MARK BATCHELER, PROPERTY MANAGER
Mark was born in the small town of Reedsburg, Wisconsin, where he grew up as a free range child. Mark pursed a career in education where he taught adjudicated youth in the swamps of Florida, marine biology on Catalina Island, and ecology in the old growth redwoods in Northern California. Returning to graduate school to earn a masters in environmental studies, Mark eventually went back to his roots and began farming full time, and has continued to do so for the last seven years. Mark is passionate about connecting people to the land, to each other, and to themselves.
MELISSA LOPEZ, VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR
Melissa grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, and moved to Monterey in 2000 to attend CSU Monterey Bay majoring in Social and Behavioral Science. Melissa has over a decade of experience working in the education field. Her passion in gardening and the hands on learning environment brought her to MEarth. She has been working with volunteers for several years in various organizations. With her organization and creativity skills, Melissa is excited to grow the volunteer program.
JULIET POOL, PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Juliet comes to MEarth after a long career at the Monterey Bay Aquarium where she oversaw the Aquarium Adventures Programs. She brings her love and passion for inspiring conservation of the world’s ocean to the land and to the stewardship programs at MEarth. She developed her love of nature following her mother around the hills and trails through California, and still remembers all the times her mother got her lost in the woods. These early childhood experiences inspire her to find ways to increase the opportunities children have to experience the wild world around them and to loose themselves in nature. She believes that these opportunities are key in growing the next generation of environmental stewards. Along with a passion for wild places, she also enjoys the simple beauty of her backyard. Nothing brings her more pleasure than bringing a homemade dish to a potluck from the bounty that she grows. Her small backyard “Treehouse Ranch” has been her farmstead for eggs, tomatoes, citrus, and flower bouquets. It has also been the stage for many musicians that have had the opportunity to perform at her and her husband’s house concert series, Treehouse Concerts.
KATY CROCKETT, EDUCATOR: FOODCONNECT PROGRAM
Katy Crockett is a long time resident of the Carmel area and was educated in the Carmel Unified School District through middle and high school. Her early experiences at MEarth/Habitat manifested in a lifetime of sustainability practice and education. Katy graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Anthropology with a focus on sustainability courses and infant and maternal public health. She actively sought out opportunities to immerse herself in all aspects of sustainability and social justice, which culminated in volunteer experience at the Homeless Garden Project and an internship at Summer Meadow Farms, where she helped milk goats and make artisan cheeses. Taking her interest a step further, she co-taught a course entitled “Global Action: Food Justice” through College Nine at UCSC. Upon graduating, Katy worked as a co- chef and cook at San Francisco State University Sierra Nevada Field Campus. Katy has worked in the Food and Health Services field for the last 5 years as a teacher, chef and server.
KATIE REEVES, COMMUNICATIONS + OFFICE COORDINATOR
Katie comes to MEarth with a background in landscape architecture and psychology with degrees from Arizona State University. Growing up on the Central Coast she recognized the value of environmental stewardship and healthful living. Her passions lie within design, sustainability, food, education, and looking to solve various social justice issues. She has work experience in sales, publishing, media, design, political campaigns, and education. She is excited to be contributing to an organization whose vision aligns with her passion and values.
Katie enjoys spending as much time outdoors as possible hiking, cycling, camping, or gardening. She loves to explore and eat her way around the world constantly seeking out new things. She is an avid cook, baker, designer, photographer, and scuba diver enjoying all that the Monterey Bay has to offer.
HANNAH ROOT, HABITAT EDUCATOR + PROPERTY ASSISTANT
TOM SKEELE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Tom’s nonprofit leadership experience spans eighteen years with three nonprofits, one international in scope. He served as Chief Operating Officer for a $2.7 million international media and storytelling NGO focused on environment, health, women’s and youth empowerment. Early in his career he spent four years with Yosemite Institute (now NatureBridge) in both Yosemite NP and Headlands NRA where he led programs for 6th-12th grade school groups, Elderhostel (now Road Scholar), and teacher trainings. Tom has served on numerous boards, has developed donor-specific tours for three nonprofits, and served as tour guide for those tours, as well as for an independent eco-tourism company. He spent sixteen years as part time advisor and assistant to an event promoter (concerts, festivals, high end private events). He holds a BS from the University of Oregon. An avid photographer, Tom enjoys spending time hiking, biking, swimming, SUPing, sailing, SCUBA diving, backpacking, climbing, and traveling his way around the world.
ALICIA TAO, PROGRAM ASSISTANT
Alicia is new to the world of environmental education after working in a variety of fields, including advertising, entertainment, and fitness. After several years off for raising two young boys, Alicia is excited to be working at MEarth, supporting a great organization that provides excellent hands-on learning for students of all ages. She holds a BA in Geography from the University of California at Los Angeles, and a Masters in English from Cal State University at Dominguez Hills.