ABOUT US

Meet the Unite the Parks Team. Integrity, Intelligence, Energy

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Deanna Lynn Wulff
Executive Director

Deanna is an award-winning author and advocate with a deep love of and commitment to the Sierra Nevada. For more than 20 years, she has been a project manager and editor, organizing complex and highly technical projects on a diverse set of topics. While working as a consultant, she explored vast portions of the west and the world, developing a comprehensive understanding of the American landscape. She has been a ranger, a river guide, and a yoga instructor. Her outdoor experience, organizational skills and adaptability laid the ground work for her role as the founder and executive director of Unite the Parks.  

Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Elliana Blumenfeld
Lead Environmental  
Advocate

Elliana is our lead environmental advocate, focusing on our federal and state efforts. She is a communications major at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and environmental studies minor. She has excellent writing and people skills, which she is actively putting to work. She enjoys outdoor sports like field hockey, traveling the world and playing the ukulele. She hopes to continue to advocate for the environment and for parks, as she develops her communication and policy expertise. 

Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help shall all be saved. Jane Goodall

Julia Rocchio
Spanish Language Lead
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Julia specializes in the language arts, translation and social media. She is A Cal Poly student, nearly finished with her degree in communication studies. She rejoins us in 2021 to lead Unir Los Parques, our Spanish language social media campaign on Facebook and Youtube. When she is not diligently working on all her projects, she enjoys yoga, time with friends and relaxing outside at parks and in the forest.  

Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are. – Brené Brown

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Dr. Joseph Werne
Chief Scientist

Dr. Joseph Werne is a senior research scientist at NorthWest Research Associates. He has a Ph.D in Physics from the University of Chicago and Bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Mechanical Engineering from Old Dominion University. The primary focus of Dr. Werne’s work is in atmosphere, ocean, and solar system simulation and modeling, with specific emphasis in fundamental processes and their nonlinear interplay. For Unite the Parks, he provides scientific analysis, research, and advocacy support. In addition to his professional work, he is also a baseball coach and house-concert host. See Dr. Werne's CV.

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. Albert Einstein 

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Lowell Young
Central Valley Advocate

Lowell is an expert birder, advocate and active member of the California Democratic Party. He has been the President of Yosemite Area Audubon, and the winner of the Charles H. Callison Award for volunteerism, Audubon's highest national honor. He has pursued environmental and social justice all his life, working on the Audubon's campaign to save the red-winged blackbird. Audubon recently designated the Southern Sierra Nevada IBA in his honor. Read more about it here.

Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. C. S. Lewis

Erin Grady
Communications Lead
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Erin is our communications lead, tasked with developing our outreach program across a broad spectrum of platforms. She is a biological sciences major and a psychology minor at Cal Poly, SLO, and so she is especially skilled at understanding people's need for connection with the natural world and each other. She deeply cares about the environment and social justice, and she enjoys creating art such as mosaics, jewelry, and collages. 

You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand that these resources are their own, that they must protect them. Wangari Maathai