Meet EPIC's 2023 Board of Directors
Tony Silvaggio, President (he/him)
Tony is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and serves as the Vice President of the faculty union (CFA) at Cal Poly Humboldt, where he teaches courses on environmental sociology, social movements, and community organizing. 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.
Nate Madsen, Vice President (he/him)
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, Treasurer (he/him)
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.
Ava Biscoe, Secretary (she/her)
Ava is a nature lover who is honored to volunteer with such a strong environmental group. She has enjoyed volunteering for EPIC for various fundraising and outreach events since 2017. Ava considers herself a California naturalist and is committed to protecting the environment in our region. In her spare time she likes to lend a hand for habitat restoration projects, go hiking, and learn about local biodiversity, especially insects, plants, fungi, and birds. She appreciates the unique strengths of EPIC, particularly their work to protect our forests from harmful logging projects, their expertise in environmental law, their defense of endangered species, and collaboration with native tribes. She holds a bachelor's degree in environmental biology from Cal Poly Humboldt.
Judith Mayer (she/her)
Judith is an environmental planner who teaches in Cal Poly Humboldt’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, currently as vice-chair, and formerly served on Arcata’s Economic Development Committee. Judith has lived, traveled, worked as a planner, and conducted research 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 (they/them)
Moxie is a Queer Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) scholar and activist. As a master’s student of Cal Poly Humboldt’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 (she/her)
For nearly 20 years, Karen 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 chair, Stop Clearcutting California Campaign chair, Loma Prieta Chapter Forest Protection Committee chair, and Sierra Club California Executive Committee secretary. 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 (he/him)
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 did his postdoctoral work at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado and is currently a research affiliate with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California. 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, California, and advocates for the protection of our forests, ecosystems, and the planet.