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Board of Directors

Larry Glass, President

Safe Alternatives for our Forest Environment

Larry Glass is a life-long environmental advocate and former retail business owner for 40 years. He has served in various capacities on the NEC board for over 35 years – currently presiding as Board President and Executive Director, plus serving as the NEC’s forest advisor.  Larry was elected to the Eureka City Council and served four years (2006-2010). His knowledge of local environmental issues and experience as a community leader proves a vital component of the NEC. Larry sits on the NEC’s Conservation, Personnel, Tech, Finance, Board Development and EcoNews Committees. Larry is also President and Executive Director of Safe Alternatives for our Forest Environment (S.A.F.E.),  Trinity County’s environmental voice since 1979.  Larry is a resident of both Trinity and Humboldt County, giving him a unique perspective for both groups.

Margaret Gainer, Vice President


Maggie has always danced in the middle between community-based economic development and environmental activism. Her firm, Gainer & Associates, specialized in integrating recyclable material into manufacturing. Since 1977, she has been an early innovator in the recycling industry and increasing public adoption of Zero Waste. She was Arcata Community Recycling Center’s executive director, Sacramento County’s first recycling coordinator, President of the California Resource Recovery Association and on the National Recycling Coalition Board. She co-founded Zero Waste Humboldt, Center for Environmental Economic Development; directed HSU’s Office for Economic & Community Development and served on California Governor’s Economic Strategy Panel.


Chris Beresford, Treasurer


Chris Beresford has worked closely with the NEC for over 35 years and has served as Board Treasurer since 2011. Chris brings significant administrative and organizational experience to the NEC through her work with California State Parks. She has a passion for propagating and protecting native plants. Chris currently presides over the NEC’s Finance Committee and serves on the Personnel Committee.


Tom Wheeler


EPIC’s Executive Director Tom graduated from the University of Washington School of Law with a concentration in Environmental Law. Tom was President of the Environmental Law Society, served as Articles Editor of the WA Journal of Environmental Law & Policy, and defended old-growth and endangered species at the WA Forest Law Center. He serves on the EcoNews and Conservation Committees.

C.J. Ralph

Redwood Region Audubon Society

C.J. Ralph has been a member of NEC for more than 30 years, and served on the Board in various capacities over 15 years, including Vice President and Audubon representative. Dr. Ralph is a Research Ecologist Emeritus with the Forest Service Research Branch, has founded several bird observatories, and participates in many conservation non-profits locally and elsewhere including Costa Rica and New Zealand. He is committed to conservation based on excellent science. He serves on the Conservation Committee.

Dana Utman

Sierra Club North Group, Redwood Chapter

Dana Utman works with the Sierra Club in their North Group executive committee and as a national coach. He graduated from Humboldt State University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Resource Planning and Interpretation. While on campus he directed a Youth
Educational Services (Y.E.S.) environmental program called 5H. In 1979 he co-directed the Arcata Homeless Task Force. Afterwards, he worked as a letter carrier for the United States Post office for 34 years which included representing the local National Association of Letter Carrier
union as president and the California State Association of Letter Carriers as a district officer. After he retired from his federal job he started working for the California State Parks as an interpreter. He is a certified interpreter guide and spends a lot of time outdoors photographing
wildlife and beautiful scenic opportunities.

Dan Sealy


Dan Sealy joined the NEC Board in 2011and is the Legislative Analyst for the Northcoast Environmental Center. Dan received a degree in Natural Resources Management at Humboldt State University and then worked for the National Park Service. He worked as a ranger and natural resources manager with the National Park Service for over 30 years. After retiring, he lives part time with his partner, Bryan, in Maryland near Washington, D.C. where he does environmental consulting and develops training for natural resource managers, but is able to spend more than half his time in their home in Trinidad. He’s learned to enjoy the political ins and outs of Washington and supervises HSU Environmental Policy interns, but he prefers backpacking in the Sierra, hiking in redwood forests or kayaking. Issues of greatest interest to Dan are wilderness protection, biodiversity, public land use policy, and inspiring folks to get out and experience nature first hand. Dan serves on the NEC’s ExComm and Conservation Committees.

Aisha Cissna


Aisha joined the NEC board in 2020. Her foray into NEC began as an Environmental Policy intern with Dan Sealy. She has volunteered with EPIC’s Livestock Grazing Reform project, conducted sage grouse ecosystem research, investigated Prop 69, Clean Water Act, and wildlife law violations for Greenfire Law, and facilitated HSU (now CPH) Earth Week planning. Since then, she’s worked at the Redwood Coast Energy Authority as their Transportation Specialist and currently serves as the RCEA Regulatory and Legislative Policy Manager. She enjoys foraging for cupcakes with her partner Juan in her free time.

Tiffany Perez


Tiffany grew up in Orange County in southern California. Here she enjoyed desertscapes, mountains, and the ocean after being introduced to the natural world through the lens of enthusiastic and inspiring professors in her community college. There she earned an AS in Natural Sciences and spent time volunteering at the campus sanctuary giving tours and maintaining the trails and pond. She moved to Arcata and earned a BS in Soil Science. While studying she worked as an Office Assistant for the NEC where she helped with office day-to-day operations, participated in and coordinated events. She also tutored and was a teacher assistant for soils classes and competed in CA soil judging events. For the past two years, she has been working for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service as a Soil Conservationist for Trinity County where she works with private landowners and local natural resource agencies on forestry and rangeland projects. She has been able to learn about NRCS programs and funding cycles, project planning and coordinating, environmental compliance, Forestry Practice Rules and fire ecology. Living in Trinity county has given her the opportunity to volunteer in local prescribed burns, backpack the Trinity Alps, enjoy the local rivers and most recently explore and plan projects for The Wildlands Conservancy new Eel River Canyon Preserve.

Joann Kerns

California Native Plant Society (CNPS)

Joann Kerns worked as a Social Worker for Child Protective Services for 25 years, while raising her six children. After they were raised (more or less)  she went back to school and obtained a BSN in Nursing.  She worked at San Francisco General Hospital until her retirement in 2015.  Since then she has been active in habitat restoration and talks with anyone who will listen about native plants and their place in ecological recovery.  After moving to the North Coast in 2021 she became involved with CNPS and is their current representative to NEC.  She is an avid wildland gardener and enjoys kayaking and playing the ukulele.  Joann is currently serving on the Conservation Committee.

Scott Sway


Scott has been a volunteer and Board Member for the NEC since 1974 and spent 10 years as President of the Board in the 1980’s. He is currently the Board Secretary. Scott moved to Humboldt County in 1974 and attended Cal Poly Humboldt as a Wildlife Biology student. He started an Outdoor Gear store in Eureka in 1974 ( Northern Mountain Supply ) and owned and operated that store for 30 years.