WHO WE ARE
DR. RONNIE D. LIPSCHUTZ is Co-founder & Senior Analyst, is Emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He holds an MS in Physics from MIT and a PhD in Energy & Resources from UC Berkeley. He has been engaged in resource-related work since 1978. You can view his CV here.
KEVIN BELL is Co-founder and Senior Analyst. He holds an MPA from the Kennedy School at Harvard University. He has over thirty-five years of deep experience in the areas of low-income advocacy, energy efficiency program design, education, and sustainable infrastructure, in the public, private, entrepreneurial, academic, and non-profit sectors, as well as energy regulatory policy, hydrology and resource modeling. You can view his CV here.
MARISELA LARA is SSRF’s Regenerative Agriculture Projects Manager. She has more than 10 years of experience connecting Monterey community members to supportive resources. From 2018 to 2020, she was a member of the Soledad City Council and prior to that an administrative support coordinator at Cal State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB). She holds a BA from CSUMB and a MS in Public Administration from San Jose State University
SERGEY KOMARADENKOV is an SSRF Research Associate. He holds an MA in Interaction design from the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. He is a product manager, designer, and researcher in the field of circular economy, digital product development and service design, with specific interests in food systems and regenerative agriculture. You can find out more about his work at http://sergey.design/.
ROBERT STAYTON is an SSRF Research Associate. He is a physicist, author, teacher, programmer, inventor, technical writer, typesetter, bread baker, and worm farmer. He has degrees in physics and science communication. He is the author of two books on solar energy, including Solar Dividends—How Solar Energy can Generate a Basic Income for Everyone on Earth (Santa Cruz, Calif.: Sandstone, 2019)
SSRF PARTNERS AND COLLABORATORS
JOSEFINA LARA CHAVEZ is a Farm-to-Market specialist and Senior Manager, Latinx Farmer Program for the Community Alliance with Family Farmers in Davis, California. She has a graduate degree in Public Administration, from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She is a graduate of ALBA.
JAKKI CASTORENA-DAVILA is a bilingual sustainability consultant at Environmental Innovations in Santa Cruz, California. She has a background in many industries and experience in sales, social media marketing, design and outreach in low income communities.
BROOKE WRIGHT is Director of Programs and Strategy at Environmental Innovations and regional Monterey Bay Area Green Business Program in Santa Cruz California . She has more than 10 years of experience developing communications, marketing, and outreach solutions for mission-driven organizations.
DR. EMILY RUSTAD is Instructor in Agriculture Business Technology at Hartnell College in Salinas. and teaches courses on Soil Science, Plant Science, Food Safety, Sustainable Agriculture and Agriculture Business, and Small Fruit Science, Plant Pathology. She holds a PhD in Plant Pathology from UC Davis.
LAURA MURPHY is a Soil Scientist at the Resource Conservation District of Monterey County. She provides technical assistance to small-scale, new and Spanish speaking farmers, helping them to test and implement both proven and innovative practices to build healthy soil and create thriving and sustainable farms. Laura holds an MS in Soil Science from UC Davis and completed the PEPA organic farmer educational program at ALBA in Salinas.
MIREYA GOMEZ-CONTRERAS is the co-leader of Esperanza Community Farms, a non-profit in Watsonville, California, with a mission to localize the food system and address inequality. Its two acres of farmland have become a means to not only address food insecurity, but also nourish the souls of farmworker families like the one in which she was raised.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SHIELA DAVIS is an SSRF Research Associate, overseeing the Solar Scorecard project. For many years, she was Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. Davis holds a BA in American Studies from UC Santa Cruz. Sheila Davis has played a valuable role in shaping environmental policy in the high-tech industry.
MARISHA FARNSWORTH is an artist, based in Oakland, whose large-scale public space interventions explore future ecosystems, infrastructural utopias and the social and ecological implications of materiality in the built environment. Her work has been exhibited at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Venice Biennale and is in the collection of the Nevada Museum of Art. She was the lead artist for the 2017 Temple at Burning Man.
DR. DUSTIN MULVANEY is Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, San Jose State University. He holds a PhD in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz, an MS in Environmental Policy, and a BS in Chemical Engineering. Since 2008, his primary focus has been on energy commodity chains, with an emphasis on the solar industry. His book Solar Power, Innovation, Sustainability, Environmental Justice was published by UC Press in 2019.
DR. ANN LOPEZ is Executive Director, Center for Farmworker Families in Watsonville, California. She is an emerita professor and taught courses in biology, environmental science, ecology and botany in the biology department at San José City College for many years. Her book entitled The Farmworkers’ Journey summarizes the results, arguments and conclusions of her research and was published by UC Press in June 2007. She has been recognized for her work by The U.S. Congress and many organizations. In 2019, Ann was chosen as Woman of the Year by the 29th Assembly District of California. In March 2018, she was chosen for a 16th Annual Cesar E. Chavez Community Award in Watsonville.
DR. ADINA PAYTAN is Research Professor in the Institute of Marine Sciences, UC Santa Cruz. She received her PhD in Oceanography from the Scripps Institute in 1995, was a professor of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Stanford for eight years, and moved to Santa Cruz in 2007. Her research is focused on marine biogeochemical cycles and dynamics in the present and past, and on their connection to the Earth system as a whole. She has received numerous awards and grants in support of her research and graduate students.
THOMAS RETTENWENDER is Principal Architect at Ecologic Design Lab in Seaside, California. He holds an MA and M Arch and the LEED AP, and has spent the past 20 years in the areas of architecture / urban design, education, and non-profit management. He led a team of local student interns to win first prize for the 2015 Mock Firms International Design Competition with a design of the Core Tower and masterplan for a site in Seoul, South Korea.
DR. STEVEN MENTOR is Professor of English at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose. He holds an MA from San Francisco State University and a PhD from the University of Washington. He has taught writing, critical thinking, and English and American Literature full time since 1996. He has been involved in large scale direct action campaigns, done many nonviolence trainings, and helped edit The Cyborg Handbook.
BEATRIZ SMITH was an intern and research analyst at SSRF from 2019 to 2021, doing the work of Executive Director, webmaster, and intern supervisor. She holds a BS in Environmental Studies from San Francisco State University and an AS with an emphasis in Mathematics, Engineering, and Sciences from De Anza College. She now works for the Rural Community Assistance Corporation in Sacramento.
PARTNERS AND COLLABORATING ORGANIZATIONS
CURRENT PROJECT INTERNS AND VOLUNTEERS