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Meet our Staff

Executive Director

jeffsquareJeff is the Executive Director of ForestWatch, and brings more than fifteen years of experience in legal and policy advocacy on behalf of the environment. Before founding ForestWatch, he worked as a Legal Analyst at the Environmental Defense Center, a non-profit law firm in Santa Barbara. Jeff holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Oregon School of Law, with a certificate in Environmental and Natural Resource Law. He has worked with several of the West’s leading public interest environmental law firms, including the Western Environmental Law Center in Eugene, Oregon and Advocates for the West in Boise, Idaho.

Wild Heritage Program Director

Laura Albers bwBorn and raised in Santa Barbara, Laura now calls San Luis Obispo home and enjoys exploring the area’s forests and wilderness with her children. With experience that includes roles as Executive Director for Leadership San Luis Obispo, Program Director for Outside Now, and Naturalist for Kern Environmental Education Program, Laura now implements public outreach and education efforts in support of wilderness protection in northern Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties as part of our Central Coast Wild Heritage Program. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University, and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration for Nonprofit Management from the University of Southern California. With over 20 years’ experience in educational and nonprofit organizations, Laura’s passion for the central coast’s wild places helps her to connect many of the wilderness and nature movements growing in our communities.

Conservation Associate

YOULD_BIOOriginally from Dana Point, CA, Tanner moved to Santa Barbara to attend UC Santa Barbara and obtain a degree in Environmental Studies.  He has interned with numerous local organizations and non-profits in the area, while also hiking and backpacking extensively throughout the Los Padres National Forest.  He has helped manage creek restoration sites with South Coast Habitat Restoration, led the Environmental Defense Center’s Goleta Creeks Clean-up program, helped protect western snowy plover habitat with Coal Oil Point Reserve, and is even an alumni of ForestWatch’s Conservation Internship program. Tanner also holds a certificate of excellence in volunteer management as well and he is wilderness first aid certified. Now with his degree finished, he helps run ForestWatch’s outreach and volunteer programs as a Conservation Associate and is excited to help protect the area he has so quickly grown to appreciate.