Staff

Craig Benson

Division Director and Watershed Program Manager (707) 269-2065 craig@nrsrcaa.org

Craig brings 25 years of professional experience in all phases of project planning, permitting, implementation, and long-term monitoring.  He has worked in 30 California counties on a wide variety of watershed assessment and rehabilitation, erosion & sediment control, riverine & estuarine restoration, riparian improvement, and fisheries enhancement projects.  As the Co-coordinator for the Humboldt Bay and Mad River watersheds, Craig has increasingly focused on developing and implementing non-point source pollution control plans, flood mitigation and channel improvements, fisheries habitat and fish passage enhancements, as well as invasive species management plans.

He is NRS’ project lead on the Humboldt Bay Initiative work group, Lower Elk River restoration planning, and multiple salt marsh and freshwater wetland mitigation projects.  In addition, Craig serves on the Board of Directors of the International Erosion Control Association, co-chairs the Humboldt Weed Management Area steering committee, and is a commissioner on the City of Eureka’s Open Space, Parks, and Recreation Commission.  Craig has a B.S. in Environmental Studies, M.S. in Watershed Science, a 2-year professional certificate in Mediation, and certifications in bio-engineering and erosion control. 

Emily Sinkhorn

Deputy Director and Active Living Program Manager (707) 269-2061 emily@nrsrcaa.org

Emily has a broad range of expertise and passion for functional transportation systems, natural resources and community-led change. To each project she brings her experience in community outreach, active transportation planning and policy, and project management. Emily manages many diverse projects in the Active Living program including trail planning, Safe Routes to School, community organizing, bicycle education and community gardens. Emily consistently works with a broad range of agency personnel, educators, and grassroots groups and fosters effective partnerships through these communications. She is successful at bringing together diverse groups of people and finding common themes for productive collaboration. Emily is a League Certified Bicycling Instructor and graduate of the Cascadia Leadership Program.

Mitra Abidi

Planner (707) 269-2071 mitra@nrsrcaa.org

Mitra is a Humboldt State University graduate with a B.S. in Natural Resources Planning & Interpretation. Since graduating in 2011, she has had a broad range of experience in community organizing, gardening, politics, sustainability, habitat restoration and natural resource management. She has taken part in many local projects from restoration to community gardening. She is passionate about healthy communities and healthy environment, and hopes to use her past experiences to help achieve that goal. She is also a delegate for the California State Democratic Party, board member of the Environmental Protection Information Center, and the part-time Administrative Director of the Mad River Alliance. 

Steffen Allan

Senior Field Specialist (707) 269-2070 steffen@nrsrcaa.org

Steffen has 11 years of experience in a myriad of field activities, primarily focused on watershed restoration and trail construction.  He has worked with a wide variety of funding sources and collaborative agencies including DFG, FWS, State Parks, BLM, CCC, local municipalities and private parties.  Steffen has had a hand in the construction and maintenance of much of the local trail system including the Hammond Trail, the Mad River Bluffs Trail, the Headwaters Trail, and the Elk River/Hiksari Eureka Waterfront Trail.  Steffen is a strong field crew leader and talented craftsman, his skill evident in the many kiosks and amenities he has installed on trails over the years.

Natalie Arroyo

Senior Planner (707) 269-2059 natalie@nrsrcaa.org

Natalie has been working on environmental health, community outreach, fisheries restoration and planning projects since 2005. She has led and supported projects in both the Active Living and Watershed programs of NRS, including the North Coast Stormwater Coalition’s Non-Point Source Pollution Prevention Program, the Eureka Street Trees program, Loleta Community-building Initiative, Mad River Watershed Management Plan, and many more. Natalie is particularly interested in projects that involve community engagement as well as a connection between environmental and human health and balance. She is a graduate of the Cascadia Leadership Training program. Natalie is also the Board Vice-President of the Humboldt Trails Council and a board member and Secretary of the Salmonid Restoration Federation.

Stephanie Birmingham

Office Supervisor (707) 269-2066 stephanie@nrsrcaa.org

Stephanie grew up in Iowa where she received her B.A. in Ecological Science. She moved to Humboldt County to attend graduate school at HSU in 2007. She received her Master's in Social Science from the Environment and Community program in 2011. She served two years as an AmeriCorps member in local area and has worked and volunteered for several nonprofits. She has a background in environmental education and interpretation and loves exploring the beautiful natural areas in Humboldt. Stephanie supports the team by coordinating fiscal and administrative activities for the NRS Division.

