Conservationists of the Year for 2014

Conservationists of the Year for 2014

Dr. Jodi McGraw and Dr. Chris Wilmers

Land Trust Board of Trustees Presented Awards

Jodi McGrawThe Land Trust of Santa Cruz County Board of Trustees named Dr. Jodi McGraw and Dr. Chris Wilmers Conservationists of the Year at an event on Sunday, October 5. The award was in recognition of their work in setting the priorities of the Land Trust and in educating the public about the natural resources that make Santa Cruz County special.

The awards were present by John Gilchrist and Val Cole, members of the Land Trust Board of Trustees at an event at the home of Patty Quillin and Reed Hastings. More than 130 Land Trust Conservation Circle members attended.

Dr. Jodi McGraw began her work with the Land Trust in 2004, writing the Land Trust’s Sandhills Protection Plan. Since then she has brought her skills to bear on almost every landscape the Land Trust has worked to protect—the Pajaro Hills, Pajaro Valley farmland, and the Santa Cruz Mountains.

She was the lead scientist on the development of the Land Trust’s Conservation Blueprint in 2010 and 2011. Dr. McGraw leads walks and does presentations throughout the year. She will be part of panel of experts at the Land Trust’s “Insiders Peek into the Highway 17 Wildlife Crossing” on December 3, from 7-8:30. Visit for more information and to sign up.

Chris WilmersDr. Chris Wilmers is an Associate Professor in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz, and heads the Santa Cruz Puma Project. He served on the Steering Committee for the Land Trust’s Conservation Blueprint. His research is a foundation stone for the Land Trust’s Highway 17 Wildlife Crossing and is a vital part of the planning for public access at San Vicente Redwoods, which avoids sensitive mountain lion breeding and denning areas.

Earlier this year, Mr. Wilmers gave a presentation on the Santa Cruz Puma Project research for 600 Land Trust members, selling out Santa Cruz’s Rio Theatre.

Wilmers and McGraw join an illustrious list of previous Conservationists of the Year, including Diane Cooley (2007), Robert Stephens (2008), Bill Locke-Paddon (2009), Randy Repass and Sally-Christine Rodgers (2010), and all the contributors to the Land Trust’s Campaign to Protect 10,000 Acres (2012).

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