh Choice Program Associate, she is responsible for managing the Farm Fresh Choice Produce stand, assisting with managing Scholars from the Youth Environmental Academy (YEA), and helping with outreach efforts. Natalia grew up in Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego; commuting across the border to go to school. As a Spanish speaker, she hopes to help bridge the Latinx community with healthy foods and environmental practices. Natalia is a graduate of the University of Colorado in Boulder, with degrees in Environmental Studies and International Affairs. She also holds certifications in permaculture and yoga, and enjoys spending time outdoors and traveling.
Nizam Porter
Youth Intern
Nizam Porter
Youth Intern
Nizam joined the Ecology Center family in February 2017 as a Youth Environmental Academy (YEA) scholar. Through YEA, Nizam has participated in multicultural cooking workshops, conducted door-to-door recycling education outreach, and worked at our bustling Farmers’ Markets. A Berkeley native, Nizam is passionate about building a strong, healthy, and conscious community. He particularly enjoys educating his peers about diet-related health issues and global environmental problems. Nizam was featured all around town on buses and billboards as one of the faces of the Let’s Drink Water/Healthy Berkeley campaign. Nizam attends Berkeley High and will graduate in 2018.
Raquel Aceves
Youth Intern
Raquel Aceves
Youth Intern
Raquel joined the Ecology Center through the Youth Environmental Academy (YEA), the summer of 2016. Through YEA she worked at the Farm Fresh Choice stand, helping set up, break down, and give out samples. Now as a Youth Intern, she works Thursdays with Giuliana in the Youth Development program, and Saturdays with Education and Engagement with Carrie. Raquel is currently a senior at Berkeley High School in the small learning community, Academic Choice and will graduate June 2017.
Julian Shepard
Youth Intern
Julian Shepard
Youth Intern
Julian comes to Ecology Center through Berkeley Youth Alternatives and is now a Youth Intern. Julian’s hobbies include playing video games, hiking, swimming, biking, psychology, astronomy, cooking, and playing tennis. He is eager to give back to his community, and work with his peers on issues related to food justice. He currently assists with document organization and customer calls at the Recycling office on Thursdays, and with set up and break down at the Tuesday Farmers' Market.