Amy Eberwein

Planning Specialist (707) 269-2055 amy@nrsrcaa.org

Amy Eberwein is a 2016 Humboldt State University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Ecological Restoration and Rangeland Resources.  A north coast resident since birth, her passion for natural resources conservation led her to pursue a career in which she could make a difference in the local community as well as preserve and restore local ecosystems. Amy has been involved with restoration and conservation efforts with other local non-profit and government organizations and has a particular interest in invasive plant management and the restoration of coastal ecosystems including salt marsh and dune habitats. 

Denise Newman

Projects Coordinator (707) 269-2060 denise@nrsrcaa.org

Denise has planned, developed and implemented interpretive & wayfinding signage, kiosks, benches and other trail amenities since 2002. Projects include the Hammond Coastal Trail, Falk Headwaters Trail, Eureka’s newest Elk River Hikshari’ Trail, and developing the Humboldt Bay Interpretive Signing Manual (a series of thematic templates for use around the Bay). She has worked with local government agencies including Humboldt County and City of Eureka Public Works, federal agencies such as BLM, the Wiyot Tribe, and non-profits including Friends of the Dunes and Northcoast Regional Land Trust. Denise has a M.S. in Interpretation and Planning from Humboldt State University, and works extensively with artists, geologists, biologists, Tribal members and historians to portray the most recent and accurate story of an area. 

Elijah Portugal

Projects Coordinator (707) 269-2058 elijah@nrsrcaa.org

Elijah Portugal holds a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries Biology from Humboldt State University and a Master of Science in Watershed Science with an emphasis in geomorphology and hydrology from Utah State University. His experience working with fish habitat in fluvial environments throughout the West, including Northern California began in 2004. He specializes in geomorphic and hydrologic assessments as well as planning, designing and monitoring novel, process-based instream restoration techniques including ‘partnering with beaver’ and High-Density Large Woody Debris additions. He is also experienced in developing adaptive beaver management plans with diverse stakeholders as well as planning and implementing ‘living with beaver’ strategies to mitigate for nuisance beaver behavior. Being raised in Humboldt County, Elijah is particularly interested in the intersection between conservation and sustainable land-use which allows for working landscapes while preserving and enhancing the integrity of natural systems. 

Morguine Sefcik

Projects Coordinator (707) 269-2057 morguine@nrsrcaa.org

Morguine has worked in a variety of planning, community outreach, watershed, and stormwater projects at NRS since 2001. She helped develop and implement NRS’ first stormwater projects, the North Coast Stormwater Coalition’s (NCSC) Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Program and the NCSC’s Low Impact Development Pilot Project.  She has worked collaboratively with local and state government agencies (State of CA; Counties of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Del Norte; Cities of Arcata, Eureka, Fortuna, Fort Bragg; Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District), non-profit groups, community groups, private landowners, and educational institutions.  Morguine has a B.A. in Biology from Mills College and is a member of the NCSC.

Jennifer Weiss

Senior Planner (707) 269-2062 weiss@nrsrcaa.org

Jenny is a graduate of Humboldt State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources Planning and Interpretation. With nearly 20 years of experience in Environmental Education and Outreach, she manages non-motorized transportation projects that support active living in Humboldt County. Since 2010, Jenny has been coordinating Safe Routes to School (SR2S) programs and efforts throughout the county including the Greater Eureka SR2S Task Force and the County-wide SR2S Task Force. She also organizes and leads walkability audits and bike rodeos, develops policy to support active transportation, coordinates events, and manages volunteers. She has completed the Cascadia Leadership Training, the National Charrette Institute Certification Training, and trainings in Community Organizing, Designing for Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety, and Bicycle Traffic Skills 101. 

Don Allan

Senior Project Consultant don@nrsrcaa.org

Don has worked in watershed assessment and implementation as well as trail planning and implementation since 1978. Don has extensive experience in riparian, wetland, and instream habitat enhancement, with a focus on estuarine environments around Humboldt Bay. He has also worked extensively in upslope erosion control, road assessment, and road rehabilitation and decommissioning. He has provided oversight to construction of several segments of the California Coastal Trail including the Hammond Trail – Widow White Creek Interpretive Trail and Multi-use Trail construction and the Elk River- Hikshar’i Trail. He has also led numerous stream and riparian enhancement projects including the Widow White Creek Enhancement Project and the Wood Creek Tidal Marsh Enhancement Project. He was the project lead for the Humboldt Bay Sediment Reduction and Salmon Habitat Improvement Project and has been leading the Martin Slough Enhancement Project since 2001. Don serves as the president of the Salmonid Restoration Federation, the vice-president of the Trinidad Coastal Land Trust, and is a founding member of the Trinidad Bay Watershed Council.