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NRCS Staff

The Yolo County Resource Conservation District and the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service’s Woodland Service Center share an office space and often partner together to provide technical assistance and project funding to implement conservation practices on the working lands of Yolo County. NRCS staff can provide additional resources, technical assistance, and access to cost-share funding beyond the scope of services offered at the Yolo County Resource Conservation District. Learn more about NRCS staff and their specialties below.

Brandi Murphy, District Conservationist, Woodland Service Center

Brandi is the District Conservationist in the Woodland Field Office. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Science, with a minor in Business Administration, and a Master of Science degree in Environmental Sciences as an interdisciplinary program with a thesis on utilizing biochar as a soil amendment to improve the yield of above-ground biomass,  at The University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). Brandi works primarily on cropland but enjoys developing her competencies by working with her team on all land uses to address the various resource concerns. 

Corey Shake, Partner Biologist, Point Blue Conservation Science & NRCS

Since 2013, Corey has worked in the Woodland Field Office as a Partner Biologist for Point Blue Conservation Science’s Working Lands Group in partnership with the NRCS. He works with landowners, farmers, and livestock producers to improve ecosystem health on private farm and rangeland in the following ways: (1) provide conservation planning assistance, (2) connect producers to financial assistance from NRCS and others, (3) facilitate and inform the implementation of conservation practices and management strategies, (4) monitor wildlife and other ecological responses to restoration and management practices, and (5) provide feedback and actionable recommendations to producers and other partners based on monitoring observations.   

Corey has two degrees in wildlife science and conservation; a bachelor’s from the University of Idaho and a master’s from North Carolina State University, where he studied songbird use of habitats created in a farmland conservation program.  In his spare time, he enjoys outdoor and creative time with his wife and two young children, and more wild adventures hiking and hunting in remote places.

cshake@pointblue.org

Kenneth Ramirez, Civil Engineer, Woodland Service Center

Kenneth has a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering with an emphasis on Hydrology and Water Resource Management and Hydraulics from California State University of Long Beach. 

Kenneth grew up in the Central Valley and has spent much of his life surrounded by agriculture. He has worked for NRCS for four years starting as an Earth Team Volunteer out of the Bakersfield Office. He also worked as a Pathways Intern serving out of the Indio, San Bernardino, and Vacaville offices. Kenneth looks forward to serving Yolo County by providing engineering technical support. 

Nick Gallagher

Nick Gallagher, Rangeland Management Specialist, Woodland Service Center

Nick has a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture with an emphasis on Wildland and Range Science from California State University, Chico. He started his career as a Rangeland Management Specialist at the Woodland Field Office in 2005.

He works with private landowners to develop conservation plans on farms and ranches that involve livestock operations. He works on irrigated pasture as well as upland rangeland in Yolo County.

Nick is a Certified Conservation Planner and has extensive experience writing prescribed grazing plans, habitat restoration plans, and conservation plans.

nicholas.gallagher@ca.usda.gov

Sara Lipschutz, Soil Conservationist, Woodland Service Center

Sara earned a bachelor’s degree in Ecological Management and Restoration with a minor in Soil Science from the University of California, Davis. She helps farmers with replacing older tractors and equipment, whole orchard recycling, cover cropping and compost, irrigation system upgrades, hedgerows, and more. Sara enjoys supporting a wide range of customers with diverse projects to promote sustainable land management and a thriving agricultural economy in Yolo County.

sara.lipschutz@usda.gov

(530) 902-7282 (cell)

Shayla Ramos, Wildlife Biologist, Woodland Service Center

Shayla’s background consists of a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Earth Resources; engaged with the public since 2011 through volunteer coordination, outdoor education, community outreach on conservation, plant management/monitoring and identification. Shayla has extensive experience monitoring and maintaining native plants in California and working with rare plants species in the National Park Service. They are well versed in propagation and best management practices with plant nurseries. Restoration projects focused on irrigation, maintenance, surveys and wildlife habitat on semi-arid, riparian, oak woodland, meadow, marshland ecology on private and public land. They have hedgerow and restoration experience working on over 10 miles of rivers across California. Wildlife habitat and monitoring includes red legged frogs, tri-colored black bird, salmon, kit fox, monarch butterflies, and tiger salamander.

Projects included decreasing soil erosion and water runoff; increasing wildlife and pollinator habitat, corridor and food source primarily for endangered and threatened animals; increasing health of soil such as porosity and organic matter; and water chemistry such as temperature and oxygen levels.