Heather Nichols, Executive Director
Heather Nichols is the Executive Director of the Yolo County Resource Conservation District. She graduated from CSU Humboldt with a B.S. in Sustainable Systems and a minor in Soil Science. She gained experience in small scale agriculture and habitat restoration as an AmeriCorps volunteer and went on to complete her Master’s degree in ecological design and planning from the Conway School of Landscape Design. Heather joined the RCD in 2008 and worked as a watershed coordinator and project manager before becoming the Executive Director in 2014. She works with the RCD Board of Directors and staff, NRCS and other conservation leaders in the community and region to develop and carry out relevant and effective conservation projects and programs. Heather is also a Certified Conservation Planner.
Jeanette Wrysinski, Senior Program Manager
Jeanette Wrysinski is our Senior Program Manager. She graduated with a B.S. degree in Plant Science with a specialization in Plant Pathology from UC Davis. Her experience includes field research trial management for UC Davis and UCCE, field inspections for California Crop Improvement Association and working for Ducks Unlimited during their first efforts to create winter waterfowl habitat in rice fields. Jeanette joined the RCD in 1995, first installing and evaluating conservation and wildlife habitat projects, then progressing to project manager while including designing and coordinating monitoring programs and field research trials. She has worked with a broad range of local and state agencies and organizations and has managed numerous successful conservation projects in the county. She works closely with the Executive Director on program development and grant acquisition, and coordinates and supports the activities of the Westside Sac Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP) Coordinating Committee.
Joanne Heraty, Project Manager
Before joining the RCD, Joanne worked as an Assistant Specialist in a restoration Ecology lab at UC Davis researching invasion and nutrient dynamics in California’s rangelands. In 2010 she received her M.S. in International Agricultural Development from UC Davis where she studied the conservation of maize genetic diversity in Southern California’s urban gardens. She received her B.A. in Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz and has worked in the past as a researcher studying gene flow in maize. Her work at the RCD focuses on design, implementation and management of a multitude of restoration projects on both public and private lands throughout Yolo County.
Tanya Meyer, Project Manager
Tanya Meyer, Project Manager, has been working on restoring native plant communities and protecting them from invasive weeds since 2000. She has a BS and an MS in Community and Regional Development from the University of California, Davis. Tanya has worked at Hedgerow Farms (California native plant seed producers), managed the Center for Land-Based Learning’s SLEWS Program in the Northstate (Chico area), and worked at the Yolo County RCD as a vegetation management specialist/Weed Warrior controlling tamarisk and other noxious weeds along Cache Creek in the Capay Valley. She just spent six years in Northern Central Pennsylvania working on invasive plant control, and is happy to be back at the RCD. Her current projects are focused on restoring sections of land along Cache Creek, as well as several urban restoration sites in Woodland and Davis.
Brandon Baker, Field Technician
Brandon started working as a field technician for the RCD in 2013 and is responsible for managing all implementation activities for the RCD’s restoration projects in Yolo County. Before joining the RCD team, he worked for Public Works at the City of Woodland managing and mainting open space property. Brandon has extensive experience in implementing and maintaining conservation projects on working lands, having worked for Audubon California Landowner Stewardship Program for over 12 years. He also leads stewardship field days with our environmental education partners including the Center for Land-Based Learning and Putah Creek Council.
Sue McCloud, Financial Manager
Sue, the RCD's Financial Manager, has over 30 years of accounting management experience, having worked for the County of Yolo before joining the RCD in 2002. Sue is responsible for preparation, maintenance, verification and reconciliation of accounting and financial records, the audit of financial transactions, and the production of fiscal reports. She analyzes, develops and implements accounting and financial procedures and systems as well as assists with operational management of the RCD. She also works with RCD staff in developing project budgets and cost allocation information. In coordination with the County, Sue has managed RCD annual budgets ranging from $500,000-$2.5 million.
Sheila Pratt, Administrative Assistant
Sheila has been the Administrative Assistant for the Yolo County RCD since 2005 providing critical support to all areas of District's functions and operations. Sheila works with the Executive Director to provide support for all activities with the RCD Board of Directors: prepares and distributes board materials and attends board meetings. She supports the financial manager in numerous clerical and accounting tasks, RCD personnel and operations needs, and coordinates all RCD events and workshops.