ZERO WASTE AND RECYCLING

Daniel Maher
Recycling Program Director
Daniel Maher
Recycling Program Director
On staff since 2005, Daniel leads the Ecology Center’s Zero Waste and Recycling programs. Daniel oversees the Curbside Recycling Program that collects recycling from over 30,000 residences throughout Berkeley each week! Additionally, Daniel oversees customer service and manages general operations for the recycling program. Daniel works with Education and Engagement program to deliver high quality information to the public, and leads our efforts on Zero Waste legislative advocacy. Daniel brings over 15 years of experience in the resource recovery field. Daniel comes to the Ecology Center from Tri-CED, another recycling non-profit, where he worked as a sorter, driver, manager and broker. He is an expert in all aspects of the recycling process, ranging from customer education, waste reduction, collection, recovery, processing, and market development. Daniel also provides tours to engage both youth and the general public interested in learning about the benefits of source reduction and recycling.
Salvador Avalos
Curbside Recycling Driver
Salvador Avalos
Curbside Recycling Driver
Salvador has more than twenty years of experience working in the resource and recycling field. He came to the Ecology Center in 2005 after working for the Community Conservation Center for 14 years. Salvador enjoys going out five days a week to keep the recycling exchange moving and to serve the greater community.
Hahns Cook
Curbside Recycling Driver
Hahns Cook
Curbside Recycling Driver
Staff since 2007, Hahns came to the Ecology Center after working as a delivery driver for a meat distribution company. Hahns joined the Ecology Center for better pay and hours, but stayed for the camaraderie.
Ben Mah
Curbside Recycling Driver
Ben Mah
Curbside Recycling Driver
Ben joined the Ecology Center in 2001 after working as an airport transportation driver. Ben is committed to serving the residents of Berkeley and is grateful that his job has provided the financial means to send his children to college.
Miguel Navarro
Curbside Recycling Driver
Miguel Navarro
Curbside Recycling Driver
Miguel began working for the Ecology Center in 2007. He began his career in recycling after his work within the demolition industry ended due to economic decline. Miguel appreciates the stability that the Ecology Center provides.
Encarnacion Rivera
Curbside Recycling Driver
Encarnacion Rivera
Curbside Recycling Driver
Since 2007, Encarnacion has been a dedicated member of the recycling team. Five days a week he looks forward to reducing the amount of waste in Berkeley.
Reyes Sandoval
Curbside Recycling Driver
Reyes Sandoval
Curbside Recycling Driver
Reyes joined the Ecology Center in 2001 after working for Tomra Pacific. Reyes takes pride in contributing to preservation of the environment by moving Berkeley closer to Zero Waste.
Jose Soto
Curbside Recycling Driver
Jose Soto
Curbside Recycling Driver
Jose joined the Ecology Center after working for Urban Ore to salvage quality household items from landfill. Jose has been helping Berkeley set a recycling standard for the rest of the nation since 2012.
Wenqi Zhang
Curbside Recycling Driver
Wenqi Zhang
Curbside Recycling Driver
Wen joined the Ecology Center in 2016. He brings several years of experience operating large trucks from his previous work as a mailman in San Francisco.
Jonathan Valencia
Curbside Recycling Driver
Jonathan Valencia
Curbside Recycling Driver
Before joining the Ecology Center in 2016, Jonathan worked at the Community Conservation Center for nearly three years. He pursued truck driving school to secure a Class A license so he could transition to driving large trucks. In his spare time, Jonathan enjoys going to lowrider car shows.
Ignacio Zulueta
Customer Service Representative
Ignacio Zulueta
Customer Service Representative
Staff since 2015, Ignacio supports the Ecology Center’s Recycling Center help desk. Ignacio is passionate about sparking community dialogue and cultural interconnection. He brings several years of experience in education and environmental and personal resiliency within the nonprofit arena. In addition to his work with the Ecology Center, Ignacio works with the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse in Oakland and serves as a teen playwriting teacher at the Eugene O'Neill Foundation, a resident playwright at PlayGroundSF, and an associate artist at AlterTheater.

