This Fall, at a time of growth, we are excited to welcome new staff members to the CalTrout team- four of them in fact! Let’s give a friendly hello to Molly Ancel, Kara Glenwright, Damon Goodman, and Christine Walker.
Molly Ancel, Outreach and Education Coordinator
My academic background is in Indigenous studies, and my professional experience is in education and programming. I previously co-developed, facilitated, and trained staff on ecology-based programming for Bay Area youth, including fishing and tidal ecology-based programming. Shortly after that I moved to the mountains of Southern California to take on a role where I developed and directed programming on sustainable agriculture, and led local youth outreach initiatives with a focus on rural community justice.
Alongside these professional roles, I developed a vested personal interest in deepening my connection to the natural world and the skills required to be comfortable in it. Becoming an outdoorswoman has been a defining experience of my life. It has made me dedicated to connecting my communities to their local ecologies and socio-ecological histories. I believe all people deserve access to the outdoors and I am motivated to bring an environmental justice framework to my role with CalTrout.
As Outreach and Education Coordinator, I am thrilled to grow CalTrout’s partner base, tend to current partnerships, and continue to connect CalTrout’s conservation work to the human communities that live in those places. I am passionate about youth involvement and excited to develop more collaborative initiatives to support our next generation to get involved with this work.
In my free time, you can catch me fishing & swimming in California’s many waterways, exploring forgotten reservoirs, and tinkering with my old Toyota truck named Little Red.
Kara Glenwright, Communications Associate
I am a recent graduate of Stanford University and am excited to be joining the team as the new Communications Associate. For my undergraduate degree at Stanford, I studied Environmental Engineering with a focus on Atmosphere and Energy. While my engineering degree provided me with some valuable skills, I have always been passionate about writing and the role that communication can play in spurring change. I decided to pivot away from the technical side of things and pursue a Master’s degree in Environmental Communication.
One specific project I worked on during my Master’s program sparked my interest in a water-focused career. I took an Environmental Justice course and through it was able to explore Pescadero Middle and High School, a majority Hispanic school, which today lacks access to clean drinking water. Spending lots of time at my parent’s house in Half Moon Bay, just up the highway from Pescadero, this shocked me, especially considering San Mateo County is one of the wealthiest counties in the country. Through this project, I was able to delve into the history of the issue and have conversations with members of the community and County members looking to address the issue. Working on this project completely widened my view of the environmental injustices occurring everywhere in our society and drew me towards further work in the water space.
I first heard about CalTrout on a road trip up to Mendocino with my mom. We had stopped for a coffee in Jenner, CA, and a couple who were also enjoying their coffees struck up a conversation with us. I explained that I was a recent graduate and looking for a job, likely at an environmental nonprofit, and they immediately brought up CalTrout and the amazing work that the organization does. Shortly after, I did some Googling around and saw the opening for a position on the Communications Team and it felt as if it was meant to be. Following some conversations with staff members, I felt confident that CalTrout was the right fit for me. I could not be more excited to be joining the team!
I am a lifelong resident of California having grown up in Southern California and now living in the Bay Area, and I am beyond excited to begin my career by working to better the state that I love. In my free time, I love to be outdoors, whether it be hiking, running, nature journaling, or simply enjoying the beautiful nature that California has to offer. And while I have not yet been fishing, I love to be on the water, and I am excited to soon have the opportunity to learn to fish!
Damon Goodman, Shasta-Klamath Regional Director
My experience in fish biology began during an undergraduate internship to support the conservation of the charismatic Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Northern New Mexico. I was tasked with exploring remote areas to find new populations, describe riverine habitats and identify threats facing the species. These fish are limited to 5% of their historical distribution and primarily in remote high elevation wilderness streams. Much of my time was spent living out of a backpack and hiking into remotes streams in search of cutthroat trout and sleeping under the stars. With that hook, I’ve dedicated my career to helping fish.
I went on to earn a Masters of Science degree at Humboldt State University by pioneering a genetic study of the anadromous Pacific Lamprey to support information needed to respond to a petition to list the species under the Endangered Species Act.
Before joining CalTrout, I was fortunate to have worked alongside the team on a variety of projects. I served as the primary USFWS representative on the Potter Valley AdHoc Committee, alongside Darren and Curtis. In this committee, we worked as a team to develop strategies to restore the fishery of the Eel River including an approach to provide access beyond impassible dams to habitats that have been inaccessible for over 100 years. I have teamed up with Sandi on the California Fish Passage Forum tackling complex fish passage issues and Pat on developing tools to improve management of California’s estuaries. In all cases, I was impressed with the motivation and professionalism that the CalTrout brought to our shared efforts.
My opportunity to join the team began as a spark during a multi-day float trip in northern Idaho. The Selway is a National Wild and Scenic River that cascades through the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness of Northern, Idaho and is full of Westslope Cutthroat Trout. During the trip a longtime friend, Drew Braugh, sat me down and laid out his plans to move on from CalTrout to a new opportunity and that I should consider applying for the opening. From that conversation, I made the decision to leave my dream job at USFWS to pursue an even better opportunity as a Regional Manager of the Mt. Shasta – Klamath Region with CalTrout. The rest is history.
Christine Walker, Major Gifts Officer
In over a decade of fundraising for arts and conservation organizations, I have been involved in every aspect of fund and community development. From 2015 until I began at Cal Trout in 2021, I worked for Land Trusts on major gift initiatives, working with staff and volunteer leaders in conservation and fundraising on campaigns ranging from $12 – $80M. It is extraordinary to connect a donor to a worthy cause and watch how the two transform each other and the world!
What brought me to CalTrout began while working for regional conservation efforts in the Bay Area of California and the Treasure Coast of Florida. I saw the downstream consequences of human development and the vital importance of landscape-scale habitat restoration. This lead me to California Trout where I am proud to help resource the organization’s statewide efforts to ensure healthy water for abundant wild fish and all the other species who rely on it, not least our own.
CalTrout preserves many places where my grandfather cast his line, where my parents taught me to love nature, and where my son has since come to love. In particular, the Eastern Sierra has a special place in my heart so I’m particularly excited to see the work CalTrout does to protect those vital source waters and stunning meadows.