Updated: 19 hours ago
The results are in from the election for EPIC's 2024 Board of Directors! As a membership organization, EPIC's Board of Directors is elected by our members every fall. Thank you so much to those who ran for the Board, and to our members who voted. This year we welcome three new faces onto the Board, welcome back six incumbents, and say farewell to two—Ava and Karen, thank you so much for your service to EPIC.
Introducing EPIC's 2024 Board of Directors (incumbents marked with an asterisk*):
Jennifer Marlow: Jennifer is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Law in the Department of Environmental Science & Management (ESM) at Cal Poly Humboldt, where she is also a member of the Sea Level Rise Institute and faculty co-chair of the ESM Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. After earning her Juris Doctorate from the University Washington School of Law in 2010, Jennifer co-founded and co-directed Three Degrees, a climate justice project at the University of Washington School of Law, which later became the nonprofit Three Degrees Warmer and home to an eight-year partnership with Re-Locate and the Iñupiaq village of Kivalina, Alaska. Jennifer also managed Re-Locate LLC, a small business in Anchorage, Alaska, dedicated to the research and development of relocatable, decentralized water and sanitation infrastructure for rural Alaskan communities. Jennifer moved to Humboldt County in 2019, and has since founded the 44 Feet Project, a research collaborative examining the long-term futures of a spent nuclear fuel site on Humboldt Bay. Jennifer is excited to participate in important decisions and negotiations about how and where to leverage EPIC’s influence, and bring her training in environmental law, climate justice, and conflict resolution to support EPIC in the fundamental role it will inevitably play in shaping Humboldt’s future.
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 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.
Judith Mayer*: Judith is an environmental planner who has just retired from teaching in Cal Poly Humboldt’s Department of Environmental Science and Management. She has lived in Arcata for 23 years. She holds masters and doctoral degrees in City and Regional Planning. Judith is serving her 5th term on Arcata’s Planning Commission, and previously 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 local/global perspective on North Coast concerns stems from advocacy and research on community environmental planning in the US and abroad. Judith is excited about contributing 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.
Marie Garabedian: Marie is a practicing California attorney working in the public interest sector and represents some of the most vulnerable within our community. She received her Juris Doctorate from California School of Law during the pandemic with the goal of practicing on the North Coast. Marie was originally drawn to Northern California 23 years ago by the majestic yet threatened coastal old growth forests and immediately fell in love with the area. She joined the ongoing campaigns to halt and change the outdated logging practices that had already reaped so much environmental destruction. She has been following EPIC's work for many years and is excited to join the team!
Moxie Alvarnaz*: Moxie is a Queer Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) scholar and activist. As a master’s student of Cal Poly Humboldt’s Environment & Community program, they examine 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, they were awarded the McCrone Graduate Fellowship in recognition of their research and service to social and environmental justice issues. Moxie holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Humboldt State University.
Nate Madsen (2023 Vice President)*: Nate has called Humboldt County home since 1991 when he moved here to attend Humboldt State University (HSU), and has supported EPIC's work since the time of the Headwaters Forest Campaign. After a number of years of study and more than a few years of extended breaks to paddle the Trinity River, hike the Trinity Alps, and surf in and around the greater Trinidad area, Nate graduated from HSU in 2000 while living in Mariah to protect the ancient redwood tree from cutting by Maxxam/Pacific Lumber in Freshwater watershed. Nate currently resides in the Middle Mattole watershed where in 2014 he earned his Juris Doctorate through his correspondence studies at Concord Law School. During law school, Nate furthered his ties with EPIC through his internship under long-time EPIC Staff Attorney Sharon Duggan. After law school, Nate joined the EPIC Board of Directors in 2015. 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.
Noah Levy (2023 Treasurer)*: 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.
Tony Silvaggio (2023 President)*: 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.
Will Suiter: Will is a Humboldt County-based small business owner and professional photographer who studied forestry at Humboldt State University, with a concentration in restoration and operations. He didn’t go to business or art school, but has built a successful creative business on his own terms through constant learning, adapting, and reorienting his approach as needed. As a generally outside-the-box thinker, Will can offer insights and ideas that may be unconventionally effective. As a professional photographer, Will has seen firsthand the scale of impact that strong, engaging visuals have on an audience, and also has a great deal of experience, practical skills, and network connections in the field of visual communications. He would like to primarily contribute to EPIC as a board member through offering his ideas, skills, experience, and insights to strengthen marketing efforts, outreach, and communication with current EPIC supporters and potential new supporters to garner increased awareness and support for EPIC and the issues it addresses through media and public education. Will strongly believes in a holistic approach to conservation and sustainability, and that meeting humanity's need for natural resources and infrastructure while integrating sustainability and environmental protections are not mutually exclusive. With EPIC uniquely positioned in an area and time where resource extraction and development have made great strides towards sustainability, but still have a ways to go towards being truly sustainable and environmentally conscious, Will is thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with others at EPIC and within the community who are passionate about protecting our environment.
We appreciate the time and commitment these individuals have dedicated to protect the forests, rivers and wildlife of Northwest California and we look forward to working with our new Board in the coming year!