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Meet our Staff

JEFF KUYPER
Executive Director

jeffsquareAs one of the original founders of ForestWatch, Jeff brings more than twenty years of experience in legal and policy advocacy on behalf of wildlife, public lands, and the local communities that depend on them. Jeff holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Oregon School of Law, with a certificate in Environmental and Natural Resource Law, and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Barbara. He has worked with several of the West’s leading public interest environmental law firms, including the Western Environmental Law Center in Eugene, Oregon; Advocates for the West in Boise, Idaho; and the Environmental Defense Center in Santa Barbara, California. Jeff first set foot in the Los Padres National Forest in 1995 and was immediately struck by its untouched landscapes, free-flowing rivers, and diverse wildlife. He lives in Santa Barbara and enjoys spending time with his family, cooking a delicious meal, listening to his favorite music, and hiking cross-country in the Sierra.

SERENA KELSCH
Director of Membership and Advancement

Serena brings more than 15 years of experience building and nurturing relationships in the community to support nonprofits in meeting their mission. Serena’s work ranges from Fund Development at the Channel Islands YMCA; leading fundraising, volunteer, and construction efforts at multiple Habitat for Humanity affiliates; and facilitating health and education strategic planning at OGRA Foundation in Kisumu, Kenya. As a long-time resident of the Central Coast, Serena’s love for the Los Padres National Forest drew her to ForestWatch. As Director of Membership and Advancement, Serena works with the local community to engage and raise the resources necessary to protect and preserve our local heritage. She holds a Master’s in Public Administration with a focus on International Development Management from Middlebury Institute of International Studies Monterey, and a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology from University of California Santa Barbara.

LAURA ALBERS
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.

TANNER YOULD
Conservation Associate

YOULD_BIOOriginally from Dana Point, California, 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 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.