2021 Board of Directors
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Tony Silvaggio (President): Tony is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Environment & Community MA Program at Humboldt State University, where he teaches courses on civil liberties, social movements, community organizing, and environmental sociology. He got involved in the forest protection movement while attending Humboldt State in the 1990s, and was inspired by EPIC’s advocacy of putting ecological considerations first and taking strong positions in defense of forests and biodiversity. Tony has also served on the Board of Directors for the Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment (ASJE), the Cascadia Wildlands Project (CWP), the Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC), and Mow and Sow.
Destiny Preston (Treasurer): Destiny has experience working in local and State government doing land use planning, transportation planning, and coastal resource protection in various regions in northern and southern California. She has expertise in urban and rural planning, environmental policy and justice, sea level rise adaptation, land use management, and community resilience. Destiny obtained a master’s degree in urban and regional planning, with an emphasis in environmental analysis and policy, as well as graduate certificates for leadership in sustainability and global environment and resources from UCLA. She holds two bachelor degrees in society and environment and peace and conflict studies from UC Berkeley. Destiny is fluent in Spanish and has some rusty intermediate Portuguese and French language skills. She is grateful to have spent time living in Argentina, Costa Rica, and France in years past. These international experiences underscore her commitment to diversity and inclusion in the environmental sector.
Ava Biscoe (Secretary): Ava Biscoe is a senior environmental biology student at HSU with a passion for protecting the forests for climate change resiliency and defending the species that depend on them. She has volunteered with EPIC since 2015, and she was awarded volunteer of the year in 2018. Ava has served as the president of Climate Crisis HSU, on the AS Earth Week Committee, and is currently the social media manager for Humboldt 350.org. In her past Ava has worked in the zero waste field in her hometown of San Francisco, as a science tutor, volunteering to conduct numerous biodiversity surveys in Humboldt, and would like to work in conservation science in the future.
Nate Madsen: Nate has called Humboldt County home since 1991 when he moved here to attend Humboldt State University (HSU). After a number of years of study and more than a few years of extended breaks for time spent paddling the Trinity River, hiking the Trinity Alps, and surfing in and around the greater Trinidad area, Nate graduated from HSU in 2000 while living in Mariah (the ancient redwood tree in Freshwater watershed) to protect Mariah from cutting by Maxxam/Pacific Lumber. Nate currently resides in the Middle Mattole watershed where in July of 2014 he earned his Juris Doctorate through his correspondence studies at Concord Law School. Nate currently works at the law offices’ of Rain & Zepp, PLC as staff attorney and dedicates as much of his spare-time and energy as possible to local issues of environmental concern especially the virgin forests of Rainbow Ridge in the headwaters of the Northfork Mattole River and the inappropriately located TerraGen Wind energy project.
Noah Levy: Noah served as the Lands Program Director for Sanctuary Forest, a local land and water trust organization, for 11 years until 2014, when he left to form a private consulting business, LandWater Consulting. Since that time he has worked for private clients as a land use consultant and grant writer focused on land and water conservation transactions. Since 2014, Noah has also served as a Humboldt County Planning Commissioner representing the 3rd District. He moved to Garberville in 2002 following earlier careers in journalism, marketing and law, and now lives in Arcata with his wife and sons. He has served on the EPIC Board of Directors since 2004, and continues to be proud to be associated with such a phenomenally effective grassroots environmental nonprofit organization.
Judith Mayer: Judith is a planner who teaches in HSU’s Department of Environmental Science and Management. She has lived in Arcata for 20 years. She holds MS and PhD degrees in City and Regional Planning. Judith serves on Arcata’s Planning Commission (her fourth term), currently as vice-chair, and formerly served on Arcata’s Economic Development Committee. Judith has lived, traveled, worked as a planner, and conducted reserach in the US, Europe, and Asia. A founding member of The Borneo Project of Earth Island Institute, she also served as its Director/Coordinator, and continues on its board. Her research and advocacy for community environmental planning in the US and abroad gives her a local/global perspective on North Coast concerns. Judith hopes to continue to contribute to EPIC’s defense of the Earth, and believes EPIC’s effective public persuasion, collaborative efforts, regulatory advocacy, and willingness to sue if necessary, make EPIC the North Coast’s most effective environmental advocacy organization.
Moxie Alvarnaz: Moxie is a Queer Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) scholar and activist. As a master’s student of Humboldt State University’s Environment & Community program, Moxie examines the interactions between political economy, oppressive hierarchy, settler colonialism, and the environment. Moxie has been involved in a variety of environmental and social movements, mutual aid organizing, and direct action. Currently, they are an organizer with Humboldt Mutual Aid, a grassroots disaster relief network based on the principles of solidarity. Moxie believes in the possibility of crafting revolutionary anti-colonial coalitions which reject green capitalist rationales. In 2020, Moxie was awarded the McCrone Graduate Fellowship in recognition of their research and service to social and environmental justice issues. They hold a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Humboldt State University.
Karen Maki: For nearly 20 years, Karen Maki has advocated for forest protection and an end to clearcutting in California by meeting with legislators, attending agency meetings, and educating others. She has also supported the work of others by holding many leadership positions within the Sierra Club at the local and state levels such as chair of conservation, executive, and fundraising committees. She is now State Forest Committee co-chair, Stop Clearcutting California Campaign chair, Loma Prieta Chapter Forest Protection Committee chair, Utility Wildfire Task Force meeting convener, and Sierra Club California Conservation Committee Northern Vice Chair. Previously, she worked for Intel and other companies for 25 years as a systems programmer and product manager and also earned a MA in counseling and a California Marriage Family Therapy license.She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area a few miles from the redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
JP O'Brien: JP is a Northern California native, raised in the mountains of Trinity County where he also worked as a wilderness patrol ranger in the Trinity Alps. Subsequently, JP earned a Bachelor of Science in applied physics, a graduate certificate in applied spatial statistics, and a Ph.D. in climate and atmospheric science. He currently holds dual appointments at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO. and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, CA. His research focuses on understanding climate variability in a world subject to both natural and anthropogenic forcings. With a focus on mid-latitude dynamics this entails the study of tropical – extratropical interactions, coupled ocean – atmosphere interactions, and modes of variability that modulate the statistics of extratropical cyclones, anticyclones, and atmospheric rivers. JP currently lives in Fort Bragg, CA. where he is a fierce advocate for the protection of our forests, ecosystems, and the planet.