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

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Deanna Lynn Wulff
Executive Director
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Dr. Joseph Werne
Chief Scientist

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

Lowell Young
Central Valley Advocate
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Kim Hall
Leadership Advisor

Kim serves as a troop leader and training chair for Scouts BSA. She has a diversity of life and work experience, with a speciality in youth advocacy and outdoor skills. She has taught English as a second language (ESL) in Indonesia, Mexico and the United States, and she is currently working as an Emergency Services Analyst for the Oceanside Fire Department.  When not working, she loves to read, walk, hike with her two sons, and grow amazing organic vegetables in her garden.

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir

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Danitza Castillo
Youth & Grassroots Advocacy Lead

Danitza is a student at Madera Community College, who was  born and raised in the Central Valley. She is dedicated to helping and influencing her community while pursuing environmental and social justice. Her interests include hiking, bike riding, playing music, arts & crafts, and meditating. Dani is determined to be a positive influence on people of her generation and the next. She wants to help preserve and restore our shared land for all to enjoy. 


You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi

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Dr. Marc Bendick Jr.
Economic Advisor

Marc is an economist at Bendick and Egan, who specializes in research on public policy issues regarding employment, discrimination, poverty, and social and economic inequality. He has published 140 research papers primarily on employment opportunities. His work often involves developing quantitative measures of employment discrimination. He has been an expert witness in many large class action lawsuits involving discrimination. His work has been cited in 44 Federal court opinions including the Supreme Court. In 2022, he received the Impact for Equality Award from the Equal Rights Center in Washington DC.


The love of economy is the root of all virtue. George Bernard Shaw

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 tri-colored 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

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Julia Lambert
Creative and Social Media Lead

Julia is a sophomore at UC Berkeley studying Conservation and Resource Studies and Applied Math. She loves going on adventures outdoors and wants to learn as much as she can about nature from passionate people so that she can become one of those passionate people educating others and making natural places more accessible. Julia enjoys doing creative projects with her friends in her free time, such as writing poems or making short films, and she adores reading.


You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time. Angela Davis

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Katie Kalkhof
Youth Leader

Katie is an avid rock climber, a youth leader, and an expert birder. She began her career as a Veterinary Technician and in her youth developed an affinity for the Allegheny Mountain Woodlands in Pennsylvania. When her family moved to California, her passion for California’s diverse environment was ignited. Now living in Fresno, she feels most at home in the vast wilderness of the Sierra Nevada. She serves as the Outreach Chair for the Fresno Audubon Society and clinical staff for the Bay Area Street Dog Coalition, and she dedicates her heart and her time to the wild lands and communities she holds dear.

You are going somewhere. Every day. Every experience you get. You're moving forward. Jimmy Chin

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