Our Board of Directors volunteer their time and expertise thought the year to uphold the mission of the Newport Bay Conservancy and strategically directs the organization to fill that charge. Board Members are elected to serve two year terms and can be elected for a subsequent term. The Conservancy is always looking for passionate folks to sit on the Board. For more information on how you can become a Board Member, click here.

The Board meets on the 3rd Wednesday of every month (except February). The Public is welcome to attend. Please give us a call at 949-640-1751 for detailed directions.

Peter Bryant, President
Peter Bryant’s interest and passion are in documenting, monitoring and preserving local biodiversity and ecosystems. He has been teaching Biodiversity and Conservation for 20 years at UCI, and now participates in the First-year Integrated Program in Environmental Science. Peter specializes in photographing invertebrates, especially the more difficult ones including the smallest insects as well as various marine and aquatic species. He has a Masters’ degree in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Genetics, and he is now participating in an international effort to catalog biodiversity using DNA-based methods. His main contribution to recent NBC activities has been to establish a Research Committee which has organized both quarterly Research Workshops and an Annual Symposium.

Randall English, Vice President
Randall English heads up the IT operations at Schneider Electric. In addition to his IT responsibilities, he oversees the company’s philantropic endeavors. He has participated with employees from Schneider Electric on restoration activities in and around the Bay. Randall is an avid outdoorsman and brings a wealth of enthusiasm for environmental issues to the Board. Besides acting as the Board’s Secretary, Randall also sits on the Restoration Committee.

Pam Winkler, Secretary
Pam Winkler is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Davis Partners for the past twenty years. As Chief Operating Officer, Pam oversees all accounting and client reporting, company administration and IT systems. She’s been a Volunteer Naturalist with Newport Bay Conservancy since 2009 and has volunteered many hours at the Peter and Mary Muth Center while aiding in the reconciliation the sales from the gift shop. She brings accounting experience to the Board as well as a keen interest in updating educational elements around the Bay. She sits on the Finance and Education Committees.

Donna Flower, Treasurer
Donna Flower is a self-employed accountant/financial consultant.  She holds a BS in Business Administration/Accounting from CSU Long Beach and a BS in Social Ecology/Environmental Health and Quality from UCI.  She has extensive experience in financial management, budgeting, forecasting, and development of policies and procedures.  Donna has been associated with the Upper Newport Bay since the 1970s when she met Frank Robinson and joined the Friends of Newport Bay.  She has volunteered at the Bay since the 1990s. She was elected to the Board of Directors and served as Treasurer through 2005.  She served as an independent contractor/ accountant to NBNF through 2010.  Donna has volunteered in many different areas at the bay including scout programs, school tours, and gift shop merchandising.

Derrick Ankerstar
Derrick Ankerstar currently serves as the OC Parks representative on the NBC Board. He is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach. Derrick has been a full-time Park Ranger for the County of Orange since 2012 and served as a Reserve Ranger for OC Parks from 2010 until his appointment to full-time status in 2012. He is passionate about nature and its preservation and has maintained particular interest in the Newport Back Bay.

Josie Bennett
Josie Bennett is a field biologist with experience implementing habitat restoration and monitoring at various sites in Orange County. She has expertise in our local natural history including plants, plant communities, insects, amphibians, reptiles and birds. Prior to joining Laguna Canyon Foundation, Josie worked for the Irvine Ranch Conservancy and the Natural Resource Management department of California State Parks in Orange County. Josie studied Biology at California State University, Long Beach and received a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences with an emphasis on Ecology and Environment. She is certified through the National Association for Interpretation as a Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG). Josie chairs NBC’s Restoration Committee.

Tim BrownTim Brown
For the past 28 years, Dr. Tim Brown has demonstrated his interest in civic leadership and commitment to the City of Newport Beach through a number of endeavors. Dr. Brown is currently as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Newport Beach. Prior to that Dr. Brown served on the Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission for the city of Newport Beach for two terms beginning in 2006. Prior to his service on the Parks Beaches and Recreation Commission, Dr. Brown was a member of the Newport Beach Aviation Committee. Since 1999, Dr. Brown has been a resident member of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, served Vocational Service Chair of the Newport Beach Sunrise Rotary Club. Dr. Brown has also been instrumental in the formation of the NPO which operates the Lobsterfest. At NBC, Tim chairs the Board Development and Education Committees.

Chris Epting
Chris Epting is the author of 28 books including Roadside Baseball, James Dean Died Here and Teddy Roosevelt in California. He is also an award-winning journalist who has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Travel + Leisure and many more outlets. As well he is a frequent lecturer on several subjects including travel, music and popular culture. He lives in Huntington Beach.

Taylor Sais
Taylor Sais holds and B.A. and a M.S. in Environmental Studies granted from California State University Fullerton. He is currently employed by Southern California Gas Company and works in Air Quality Compliance. Taylor has participated in multiple Newport Back Bay clean-up events as well as assisted the NBC Research Committee on numerous projects.

Ian Swift
Ian is the Natural Resources Manager for the Irvine Ranch Water District in Irvine.  As the Senior Biologist, he oversees maintenance of the San Joaquin Marsh and all of the Natural Treatment System (NTS) sites. The San Joaquin Marsh encompasses more than 300 acres of coastal freshwater wetlands, half of which have been restored to a natural state. Ian also coordinates the District’s wetlands operation with state and federal regulatory agencies and coordinates with county vector control. Prior to IRWD, he was the Watershed Biologist at the Los Vaqueros Reservoir, a drinking water, recreational and educational facility owned by the Contra Costa Water District and he spent eight years as a natural areas supervisor with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. Additionally, he has traveled all over Central and South America hiking and studying insects.  Ian is responsible for keeping our Board and members informed on activities and events in the Newport Bay watershed that have impacts on the Bay.

Joana Tavares
Joana Tavares is currently a graduate student at the University of California, Irvine working on a Ph.D. in the field of Earth Science. She holds a M.S in Marine Studies from the University of Delaware and a B.S. from Federal University of Rio Grande in Brazil. She has taught at Long Beach City College and Orange Coast College in the area of oceanography. She has worked as the Community Education Coordinator and Curriculum Developer for the Amigos de Bolsa Chica in Huntington Beach. Joana is particularly keen on promoting strategies that promote water quality through integrated management practices and bottom-up approaches, such as Citizen Science programs and innovative public education and outreach projects.

Dick Zembal
dzembalDick Zembal is currently the Natural Resources Director for the Orange County Water District.  He is also a part-time faculty member of Saddleback College and has an Endangered Species Recovery and Wetland Restoration business.  He holds a BS from Loyola University of LA and an MS in Biology from CSU Long Beach.  Previously he worked for 20 years as a Biologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  He has studied and managed the Light-footed Clapper Rail population since 1979.  He has extensive experience in wildlife inventory, survey and management, particularly with regard to endangered species.  He has studied the Upper Newport Bay habitat and populations of Clapper Rails, Salt Marsh Bird’s Beak, Belding’s Savannah Sparrows, Least Terns and California Gnatcatchers since 1979.  He has participated in docent training and leading tours at Upper Newport Bay since the 1990s.  His primary interest is in sound management of the bay.

See Board Documents