Sonoma Ecology Center is the only organization that consistently monitors and reports on broad measures of ecological health in Sonoma Valley. Using our expertise and unique data sets — historical ecology, fish presence, water quality parameters, erosion data, and others — our staff leads watershed health monitoring and scorecard measurement, climate adaptation planning, sediment analysis, and steelhead data analysis.
Watershed Health Monitoring
Sonoma Ecology Center staff created and maintain the only watershed health monitoring effort in Sonoma Valley. Following strict standards, we monitor sediment pollution levels, streamflow, aquatic insects, fisheries, temperature, and other measures of watershed health. We have been the only locally based nonprofit to produce sediment pollution data and analysis thorough enough that major water quality regulations were based on it. Read more about our sediment source analysis, mapping and project prioritization.
Watershed Health Scorecard
How is our watershed doing? To answer this question, our staff created the only user-friendly scorecard on watershed health for Sonoma Valley. The half-page scorecard distills complex datasets into a few critical measures and scores current conditions against a target of watershed health. Read More about our Sonoma and Napa Watershed Scorecards.
Climate Adaptation Planning
Steelhead Data Analysis
What factors are threatening the population of steelhead trout in the Valley? Our researchers worked with multiple partners to synthesize all available data on Sonoma Creek watershed to answer the question. Read more about our work on data analysis and indicator development for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coho and Multi-Salmonid Recovery Plans.
Caitlin Cornwall, Research Program Manager
BA Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley; MS Botany and Ecology, Arizona State University
Caitlin has been with Sonoma Ecology Center since 1998. Her expertise includes indicator-based reporting systems, climate adaptation, technical partnerships for local-scale multiple stakeholders, multi-benefit water management strategy, wildlife habitat connectivity, and riparian ecology.
Alex Young, GIS Project Manager
MA, University of California Davis
Alex has over 10 years of experience in spatial analysis, cartography, and data management, and has provided training and support in these areas to organizations such as Sonoma Land Trust and Gold Ridge RCD.
Richard Dale, Executive Director
BA Environmental Policy, UC Santa Cruz
Richard is a founding member of the North Bay Climate Adaptation Initiative, and is advising Sonoma County on climate adaptation planning.
Bryan Sesser, GIS Analyst
Bryan has over 31 years of experience in Information Technology in program and project management roles. In addition to project work, Bryan maintains our automated continuous monitoring station on Sonoma Creek.
Cassandra Liu, Restoration Project Manager
BA Environmental Science, UC Berkeley
Cassandra has extensive experience in field research, natural resource management, biological monitoring, and native plant nursery management. She has coordinated restoration projects, conducted vegetation surveys and habitat assessments, generated project maps, served as a biological monitor for ESA-listed species during project construction, and monitored salmonid populations. With extensive experience in environmental stewardship, she is a board member for the Conservation Corps, North Bay and is Chair of the Marin Sonoma Weed Management Area.
- Becca Lawton, Arthur Dawson, and Laurel Collins (Watershed Sciences)
- Sonoma County Water Agency
- University of California, Davis
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Department of Water Resources