Michelle Cooper has joined our team to manage ACR's largest preserve, the 3,000-acre Modini Mayacamas Preserves, located northeast of Healdsburg. Michelle takes the baton from Sherry Adams, who during her 10-year tenure on the preserves was the trusted link in the transition from Jim and Shirley Modini's dedicated stewardship to ACR's professional management. Sherry's success was built on the trust that the Modinis held, and her warm and open demeanor served to bring the neighbors in as advocates and supporters of our work. Under her lead the preserves developed a science-based management plan that will direct future stewardship, an education program of high standard, and a wealth of research and restoration projects to keep us busy for a very long time. Our team wishes Sherry the best of luck in her new cycling adventures!
Michelle brings to ACR over a dozen years of experience supporting research, managing natural resources, monitoring plant and animal communities, and supervising field crews, volunteers and staff.
She completed a B.S. in Botany from the University of Washington and a M.S. in Biology from Sonoma State University (SSU). The focus of her work at SSU was on the role hikers and bikers play as dispersal mechanisms of Phytophthora ramorum, the organism that causes Sudden Oak Death.
As Land Steward for the University of California Bodega Marine Reserve (2004-2013), Michelle developed and managed environmental restoration projects, aided in the development and execution of multiple environmental monitoring programs, supported regional scale research, and produced educational materials, including botanical guides and coastal prairie curriculum.
Following her stint at Bodega Marine Reserve, Michelle joined the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) where she supervised three staff members and provided oversight and direction for annual monitoring of conditions on land encumbered by 83 agricultural conservation easements spanning over 49,000 acres of rangeland in west Marin County. She supported easement acquisition by conducting site assessments and writing planning documents. Michelle encouraged easement compliance by fostering positive relationships with landowners and working with them to identify and address natural resource concerns either independently or in partnership with local, state and/or federal agencies. She worked with development staff to inform outreach materials, lead hikes and tours, assist with fundraising efforts and represented MALT in local and regional organizations, activities and projects related to land stewardship and conservation planning.
Passionate about education and community involvement in natural resource protection, Michelle has served on the Board of Directors for the California Native Grasslands Association since 2013.
Join me in welcoming Michelle to the ACR family!