EDUCATION AND ENGAGEMENT

Amy Kiser
Education & Engagement Program Director
Amy Kiser
Education & Engagement Program Director
Staff since 2000, Amy oversees organization wide Education and Engagement activities. These include communications, the resource center, classes and events, the Climate Action Project, the EcoHouse demonstration home and garden, the Ecology Center Store, and our on-line resources. Previously, Amy served as Development Director, and before that, Project Coordinator for an Ecology Center high school education project that developed standards-based curriculum rooted in current events. Prior to joining the Ecology Center, Amy worked in the Creative Writing department of the Denver School of the Arts, and developed media analysis and debate curriculum for the Gifted and Talented program. She holds bachelor degrees in Creative Writing and Women's Studies from the University of Denver, and has freelanced as a writer, editor, and journalist.
Alison Moreno
Store Manager
Alison Moreno
Store Manager
Staff since 2007, Alison leads the Ecology Center Store that helps people get informed and make individual changes to help the environment. In addition to curating our book selection, Alison seeks out and researches all Store products to ensure they are in alignment with our high environmental standards and represent the best and safest household, children’s, and personal care products that the growing green economy has to offer. Alison has worked in many different libraries and bookstores throughout the Bay Area, and came to the Ecology Center from the historic Cody’s Bookstore. She holds a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Studies from UC Berkeley.
Jeannie Pham
Education & Engagement Program Coordinator
Jeannie Pham
Education & Engagement Program Coordinator
Jeannie joined the Ecology Center in 2014. Her love for environmental work began as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley where she taught the "Joy of Garbage." As the Program Coordinator, she manages the calendar of events, intercepts Hotline calls, and provides other support to the program's service and projects. Jeannie's previous experience includes working with youth through StopWaste's schools programs, where she taught students throughout Alameda County about the 4 R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot. Jeannie has profound enthusiasm for compost and is a certified Master Composter. Her background also includes working at a transfer station and she thoroughly enjoys talking specifics about garbage and recycling.
Hunter Marshall
Events Coordinator
Hunter Marshall
Events Coordinator
Hunter joined the Ecology Center in 2017 as the Events Coordinator, supporting and producing events focused on the organization’s core areas of zero waste, sustainability, climate change and food justice. A lifelong East Bay resident, Hunter brings experience in events organizing, public relations and marketing. Prior to joining the Ecology Center he helped launch the Oakland Music Festival (OMF) in 2013 and grew it to over 3,000+ annual attendees. He also previously served as a Senior Account Executive at MacDougall Biomedical, working on national medical trials and disease awareness campaigns, and at Harden Communications Partners, supporting public relations for local hospitals and financial service firms. Hunter holds a B.A. from the University of California at San Diego in Communications.
Sabrina Jacobs
Administrative Associate
Sabrina Jacobs
Administrative Associate
Staff since 2016, Sabrina comes to the Ecology Center from the fields of radio journalism and media advocacy. She started reporting at Pacifica Radio’s KPFA in 2009, and is now the producer of the show “A Rude Awakening” which covers local politics to global corporate land grabs and features activists from all walks of life. Sabrina holds a degree in Broadcasting from San Francisco State University and believes in people power, especially love!
Russell Harvey
Store Associate
Russell Harvey
Store Associate
Staff since 2008, Russell helps manage the Ecology Center’s store that specializes in top quality, environmentally-safe products for the home. Russell buys an array of products for the store which include recycled, colored glass products, gardening supplies and books. Russell provides deep and accurate product information to customers and helps them find solutions to their environmental challenges. Russell was raised on a five-acre avocado orchard in Orange County and is a highly skilled gardener. As such, he is regularly called upon to share his knowledge of gardening with customers and community members. Russell brings seventeen years of experience to the Ecology Center from his position as the lead Technical and Scientific Buyer at the late, great Cody’s Books. He holds a B.A. in Environmental Psychology from UC Berkeley.
James Hosley
Education & Engagement Program Associate
James Hosley
Education & Engagement Program Associate
James joined the Ecology Center in 2002 as a volunteer with the Farm Fresh Choice Program and worked in the Farmers’ Market program for a few years. He currently supports the Education and Engagement team by researching key issues that are of concern among the local community. James regularly gathers information that addresses questions from the public such as, “How will new USDA pesticide spray policies affect my health?” “How long will it take for my new mattress to out-gas?” and “Is it safe to use recycled metal in my garden beds?” James brings several years of experience as a laborer in organic agriculture and as produce manager for the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op. James has traveled extensively through Central and South America, living for over a year in Bahia, Brazil.

DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS

Jacinda Abcarian
Development Director
Jacinda Abcarian
Development Director
Jacinda leads fundraising efforts for the Ecology Center. Jacinda brings more than fifteen years of experience in development and communications from her previous work with nonprofit organizations including Avalon Housing in Ann Arbor and Youth Radio in Oakland. As the Executive Director for Youth Radio, Jacinda developed strategic partnerships with agencies including the National Science Foundation and the City of Oakland’s Department of Human Services. She also led innovative initiatives that engaged teens and young adults through experiential learning and media advocacy. Jacinda holds an M.S.W. with a concentration in Management of Human Services and Community and Social Systems from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in Sociology from UC Berkeley. Jacinda also completed Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management (SPNM), an executive education session at the Harvard Business School.
Leah Fessenden
Communications Coordinator
Leah Fessenden
Communications Coordinator
Staff since 2012, Leah creates and curates content for Ecology Center's blog, social media, video and email newsletter. She supports the Ecology Center's core program areas by spreading the word about our educational resources and events, and manages membership services. Leah enjoys coordinating unique “Members Only” events such as guided Farm Tours in Hollister and Walking Tours through West Berkeley to visit food entrepreneurs including organic chocolatiers! Leah also collaborates with community members to advocate for active transportation as part of Berkeley Climate Action Coalition's Transportation Working Group. Leah honed her interest in environmental work through classes at Merritt College, and received a degree and certificate in Sustainable Practices from Dominican University.