NATALIE KARMALLY, OPERATIONS MANAGER
Natalie comes to MEarth with professional experience spanning the realms of community engagement, youth outreach, science communication, as well as formal and informal education. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and pursued her undergraduate degree in Biology at Sonoma State University. She went on to earn her Masters in Zoology at Oregon State University researching amphibian disease ecology and ecotoxicology. She is passionate about conservation, social justice, providing equitable opportunities for kids in science and the environment, and increasing diversity in STEM fields. When Natalie is not working on the magical habitat of MEarth, she enjoys calligraphy, watercolor, exploring the beautiful Central California Coastline, and spending time with her two cats and husband.
NADIA KELEM, ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATOR
Nadia has been interested in food systems and nutrition education since she was an 8-year-old camper at the Life Lab farm & garden in Santa Cruz. Since then she has traveled the world to study the effects of climate change on agriculture, global culinary practices, and food sovereignty movements. In 2013, she got her B.A. in Global Food Systems from the University of Redlands, while working for a local plant nursery and her university’s sustainable farm. She has also worked in garden and nutritional education at B’nai B’rith Camp in Oregon, Growing Gardens in Colorado, and most recently served a year for FoodCorps in Calaveras, CA. Nadia likes to spend time connecting to the environment through snowboarding, hiking, biking, and camping. She also explores the world through art, particularly printmaking, jewelry making, and ceramics. She is excited to return to the California coast and join the MEarth team to bring engaging and inspiring education experiences to students all over Monterey County.
MELISSA LOPEZ, PROGRAM DIRECTOR
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, and experience at MEarth Melissa is excited to continuing growing the organizations programs.
.KATE REGAN, ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATOR
Kate just can’t stay away from MEarth and all the incredible things happening here. Her love of people and natural things is what initially drew her, and now the opportunity to be involved on a full time basis is what brought her back. Through her education and world travels she has been able to connect with people on multiple continents through food, farming and laughter. While in college she interned multiple times, gaining experience in the ever broadening offerings and programs at MEarth. She received her degree from Cal Poly SLO, in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration with a concentration in Global Societies and Sustainability. She then spent the better part of a year traveling and living in New Zealand: working at an adventure camp and WOOFing on flower and working farms. Following a short break back in the states, forays to Albania, Germany, France and Spain expanded her cultural experiences and reinforced her desire to connect people and place and food. Most recently, she spent the past several years in the Santa Cruz Mountains teaching outdoor science to 5th and 6th grade students. She is so grateful to be here at MEarth and for the community it creates.
.SARAH SCHMIDT, VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR
Sarah grew up in Sacramento, CA and moved to Monterey where she received her BA in Environmental Studies. Throughout her college career, she worked to inspire individuals to take action on environmental issues and make a difference in their own lives. She has worked in the community and with individuals on environmental outreach, citizen science, and environmental education. She has a passion for sustainable practices and inspiring others to be sustainable.
.ZOE GAPAYAO, COMMUNITY STEWARDSHIP INTERN
Zoe has dreamt of pursuing environmental conservation since she took her first breath underwater at 9 years old. She went on to study at the University of Miami and worked as a marine biologist in the Philippines. Zoe is passionate about protecting the environment both on land and underwater through social and behavior change. She moved to Monterey for graduate school to study International Environmental Policy and has since fallen in love with its natural wonders. She enjoys scuba diving, traveling, arts and crafts, gardening, hiking and climbing, and yoga.