In This Area:




PAUL ROBINS, Executive Director

Paul joined the RCD of Monterey County in July 2008 after serving as the Executive Director of Yolo County Resource Conservation District since 2000, before which he served YCRCD as Program Manager from 1995-2000 directing on-farm agronomic and natural resource management projects and monitoring, as well as outreach. The focus of his career has been on the interactions between agriculture, water quality, and wildlife habitat in California, with emphasis on the use of native vegetation systems and communicating their application to farmers and the public. Paul’s education includes an MS in Community Development and BS degrees in International Agricultural Development and Landscape Architecture from UC Davis.

Ben Burgoa, Program engineer

Ben joined the RCD of Monterey County in July 2013. He spent six years as an Associate Professor in the BioResource and Agricultural Engineering Department at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo where he taught and performed research related to on-farm irrigation management and ways to improve the efficiency and reliability of irrigation water delivery systems. Ben’s other experience includes design and evaluation of irrigation, pumping and distribution systems, and water management practices in field and greenhouse seed production, the study of runoff and leaching losses of pesticides and nutrients from soils, and measuring movement of contaminated sediments in watersheds during storm events.  Ben has a BS in Agronomy and Agricultural Engineering from the University of Panama, MS and PhD degrees in Soil Science from the University of Florida, and a MS in Water Engineering from the California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. His areas of interest are water movement and nutrient transport in soil, soil-water-crop relationships, and water resources engineering.

EMILY ZEFFERMAN, Conservation Ecologist

Emily became an RCD Monterey employee in April 2016. She was previously a Research Associate in Urban Ecological Restoration at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, where she led the first ecological inventory of Knoxville's Urban Wilderness. Emily received her PhD in Ecology with an emphasis in Restoration, as well as a certificate in Conservation Management, from the University of California Davis in 2014. Her dissertation research focused on the effects of stream and riparian restoration and management on aquatic plant communities, and she got hands-on restoration experience volunteering for the Putah Creek Council and the Student and Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship program. Before graduate school, Emily worked for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on water quality criteria development. She received her BS in Environmental Studies from Florida State University. Emily's research and professional interests include native habitat restoration, invasive species management, and conservation planning. She is committed to finding equitable, science-based solutions to ecological challenges.